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Friday, October 28, 2011

October 27

This is such a beautiful location we have decided to rest up for the day and make the most of the sunshine and relax. Our only mission is to capture more photos of sunsets this evening, with the exception of the beach there is not much to take photos of. For a bit of fun we have decided to undertake a quality assurance mission relating to Marmite. We have both the FAKE Marmite and the real Marmite ready along with our bread and butter. So what have we discovered……

Filling of Jars test
FAKE Marmite 4/10, as you can see by the photo, the fake Marmite looks more like a licourish ice-cream cone topping.
Real Marmite 10/10 - the real Marmite is smooth and even.  

Real Marmite on the left, the other on the right
Spreadability Test
FAKE Marmite 2/10 - Yuk - this Marmite is gritty and does not spread at all.
Real Marmite 10/10 - Now look at the real Marmite, silky smooth and mixes with the butter to make a scrumptious creamy spread.  

Fake Marmite at the top, real Marmite at the bottom
Taste Test
FAKE Marmite 5/10 - it is OK and if you did not know better could almost pass as Marmite.
Real Marmite 10/10 - tingling on the taste-buds, absolute perfection.  

Now I am not biased when it comes to trying new products but I am wondering here how both these items can be called Marmite, I thought that was a trade name!!!!! Do Marmite know this fake product using their name exists I wonder. Fear not by the way my Aussie mates, this fake Marmite is an import from New Zealand!!!!  We are so glad we brought our Marmite with us all the way from the UK and Saudi.  

Now the Marmite assessment is completed we will do nothing for the rest of the day, until sunset that is. This evening we used the good cameras to capture the sunsets and we got some stunners, it has been hard to choose some for you.



A few fishermen around, we hear
the catches brought in were rather
good.



  

The hours of darkness have fallen and tonight we have been totally spoilt.  After reading the next bit, try closing your eyes and imagining what we experienced. Alan made a wonderful fire, we went our fire wood collecting earlier in the day with great finds, good solid logs etc. We placed our camp chairs around the fire enjoying watching the flames dance before our eyes. On looking up, the stars, oh the stars, they were everywhere with not a cloud or tree in sight to block their beauty from our line of vision. They were so bright and far too many to count. Now you have the warmth of the fire to keep you warm, the most wonderful sights for the eyes and in the background, the sounds of the wakes breaking, rushing up the beach and retreating to the sea once again in their circle of movement - get the picture. We feel the luckiest people on earth at this moment in time. I think we are going to sleep well tonight :) 

As normal, I try to end the blog with sunset picture, hope you like this one :)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 26

It rained most of the night but we were dry and warm. Now was it a good idea I hear you ask, to blow up the air bed and add that to the sleeping compartment. It sounds wonderful in theory but alas in reality it was a nightmare. We ended up with about 15 inches between the top of the air bed and the roof of the bedroom, snug yes, leading to a good nights sleep -no. We will need to rethink this plan and come up with another solution, maybe a couple of thin blow-up bed rolls will work.

Breakfast was a fried egg sandwich, yummy and guess what it has started to rain again, and rain and rain and rain. I will add a wee story here (I have a couple up my sleeve for when there is nothing else to write about <g>).  On the first day in Winston when we were getting used to how bits and bobs worked, prioritize items for most needed and placements for easy access etc, one of us accidentally turned the knob for the fridge onto freezer, (it was on -15C).  Now the eggs were in the fridge/freezer and it was not till the next day we noticed this mistake when we went to get the milk for a cuppa - frozen milk no less.  As you can imagine, if the milk was frozen so was everything else, including the oranges and eggs.  We had no idea what would be the outcome to the frozen eggs once they had defrosted.  Would they be like our pre-scrambled eggs in shell on our last trip to OZ or would they become be some wonderfully outlandish new product?  As you have guessed, knowing that we had yummy fried egg sandwiches for breakfast they were none the worse for wear for the experience.

