Posts by jo



Okay, I’ve been a bit quiet on here of late. Have a Cornwall coast photo now we’re moving (allegedly) into colder weather….

The irony with this picture, it was so steep I couldn’t get to the beach – I didn’t try though, I relied on The Husband and how well he did (he stopped about 8 times going back up the hill I think) – and it wasn’t very stick-friendly. Even the more stick-friendly beach bits I struggled with, so I think we know where that’ll go don’t we?

Bateman’s National Trust

This week we ventured a bit further to a National Trust property we hadn’t visited before – Bateman’s. It is the former home of Rudyard Kipling and his family – in fact, his daughter used to pop into the house to make sure the National Trust kept it as Rudyard did.

Rudyard Kiplings study at Bateman's

You can wander around the house and see many books and Rudyard Kipling’s study – set up exactly as he would have had it.

Only one Kipling child survived into adulthood – Elsie. Her younger brother John was killed during the war, his body never found. This brought great distress to the family.

Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides book

Kipling had strong links with the Guide and Scout movement – there’s a copy of ‘Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides’ on display within the house. Alas, you can’t see inside – that’s my next task!

Rudyard Kipling's house at Bateman's

After having a wander around the house we went outside to the glorious sunshine. There was a poetry reading on the lawn, and many areas to sit and soak in the weather and vitamin D. There seems to be plenty of activities for everyone.

Shaun and H went for a wander to the mill while I sat by the small pond watching the dragonflies fly.

The lily pond in Rudyard Kipling's house at Bateman's

Bateman’s is a National Trust property, open for most of the year and of course is free with membership.

Hello, I’m Still Here.

Here’s some more photos.

Is there anything nicer to look at this time of year than bluebells? I always seem to miss the season, though this year I got it right on time, hence this picture. It was taken at a National Trust place that we visited for the first time – can’t remember the name though I’m sure I’ll have a cloth badge.

H and Shaun (and my sister and her family) did the Marsden March yesterday. We’re getting an awful lot of sponsorship money which is great. Amazingly, my child wasn’t grumpy afterwards (other than when I sent her to get chips for my friend because I’d have dropped them), and it was Shaun who had the blister. When they completed the walk they got a medal and I have serious medal envy – I’ve never seen wooden ones before. How cool?

If you know me, you know I’m a bit Eurovision obsessed. Had my head not chosen to be cancerous I’d have gone to Liverpool this past weekend. Instead, I’m content with some DaĆ°i Freyr coffee which has a good taste – also helped by me being able to fill it with the aluminium pod I bought aaaages ago for our coffee machine.

The teen. She used to devour books, often reading several at once. Then secondary school happened and books, reading while still being something she liked, wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. But I know her love of books is still there – she’s straight to the Young Teens section in Waterstones and refuses to tell me anything she likes (so I have to guess, she doesn’t read it, and it eventually gets given away). So I’ve learned to hover and not ask too many awkward questions. I remember being thirteen. I needed my privacy. I’ll try and respect H’s.

The Other Side of Me

As well as being someone who is on the internet too much, I also used to have a social life. An average year would have a gig every month, though that has slowed a lot as time goes on. These days I average one gig a year and I should consider myself lucky!

Anyway, as they’re in the news at the moment (they played Coachella) I thought I’d add an old picture of The Breeders from 2017. I’m fairly certain this was at the Electric Ballroom in Camden taken on the 18th October. There are no Linda Linda’s doing backing vocals, I’m afraid.

The Breeders, Electric Ballroom Camden, Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, Jim MacPherson, 4AD

I don’t remember a huge amount about the gig other than lots of people from work were there, I always had a beer in my hand and I got some blurry photos. Probably the sign of a good night!

I’ve seen The Breeders so many times that I’ve lost count – especially around the Title TK album when they played in London a LOT.

It kind of scares me to think that in five years my child could be doing this. Although at the same time she’ll probably be going to see different musicals, and hopefully dragging her old mum along….

Hi. Another.

This is before we knew anything about the rest of the year and my head.

Taken from our seats on our first Qatar flight to Doha in July 2022.

I look at the hairline and head shape and the ‘me’ that existed before all of this.


You didn’t really think I was going to stop, did you?

Xanthorrhoea australis tree
This is a Xanthorrhoea australis – they’re all over the Western Australian bushland. I reckon the tree resembles the kids book character Grug – we picked up a few books many years ago when H was starting out reading. This is (probably) taken around Lake Leschenaultia. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Everywhere.

This is The Pinnacles. No photo I could take would do it justice. Just imagine driving on a road alongside bushland, then you turn off the main highway and head up a smaller road, where you can get parked and suddenly find yourself in the above area. Cars can drive around The Pinnacles (it’s a huge area), and it’s quite easily walkable too if you stick to the main paths. Here’s a Google Maps link.

As Promised

A typical Western Australian milk aisle in the supermarket.

Now, I’d say that’s a pretty impressive section – and we’ve visited Melbourne and Sydney and been in their supermarkets (which aren’t as impressive and don’t have as many varieties as pictured).

