Coordinating and organising flights for seven people is almost a degree. People are flying into and out of different airports and countries and trying to organise dates and times and connections has been a challenge. I fly with my folks to Charles de Gaulle Paris, then dad and I fly from Orly to Biarittz, mum flies from CDG to Dublin. In October Brian and the children fly from Perth to Barcelona and Dad and I fly from Santiago to Barcelona. We arrive 4 hours before Brian, probably the longest 4 hours after not seeing them for almost 5 weeks. My mum and brother and brother-in-law will fly from Dublin and then we’ll all have a great reunion before Brian and the children crash after the long haul flight.
And then I have to do it all again to Dublin and London as we all head off in different directions.
I must be one of the worst bloggers. This is my 200th post and I probably could have reached it last year if I was more prolific. I’ve been busy, graduating again, starting my PhD, learning Spanish (thanks Dora the Explorer) revising my french and walking.
I leave with my parents on August 30 and arrive into Paris Sunday afternoon on the 31st. My mum will fly home to Ireland and no doubt drive my brother and brother-in-law insane. :) While dad and I will head to St Jean Pied de Port to begin our 800 kilometre adventure.
Here are a few photos of our training so far. Western Australia is a beautiful spot :)
Indian Ocean the Back Beach
Early morning walk. Indian Ocean
Dad at Crooked Brook Dardanup
Crooked Brook Forest walk
Grass Tree – Xanthorrhoea
Yesterday we had to make the heart breaking journey to the vet. Even though we knew it was time for Wes to go, it was still very traumatic. He had gone downhill in the last two weeks and although he still knew when it was dinner time nothing else seemed to work. Do dogs get dementia? I’d let him out for a wee and then he just wandered until one of us tapped him and guided him back inside. He slept most of the day and then paced most of the night.
My son cried so much I had to keep him off school today. He sits in his window and stares out at the grave. Not sure how to comfort him, I’ve distracted him with movies, but it doesn’t last long.
Goodbye Wes August 1998-March 2015. It was a good innings.
After much fretting and changing of minds and plans, my Camino trip is back on. At the minute it’s just my dad and myself walking. Hopefully it will stay that way. By the time we leave the family will be sick hearing about the trip.
My husband, the three children and my mum will meet us in Barcelona in October. At least that’s the plan at the minute.
I bought a bright orange backpack so dad can spot me anywhere.
We started our training today. I wore my orange backpack and my boots. The boots are not that comfortable, but I’ll try them a few times before I give up and buy a new pair. We walked 14.80 kilometres. I’m tired, one foot is sore, my back is sore and it’s only lunch time. Dad went home and had a sleep. I think we have a long way to go before we are Camino ready. But I still can’t wait.
Red Tailed Black Cockatoos at Jamarri Sanctuary
Photo by Smills Enjoying a biscuit
Before Christmas a group of artists – writers, painters, photographers were invited to Helms Forest and Jamarri Cockatoo Sanctuary. The idea was to inspire creativity within the group and to hold an exhibition to bring awareness to the plight of the Black Cockatoos and their future if the intended logging at Helms goes ahead. The Cockatoos are amazing birds and the Red Tail is one of my favourite. Although they are very noisy. Below is my poem. (Hamadryad is a nymph who lives in a tree and dies when the tree dies).
The Last Hamadryad
As last Hamadryad
Lay down on the forest floor.
A carpet of dry leaves and grasses
Cushioned her beneath the Banksia tree,
Too weary to continue the fight against the
Machine. The one that drove her kind away. Fleeing on
Black wing, a glimpse of red tail feather, as the dryads and
Nymphs departed. The eerie silence spoke of the soulless of the
Invader. Of the emptiness that was to come. Loneliness beckoned
We watched the sky change colour as the sun slowly sank into the Indian Ocean.
This little red bundle of joy is now halfway through his 16th year. His mother was a Doberman and his dad was a friend’s visiting dog. They were so embarrassed they didn’t tell us what had happened, although they did record the conception!
We headed off on holiday, driving up the west coast of Australia. We didn’t have mobile phones and only found out when we rang our neighbour. He told us Sassy was pregnant so we cut our trip short and headed for home. By the time we got back she’d had 9 pups. Wes was one of them.
We also kept his brother, Rory. They were trouble together, often taking off after kangaroos. Rory, who was the sweetest dog had his leg badly ripped by a roo and had to be put to sleep. Wes stopped chasing Roos after that.
Brian, Sassy, Wes and Rory
Now he’s old. He’s deaf, blind in one eye and stumbles around. Sometimes he forgets what he was doing and asks to be let out and then back in. However, he always knows when it’s dinner time. The vet tells us he’s in great health, but at least 3 years past his sell by date.
We have left beautiful Western Australia for Christmas with my husband’s family in tropical Queensland.
We’ve already sat through a tropical storm and been dragged around Dreamworld. I can no longer feel my feet.
We attempted, very badly to play mini golf today, the only stroke we got was heat stroke. It’s 33 degrees here, but very humid.
Tomorrow we head inland to Roma, and then we spend Christmas in Injune.
It will be a very big change from our breakfast at the beach, but I’m looking forward to it.
Tomorrow we have a 7ish hour drive inland, oh joy.
Until then I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
I saw a post on Facebook this morning, reminding me there are only THREE Fridays until Christmas. Someone must’ve had 2014 on fast forward. Tomorrow is the last day of the Australian spring. The sky is blue and cloudless and a slight breeze tickles the trees outside.
Soon the summer heat will burn shoulders and noses. The aroma of backyard barbecues will travel on the breeze and ceiling fans and aircon will work overtime.
But now the sun is disappearing below the trees and a sliver of moon climbs higher.
That wee white sliver is the moon.
And what have I been doing on this beautiful day? I’ve been organised and getting those Christmas cards written. It’s my Christmas tradition to do it with a glass of Bailey’s. Now I just have to get them to the post office, but that’s another story 😜