We managed to fill the blue plastic wash basin twice with rain water, great, the first fill up was used to rinse all the dishes, cups and pans etc the second has been put into the water tank under Winston for future use and the final bit that was left Alan has used for a shave, his first in 4 days. How is that for recycling.

I am sitting back in Winston keeping dry and writing yesterdays blog and starting today. Time to sign off now, get dressed, have a final cuppa then pack up the last of the items before heading off on today's adventure, it is now noon so we had better get our skates on.

Time to write some more now and get this uploaded.

And it continued to rain - all day no less, torrential rain says Alan <g>.  Here is a photo and quick movie clip so you can share the experience with us in you warm, cosy, dry locations :)


video

We decided to go to Dongara today, in need of some more supplies and we hear they have great rock lobsters there.  A hot meal and no dishes to wash up will do me just fine.  Dongarah is about 150 km drive so by the time we got there it was 4:00 p.m. and it was still RAINING.  We found the supermarket and got the water etc and a couple of chicken salads, might as well try to eat a couple of healthy items on our trek.  In the hardware store we purchased 2 foam bedrolls, lets hope they work.  Now to find somewhere to eat a lobster or two.  Bummer, the only place open is the one we have been advised not to eat at so it looks like no lobster on the menu tonight, I think it will be a bowl of noodles again.  Hey Tasha - these are the same noodles in a bowl we get in Saudi so while we eat ours we will be thinking of you :)

Looking to our left out to sea we can see some blue  sky, could the rain be drawing to a close, if so that would be a lovely way to end the night.  Half an hours drive out of Dongara and after exploring a few tracks we found our home for the night and what a beauty it is.  

Winston's 4th campsite

We are 100 meters from the sea, can hear the waves breaking and we have a sunset to die for for you.

Alan on the beach





Winston ready for bed!!!!!

This last pic of Winston all tucked up ready for the night is a great place for me to also say sleep well folks and chat with you in the morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 25


What a way to wake up, tucked up nice and snug under canvas with the sound of waves in the background.  Alan and I are not highly motivated this morning, more like tortoises taking life easy.  We have major plans for today, shower, wash hair and find another camp spot, I think we can accomplish this.  Priority is a cup of coffee to start the morning then contemplate our next move.

Right, the shower is hanging up and as there is not much sun to heat the water inside we have cheated and boiled the kettle.  My hair is revolting, as the shampooing proved.  Showers accomplished it is time for another cup of coffee, it is about noon now and time to think about moving on.  Notice I said, think about!!!!

We are going to head back south and then turn east towards  The Alexander Morrison Nature Reserve which is full of wildflowers, hopefully there will be some photography undertaken.  We have been reliably informed by one of the travel books we have that we can camp there if we go chat nicely to the Ranger.

On route we stopped at a petrol station for a ham and cheese sandwich and yet another cup of coffee.  As I opened Winston's emergency exit a moth flew in and landed on my shorts, he was so obliging and sat there for ages while his photo was taken for memories sake.


On sale were some fly nets to go over your hat, yes a must to be purchased.  Alan has already gone through one can of bug stray as the flies are bugging him to bits.  I have to agree, they are somewhat annoying, reminds me of visits to the local Masai homes in Kenya but no where near a smelly.



OK, 2:00 p.m. and we are on our way for the short hike to the Alexander Morrison Nature Reserve.  Oh dear, a few flowers to be seen but still very cloudy and no chance of photos yet.  After exploring many tracks on the hunt for the Ranger and not finding him or his house or any signs he exists we have found one possible camp site for the night with signs only saying No Fires and No Shooting, I think we can be cheeky and plead our ignorance if spotted.  Anyway, it is still early, and there is another nature reserver bordering this one called the Capamauro Nature Reserve.  We are guessing the same rules regarding camping will apply here so it is worth check out.  There is a lake in this reserve and that normally means birds and other wildlife will be around.

