Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lovely day

Up and away at the crack of dawn for an early morning walk:

Growing in the sand dunes.

On the way back, I saw the oldies were gathering for their aqua aerobics. The group has expanded since I was last at Seashells:

Time for a stroll round the boardwalk:

A new Chinese takeaway: picked up my favourite Singapore noodles for lunch:

In the Visitors Centre, I found the local artist, Emma Blyth,  is displaying her work. Her paintings are all over Seashells: they are now part of the scenery here in Mandurah. I bought a couple of prints for my bedroom in Burswood, to remind me of all my holidays down here:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


A couple of days in Mandurah at Seashells Resort sounded like a good idea to escape the heat in Perth. I managed to snag a vacancy just before the long weekend when everything was fully booked. I arrived at midday and had a quick swim and a picnic lunch under a Norfolk Pine, waiting for check-in at 2.00 pm.

We’ve stayed at Seashells many times, but this is the first time in a privately owned apartment. Everything seems to be of a higher standard and better looked after. I like the “distressed wood” finish on the furniture. The owner has a fondness for plastic greenery and has gone a bit overboard with this.

I had to fight my way into the microwave!

A bottle of sparkling in the fridge and a small box of Merci chocs were a nice welcoming touch! A few calories there! I had brought my dinner from home and enjoyed it on the balcony:

Last of the summer wine?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Masks off!

Yesterday we were allowed to throw off our masks after two weeks. What a relief! It was too hot to do very much, so I got up early and drove to South Beach for a swim.

Looking towards Fremantle.

They were going fishing from their kayaks.

Seaweed and shells.

Saturday, February 6, 2021


After a week of complete lockdown, we are now in semi-lockdown. We can go out and about, but we must wear a mask. I hate these little blue masks and have thought about making my own.  There is a multitude of instructional videos on YouTube, but I don't feel like doing it just for another week. E is back at school tomorrow and the orders are to wear them all day. The kids will get hot and sweaty: I certainly do, inside mine for an hour's exercise outside.

With regard to our original lockdown, there have been no more cases from the security guard who tested positive a week ago. Why? Should we feel relieved to be safe a while longer from the UK strain, or annoyed that we've had to suffer the stay-at-home orders? Surely this man's house mates and other close contacts would have caught it by now. Exactly how did he catch it anyway? Apparently, he sat all day guarding the corridor where one room had a case of the virus. Did it come out in a draught when the door was opened for food service? Was he, fortunately, someone who didn't spread the virus? Investigations are ongoing, especially as there is a Melbourne case where a family of four in hotel quarantine managed to infect the person in the room opposite. Everyone has an opinion and it dominates the airwaves.

Meanwhile, there have been hours of heavy rain in Perth, which is good news for the firefighters to the north-east of us. The cold front has come down from the Pilbara, where there has been heavy flooding. In Carnarvon, where I was in May/June, the waters are up by over 7m: a disaster for the caravan park. Parts of the main road simply fell away and motorists were trapped for 48 hours.

I cooked a meal for C and E in Como yesterday. Their garden was dripping wet and very green: quite unusual for this time of year:

This is a lemon tree, but they are still green.

The latest gift for the dog-who-has-everything is a butterfly-shaped container, designed to stop him gobbling down his food and generally slow down his pace of eating: 

I had a go at making creme brûlée, which we often order in restaurants but can't be bothered to make at home! I had a little-used blow-torch, which we couldn't persuade to function any more. C queried Google, while we still can, but to no avail. In the end, we put the little dishes under the grill and the blow-torch in the bin:

Floods up north: end of the road?

Sunday, January 31, 2021


This is Day One of a five-day lockdown.  Here in W.A. we have lived normal lives for 10 months, with no community transmission. Suddenly, a leak has occurred from a quarantine hotel which houses returned travellers from overseas. Perth has been accepting about 500 of these every week and now has a few with the UK and S.African strains. A security guard has tested positive and the govt has published a long list of all the places he visited before and after he felt unwell. One of these is a petrol station which I normally frequent, though I haven't been there recently.  He may also have worked as an Uber driver. The contact tracers will be busy, as will COVID testing sites.

So, I'm staying put for the rest of this week, with just an early morning walk each day. I don't like walking with a mask on at all and have to leave my glasses at home. Luckily I did a big grocery shop on Saturday morning, having just got back from our holiday in Mandurah. My wine cellar is not looking too good:
One bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc;
One 2-litre cask of Cabernet Merlot;
Half a bottle of Aperol;
5 Peroni Leggera;
4 mini Prosecco.
Maybe that's enough for the week!

Early on Sunday, before the lockdown, I decided to explore a local bird sanctuary, since we so enjoyed our Mandurah trip. I drove to the Eric Singleton Reserve, on the other side of the Swan River just opposite the Ascot Racecourse. I saw very few birds, possibly because it's right next to a dog exercise area known as Riverside Gardens.  I've never seen (or heard) so many dogs racing around - including lots of greyhounds, all off the lead. Is that allowed? They also race into the water of their own little dog beach. One pure black greyhound with a limp took himself into the shallow water and stood there for a good 5 minutes, not moving.

Dog beach

A white heron crossing an overflow weir

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Back to the reserve

We were a bit late getting up after our night out. By 9.00 am it was already getting too hot in the nature reserve and all the best birds had been and gone. Only the ducks were left, swimming around with the water to themselves. I came to a big stand of paperbark trees, where it was nice and shady:

In the distance, I spotted a few white herons, up to their knees in shallow water, too far away to get a good photo:

I walked as far as the osprey’s nest, but there was no sign of life:

Back at Mandurah Quay, I persuaded E to do a Juliet on the balcony of our accommodation:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Flics Kitchen

We dined at our favourite Mandurah restaurant:

The food was as delicious and innovative as usual. Here is the menu:

Crab croquettes:

Bloody caviar:

Tempura whiting:

Shark Bay prawns and gnocchi in mushroom sauce: