Wednesday, 31 May 2017



Thanks for popping in.

We're on the return journey from our road trip from Perth to the South and are stopping off to look at the thrombolites as we are so close by.

Within Yalgorup National Park near Mandurah, we are heading for Lake Clifton which has the rock-like thrombolites at the Eastern edge of the lake .  They are built by microorganisms too small for the human eye to see.  It is hard to believe that within the structures are living communities of diverse inhabitants with population densities of 3,000 per square metre.   These microorganisms resemble the earliest forms of life on Earth and were the only known form of life on Earth from 650 million to 3,500 million years ago.  They constructed extensive reef tracts in the clear, shallow seas rivalling modern coral reefs.

Nowadays, living examples of thrombolites and stromatolites, similar microorganisms found in Shark Bay, are only found in a few places in the world.

Fancy that.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Wine and Chocolates


Thanks for visiting.

Heading North from Augusta, you reach Margaret River.

A very popular past time in this region is calling into a winery or two as there are so many there, everywhere you look another sign tempts to you go and try a different vineyard's wine.

They are such beautiful places, often with a gorgeous well-tended garden and restaurant or even an art gallery.  Their cellar doors are open for a tasting session, you just turn up and you are able to taste what they have on offer for free.  The half inch of each wine tried soon starts to mount up to make a glass!  They are hoping to make a sale or a restaurant reservation, of course.

We visited the following.

 Moombaki - a small family run business between Walpole and Denmark

 Hidden River - delicious food served in their restaurant.


Xanadou - a much larger and more established vineyard with an excellent restaurant

Fig carpaccio

A totally delicious chocolate fudge cake, reinvented

Cape Mentelle

Vasse Felix- this vineyard had an art gallery as well as a restaurant.

Of course we couldn't resist the chocolate shops either!  Breaking our journey for a hot chocolate at the Denmark Chocolate Company, we also enjoyed their beautiful garden. After a few free samples, the hot milk arrived with our selected strength of chocolate buttons, ready to be stirred in. Yum!

The Margaret River Chocolate Company  was full of exciting goodies as well as chocolate quokkas which I have never seen before.  Free samples of the different chocolate and a window onto the production area where they were adding fillings to the chocolates made for a great visit.

There is so much to see and do in this region, I've just given you a small taster!


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Ben Russell - Cactus House


Thanks for visiting.

Whilst in Shepherd Market, I took the opportunity to pop into the Hignell Gallery to see Ben Russell exhibition, The Cactus House.

Being a fan of Emily Young's head sculptures, I was keen to see sculpted cacti. Some sculptors say they look at the rock before them and the inner sculpture is revealed, a bit unusual for it to be a cactus. They are fantastic though and well displayed with all the greenery around them.

Ben Russell explores the link between art and nature in his studio in Dorset and has had commissions from the Houses of Parliament, The Albert Memorial, St Georges Chapel Windsor and County Hall.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Shepherd Market, London

Hello hello!

So glad to see you.

Posts this weekend are going to be from London and we'll be back to Australia on Monday, there's still a couple of  weeks to go about that!

Shepherd Market in the centre of Mayfair, is the site of the infamous fifteen day May Fair set up by King James II in the 1680s.   Over the years the area went in and out of favour until the mid 18th Century, when it was developed by Architect Edward Shepherd providing lots of  paved alleyways, a duckpond and a two-storey market with a theatre on top. By the 1920s it was very fashionable, a colourful place gaining notoriety until today where it is a hidden olde-worlde secret space full of restaurants, atmospheric Victorian-style pubs, boutique shops and galleries.

Quite difficult to photograph with all the alleyways and diners enjoying their lunches outside in the sun, it had a great vibe.

Barbers Jack the Clipper

Leaving the Market onto Picadilly, Green Park is opposite with Buckingham Palace at the end of the green and leafy park.

Across the road is St James Park with its lake, with pelicans, and pretty flower borders.

Who can resist a look at Big Ben on the way past.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Five on Friday - Augusta


Welcome to the blog and Five on Friday, kindly hosted by Tricky on his FAST blog.  I hope you've all had a great week, don't they just fly by.

I'm continuing our Road Trip through Western Australia and this week, we've arrived in Augusta and the most south-westerly point of the country.  With its cooler climate, this has become a popular place to retire to.

One - Augusta

Augusta is where the Blackwood River meets Flinders Bay on the Southern Ocean coast. The large body of water nearby is the Hardy Inlet where the footpath around it provides a great walk next to the pretty coastal properties alongside interesting plants and wildlife.

The town has an excellent tourist information office together with a fish and chip shop which sold all sorts from shark, dhu and bronzie to deep fried mars bars.  The hotel has great views over the Inlet.

Two - Southern Ocean

Following the Inlet path until it reaches the Southern Ocean, you come across a different coloured set of plant life on the beach, currently being conserved and protected.

Three - Cape Leeuwin

A couple of miles down the coast is the point where two oceans meet - Southern and Indian.  Cape Leeuwin has a lighthouse and an old water wheel and is the start, or finish, of the Cape to Cape track which then heads North for 135 km to Cape Naturaliste.

little crabs hiding from the sea water

the lighthouse marks the spot where the oceans meet

Four - Hamelin  Bay

About half an hour away on the Indian Ocean is Hamelin Bay where the rays are so friendly they come right up to people in the shallows on the beach.

the black blob in the foreground is the ray

Heading inland from the beach through the countryside, different plants yet again.

Five - Boronup Forest

Following Caves Road - there are lots of caves in the area due to the limestone - through the regrowth karri forests is fantastic when the sun is shining through the trees.  These trees are not fully grown as those in the older forests we visited previously and so the canopy is less dense creating a greener forest floor.

Spot the kookaburra

The trees are just too big to fit in the photo.

We will be following the coast to the Margaret River region next, well known for its wineries.

Have a great weekend.