Big move

Well I have made it back again. Despite our best intentions life sometimes takes over and we don’t get around to the things we want to. Anyway time for an update.

My big news is that I have purchased a unit in Narrogin. After renting and lving here for 17 months I really feel this is my home now and when a unit came up for sale in a complex I had been watching, I looked at it and purchased it within 24 hours! It is just perfect for me……3 bedrooms, great covered outdoor area, SMALL back yard and ducted airconditioning. I am so excited and can’t wait to move in on Feb 11th. Since Eric died things just keep getting better and better and working out for me at exactly the right times. After really enjoying my time in this little house, in the last couple of months I had become frustrated at the lack of a spare bedroom and a bit more room….and the huge back yard. And suddenly……this unit comes up for sale. This type of unit rarely comes up in Narrogin so I knew I had to move fast.

So now need to sell my house in Tassie. The tenants want to break their lease and move out and I am well and truly ready to be rid of that house. It no longer has any place in my life. Houses are selling at a pretty good rate in Burnie…so here’s hoping it sells quickly.

Had the MOST MOST amazing Christmas. ALL of my kids and partners, Petrina’s in-laws and all of my grandkids together. Despite a week of incredible heat we all had a fantastic time and surprisingly for strong-willed Alcocks…not even one argument. We were all just so happy to be together. Lots of fun, food and water activities. Now I have the job of sorting our combined 2000 photos and editing and getting back to everyone. So good to have the memories as I sort through them all.

Then the day everyone left Mel & Mark started the mammoth task of moving into the new house which their boss has built for them on the farm after the old house was partly wrecked in a storm 2 years ago. What a job that was…and in the heat!!! I spent quite some time out there helping move and helping with the kids while they moved. The house is very large and all nice and new and they are really enjoying being in it. The old house did have so much lovely character but so many things were breaking down and it was getting to be a real effort to live there.

So I have told them they have got the experience in moving now…so it is their turn to help me!!! Of course, I have very little to move. I will buy some of the furniture, household goods from the house here as Thelma is planning to paint and sell this place, but will have fun buying some new stuff. I have decided this is the bright, airy stage of my life and will decorate in bright dolours. When Jett & Mateya came to visit the unit, their first question was “Which is our room Grandma?”. So got the tick of approval from them.

Going up tomorrow to pick up Kara & Jada for a couple of night’s sleepover with Grandma…their last in this house. The kids have all enjoyed this place as almost an extended motorhome, and know they will love my new place.

So now have a spare room for the kids and then a sewing room/office…..and a room for when you all come to visit. Spare parking room for motorhomes/camper vans/caravans too.

Lyn and I have not yet booked another trip for this year yet…I am a bit reluctant to commit to anything until I am moved in and see what happens with Burnie. But we are determined to do another trip while we still can…..we are both getting older.

So life is amazing. And things just keep going so well. Who could not be happy.

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I’m back!!

OK…my New Year’s resolution…to get this blog under way again.
After the last 10 days of around 40 degrees C it has finally cooled down and some energy has returned, so all sorts of plans.
for now, that’s all…but promise more for the year.

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Heading to Europe….and Orchids!

Twin Shell orchids.

Have been so busy the last few days since my return….out chasing orchids every single day…and finding lots of great ones. Photos later.

So back to our trip. Lyn stayed with me the night before we left, and then we headed to Perth in my car, leaving it at the long-term car park. Of course, we were at the airport in heaps of time…in fact before they even opened our check-in, but we are both sticklers for being on time for things…and don’t mind if we are super-early and have to sit and wait. While waiting to board we heard other people complaining about a travel company and on questioning them..yes, it was ours. So it wasn’t only us who had problems.

Anyway, after purchasing out duty-free alcohol to be collected on our return we boarded and 6 hours later arrived in Singapore. As we headed off and down the walkway, another flight from Melbourne had just arrived and as our two lots of people converged we suddenly looked up and there were Jim and Rosemary, the couple who were on our China tour with us! Talk about major, major coincidence. so after screams and hugs we got inside and caught up on all our news as quickly as possible. They were heading to the UK for a 6 week walking tour. And of course they were amazed to see me walking so painfree and well. For a moment Lyn and I had to stop and remind ourselves which tour we were on!!! China or Europe???

Two hours later we boarded the next plane for our ghastly 14 hour flight to Paris……no human is made to sit for 14 hours on a plane!!! 14 tortuous hours later we arrived in Paris in the early morning…sorry, but Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport is MOST unimpressive. Our guides met us to take us to our respective hotels. With 60 in our group, we were not all able to fit into one hotel. Lyn and I stayed at the Concorde Montparnasse…a great hotel situated right near the centre of Paris and the main train station. Emil, one of the clerks there, was sooo helpful and made our visit so much more enjoyable. We left him a good tip on departure.

Unfortunately our rooms were not ready till much later….and all we wanted to do was lay down for a bit and get our legs off terra firma!!!! Lyn and I headed out to have a wander and get our first look at PARIS. After being very keen to see the Eiffel Tower we soon realised that you can actually see it from most of Paris…we could see it from our hotel.

So to the real beginning of our trip….Paris. Photos and more to come next time.

Can’t resist a couple of orchid photos!!

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Europe the fantastic…done & dusted!!

Well so sorry that I have not been able to keep you up to date with all the amazing sights I saw in my Europe trip, but internet access was difficult and so expensive most of the trip, so now have to make up for it all.

