Archive for Family

One moved out and the other moved in!

The house was empty for ONE whole week after my daughter moved out with her hubby, son and the dog and into their new home and took all their belongings with them.

The downstairs room beside the garage was used by my husband as his “man cave” until my daughter moved in and used it to store her boxes and furniture, which reduced the “man cave” area.

Now with them moved out my husband has his space back….? Or so he thought, because while my daughter was packing up and moving out, my son was packing up and moving in!

My husband had his “office” and I had the garage back for all of a week before they took it over.

I’m not complaining though, In fact it is funny and I’m happy to have the house full again and they know they are always welcome.

With 6-8 months of planned travel ahead of them, my son and his girlfriend have decided to pack up their house and see the world again and will be staying with me for 3 weeks before they take off.

First stop on their itinerary is Calgary, via Vancouver for a family wedding then after some time with the family they will head down to the states and road trip to see as much as they can before they head to Nova Scotia for more family time and then to Madrid, Spain and Italy.

At this stage they have planned 4 months in North America and 2 months in Europe before making the trek home via Hong Kong and South East Asia…. What a whirl wind trip huh? Lucky ducks!

We will all miss them though as we have Tuesday night dinners each week with the whole family which we love.

However, thanks to modern technology we have Skype and Facetime to see and talk to them whenever we like.

Are you going anywhere? Or have any tips on places for them (Or Me) to see, please share!

Moving out but not too far and already missing them!

I had my daughter and her family, (husband, son and dog) son and the dog spend almost 3 years in our house.

It was a load of fun, the house once again with the warmth of a family, the laughter of a child growing up from babyhood who is now over 3 years old and so independent!

It kept my husband sane, busy with the little one going for walkies with Kiba the dog, too. Kiba is still with us, until the backyard is gated well at their new place, but I have to say the 3 year old doesn’t shed as much fur!

I had many outings with my grandson showing him off to my friends or going shopping and eating at the shopping centres – he always surprised nearby diners with the amount that he could eat! – he’s growing up so fast! There was always a warning from Mummy: no more toys! He has everything he needs. I splurge now and again though, on a new pair of shorts or socks he picks out himself.

We know they’re not far, only a short drive away. It won’t be the same but we will still be a big part of one another’s lives.

In fact I’m visiting today, I wonder how many boxes they’ve unpacked. Moving house is always chaotic. Especially with young children. This way my daughter can get more things done and I can get in some time with my grandson.
Maybe between ‘3 years in our house’ and ‘It was a load of fun’ put this paragraph:

I have always had an open door policy in my home. So my kids keep coming back! I’ve even had clients wanting to downsize and I’ve told them to hold off. Months later they’ve informed me their children had come home to them too!

Family gathering every Tuesday and Dining out on our Birthdays!

In our family, we make a point of meeting each other for dinner every Tuesday. This way I know I am going to see my children and their partners and family at least once a week. One home-cooked family meal every 7 days. It’s a nice simple tradition.

However on birthdays we make an exception. The birthday person picks the restaurant of their choice and we go out to celebrate on (or near) their birthday. It’s a nice way to sample new restaurants around Perth, but often we just end up at our favourites again.

June 5th is my husband’s birthday. He had been working away but arrived the day before, just in time for us to make a birthday booking. His choice was the Belgian Beer Cafe. It’s his favoutite, for the ambience, the food, and of course – the beer. I am not a beer drinker, but i tried the Cherry Kriek beer which is the most delicious – and does not taste like beer at all!

As we get older, it gets harder and harder to find the right gifts for one another. What do you get the person who has everything they need? We seem to be more interested in finding the funniest cards we can, instead. We all have a good laugh!

Do you have any special family or birthday traditions?

Saying good bye to a lovely neighbour!

We will all miss you, Rebekah!

Catching up with all of the neighbours in my street at the Angling Club to farewell Rebekah, who is moving out of the house next door to me.

She’s only moving away to a nearby street but I will miss her a lot.

Hopefully she will continue to help me out every Thursday with my Community commitments.

My neighnours are the most caring. Every time someone moves in or leaves, we have a party together.

We also have our angel in the street, Lynnette; organiser of lunches, parties and Christmas do’s.

Today she has planned a lovely lunch at the Angling club in Marmion.

Good bye Rob , Rebekah, family and your gorgeous dogs!

Do you often see your neighbours?

 

Happy 7 YUK 0 Birthday!

We, the SINers had a fantastic lunch in Mundaring for my friend’ s 70th Birthday.

It was a full-house, with over 25 of our members attending, each with their own special creation, so we ended up with a fantastic collection of savoury and sweet dishes to choose from.

