First attempt at a video

One of my goals for 2016 was to learn how to edit videos. Today I sat down and had a go at it with some short videos I took in February 2016 when we did the circuit from home to Perth, Kalgoorlie, Esperance and home again. It starts off with the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie Gold MIne.

I know I have a long way to go but it felt good to learn the basics  :). It is only a very short video and you may notice the salmon coloured gum trees – one of my favourite species of gum tree.

Perth on Monday Morning

We were in Perth, Western Australia, for a short time yesterday. I walked to meet some friends for breakfast in Forrest Chase. I took these photos with my smart-phone. I love the early morning light on the Hay Street photos. Not bad weather for a Winter’s Day too!



Writing and research

The current module in my writing course is about doing research for fiction writing. Our tutor provided the students with a list of questions and instructed us to visit the State Library (Battye Library) to find the relevant information. It wasn’t a test of who could find the best material – the purpose was to encourage the students to physically get out there and find the richness of resources available to create interesting and informative stories. Accessing The West Australian newspaper on microfilm was an important part of the exercise.

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I rocked up to Busselton library yesterday with my list of questions. I found myself in a panic for a few minutes, thinking to myself, ‘why can’t I just Google it?’ It was hard work looking through indexes of hard copies of books to glean a couple of sentences for the exercise. After about fifteen minutes I found myself lost in the experience and wanting to take home every book I picked up!

I spent two hours at the library and found everything I needed except the newspapers on microfilm. This morning I found digitalised copies of the West Australian on Trove at the National Gallery. My task then was to research what was happening in the wider world on the date of my birth. It is a fabulous resource and I spent hours reading through it and making notes. I then repeated the process with my mother’s date of birth in 1922 – again I found some great reading!

Ferguson Valley 015 (Copy)I now have until Monday to write a piece of fiction (500-600 words) based on, and using the information gleaned through the newspapers and library research. The story will be set on that date in November 1954. The assignment is due on Monday – feeling a bit under pressure to come up with a good plot. I can see some brainstorming, mind-mapping or whatever it takes, happening here!

Nightmare on Channybearup Road

Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano, la primera ase...

Guadalupe Martinez de Bejarano, the first female serial killer in Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday we drove for two hours to a Farm Stay (holiday house) on Channybearup Road – between Manjimup and Pemberton. We arrived around 2.00pm at the usual check-in time. We thought the owners would live near by but there was only one house on several acres of land. The front door was unlocked so we unpacked and settled in for our short holiday.

There was a note on the fridge to ring the owner if there were any problems. Well, there was only ONE problem and that was no mobile signal! We felt a bit like imposters but reckoned we could find the owners the next day. I settled down for a few hours to read my novel about a serial killer.

We went to bed about 9.00pm only to wake some hours later with what sounded like footsteps in the house. I jumped up and said “Who was that?” Tom very bravely went to investigate but there was no sign of anyone about. I felt really isolated, especially without a phone. Not surprisingly, we didn’t sleep very well the rest of the night.

When I woke in the morning I really wanted to go home. We had booked for two nights but I had an overwhelming feeling of foreboding. I told Tom how I was feeling and we decided to go out for a coffee in Manjimup and decide whether to stay or go home. I realised I wasn’t being logical but I couldn’t shake off the feeling.

After coffee we decided to drive to Pemberton. It was a lovely drive through the forest – very pretty. My mood started to lift and logic won out. We decided to stay on and make the most of our short break. We convinced ourselves that it was unlikely there was an axe murderer in the neighbourhood. I decided to hide the axe just in case.

We later discovered (through reading the guest book) that there are possums that live in the roof. In fact, there was a bit of a smell suggesting a dead possum in the roof. We both slept well for our second night away, but gee it was good to get home again! And I have decided to give up reading murder mysteries and suspense novels for a while :-). We tracked down the owners eventually too so we could pay our bill.