So how was our trip and cruise? Well, let me see…how many superlatives can I come up with? Amazing, fantastic, unbelievable, life-changing, trip of a lifetime etc etc. As each city went by Lyn and I would sit and marvel that we were so lucky to have visited each one. We left Australia knowing that we had limited time in each place and accepting that we probably would have to miss out on many of the major, well-known tourist attractions. Well….somehow we visited far, far more than anticipated and got to see almost all of the major sights in each country. Yes, we did have to limit time spent at each…and many we simply did not have time to go into…but we saw (and photographed…and photographed…and photographed!!…4,500 photos in all!!) them. Each seeming to outdo the previous. Each new city we came to, I would say…this is my favourite…then the next would come up and I would revise my feelings!!

We have both arrived home totally, totally blown away by our trip. Both feeling we got great value for our money …and wishing we could do it all over again. Yes, there were further problems with our tour company….believe me they will be getting many, many letters of complaint. But we all (60 of us in the group) refused to let anything spoil our holiday…and nothing did. And we met some great people in the group and made some memorable friends.

So now we try to get our bodies to adjust to the ghastly jetlag and return to Aussie time. Over time to come I shall attempt to take you along on our trip and share some of the photos with you.

One little grand-daughter (Mateya) having a sleepover tonight with Grandma…got woken at 8.30am by them arriving!! So to try and get some sleep in normal time tonight.

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Europe here I come!

Case packed…..helping at Jett’s school done……lunch with the swimming ladies done…..Mateya asleep in my bed! All ready to go.
Wow…it is here at last. Can’t believe I am going to be in Paris, London and Barcelona in the next week. And then for the Mediterranean Cruise. Can feel all that rich, fantastic food already!!

Very overcast here and looking like there might be some much-needed rain soon..Farmers will love it. Hopefully it will be nice and wet and green by the time I get back. Will be sad leaving my new little car behind for 3 1/2 weeks….but plenty of time to make use of that when I return.

OK…so hoping I can access the internet while I am gone…think I have it all set up, but never sure till I get there. Bye for now.

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Photos

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Time to update

Oh dear…here I go again..apologising for being slack in my blogging. On Friday (just 2 mre sleeps!!) Lyn and I head off on our 23 day European trip so, after a couple of gentle nudges from friends, decided I had better up date my life before I go.

So what have I been doing the past month? Mmmm…lots and lots. Orchid season 2012 is well and truly under way and I have already done many kms to see these amazing wonders. I have spent lots of time with all 4 grandkids…..my first passion in life. Each time I see any one of them reinforces to me that I so totally made the right decision in moving to WA. I can keep in touch with all my friends via phone, email and skype, but nothing compares to a hug from a grandkid…and I get lots of those. And then I have been busy swimming and catching up with the several groups I have joined here in Narrogin. And finally…any spare moment has been spent at my very own sewing machine finishing off the 3 quilts I commenced several months ago.

And finally, I am enjoying my brand new car. A couple of weeks ago when I was staying at Bronte & Bec’s, I had a few hours to kill, so went into the Hyundai dealers to look at what might be on offer and what changeover price I might be looking at in the future…..and walked out with a brand new Hyundai I30…a lovely vibrant blue automatic with cruise control and blue tooth and all the neat bells & whistles. It was the last of the new 2011 models they had and they wanted to make room for the new 2012s coming in, so offered me a deal too good to refuse. Even my salesman said I got a better deal than him when he bought his…and he works there!!! After 4 days where I travelled down south for an orchid excursion, my new little car was ready for its first service!!! So now everyone is having to get used to me turning up in a bright blue car…and I have to get used to looking for a blue car in the parking lot!

Orchid season has commenced with a wonder ful array of fantastic orchids already on display and most weekends I head off somewhere in the south-west of WA. And at least 2-3 days each week I go exploring in areas closer to home. At the end of April, after a field trip with the Club, I then headed down along the south coast, stopping at orchid-promising areas and found hundreds of the beautiful Bunny orchids. I clambered over huge rocks and searched out these little treasures growing in moss-filled depressions and underneath bushes on the rocks. I even came across a sleeping snake (a dugite…yes, poisonous!!) on one of the rocks and gave him a wide berth. My hip is standing up to all this activity extremely well and I do not even feel it now, altho I do take a hiking stick with me just to prevent any mishaps.

Apart from the tiny orchids on the rocks I also came across some extremely tall Bunny orchids…a slightly different species and quite stunning. The weekend before last I spent in the south-west corner of WA at Augusta where we once again found hundreds of orchids…mainly different types of Bunnies and walked many kms over rocks and through the bush.

Last weekend, after having Kara & Jada for the night at a cabin at the caravan park, and having my car serviced, I headed up north of Perth to Toodyay (remember that place Mort & Barb) to search out the Winter Spider orchid. This total miracle of nature flowers when it is still so dry underfoot the litter crackles, and it is so tiny, yet so perfect. The flowers are between 3-10cm high…so miniscule…and are maroon and cream, so they disappear into the leaf litter. I had seen them before so knew what I was looking for, et still had trouble finding them. And they were worth every km…so, so beautiful and perfect.

Mel & Mark are busy watching the new house being built on the farm which they will move into, hopefully before Christmas. The concrete pad has been poured and the brickies are now putting up the walls…this bit goes pretty quickly, but the rest takes more time. When I was at the fam babysitting on Monday I had to take the kids over to the new house (just 2km away) 3 times so they could see the progress.

So I now have my case all packed, documents all organised, camera packed and LOTS of SD cards ready to go. So Paris, London, Barcelona and Mediterranean cruise…here we come. Our tour company, Bicton Tours, has been woeful and last documents have only just arrived, so we are expecting problems along the way…but figure we will enjoy the trip anyway and just make the most of what we do get to see. Hopefully I will get a chance for some descriptions along the way, but if not…lots of photos on my return.

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