OOOOOOOh lookie here, tracks that have not been used in ages, a lake and birdsong.  Time to set up camp for the night.  Alan and I are now in a pretty good routine, Alan sorts the tarpaulin out to give us some shelter and gets the kettle on the boil for a cuppa while I sort the bedroom.  What fun creating a bedroom in Winston, undo the catches on the outside, climb into Winston and push the roof up, not in the least difficult and voila, I almost have the room completed.  Next step is to pull out the three wooden base supports and slot them into place then throw up the thin mattresses, sleeping bag and pillows.  There done and now time to sit down and enjoy my cuppa.



This is a very strange lake we have found, the trees are all dead but don't look like they have been burnt.  There are a few birds around, and I mean a few, about 4 that we can hear calling to each other, no birds fishing.  We are beginning to suspect something odd has happened here but not sure what.  Just to be on the safe side we will not be using the water in the lake for anything but to look at.

Tonight I have a gourmet three course meal lined up, satay noodles as an entree, reheated lamb burger buttie for the main course and an orange for desert all washed down with a Singapore Sling (thanks Lyn).

Now that dinner is out the way and another cuppa is brewing it is time to get the laptop out and watch another movie.  Oh no, this one is vampires, I am not watching that.  Thankfully Alan has quite a few movies and found something that was watchable, I think it was called 'The last 3 Days', and by the way, it is raining again.

Now maybe you would like to hear my saga.  After yesterday and the whatevers that attacked my feet while checking the sandy path for a place to sleep, today I have been soaked.  Alan managed to get himself all snug in the corner by the cooker and I was just under the tarpaulin but dry.  As the rain filled up the top of the tarpaulin Alan reckoned it was a good idea to reduce the weight and prodded the side to let the excess water escape - all over me.  One drenched side of chair, one drenched  arm and all materials covering it and now a continual drip on my head and down the back of the chair.  Time to find some plastic and return to watching the film as a soggy viewer.

Yes, it is still raining before you ask.  Not having seen rain since my last visit to the UK where it rained for all but 5 days I should be enjoying the experience but no - I don't like rain.  It is off to bed now.  Last night in bed, although comfortable was a little hard so tonight we have tried to make it more comfortable by blowing up the air bed and throwing that in too.  Fingers crossed for a 5* sleep.

As you can see by this blog today has not been a day for photos but we do have a sunset for you which Alan captured.  Good night.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 24

Well this is a bit good, so far everywhere we have been there has been mobile access.  Downside of that is for mobile access to exist there are humans too.

After leaving our little sandy campsite yesterday we headed further north, planning on visiting the Pinnacles in the Nambung Nationl Park, near Cevanties, and then hopefully a campsite on the beach.  It was a very cloudy day, not much good for photographs but fingers crossed we will find something.  Before heading off we took some photos of the flowers around our campsite, most are very tiny but I did find this beauty.


All packed up now and ready for the off.  I wish the UK would learn how to plan and carry out roadworks, the Aussies seem to have it right, no 3km stretches of cones with nobody working, instead only the area being worked on is coned off and humans at either end controlling the traffic flow, so much more sensible!!!!


And onward we traveled, watching the gray cloud overhead and wondering if the wind was strong enough to push it out to sea before it dropped it's load on us.  What do you think, were we lucky or not???

We turned off to go to the Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnicles but stopped at Cervanties to replenish our supplies.  We needed a new Butt Bucket as Alan stood on ours yesterday and smashed it to smithereens, some pineapple juice for Singapore Slings, more fly spray and a wind breaker in readiness for our night on the beach.  Cevanties reminded me of Seahouse for those who know Seahouses, with one big difference - no amusement arcades, no bingo halls, no parking problems, no tat!!!  It did have a shop just like Makays selling all sorts of touristy and beachy things (OK, that is tat), a Liquor Land, a caravan park and a fish and chip shop etc.  We got everything we needed with the exception of the wind breaker, I am not sure if they are called something different here or they just don't exist.  When we explained what we were looking for - a long piece of canvas with stakes at intermittent distances in it; they knew what we were talking about but were unable to come up with the name of what it was called.  We did find a jar of Marmite though.  Now I have a problem, this is FAKE Marmite, our Marmite, as in the real Marmite comes in a jar with a yellow lid and has it's own website www.marmite.com  and just beside the FAKE Marmite were packets of Tim Tams, we had to have them too <g>  Tim Tams for those who are unaware of what they are, are chocolate covered chocolate biscuits, we had our first taste of them in Saudi when Mich brought some back for us.
On the left FAKE Marmite!!! on the right the real thing <g>
Now for the Nambung National Park, I hope you read the link earlier to discover all about the Pinnacles.  I am just going to post a bunch of pics here for you to view.