In fact, I felt a bit silly taking a photo of a large fridge and all the milk in it at the time, and now I’m glad I did.

Western Australia, Perth, Toodyay chilled flavoured milk aisle within the supermarket

I also feel like this photo doesn’t really reflect the sheer volume of flavoured milks that are on offer in Western Australia. I mean, this looks quite small compared to what I’ve seen. Imagine this four or five times over and you get a good idea.

I feel quite full just looking at it.

More Photos….

I’m enjoying posting photos with a bit of blurb. I realise this is quite different to everything Mum Friendly has been, maybe this is where it’s moving forwards to? We’ll see. Anyway, here’s some more pictures from Australia last July and August, 2022.

Hungry Jack's just outside Perth, Western Australia. Drive Thru sign lit up against the night sky.

Hungry Jack’s. Ahhh our favourite drive thru/takeaway in Australia (Although Shaun would probably add Chicken Shack to that as well) – we arrived in Perth and stopped here to grab food and milkshakes because we needed some sugary bad food to make us feel normal again after a day travelling from the UK eating airline food. The picture is blurry, annoyingly. But it’s clear enough to see, and here’s why Hungry Jack’s isn’t called Burger King. They serve the same food.

Master's Spearmint Milk. Reduced fat milk coloured green which tastes of spearmint. Delicious. Game changer.

“Uuuuurrghgg” say most people when greeted with this sight. But oh, how wrong they are. I get it though, I mean, the idea of a minty green milk (“It probably tastes like mouthwash”) which you drink and exists for FUN (rather than anything else significant) must be confusing. I’ll dig out a photo of the Western Australia milk aisle that I took from a few years ago – they have a very impressive selection and all the flavours. For now, let’s focus on Spearmint Milk. Surely one of the greatest inventions of all time? It’s tasty, minty, green and most significantly, different. I like to be different.

Teenager holding onto a shelter at Mundaring Weir, Western Australia. Her shadow is on the photo as well as some local greenery.

Finally – no food or drink on this one. Just H, her shadow and a shelter we passed by at Mundaring Weir. I was tired so H and I stuck together and did the shortest trail. I spotted this shelter and insisted she struck a striking pose which would create an interesting photo and this was the result. So it’s kind of staged but sort of real too, if that makes sense?

Mundaring Weir is interesting – a huge reservoir which transports water around the area (there are loads of gold pipes leading from the reservoir). You can walk across the dam walkway (H and her nana did, it was too much for me) and there are numerous trails around the area. When the water levels are low you can see a train track as well which I need to do some research on. I’m already having Ladybower Reservoir style “entire village appears when the water levels got really low” sort of feelings.

But that’s just my odd little head. The area around Mundaring Weir always has kangaroos (always!) and other interesting animals – and is always good for a wander. The Mundaring Weir Hotel is just up the road and has a decent selection of beers and food to try – we’ve often enjoyed eating then sitting in the arena-type area afterwards. We also got trapped there one year when there was a rally going on and we couldn’t cross the road to leave – which was fine, we just had more sunshine, beer and food instead.

I’m building up to a few reviews which will hopefully come very soon…. my head feels like it’s ready to have a good rant!

Catching Up from 2022

When I posted before it was way easier doing it with photos, so I thought I’d add three more that I really liked that summed up our Australia holiday back in July and August 2022.

A beach at Rottnest in the sunshine. Clear blue sea and golden sands.

This first photo is a beach on Rottnest Island. We finally went there after several Australia trips – we hired bikes (mine was terrible) and cycled around though I struggled. But the views, the scenery – the beaches! I mean, they say it takes a day to cycle around the island but I felt like it might take two – we got about half way before having to return (which could mean we would have made it back in time but we weren’t risking it). Obviously the number one reason to go to Rottnest Island was their Quokka population – and when you find that area you find all the daily tourists with their selfie sticks trying to get a picture of themselves with a smiling marsupial.

Kangaroo lying in the grass at Mundaring Weir

Let’s have a kangaroo picture though. Every time I’ve gone to Australia we’ve seen a kangaroo. They fascinate me – you don’t get too close to them, they’re the boss. If you’re really unlucky one will jump out in front of you while you’re driving (Shaun was driving, not me) – you need to slam your brakes as it’s a battle nobody will win. It was scary too. I think this was my first kangaroo sighting of 2022, with gazillions more to follow – but you always take that first photo just in case….

Then finally, let’s have the Perth skyline. It’s a favourite photo to take, I need to find older ones to see how much has changed – that’s why I like taking them – often the changes can be really subtle. It’s taken from Kings Park and Botanic Garden – and you have to admit, it’s pretty good isn’t it? Even though I say so myself. Even though it’s a photo I can imagine the busy-ness of everyday life – we stood taking in the skyline for quite a while.

Perth skyline from Kings Park, Western Australia

So here’s three photos. Three different parts of Australia. Did you know Perth is the most isolated city in the world? You do now.