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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Perth Holiday Part III - Mandurah and Perth

I had a fantastic time in Mandurah. Not only did I get to wander by the water and check out the various markets, but I got to swim in the clear blue ocean and see dolphins!

On my second last day there we hired a boat – more of a punt with a cage around it – and we went all around Mandurah in search of dolphins. Many of Mandurah’s houses and apartments are built on canals – think Venice, but cleaner and bluer and sunnier – some are absolutely huge with their own jetties, massive boats, tennis courts, etc. Around the entry to the ocean marina we saw dolphins. At one point they came right up to the boat and under it and around it. It was a magical sight.

That night we went to the local Irish pub for dinner. There was a singer / guitarist playing music from my teenage years. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy listening to live music.

The next day I was headed back to Perth and my father. On the way we went to the local harness races as my son had to help with one of the horses. After that we stopped at a national park and saw some very tame kangaroos – tame enough to pat! Then to the city for some shopping, dinner at an Indian restaurant and we took our dessert to Kings Park – a large park with natural bush land bordering the city.

I’m back in Perth now and things are a little better with my father. I’ve been allowed to walk down to the shops in the mornings, giving me a bit of a break. Today I had lunch with a friend I haven’t seen for over 30 years. It was fabulous to catch up with her and comforting that she hasn't changed a bit!

View from Kings Park

Friday, February 18, 2011

Perth Holiday Part II - Mandurah

So last night my son brought me down to his new home in Mandurah, about an hour south of Perth. It is absolutely beautiful here – right on the beach. There is a boardwalk along the water, heaps of places to eat, drink or just have a coffee. Actually as I was having my morning coffee I saw a dolphin! I tried to take a photo but it was far too quick for me.

In the afternoon we went to the beach and had a splash in the water. It felt cold when we first got in, but we soon got used to it. Sunbaked for awhile, back in the water and then we saw another dolphin!

It’s probably lucky that I’m having this weekend away from my father as I blew up at him yesterday. I was just tired of being locked in the house and frustrated with his constant paranoia. He had wanted me to go to the bank for him, but had insisted I take my son with me for protection. My son was late, I was worried we wouldn’t make it to the bank before it shut and I just exploded! I told him in no uncertain terms that I was totally capable of going to the bank on my own and I was tired of being constantly protected and locked up. I apologized later, but I really should have tried to keep my temper.

I am going back to my father’s on Monday until next Friday and I will have to try to keep my temper. I think I will just have to insist on going for a few walks and hope he will be able to put up with it. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy myself here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Perth Holiday Part I

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t do holidays well at all; at least not the sort of holiday where you sit around and do nothing. Note to my friends, if I offer to do the dishes, I really want to do the dishes because I don’t like sitting around.

My holiday did start well. One of my friends picked me up from the airport at midnight – thank goodness for friends like her! We sat up and drank wine and chatted until 3am, which would have been 6am in Melbourne, so I can boast that I pulled an all nighter! The next day we went food shopping for lunch. She had invited her mother, her sister and another friend of ours. Let me tell you, I was very impressed at how good they all looked. They hadn’t changed a bit and it had been over 3 years since I saw them last.

Lunch was delicious; there was bbq chicken, salad, cauliflower cheese and lots of bubbly. It lasted well into the evening with leftovers for dinner. It was great to catch up with everyone and find out what they and their families have been up to.

The next day my friend’s son took me to my father’s place, with a rather long detour to my son’s place to pick up my netbook. It is wonderful to have my netbook back, I’ve missed it!

So I spent the rest of the day with my father. He is 91 and, although I admire him immensely for still living on his own in his house, I do wish he would realise I’m an adult now. I really don’t appreciate being told to wash my hands every 10 minutes and I’m a bit over being told to go to bed at 9pm. Mind you, that is after he has asked me what time I usually go to bed and I’ve told him 11pm. I expect I will get comments telling me to put up with it and I do but that is why I’m grateful to have my netbook back.

So here I sit, in bed at 9.15pm, with my netbook on my lap and a usb stick full of episodes from Season 1 and 2 of the OC. Guess what I’ll be doing when I’ve finished this post?

Tomorrow I plan to go for a long walk to try to get rid of all the food I’ve eaten over the past few days. Naturally my father doesn’t like the idea of me going for a walk. Apparently there is a rapist / burglar / kidnapper on every corner just waiting to pounce on me. My personal opinion is that the entire neighborhood is dead already because it’s just so quiet around here! Apparently someone attempted to kidnap a young girl the other day and my father thinks I’m a prime target and am next on their list. Naturally I would be flattered if a kidnapper thought I was an acceptable victim at over 50 years of age. I’ll let you know in my next post if I get kidnapped or murdered.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The week that was

My technology woes continue to stalk me. I don’t know what I did to offend the god of technology, but I’ve obviously done something.

Now our Foxtel (equivalent of cable) isn’t working. We can no longer access shows we have recorded nor can we record any more. This is not good. I spent a rather long time on the phone with one of the technicians – to the point where he told me he had spent a long time with me and I was tempted to tell him to suck it up. He talked me through a variety of troubleshooting solutions, none of which worked. Eventually he got me to reset the entire system, which resulted in losing everything we had recorded, and that didn’t work either. So now we have to wait a week for the technician to be in our area before we can have it fixed.

On the bright side I took my phone into the customer service centre and they believe they can fix almost all the issues I’m having and I should have it back before I leave for Perth next weekend. The girl on reception was lovely and restored my faith in warranties.

I managed to put on a kilo of the weight I had lost, however it’s not all bad as I’ve lost an inch off my waist! So I’m hoping I’ve put on some muscle instead of some fat. I totally broke my diet over the weekend, pigging out on pizza, chocolate cake and chips, but I don’t feel so bad.

Went shopping yesterday and found just what I was looking for, some flat summer shoes to take on holiday with me. Temperatures in Perth are rather hot so I’m only packing light summer clothes. At the moment they are fighting some awful bush fires that have destroyed several houses. I hope they come under control soon.

Speaking of natural disasters, the weather here has been totally crazy – cyclones, rain and floods in the East of Australia and drought and high temperatures in the West. All we need is locusts – oh wait – we have had them too! This summer has been totally extraordinary. I’ve even had the heater on this morning as it was freezing in the house when I woke up. Its summer! What’s going on?

I’m looking for a good book to take to Perth with me to read on the plane. Any suggestions?