Oh dear - look what has happened to the lens for my
camera, not a nice find when one opens the camera bag.
Thankfully this was a cheap lens and we have several
more with us.  PS Alan did not shout at me for being
a Calamity Jane, he just said 'S**t happens"

Ahhhhhh







Same pic as above but enhanced


Any comments for this pic <g>

Time for us to leave and find somewhere to set up our home for the night.  The ever looming black cloud is still hovering overhead so we will bet all our chips it is going to rain tonight.  On our map it shows another bush camp (a blue tent which means camping allowed but not facilities - just what we are after).  Alas, once again the bushcamp does not exist any more, somebody has put toilets there and is now charging 15 dollars to stay the night.  Not that we mind paying the 15 dollars but toilets also mean people and sure enough there must have been about 20 caravans and camper vans.  Time to move on.  Now this was becoming challenging, everywhere we looked was either a driveway to somebody's house or had a sign at the entrance saying 'No Camping'  but we will not be beaten, even to the point of becoming very cheeky!!!!  In the end we found one road with no signs as we drove past.  A quick turn around of Winston and head off down it to see what we could find.  Sandy yes, but that is not a problem, even when we came to a steep bank Winston could not make it up.  Alan was all prepared to let the tire pressure down but I thought it might be a good idea if I walked up the hilly bit and along the track to see if there was anything.  The track went on and on and on and on with no turning places  for Alan and Winston to make our escape in the morning.  No good so I headed back to Alan to give him the news.  As we were leaving this track and about to hit tarmac we saw a clearing on the left hand side, more than enough space for us and although by the road and a bit noisy when the odd car passes by it was perfect.  Time to play with some more new toys that accompany Winston.  We raked out the tarpaulin which is packed away under the case in a cubby hole especially designed for it.  OK one thing, where are the poles for it, time to search Winston's hidy holes.  We should really watch the video at Britz which explains where everything is and how everything works but that is too touristy for us and just like last year we handed the video back without watching it.  So much more fun working it out for yourself.  The poles were hidden behind the seat (for future reference).  It was very easy to put the top up which is where our bed is for the night and to assemble that.  All sorted and now time to cook dinner, can you guess what we are having <g> - sausages :).  I have a problem, while walking along the track I must have brushed up against some grasses that don't like me and it feels like I am standing in an ants nest, itch itch itch, scratch scratch scratch, curse curse and more scratching.  I'm hopping around like a real idiot, in the end I reverted to man made meds - get the anti-histamines.
Home for the night and all set for the rain!!!

No sunsets tonight, sorry but we do have a movie to watch <g>  Alan brought along a bunch of movies on his laptop for nights like these.  Hope it is something good and not horror!!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

October 23

We were so comfortable tucked up in bed at Lyn's it was 8:30 before we managed to get up.  Maybe something to do with vodkarization the night before - Lyn is such a bad influence.  What a breakfast we had too, bacon, eggs, muffins, fruit, absolutly scrumptious and a good set up for the day.  We still have no idea where we are going, I keep getting the maps and books out but the choices are so many.  Do we head up the coast but risk spending lots of time with humans or do we head to  Kalgoorlie and then head north via desert land with few humans, we just can't decide.  Oh well, forget about that for now and get on the road. Our first job is to return to Britz as we need to get an ariel put on Winston, some previous hirer has managed to rip the present one off and we have no radio.  Now that is just not good enough, we want to hear our Aboriginal friend talk about folks on 'Sit Down Money' again <g>.