Marion’s property in the hills also has an extensive kitchen garden, which many of the SINers made a point of checking out – aided by my grandson and two chocolate coloured puppies running riot. A few of the ladies went home with goodies from the garden, and one of our ladies even brewed up some lemongrass tea.
Marion made a delicious cake to celebrate which we all enjoyed, and I really cracked up laughing at the writing on top of the cake. My grandson managed to nab a piece too, but his mum caught him before he made it back for a second. He spent most of the time playing with the cats and following Marion’s husband around.

Meeting all the SINers every month is one of the highlights in my life. I have other highlights too which include dinner with my two grown-up children and their family every Tuesday. These monthly lunches give me dinner ideas too, but we never need dinner the night of the SINers meet, because there are always enough leftovers for everyone to take home.

Happy Birthday Marion. You are one of my most dearest friends and we all enjoy your beautiful crafts that you whole heartedly distribute to all of us.

Emma is in Fremantle!

This Monday just gone (Labour Day), I was just about to finish my lunch when my husband cried out loud: ‘Emma is in Fremantle!’
It took a few moments to gather my thoughts before I realised the significance of what he had said.
Suddenly it hit me.
Emma.
My niece Emma.
From Canada.
Is in Fremantle.
‘Emma is in Fremantle?’ I exclaimed!
‘Yes, and I’m going to see her with Nikky.’ (our daughter).
I shouted ‘I want to go too!’
My daughter had arrived home around 12:30 with her sleeping toddler, who now, after only an hour of sleep was being woken up and hustled into the car with promises of a family adventure, and snacks. He didn’t seem to mind too much. More than a little flustered, we all packed into Nikky’s car and set off on our journey to Freo. I called my son Merv on the way. He and his parter Toni were shopping, but they said they’d be there by 3pm.

Emma took on a 6 month contract working on the Celebrity Solstice, a huge cruise liner, travelling around Australia, New Zealand and other amazing places. She’s 23, working the gift shop and travelling the world (but seeing nothing, as my husband jokes, having heard about life working on liners). Luckily, she was allowed on shore for a two hour window, and we were all – surprisingly – available to leap into action and see her! My husband had been tracking the Celebrity Solstice for weeks, but stopped 8 days ago while it was moored near New Zealand. And none of Emma’s had emails made it through due to variable internet connections. My husband checked his email at 1:30, expecting it to be a mid night message from his brother Ian in Canada, but lo and behold cousin emma was HERE! I think we beat some kind of record for getting our things together and getting out of the house!

We picked her up at Victoria Quay, and took her for a short drive to the E-shed markets for coffee, nibbles, and stories of her travels. Quite a whirlwind visit, but worth it. She was happy to see us, we think, familiar faces halfway around the globe. And we always love having visitors. We figure we’re the most isolated of the lot, so we like to make an effort when someone makes aaaaaall the way to Perth to see us. I wonder who will be next!

Craft work Before and After

My friend Jean’s daughter Kendra started this little craft with these 2 tables and chairs. She did the hard work but ended up leaving aside.

Years gone by and her Mum Jean decided to donate to my craft group in Edgewater.

I love it right away and took possession of it.

Showed to my friend Wendy who is very good with crafts and she offered to finish for me.

In one week she brought the finish product and of course my grandson was the lucky winner of this precious little craftsmanship.

Thanks Kendra, Jean and Wendy!

Great work!

 

 

BMW $1200 1st Anniversary Voucher

I received a voucher of $1200 from BMW as a Christmas gift. A lovely present to be used at Verve Portraits.

Unfortunately I won’t use the voucher. My daughter is a professional photographer doing this type of business and has just done a portrait of her brother.

I didn’t want it to go to waste so I decided to offer it as a gift to my clients.

Thanks to Deb Diamantis at BMW Wangara who provided me with excellent service and made it possible to transfer the gift to whoever I want to.

I sent 375 emails/texts and said that the first one to call would receive the gift.

I had a few calls but the first one was Kyro Saweres, pictured with me.

Thank you all and sorry I could not please everyone.

Wait for my second Anniversary until BMW sends me another gift….maybe.

And you also could consider going to BMW Wangara to purchase a car for yourself.

They offer excellent service and it comes with tea, coffee and lots of smiles. Worth the experience!… Plus the gift which is a bonus, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To all of my newsletter readers:

Enjoy your Christmas, family, friends and working mates.

Make a resolution for 2018. And stick to it!

Make a plan for the future.

Make an achievable goal!

Make it happen whatever you wished for!

Make Love not war!

Have a great Christmas!

Alycee Barrett

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My Client and family on a great adventure: Munda biddi story

On Friday 20th October we hit the trails in an attempt to reach Albany from Perth along the Munda Biddi track. A bit over 1000km in total. Both kids are riding their own bikes with no luggage, just their camelback with water and a muesli bar. We have done lots of long distance bike trips with the kids but what’s different this time is that we don’t have the ability to carry the kids or their bikes, they have to ride all the way!

