In search of the elusive Western Hooded Plover

Still no sign of this elusive creature however it is fun looking.

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It wasn’t without excitement though!

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I spotted these fishermen on the shore when I arrived and saw them bring in a big fish just as I was leaving. They didn’t know I was behind them and they were really excited – jumping up and down and using the F word prolifically. I think they were a bit embarrassed when I asked if I could take their photo :-).

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We just got home before a big downpour of rain. Timed it perfectly.

Weekly photo challenge: Minimalist

volcanic stones from near Meekatharra in Western Australia

volcanic stones found near Meekatharra in Western Australia


From 1993 onwards I worked for the West Australian Department of Training. My job often took me to remote parts of the state. My role was to encourage and coordinate employment and training programs by working with the Local Government authorities. The Shire of Meekatharra just completed a training program for their young people and I presented the students with their graduation certificates.

The course tutor had a lot of local knowledge and invited me to see an area near town with these unusual rock formations. He told me they were the result of volcanic activity in the distant past. I took some home with me and I still marvel at their shape and texture.

Because Meeka was a long drive from home, I often stayed overnight. The photos below suggest to me that things have picked up a lot since the early 1990’s.They weren’t very inviting when I stayed there but there wasn’t much option. It was fun though 🙂



I am not the only one …

We had some friends stay over for the weekend and it was lovely chatting and catching up on the news.

I found myself saying more than once, …Ha, so I am not the only one who does that(thinks that/fears that etc.).

It occurred to me how valuable it is to have friends where we can share these inconsequential things and realise we all have much the same fears, hopes, dreams etc. It is reassuring that whatever our experiences in life might be, it is likely shared by many.

Lake Ballard near Menzies

Lake Ballard near Menzies

Perhaps this is the basis for our friendships.

NB The photo was taken by me at Lake Ballard (a dry salt lake) in a remote area north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The sculpture was created by well known sculptor Antony Gormley from the UK.

The Daily Post – Terminal Time

You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?

I experienced something similar to this a couple of weeks ago. I decided to take a short flight to Perth in preference to driving and staying over night in a hotel before catching my 10.00am flight to Melbourne. I arrived at our small Busselton airport (5.45pm for a 6.45pm departure) only to learn that there was a BIG delay in departure time. In fact, the plane was in Perth and waiting delivery of parts (anticipated about an hour’s delay) before it could leave Perth.

I decided to wait at the airport and not go home and come back later. There were only four passengers heading to Perth. I soon learned though, the plane had to fly south to Busselton and then Albany before doing the return flight to collect the four of us waiting.

I had a good book to read so at first I wasn’t too worried about the delay. One of the staff asked me if I would like a tea or coffee and proceeded to make one for me in their staff room. I was very grateful. There was a vending machine and I bought a Cherry Ripe. Life was feeling pretty good.

Some time later we learned the flight had left Perth so at least things were moving. The mood lightened. There was a man in his forties also reading and another woman of a similar age. A young man in a wheel chair, well-known to the staff as he flies to Perth once a fortnight to visit family, kept up a lively banter with everyone.

No-one seemed too bothered about the delay and the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. About 9.00pm a female staff member stated she was putting in an order for some food and asked us what sort of pizza we liked. The food and soft drink arrived close to 10.00pm. We all enjoyed the pizza!

The plane finally arrived to take us to Perth at 10.20pm. I arrived at my friend’s place at around 11.30pm. I felt bad that I had messed up their evening but it was out of my control. They kindly drove me to the airport in the morning. When I had checked in I decided to call my husband and let him know everything was OK but I couldn’t find my phone. It was getting close to boarding time and I was a little panicked. I realised I must have left it in the security check point – I was right! The rest of the journey was fine except that I lost my e-ticket at Melbourne Airport but one of the staff helped me out! What a journey 🙂

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To learn more about the Daily Post Prompts click here



I have looked at old photos to research information for my writing assignment. It was great to see the photos again because it prompted my memory about so many things I had forgotten. One of them cashew apples. We had a cashew tree in our yard – you couldn’t eat the nuts without baking but the fruit was really yummy.

I found this photo of my Mum taken in 1983. She traveled by bus from Victoria to Fitzroy Crossing to be there when I gave birth to my third son. That is an incredible distance to travel by bus – around 3500 miles. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of her as I was in hospital a lot longer than anticipated. I think I spent one or two days with her and then she caught the bus home again! What a woman :-). She was in her early sixties at the time.