We left Lyn's around 11:30 and headed back to Perth, an hour and a half's drive.  Only one problem, even thougth Alan has updated the sat-nav's neither of them seem to know about the new road and both are insisting we turn off the freeway.  We relented in the end, fed up of the word 'recalculating' and did as were were told.  Fun yes, off the freeway, round several bends and then back onto the freeway, oh well, don't argue with technology.  Alan had set the sat-navs for 471 whatever road, the location of Britz but for the life of us could we find it, in the end I fired up the laptop and hooked up to the net for a quick confimation of the address, we had the right number but were in the wrong district, I think that explains why we could not find Britz.  Sat-navs reset and Britz found, and coffee needed desperately.

We gave Britz back their two broken plastic glasses they had packed for us - not much good to have the beer/vodka/wine leacking through the splits in theor sides before it made it to our mouths, and the table which is nothing but a pain in the butt.  Now for the aerial, I asked for a coat hanger to fix it but they did have something a little better although not much, another arial from a different make of vehicle - not Toyota.  Out with the plies, remove bits of casing etc and ram this new ariel into location.  No, that did not work and Winston was driven off into the operation room for further procedures.  Half an hour later we were told he had successfully survived the operation and we just needed to wait a further 10 minutes for the glue to dry.  2 cups of coffee and a hour later Winston was brought back to us complete with second hand aerial glued into place.  We think the chaps at Britz work of ASaudi time.

Now we really had to decide where to go, until now the idea was to go to Kalgoorlie but change of plan, the coast route called 'The Everlasting Trail' won the toss (althought we won't follow it exactly it is only a direciton to head in).  This is one of the flower trails and oh, how I love flowers.   Sat-navs set for a placce called Lancelin, an achievable distance to reach before it got dark.  20 minutes later after browsing the maps I found a bush camp at a place called Yachep, even closer than Lancelin so reset the sat-navs yet again and with smiles on our faces, with thought of a night under the stars we continued on our way.  

Alas, the bush camp no longer existed, the developers had been and the area, inside the Yanchep National Park, although beautiful, catered for day walks etc and had a couple of boarding places to stay at - no good.  Always worth popping into information centres and good job we did here, the lady was fabulous, we asked about their bush camping but she said they did not have any so I pointed out the blue tent icon on our map, she did not seem to know anything about bush camping in the area and thinks the blue tent icon is linked to an overnight place walkers can stay.  However, she told us of a few places further down the road we could bed down for the night.  With renewed smiles on our faces and many thanks we headed off again.  Very nice, the first place was a roadside camping/stopping area, drive on, the second place was beautiful and had a big sign saying 'No Camping', move on again and the third place we did not even bother to go to.  We don't want to sound ungrateful but we saw a sandy track heading off into nowhere and guessed nobody would follow us if we headed down it.  And now our adventure begins <g>.

What fun, we really have a feeling we are on holiday now and about to start finding the perfect locations to chill and the photos to tell our story start too.

What a lovely sandy track, what a lovely deep sandy track and guess what!!!!!






Down with the tire pressure and we are on our way again and in 4 wheel drive - hurray.  10 minutes later we found a little camping spot set up by a previous explorer but we could not turn in.  Now to look for a safe place to turn Winston around and low an behold 100 metres later we ended up on a main tarmac road, now how perfect is that.  Winston did a beautiful three point turn and we drove back to the wee camping spot and set up for the night.  Double blow up bed - check, sheets, pillows and sleeping bag - check, coffee - check, wood for fire - check, chairs - check and food.  All set.  Alan set to making the fire I acted as the well trained domestic and organized the kitchen to start cooking lamb burgers and make coffee.



Our kitchen, how brilliant is this, so much easier than
last year cooking on a stool.

This is the sign written on the cooker, I can't work out
how somebody could use this cooker inside Winston
when it is securely fixed on the outside.


A glass of whine (compliments of Britx) and a very wobbly Jane produced the most scrumptious lamb burger buttie and a cup of coffee.  Now the coffee is fun, we found coffee and milk in a tube, how cool is that.


