I was raised close to the Indian Ocean and after living in the south along the Southern Ocean for nearly two decades when I first lay eyes on the Indian Ocean recently on a trip to Perth, it struck me how blue and flat it was. You always look out to it from the mainland. In Albany there is usually a bay or headland that encapsulates the water, so there is generally a bit of land in the scene as well. Failing that, there are frequently islands or granite rocks in the water, hence a ‘bumpy horizon’. The Indian Ocean is big, wide, flat.
Recently the family visited the historic town of York. Aside from Albany, which was the first colonial settlement for Western Australia, ahead of Perth and Fremantle, York was the first inland settlement for European colonists. Evidently, to provide a food source for the growing colony of Perth. This area was previously inhabited by the Ballardong Nyoongar people.
I miss this kind of country. The warm air, the dry grass and the colours of the trees. Particularly the eucalypts with their colourful bark and metallic sheen in the early morning or late afternoon. The quiet can be intolerable to some, but I love the serenity of the inland bush.
York was named after Yorkshire in the UK, supposedly because of the rolling hills in the area. It is a very scenic area to my eye and as we stood on top of the Mt Brown look-out I also had the thrill of hearing a Pied Butcherbird calling further down the hill and watching a gathering flock of Rainbow Bee-eaters. In this part of the state, at this time of the year, they usually begin to flock together to make the migration further north for the winter. I haven’t heard Bee-eaters for a long time. It reminded me of my younger days birdwatching. Spending hours in the baking, searing, summer bush, listening to that sound of summer amongst the drone of the cicadas. Wonderful.
Mrs PP had leadership duties to attend to so the Little Fella’s and I shacked up at a local Farmstay (Lavendale Farm). This was a great experience for the Little Fella’s as they were able to see some larger animals and get a bit of hands on time with ponies and cows, cats and an ostrich. It made a positive impression on the boys though next time we encounter a similar occasion the TV remote will be hidden. We don’t have a TV easily accessible at home, so it’s a real novelty.
I was also thrilled to see a scrap bucket in the farmstay kitchen. It’s such a little thing really, but I was glad that our scraps were going to be composted and recycled rather than just having to throw them in the rubbish. We compost our scraps at home all the time, so it was completely acceptable to have a bucket in the accommodation, but not altogether a common thing for such services as this. Perhaps it is changing. I prepared most of our food so we didn’t have to buy too much when out and about, so the scraps bucket was nearly full in just the two days that we were there!