Welcome to Manjimup

Welcome to Manjimup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Trees in less than 300 words

I am experimenting with stretching my writing from being a stream of my thoughts to something a bit more creative. I am a bit frightened of creativity but I think it is time to experiment – just for fun 🙂

Albany 2012 028Trees appeal to me. I love the seasonal changes including autumn leaves and spring blossoms – the fresh shoots of new leaves coming after the blossoms fall. I see life in trees – a life force. I see steadfastness, permanence, and persistence – each day the same no matter what happens around them. The traffic comes and goes, people travel to work and home again, but the trees remain.

I wonder if a tree can see all the happenings around it. If it does, it keeps it to itself. That is why I like to talk to trees sometimes – they seem so wise, serene, and strong.

I had a favourite tree in the City of Perth where I used to catch the Yellow Cat Bus to work. I remember it was a native paperbark. I can see it now – no matter what the weather or the season it persevered with its existence. It was not fully grown. Maybe it was held back by the pollution of the daily traffic and limited water supply. I was always pleased to greet it, as it was a fixed mark in my environment – alive and vibrant.

The tree will continue to grow and thrive and be unaffected by my absence. I hope it is well cared for and does not become the victim of progress. We need trees in our cities to remind us of nature. They give colour, texture, and contrast to the multi-story office blocks. They are a sanctuary for birds and other creatures. Not least of all, they give much-needed oxygen for us to breathe.




Weekly photo challenge: Sea

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For this week’s photo challenge I have some photos from Yallingup Beach. We drove there to take the photos and there was some amazing surf that the photos didn’t quite capture. I am including the YouTube video of the move, DRIFT, as it was filmed in the same locality. You will see some serious waves in the video.



They say a change is as good as a holiday

I had been really hanging out for a holiday but we were finding it difficult to get away (more due to inertia than being so busy). Eventually we agreed to have two nights in a self-contained apartment in Mandurah, a bit over an hour’s drive from here. I was really taken with the decor in the apartment and took some photos. The apartment, managed by Quest is located near Dolphin Quay as shown in the photo below. Even though the weather was wintry it didn’t lessen our enjoyment of it at all.

I came home feeling energised after the break! Amazing what a couple of days change of scenery can do!



Asbestos country – industrial disaster

Wittenoom was once home to many….the following information is quoted from Wikipedia.

“Wittenoom is a ghost town 1,106 kilometres (687 mi) north-north-east of Perth in the Hamersley Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is the site of Australia’s greatest industrial disaster.


The area around Wittenoom was mainly pastoral until the 1930s when mining began in the area. By 1939, major mining had begun in Yampire Gorge, which was subsequently closed in 1943 when mining began in Wittenoom Gorge. In 1947 a company town was built, and by the 1950s it was the Pilbara’s largest town. During the 1950s and early 1960s Wittenoom was Australia’s only supplier of blue asbestos. The town was shut down in 1966 due to unprofitability and growing health concerns from asbestos mining in the area.


Today, eight residents still live in the town, which receives no government services. In December 2006, the Government of Western Australia announced that the town’s official status would be removed, and in June 2007, Jon Ford, the Minister for Regional Development, announced that the townsite had officially been degazetted. The town’s name was removed from official maps and road signs and the Shire of Ashburton is able to close roads that lead to contaminated areas.”

I took these photos in the 1990’s when we lived in the region. It was still a popular spot for tourists at the time. One of my neighbours lived there in the 1950’s and she told me about many people who have since died as a result of asbestos related diseases. A great tragedy!




50 Something

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I subscribe to a magazine called “50 Something”. It is part of National Seniors Australia who advocate for the rights of seniors (over 50’s in this case) in Australia. In the April/May edition of the magazine they did a feature on the trend for seniors to move to a country location on retirement – what we call the “tree change” or “sea change” lifestyle. The article encouraged readers to seriously do their research before making such decisions. Many people decide to move to what was previously their favourite holiday destination. Living in a community is very different from going there for a holiday.

I have just received the June/July edition and am struck by the number of people who endorsed (because of their own experience) the need for serious consideration before moving to the country.

We made the decision to move to the country three years ago. We don’t regret our decision as we love where we live however I do miss the friends I had in the city. I have kept in touch with some but it is much harder to keep the friendships going  – we can’t meet for the occasional coffee or a quick lunch. Most of my friends in the city are still in full-time employment.

Just as well that I have my blogging buddies to communicate with now 🙂