It sounds much better than it tastes, it looks like it has coffee in it but I think it is made for those who want the look of coffee but not the taste.  With a teaspoon of regular coffee added it is quite acceptable though and did the trick.

Almost time to bed down for the night but just a little longer around the fire, gazing up at the stars.

Our first fire to sit around and marvel at the simple
things in life.

And, as in last years blog we will try to end each day with a picutre of a sunset, so here you are, the first sunset of this years vacation down under.
And the sun goes down on the eve of
October 23rd 2011


Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22nd

Well here we are folks, safe and sound in OZ and it is raining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a journey to get here, one forgets one is not 21 anymore and therefore, as much as we would like to believe is robust, one is not.  We left Abqaiq around 11 p.m .on Wednesday night for Bahrain and then our flight to Dubai.  After Dubain it was the long haul to Perth due in at 1:00 a.m. the next morning whichever day that is.  All I know is that I had one breakfast and two dinners but no lunch, The flight left early and we arrived in Perth early with the only pitfall being there were no landing cards available.  We found the cards at the start of the queue for immigration which was very short.  Alas by the time we found pens, did out best to read the very small print on the cards through eyes that would not focus, made sure we ticked all the boxes of things we were bringing in even if we did not have them to avoid being deported or fined, the queue at more than quadrupled in size.  One hour later after being very well behaved (although I think if I had started crying we would have been quicker as folks with kids who were creating were removed from the queue and taken to the front!!), we met the very nice immigration officer who wanted to know if I had a gun on me or a knife.  Yes, a very blank expression from me, I had ticked the box for prescription medication but that box also included knives and guns.  Next stop baggage reclaim, great the bags had traveled on the same flight as us, another officer checked our declaration landing card thingys and waved us through the green channel.  We were officially back in OZ :)  We were told on the plane it was 10 degrees, now we had not planned for that but still, in lightweight clothing, no need to stop for anything, straight outside to find a bench and replenish our dramatically decreased nicotine levels.  Now what to do was our next question. It was now 2:00 a.m. and Britz did not open till 7:30 a.m.  It was all a bit like Christmas Eve and no room at the inn, all reasonably prized rooms were fully booked and there was no way we were paying around 300 pounds sterling for a bed for 5 hours.  We stayed in the airport, sleeping like vargants on park benches until 7:30 a.m. when we got a taxi and went to Britz.

Lo and behold, our vehicle was ready complete with a proper toaster (for my crumpets).  We unpacked the luggage and arranged the vehicle as best we could, left the spare suitcase and overnight bag in storage at Britz, gave back items we did not want or knew we would not use to save space for more important things.  One of the items returned was the proper pop up toaster, we discovered we needed to be connected to a power supply, in other words be in a civilized campsite with other humans and hopefully that will not be happening this trip.  There was a very surprised look on their faces when they saw the luxury items returned.  Now to get the sim card for the mobile phone and the mobile USB modems for the laptops then off to Lyn's for a couple of night.

What a welcome from Lyn, it is so strange meeting up with friends in their home environments instead of surreal Abqaiq.  Rest assured, for those who know Lyn she is just the same <g>.  Lyn had obviously seen my comment on FB about crumpets and presented me with a couple of packets and the jam for breakfast the next day, now that is what I call the perfect hostess.  Here is the first pic of the blog - CRUMPETS!!
As you can see this pic was taken this morning after
Alan and I had eaten 4 crumpets
Today has been shopping day, return the modem to Telstra in the shopping mall number one priority.  Thank you Carla for all you help, I told you I would put you in the blog <g>.  Seriously can't fault the service, no quibble once the modem had been tested and found to have a faulty sim.  Alas the activation took ages but that gave us a chance to get the rest of the supplies purchased. When Carla knew what we were after she mentioned we should see Russell at the camping equipment shop and tell him she had sent us.  Yep, we could do that, anything for a bargain :).  We even knew exactly where the shop was as we had seen it yesterday and comment to each other about the roundabout which was close by.  Today Carla said go to the 'nasty roundabout' and turn left.  We had to laugh because that is exactly what we called it yesterday. So here we are the second picture has to be of the Nasty Roundabout.

