Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Lavender Bush

Today I made a random purchase, a lavender bush to hopefully add a little bit of colour to our front yard. They are apparently hardy, and like full sun. I'm not sure how they will deal with the upcoming Summer heat, but I thought it was worth a try.
I didn't take into account, the absolute unwillingness of our soil.
From the moment the shovel landed, it was obvious. The soil was going to put up a fight. Really I shouldn't call it soil, more red clay.
After digging a hole, if you could call it that, as deep as I could manage, I then enlisted my daughter, to soften the dirt with the hose for 10-15 minutes. This required ballerina dress of course.
Eventually, we ended up with a muddy puddle. Peppa Pig jumping in muddy puddle ensued after a tuck of the tutu into leggings and a change into gumboots. No photos were possible of that part though, as full parental supervision was required due to the messy nature and splash of the puddle jumping.
Finally the "soil" was ready to accept our smallest of lavender bushes. I let my husband dirty his hands in the red mud.
After all this digging, watering and digging again the lavender bush was already wilting.
For all this effort to plant, for something that now looks so small, I hope it grows, at least for a little while.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Ugly Shoes

I have new shoes.
My husband bought them for me.
He is a man of a practical nature, and so, these shoes aren't really my type of shoe. They're no ballet flat that's for sure.
Even when I mentioned, that no I don't think I need these shoes, he insisted, and bought these shoes for me anyway. That was a first in all the time that I've known him.
Perhaps, I'm worried that if I wear such a shoe, even if it's only while wading in rockpools, or climbing over rocks, or up mountains (yeah right), that I might just become too relaxed a Pilbara type girl. A purchaser of this shoe, wrote a review on the shops website. A 5 star shoe apparently. Great for wearing" all the time" in warm weather, and in the cooler months you can wear them with socks. The all rounder type shoe.
You  know the shoe.

Here they are. I was "allowed" to choose the colour.
They are surprisingly, the most comfortable pair of shoes that I have ever worn. By far. They fit like a glove. No breaking in required. And they don't look quite as bad as I imagined that they might.
I could almost be tempted to wear these on a daily basis, sans socks.
I am a convert. Watch out rocky outcrops and sharp slippery terrain.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Radio Hill Lookout

The weather here is just beautiful at the moment. Everyday being in the mid to high 20's.
It is easy to forget, that for almost everywhere else in Australia, it is Winter, and colds, sniffles and ear infections are order of the day.
While the weather remains mild, we make the most of it, getting outside as much as possible. Before we know it, everyday will be spent hiding inside with the aircondioner on, avoiding any small trip outside.
Trips to Radio Hill Lookout for an early dinner have become a family favourite thing to do. From here, up out of the mundaneness that this town can be, we can really appreciate the beauty of our surrounds. And enjoy it for what it is.

After dinner, my eldest daughter, with her new enthusiasm for the outdoors, enjoys slowly walking down the side of the lookout to the bottom. A small track, quite steep in places, that winds through deep red rocks. It is a bit like our own version of Perth's Jacobs ladder to some people in town, who go up and down as many times as they can manage.
The view from the top, is certainly worth the muscle pain and breathlessness.

My daughter and I are a tiny dot, on the path in the above photo. Making our way down to my husband waiting in the car.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fortescue Festival Weekend

For us, this weekend has been a long one. Today being a public holiday, but only for our town. It was Festival weekend. It is a big deal here. Speedway, jetsprints, the ball, and a fair/show.
All things cars and boats don't excite me too much, but we ventured to the fair on Sunday.
It was your usual type show fare. Dagwood dogs, bumper cars, showbags, animal farms and the like.
In a way, this weekend didn't live up to the hype for me. I was a little disappointed with it all. We do appreciate though, having something different happening in town. And like most things here, it is what you make of it. So, we pottered and taste tested our way through the many foodie stalls and met some friendly characters.
We've found so many small food providers and vans, who travel and sell their products down South in the Margaret River area during the Summer time. But who travel to the Pilbara and Kimberley for the Winter months. Following festivals and fairs, to make a living while also holidaying and enjoying the best of both climates in WA. 
To end the long weekend, and make the most of the beautiful weather. We took a picnic lunch to our local dam. A short trip in the bumpy car. We ran into friends, also escaping the quiet of town.
My youngest just loves the feel of the red dirt in her fingers and toes.
Have I mentioned just how much more washing I need to do now we're living here. I love our small adventures out, but the red dirt gets into everything.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Bumpy Car

We have a new car,a bumpy one. By new, I mean new to us. It is second hand. Purchased from some good friends of ours, who also live here, but who have bought themselves a new car. It's not the VW Polo Golf I was hoping for, but it is certainly a car that will suit this terrain, and allow us to travel off road in 4WD mode without any concerns. It has really opened us up to being able to enjoy adventures and daytrips beyond our own small town. Getting out of town breaks up the monotony of small town living, and reminds us how lucky we are to have the chance to live in this part of the world. We're still keeping our family SUV, and will use the new car for anything a little off road.