We made it to Jarrahdale after four epic days of riding. The first two days were the hardest, 18km and 25.75km of steep hills and loose gravel. After plenty of walking up hills and helping the kids stay on their bikes we made it to the Carinyah hut. Nice to have a roof during the storm. Day three gave us a break on unseal roads with track closures due to control burning. A long 30.6km to the Wungong hut. The going was long but easier so there was plenty of singing and relaxing breaks. Riding past the fires was something unexpected. This area is great, we rode along the beautiful forests, with amazing flowers and an undulating narrow path, an easy 28km ride finished by 1.30pm. A well deserved lunch at the cafe and a comfy bed are in order. The kids have done a lot better than expected so maybe some ice cream too! We know we have hard days ahead but the attitude of the kids so far give us confidence to think we can make it to Albany.

After 13 days on the Munda Biddi trail. We feel like we have experienced all terrains and weather. The section after Jarrahdale was the hardest with some steep hills on rocky slippery decentes and hills that felt like they were going for ever. The kids did an amazing job riding more than 30km that day. It showed us what we are up for! Since then they have attempted to ride over dirt, mud, sand, rocks big and small, pea gravel (a famous feature of the Munda Biddi), water (not always successful at keeping our shoes dry), fallen trees, you name it! The kids are getting better everyday and we see their skills improving specially the scary downhills when we think are they going to make it down in one piece? Some hills remain a challenge so we walk up, had plenty of cases where it took the two of us to push the bikes and trailers up the hills specially on steep single track. It is exhausting for us as often we ride our bikes up and then walk back down to help the kids. We had a few days of rain, one in particular was so heavy we had to find shelter and set up camp after only 7kms but we managed to stay dry and warm. We had some long days after that, 35km+, and have decided we rather ride less and get to camp earlier so we can relax, do school work or play cards before dinner. The forest and wildflowers around us are amazing. All in all the kids are loving the experience and so are we!

We have made it to Pemberton after getting drenched last night in a storm with hail and thunder. It took us by surprise and we were soaked within seconds so we laughed and kept riding, good character building for the kids. We had done about 650kms till then. We did a detour to visit Gnomesville and had lunch at a nearby winery. We enjoyed warm hospitality from David near Donnybrook and Claire who offered to host us. It was so good to have comfy beds and two great evenings with wonderful company. We met friends Peter and Emily again and the kids had a great time playing with Oscar at the giant playground in Donnybrook. That night we camped by a lake with turquoise water and the kids had a nude mud fight and made sculptures out of the clay from the ground. A couple of days later we made it to Nannup after the longest day yet (52kms) due to a control burn diversion. The kids did a great job and we were all rewarded by a great dinner and room at the pub. Next day we camped at Willow springs which was nice but the bugs drove us mad. From there a hard uphill single track with lots of trees down made our arrival at Donnelly River much later than planned. We enjoyed the village with a feeling of going back in time and the welcoming friendly emus. We had a swim and lunch by the dam and a few treats at the cafe. The ride out of Donnelly River was hard single track and half way thought to the next hut it started raining, it was getting dark and we still had 4kms up a steep hill to go so we didn’t make it to the hut that night. Likely the kids were in good spirits and kept riding in the rain until we found a flat spot to camp. The next day we tackled the switchbacks up to the hut and made it to Manjimup by early afternoon. We slept at the Motor Inn and had Indian for dinner, the playground the next morning topped up a great experience in this town! Quinninup was another great surprise, we met some locals who invited us for coffee and the kids spent a couple of hours reading in the library. That night our friends Tara and John joined us and experienced a night on the trail with us. The weather has been hot and humid and the storms provided some relief from the heat. The kids have been riding well and we all continue to love the trail.