The Nasty Roundabout!!!!
After the camping supplies, including two new Aussie hats, it was back to the mall were Telstra are to do the food shopping, now that was stressful, oh how I hate supermarkets.  Bless Alan who is an even worse shopper than me for not complaining, I think I would have blown a fuse if he had <g>.  Done and dusted with the exception of Marmite.  Now Mich, this bit is for you :)  we found Bovril and Promite but no Marmite so you can sleep easy that I will not haunt you in your sleep as I packed our jar for Saudi (it was the food item we declared on entry into OZ).  The sim card for the USB modem was now registered and ready for our collection so back to see Carla and finalize that so I can now start the blog.

Checking to see if the USB modem was working (it didn't
want to know the Mac but was working so Alan completed
the final setup when we got back to Lyn's).
Carla is there in the background proudly showing
the working product <g>
Once back at Lyn's house it was time to unpack yet again and repack the vehicle - not bad at all, we are far more organized this time than last year. All the food is tucked away safe and sound in the cupboards, the Coke, Red Bull and VB (yes Mich, this year it is VB not XXXX and it is in cans <g>), the wine is in the fridge along with, you guessed it, the sausages, there is space for the camera equipment and one piece of luggage tomorrow and still room to put you Skippy when you join us soon!!!! :):):):)  And it is raining again :(

Here is this years vehicle, anybody got a name for him,
really don't want to call him Britz :)
We are just back now from a lovely dinner out with Lyn at the :-
Are Lyn and Brian missing Saudi!!!!!!!
And tonight we don't have a sunset because it is raining!!!!! so we will end up with a lovely photo of my precious Alan and Lyn who is the most perfect of hostesses.  Thank you Lyn for making us so welcome xxxxxx  Night night folks.

Alan and Lyn at the Thirsty Camel!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just a quickie to pass the time yet again.  We have made it safe and sound to Dubai and are now tucked up in the lounge with coffee, orange juice and as much as we can eat.  Not that we are hungry, the first breakfast for today was super duper, cold meat salad and a big bowl of fresh fruit.

So what of our dilemmas so far.  We were 20 minutes late leaving ABQ thanks to Microsoft (no I can't blame Alan <g>) - Office decided it wanted to download and install updates on Alan's computer and he would not cancel :)  The causeway to Bahrain was a doddle, and we arrived at the airport just as checkin opened.  On the way we were trying to think of things we surly had forgotten to pack so here is the list, the flint thingy for making our own fires (when the lighters won't work) but Alan had a spare in the car so no grief there.  Alan's flip flops, probably cause they were on his feet all day and he did not bring them through from the bedroom after he had his shower and got dressed for traveling; and finally we have left our Aussie hats hanging on the wall behind the bar, now that's a bummer but it does mean we will have to buy 2 more <g>.  Maybe I will start collecting Aussie hats as well as Vodka shots glasses :)

As we were getting off the plane I had a fight with my bag with the laptops in which was perched rather precariously on top of my overnight bag and ended up yanking the end of the zip off - bummer, I don't feel like sewing!!!!  Manged to fix it with some white thread kindly provided by one of the staff at the desk.  If anybody sees Sarah let her know I will be coming running on my return to have it fixed properly.  Stupid me, I have two sewing kits with me but both are in the suitcase.

Our flight for Perth leaves in just over a couple of hours, I have my new bottle of Mademoiselle Coco so even without a shower I will smell gorgeous while out in the bush and I also have a new wrist support - just in case.

