I never remember the name of this lake, though I remember visiting. Husband and teen both had a swim here the last time we went to Australia, though it was too cold this time. Husband did have a paddle though. Brave.
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.
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.
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. 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.
“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.
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!
It has been almost a year since I last posted. There are reasons, in fact, last year finished in a way I would never expect it to – as explained here.
If I was to hazard a guess when things started to be a bit different than usual (as of course I was in denial as described) it would probably be around May-June-July time before we headed to Australia.
So all the things I wanted to write about on here that we visited in Australia were kind of shelved because I was so very tired. Plus some things I wanted to do I was too tired to go to.
BUT! We did get to Rottnest Island and we saw Quokkas. I fell off my hired bike (which is weird in itself, I never fall off bikes apart from that other time when I did) and just felt tired a lot.
We went up north and stopped by The Pinnacles on the way back which were amazing to see.
Did I have the energy to type anything up? Nope. Because by the time we realised something was badly wrong I was having the operation and resting up and time had flown by. Photos are just as good I think.
I’ve noticed my typing is different after the operation, I’m a bit more blunt. I’m getting used to it. I’m not being rude, it’s just how things now seem to be. I also can’t type as well any more – lots of typos, and as someone who always typed fast and didn’t get many errors it’s a bit weird for me. Nothing I’m beating myself up about, just another side effect of all this stuff.
This isn’t about my head here, I’m just making sure 2023 has a post up – and here it is.
Jetlag, welcome, old friend. Jetlag sucks. Your body is somewhere in the middle of somewhere else and you just want to do what you need to do. But you can’t because right when you’d happily sit up chatting with others your body is telling you it needs to sleep.
Jetlag. It’s unavoidable, if someone has a miracle cure which works for me then please tell me it. So we’re seven hours ahead of the UK. I’m also a bad sleeper. I picked up some Boots Herbal Sleeping tablets in the hope it might help and I think it has a bit – it gets me to sleep, but doesn’t keep me asleep.
So the times of your flights come into it as well. Usually when we fly to Australia I’ll book tickets for the evening, which means we arrive very early morning in Australia (like 2am) or late in the evening (10pm). Neither really works as I can’t sleep at that point – it’s still only early evening in my body.
Add a seven year old into that mix and it’s fun… no, not really.
This time we flew at 9am in the morning, doing the longest leg from around 1pm to 10pm. So by the time we had landed in Singapore H hadn’t slept, none of us had. She was shattered but had watched several movies in the process.
Fortunately in Singapore there are plenty of seats you can crash out in near your connecting departure gate, so we did just that. Even an hour’s sleep can help.
By the time we boarded our flight to Australia it was 9am in Singapore, but midnight our time. So now the trick is to sleep but not for long as by the time you end up in Perth (same timezone as Singapore) it’s going to be 2pm. You don’t really want to be sleeping in the afternoon, it’ll mess up your sleeping pattern. Quick naps should be okay though…
Apart from if your child is sick, then you’re a walking zombiefield traveller. Jetlag was rubbing its hands with glee by then.
Getting out of Perth Airport at 2pm in the afternoon took us 20 minutes. It was so fast! Probably helped by the fact Shaun and H have Australian passports.
When we got to Toodyay H crashed – no food, just sleep. It had been a hard, long journey. But she slept, and hasn’t woken in the night since (three nights in, so far so good). I think she might have adjusted. Doing the daytime flight seems to be a better option than the others.
When they introduce non-stop flights to Perth later this year I’m definitely considering it. A daytime flight with no stops… could be one of the best flights we have!
As for Shaun and I, we keep waking up, but now on Sunday we slept through from 10pm to 7am which is a better sleep than I’d get a home. The Boots herbal sleeping tablets are working, getting me properly off to sleep. I’m getting more Vitamin D out here which might be helping my dodgy sleep patterns too.
While I don’t think the jetlag has completely gone, it is definitely the best it has ever been travelling here. We’re only seven hours ahead (rather than Sydney or Melbourne who are 11 hours), but it’s still enough it takes some adjustment.
We were given an opportunity to review a YUUtuu bag – a brand we’d heard of as we saw the episode of Dragon’s Den and were Googling them as they did their presentation – we were impressed then, and we are now.
YUUtuu bags are designed for little ones – and with our big trip to Australia coming up it was something I really wanted to try – now H is almost five she’s carrying her own things in her own bag – water, games, snacks and important things like a case to put her glasses in if she takes them off. We were sent the YUUtuu Spluush in fuschia which H loved immediately. There’s pink and blue on the bag (her two favourite colours) and she loved it immediately.
The great thing about the YUUtuu bag is how much space and storage is inside. There are compartments and space for loads of things – we tried it out last weekend for our trip to Wimbledon and then the Carshalton Carnival with all H’s essentials for a day out. So how does it fare?
It’s a well padded backpack – think along the lines of a carrier with proper padding, designed for comfort. The bag is ergonomically designed to support growing spines – the moulded shell evenly distributes weight and H has found it very comfortable to wear. She also loves that there’s a whistle on the chest clip and loads of little extras which make the bag feel like it’s hers.
Then there’s the space – there are many compartments within the bag, an inside pocket which was the right size for H’s water, and plenty of pockets with zips to put things like lipbalm which always gets lost in my bag. The YUUtuu bag also has a fold down desk which is handy if you’re like H and need to do a spot of playing or writing when the moment takes you.
The YUUtuu bag comes with a fun pack which includes colour pencils, an A5 pad, a magnetic snakes and ladders game, keyring, deskcard insert and a membership card for YUUclub.
We’ll be putting it to the test properly when we fly to Australia, I’m confident it’s going to be ideal for H and is cabin luggage compliant – plus you can fasten the bag to the back of a drivers seat which may come in handy if we have any long drives to Merredin (approx 4 hours… each way!)
The YUUtuu bag is suitable for ages 3-6 and comes in two colours, and sells for £38.99. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
We’re fortunate nobody wanted us to be ambassadors for their travel brands this year. I say fortunate as this meant we could do the sensible thing and book three weeks in Australia instead to catch up with family.
So the flights are booked and paid for.
Today my sister-in-law pointed out fifty minutes at Changi Airport is below the minimum that the airport recommends. Well done us! I suspect we may miss it… at least there’s plenty to do there. Having said that, it looks like our next flight is six hours later. Sob.
My reasoning, if the airline offers it then it must be possible, right? Even with a four year old, right? I believe the term is cutting it fine.
So I suspect the coming year on here will be me having occasional wibbles about getting there – it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t worry about things, that and finding things which will help make the flight bearable – the last time we flew to Australia H was 15 months old and didn’t watch tv, and absolutely refused to wear headphones.
This time she’s four and knows all the tv characters and likes pop music. We’ll be fine.
It’s just that fifty minute change. I’ve looked and a few times the incoming flight landed five minutes early. Lucky for us both flights are the same terminal, but yes, still. Fifty minutes.
What would you do? (for the record we’re flying with Singapore Airlines for the first time and I can’t wait, they’re meant to be outstanding. Phew – last time we flew with Emirates, and previous before-H times were with BA, Qantas and Royal Brunei so we’ve flown with a few)
Fifty minutes though. Uuuuh.