Fish, Family and Freo.

No fish were caught – so we packed up and headed north to Perth.

Our designated camp is, for the first time, not a caravan park, or side of the road, but in the backyard of Julz cousin, Jamie’s house, in the rural suburb of Carmel, about 25 minutes from Perth’s CBD. His home is on a beautiful 11 hectares of natural bushland in the Perth Hills. Jamie and his daughter, Blayz, live there with her black labrador, Pepper.

Jamie, works in the oil industry in Karrartha, so he is away quite often. When we arrive, we are met by Blayz (18) and her lab, Pepper (a playmate for Gypsy!).

We park the van at the side of the house and set up camp, then explore the country side and nearby towns.

Ron (Julz Dad) turned 88 on Friday and we celebrated his birthday with dinner at the local (haunted) Kalamunda Hotel. A great night out was had by all.

Bet and Ron had five children. All five (Julz 3 brothers and 1 sister) had 3 children each (apart from one who had 2). One of our niece’s, Brittney, had been hired by Qantas as an airhostess, to do her training in Perth, so on Saturday we picked her up and explored Freemantle together and explored the Freo Markets, shops, cafes, beaches and the Maritime Museum. We ended the day driving back to Jamie’s home with Brittney, then dinner at the local ‘highly recommended Village Pizza place’ for dinner. Another full, FUN day!

(Julz reflects)

My Dad arrived here at Freemantle on a ship from England, the ‘New Australia’, in 1951, 66 years ago!! As a “ten pound Pom”.

I had not realised the significance of Freemantle to him until he said he wanted to visit the Port Wharf. He turned 88 years young yesterday, and is in extremely good shape for his age – hopefully his genetics are passed on! It was a moving experience for all of us to check the Welcome Wall at the entrance to the Maritime Museum, even though we didn’t find his name. We saw the Australia 2 at the Museum, it bought back memories of the win in the Americas Cup, when I had just given birth to Oriel in Townsville. Mum and Dad had driven up from Brisbane to see us.

Dad’s passion is boats. He has always had one, or gone fishing – always. He is unable to make model boats now, due to the intricacy of the work, as his hands shake too badly.

My childhood memories of Dad’s boating –

As there were 5 kids in our family, and Dad was the only breadwinner, as Mum stayed at home with us, there was not a lot of money for extras. Dad being a ‘tradie’, decided he would make a fishing boat, sell it, and then be able to afford to make one for himself debt-free – debt was not heard of back then, except for house mortgages. So, Dad got his boat!

We always had our school holidays on the Gold Coast, where Dad would fish. He bought his boat back to the caravan park where we stayed at Tweed Heads, and by the time he had cleaned the boat, he had sold all his catch. Mum often complained that we never had a feed of fish for us!

It was a great day, walking Gypsy on our first encounter with a designated Dog Beach, and walking around the Freeo Markets. Great place to visit.


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