There you are, a full update.  The next time I write anything we will be in Perth killing time at the airport until Britz opens and we can collect our 4x4 vehicle.  Ooooooooo what fun, to think it is probably on the blocks right now being prepared to accompany us on another adventure.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Well I wonder who will be the first person to check up and see if I have posted anything on the blog <g>  Think I know who it will be :)

The packing is almost done and we still have two hours before we leave Abqaiq for Bahrain.  Alan has his MaxTrax ready in the same box they came back from Australia in last time, just some new selotape to hold everything together.  Fancy bringing them all the way back to Saudi with the intention of using them in the desert (which we have not been back to this year).  If we had hindsight we could have just left them in OZ for this trip, would save having to use checked in baggage for them.  Ah well, will be worth it if Alan finds another boggy hole to drop the Land Cruiser into.

My Red Bull is finished, it is too early for a shower and to get ready and I can't think of anything we have missed.  The watercolour brushes and paints are packed along with a big pad of paper, who knows maybe I will paint something again, now that could be fun.  Come to think of it, I wonder if Alan is planning on buying himself another fishing rod this year, that was so funny watching him lose spinner after spinner and only one 4 inch fish to show for it which was not worth eating so got to live another day.

Two days ago I was on hot bricks and so excited being able to say "day after tomorrow we go to OZ", yesterday I deflated for some odd reason and now I am in cuckoo land and it is all starting to feel surreal.  I think I am finding it hard that this time tomorrow we will have just landed in Perth (it is now 21:12 hours here in the KSA and 01:12 in Perth).  A long 24 hours ahead of us but an adventure in its own way.  I am still fascinated that one can travel such long distances in such a short time, well it is a short time when you think how long it took Captain Cook to get there!!!!!!!

I am rambling now trying to pass time so will quit while I am ahead.  There will probably be another post from Dubai in about 7 hours saying as we have about 6 hours there to waste.  Bye for now and hope you enjoy the blog of our 'Adventure 2011 - Down Under' 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Well it is 3:25 a.m. and the alarm clock for work will go off in two hours - looks like no sleep tonight, what a pain.

For the sake of something to do I will share with you a couple of cards I made yesterday.  Both cards are for a friend and her husband who are about to leave.  This first card is a request from the department Gayle works for and I was asked to work around a camel and Arabic theme.  I drew the camel in Inkscape and filled the inside of the shape with calligraphy  scrolls and lines.  The image then had a few more things done to it to prepare it to cut the way i wanted it to with my die cutter.  I then imported the image into SCAL for cutting.  The text was cut using the Jasmine Cricut cart.  The camel and text were cut out of gold mirror card.  To give a 3D feel to the card the camal was attached using 3D glue dots.  Alas it is not the best of pictures, gold card and flash don't particularly like each other but you get the idea of what it looks like.


 This next card was the one I designed from our department.  The background is material, a head covering scarf worn by men sold here in the KSA.  The text is cut from black card and the Jasmine Cricut cart with a white layer behind it and attached using foam tape, once again to give the card a 3D feel.  Nice and simple, different from the card above but still in keeping with the overall theme for both cards - Saudi.


Still not tired enough to sleep, can see by tomorrow afternoon I will have run out of steam and all I will want to do is sleep.  Alas that is not possible, I am having a pamper afternoon, manicure, pedicure and hair done ready for going on holiday <g>.  Well the hair will be ready but no doubt the nail varnish will have chipped off by next week!!!!!

Right I am out of here for now. Bye

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting into practice again!!!!!!

OK, just trying this out as is a very long time since I did anything with the blog.  I am on a mega countdown at the moment, 3 more days of work and 11 days till we leave for another adventure down under.

I have been playing around with making SVG files to use with cutting machines taken from colouring book pages.  Here is my second attempt (the first was from a tutorial so I will not post that <g>).  Hopefully tonight I will be able to upload the files somewhere so you can download them if you wish to try.  Please note:- this design cannot be used on cards for sale as the image is not mine to give you but I am sure whoever drew the picture would not mind you using it as a cutting file for your own cards which you do not sell.

Here is the image for now!!!!!  Might just make that into a card tomorrow and if I do will post the final product.

Looks like tomorrow came early, here is the card I have just finished with the SVG bug.



Now for my next challenge.  Where to put the files on here so you can download the bug SVG, PDF, SCUT2 etc.