There is something to be said for this "Bumpy Car', so called by my eldest daughter, due to the bumpy off road trips we have taken in it so far. It brings with it a sense of excitement and adventure. As a result, my husband likes tinkering on it, and both my girls love playing in it. This car has garnered more interest from the girls, then any other car we have previously owned. And it is by no means, not the nicest car that we have owned. To them, it seems it is more than just a car, but a means to adventures to rockpools, the local dam and other such places.

There is something cosy, and exciting about sitting as a family in there, surrounded by bags of belongings, toys and snacks, ready to hit the road. Last stop out of town is always to the local bottleshop, for a drive thru takeaway coffee which we pay $6 for the privilege of. Fortunately the local bottle shop attendant always provides a large handful of marshmallows and biscuits for the girls, which offsets the price of the coffees, enough to make it worthwhile. Once we've pulled up to the small window, collected our coffees and snacks, a collective are we ready to hit the road, turn in our seats to look back at the girls, is always heart warming. Nobody is grizzling, nobody needs anything, everybody is just excited and happy. If nothing else, the car is worthwhile for that fleeting few seconds of cosiness, adventure and excitement.

The bumpiness of trips in this "Bumpy Car", reveals the true natures of both my girls.  My youngest, holding onto the headrests of her car seat with her hands, with a huge grin on her face. My eldest, though excited to be in the bumpy car, has her eyes firmly fixed on the end destination (usually a rockpool), rather than the journey, and holds her favourite toy Toby, stroking his ears with mostly a look of concern and worry.

My role in the journey, as there is no Bluetooth in the car, is to provide the soundtrack for the journey. A mixed CD. It's been a while since I've needed to do that. But it adds to the adventure of the roadtrip when getting ready the following day.

 I like songs with a little bit of weight, I find it adds to the journey and matches the surroundings. Boy & Bear- Southern Sun being my current favourite. Rodriguez- Cause. John Mayer- Queen of California. Woods- Rain On. Anything by the Tallest Man on Earth. I'm running out of ideas and new music. Any suggestions would be much welcomed!

Happy driving!

Monday, 12 August 2013

A Red Adventure

That's how I choose to look at it anyway. The reality of daily living may otherwise be quite monotonous. There's no denying it, we're a little isolated up here. From civilisation (it feels at times).

We arrived nearly 2 months ago, to live together, full time as a family. No more FIFO. Residential. A small mining town, with not a whole lot to do, where Woolworths is about as good as the shopping gets (if you don't count the Visitors centre), and a good coffee is about 10-15 minutes drive out of town. But we've settled in. The girls and I have a new pattern and rhythm of activities, play dates and outings. And I've adjusted, mostly. For my husband, working full-time and already used to working and living part-time in a mining town, it has been easier.

The red dirt is in the cracks of my heels, and doesn't wash out anymore.
My thongs, and any other pair of shoes I'm happy to sacrifice, are tinged with red dust.
I drive slowly now, so that the one song I chose on my playlist to listen to gets the chance to finish before I arrive at where I'm needing to go.
Napisan goes into every wash in an attempt to keep the red dirt stains at bay from our clothes.
And my daughters faces are more often than not, now covered in a smeary mixture of red dirt and sweat by the end of day.

It wasn't part of the life plan to be here. Not where I could have ever imagined myself living. It has taken us even further away from those I hoped to be closer to one day. One step backwards will hopefully be two step forwards in time.

So I started a small blog (which is still under some construction). To keep in touch with everyone that we're now far away from. To share what we're up to. How we're fairing. And to share our travels about while we enjoy and appreciate this part of the world, and the experience of living in the Pilbara. It might be red and dusty, and getting increasingly warmer and warmer, but this part of the country is nonetheless beautiful.

Welcome and hope you enjoy!!
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