Pemberton was beautiful, and the food experiences were up there with the best so far, we had lunch at Holy Smoke and found the best coffee shop of the ride called Paddock. Next morning we set off towards the Gloucester tree (none of us was brave enough to climb it!). The switchbacks down from there were great flowing single track so fast we had to ask the kids to slow down as we couldn’t keep up with the trailers. So much fun and such a beautiful place. The weather was not that good, but we kept riding all afternoon listening to Harry Potter audio books.
That night a Bibbulmum track hut a few hundred meters off the Munda Biddi was a great find given we were going to sleep in the forest under another storm. We had a fire instead and enjoyed the views of a very pretty dam.
The next day I was not up for a hard day in the trail and was very happy that it was an easier ride along beautiful country, forests and farms. The kids rode without complaints chatting to each other and Nick and I had a great bit of time for ourselves. We made it to Northcliffe for lunch. The town was a pearl we were not expecting to find. The place had a great vibe. A little organic coop, a cafe, a wood gallery and an art exhibition. We found a lady who adopts kangaroos with two 10month old babies being fed on her lap. The kids spent time with the tame joeys and then we all went to see the sculpture park which was another great surprise. We camped at Sid’s camp, made dahl with flat bread and had dinner by the fire. A few people gathered around, the kids played with other kids and was nice to socialise for a change.
The next morning Mimi fell of her bike meters out of the gate due to the very slippery gravel, we are off to a great start I thought. Manu wasn’t in the mood to ride and a million flies followed us everywhere so we stopped every 100m that day…. very frustrating. We ended up camping in a horrible spot on the side of the fire trail when he declared he couldn’t go any further.
The next morning we set off early as we listened to music and sang along for a while. The conversation was very animated this morning. What’s better than a birthday party? Planning for a birthday! We spent hours talking about Mimis birthday, dress up design and cake flavours.
We then met Bernie a rider on his way north. We had lunch at the next hut and after some play time we decided to move on to camp at the Fernhook hut which was 20km away. The going was not so hard but the flies and March flies were so bad they ruined the ride for me. Mimi had a stack on the gravel and managed to park her bike perfectly upside down. She didnt get hurt and popped back up from underneath with a smile on her face. The bike stayed parked upside down…. we all had a good laugh. The last 5kms were mostly downhill along nice forests and I enjoyed that besides the flies. Manu had a great day with no accidents but managed to peel off skin of his knees by falling over at the camp which is kind of ironic after he rode 40km that day with no falls. We all slept on the floor of a cute hut and just as well as there was a thunderstorm outside. After we went to bed we decided to set up the tent inside as the mozzies were vicious.
In the morning we rode off the campsite and crossed a bridge with beautiful cascades. The morning was spent riding along forest trails mostly on dirt roads with sandy patches and lots of undulations which were a bit much for Manu to ride so we walked a lot up the hills. There was a big diversion which cut 28km off our day. The diversion and the huge 40km day the day before meant we could get all the way to Walpole which was a bonus as we were so ready for a shower.
At Walpole on our 16th wedding anniversary we are having a couple of days off the bike staying at a cottage, luckily it has brooms so Harry Potter is in full swing (the huts in the Munda Biddi have brooms too so we don’t have many days without Harry Potter play!). Here we have enjoyed a very entertaining eco cruise, markets, art galleries and spent time with friends Peter, Emily and Oscar. Walpole to Albany was a great final stage. We were hosted by two different families, both treated us like life long friends. We rode along the wow track and loved Greens pool and lights beach. Denmark was also special, we had great food at Rovens and the kids loved the adventure playground. The rode to Albany was also beautiful, spending a night by the Hay river and one in Cozy corner, wonderful spot! And then we finally made it to Albany! Clocked over 1000kms during 38 days (including 3 rest days). Shortest day just over 5kms and longest 52. Had an awesome ride especially the last two stages. Loved the scenery, beaches, forests, huts, flowers, towns and the food at the odd cafe on the way… Have met a lot of great people on and off the bike, new and old friends and experienced amazing hospitality from locals. From wonderful art displays and giant trees to amazing playgrounds and wildlife this ride has been an amazing adventure.

if you do have a story to tell, send it to me and I will publish it too.

My S.I.N.ers Group, my friends, my family

The Sunset International Neighbours (S.I.N.ers) is a Group of ladies that was founded in 1990. We formed this group to solidify and help foster friendships among our members, some of whom have been coming now for 27 years.

We meet once a month at someone’s house for lunch, and every month it rotates to a new home. We all bring a plate of food to share, and sometimes a friend to add to the group. Over the years we have also watched children and grandchildren grow through their various visits, such a joy.

We don’t sell Avon, Tupperware, or any other product, except sometimes Real Estate (hehehe). We sit, eat, talk, exchange views, and make friends.

We had our Christmas party this last Monday. (Out meetings are always in a Monday, it had become tradition).

Some of us are very talented in the kitchen. I’ll let you decide if I am included in that group (hint hint I don’t cook).

Last Monday we had the pleasure of welcoming one of the S.I.N.ers’ youngest visitors, only a few weeks old, granddaughter to this month’s host. And of meeting two boys, now 17 and 15 year olds, that we have been in contact with since they were born.

We also had another member bring her tweenage granddaughter, who usually joins us around Christmas time and of course my daughter with her son, my adorable grandson.

These meetings are always a pleasure to attend, we catch up with one another, share good news and bad, and strengthen our friendships again, one bite at a time.

I hope you all find time this December to meet with your friends and loved ones, to talk over delicious food, and maintain those connections which are important to you.

Merry Christmas,

Alycee