Now, back to that assignment!

Mum Fitzroy Crossing 1983

The Karrakatta Club

I first met Patricia Sanders purely by accident. We both happened to be in the same place at the same time – the City of Claremont Council Museum. I was seeking information about my great-grandfather, James King, who was the first Lord Mayor of the Claremont Council. Patricia and my Mum were first cousins. Her mother, Mabel King and my Grandfather, Arthur King, were brother and sister and children of James and Elizabeth King.

Patricia Sanders 001 (Copy)There are a number of King family descendants in Western Australia but I had no knowledge of them until that day. Patricia graciously invited me to a family event in Fremantle and I met many distant and not so distant relatives. It was a wonderful experience. Patricia was around 90 years old when I met her. She was still in good health and living independently at a retirement village in a good suburb of Perth. She had written her memoirs, As I Recall It, and she led a truly amazing life.

She called me one day and invited me to attend an event at the Karrakatta Club in Perth city. I had never heard of it before but I went along and it was a memorable experience for me. Here is some information about the Club from their website …

The Karrakatta Club was the first women’s club in Australia, and was founded in 1894 by members of the St George’s Reading Circle, at the suggestion of Dr Emily Ryder, an American medical woman who visited Perth at that time. Dr Ryder had been present at a meeting of the St George’s Reading Circle to which some twelve women belonged, and was so impressed by their interest in books and their powers of discussion that she persuaded them to form a club along the lines of the Education Clubs for Women in America.

The objective of the Club was to bring into one body the women of the community for mutual improvement and social engagement. The first President was Lady Madeleine Onslow, and it is due to her outstanding qualities that the Club grew and prospered.

In 1972/73 the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs was formed to link all Lyceum Clubs in Australia under one banner. The aim of The AALC is to promote a spirit of goodwill and understanding within the Association, and to enhance the enjoyment of Lyceum by providing support.

It was wonderful to be there with Patricia and meet some of the other members – many of whom were descended from the early pioneers of Western Australia. I noticed there were some rules to abide by and these, loosely translated,  included:

  • no talking about your health
  • no religion
  • no politics

I think they might have been onto something!

Unfortunately I lost contact with Patricia and I do believe she passed away in her early nineties. An amazing woman. She was my only link to the King family in Western Australia. I hope some family members may have a reunion one day and I will meet up with them once again.

A Long Walk Home


This photograph was taken in Fitzroy Crossing sometime in the early 1980s when there was a significant flood of the Fitzroy River. I love the angles in the photo and the shimmer of the water on the road. I can see it on the cover of a story about a young boy walking home …

Can you think of any other titles that might suit the picture?


Lorraine 🙂


Weekly photo challenge: Escape



The Cape Naturaliste Region incorporates Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup and the Margaret River Wine Region. It is said that “the delicate beauty of nature and the handiwork of man combine to form a paradise of unlimited variety.”

And I am very lucky to live right in the midst of it 🙂



Gwalia – a ghost town in Western Australia

In 1963 the Sons of Gwalia gold mine closed abruptly. It is essentially a ghost town now. Mining from 1897  to 1963 produced 82.24 tonnes of gold! It is located 828 kilometers east of Perth, near Leonora, in the Great Victoria Desert.

From Wikipedia “… a young American geologist (was sent) to the area to develop the find into a working concern. That geologist was Herbert Hoover, who would later become President of the United States. Hoover arrived in Albany, Western Australia in May 1897, traveled by train to Coolgardie, then eventually to the Gwalia area by camel. He suggested himself as manager of the new mine. Among his suggestions for cutting labour costs was to hire mostly Italian labourers. As a result, the town’s population was made up mostly of Italian immigrants, as well as other Europeans, who sought riches in Australia’s newest gold rush…. Hoover’s stay in Gwalia was brief; he was sent to China in December 1898 to develop mines there. The house that Hoover lived in, overlooking the mine operations, still exists, and today operates as a museum and bed-and-breakfast inn. Hoover returned to Western Australia and Gwalia in 1902 as a partner in Bewick Moreing and manager of all of their interests in Western Australia.”

When the mine closed in 1963 the town’s population disappeared almost overnight. It is a popular tourist attraction today for those willing to travel the distance. I took the opportunity to visit the site when I was working in the region in 2003. An employee from the Regional Development Commission in Leonora gave me the tour! Leonora locals look after the deserted cottages to keep their original appearance – it looks like the miners just left yesterday!