Sunday 14th December 2008
We were woken several times during the night by the neighbours, talking, singing, saying goodbye to their guests, the last at about 6am.
For some reason, Fraser and Kristian decided to make an awful noise playing in their room at 4.15am (or so Ian thought), Ian went into their room and gave them an almighty roasting for waking him up so early in the morning.
When Ian went back to bed after laying the law down to the boys, Carolyn pointed out that it was actually 5.15am and Sharon hadn’t put the clock forward at daylight saving, it was only ¾ of an hour earlier than they would normally get up and start playing at home and in a strange bed with the noise from the neighbours going on it was hardly surprising. Ian rolled over and went back to sleep.
We all got up later than expected and had Bacon Butties for breakfast (cooked on the Barbie by Malcolm), then drove up to Sharons new Hair Salon in Clarkson on the way to the Showground. She only opened a few weeks ago in partnership with a friend, it looks really good inside and is doing well for a new start up business.
From there we drove to the Showground, seven of us and all our overnight bags in one car on the hottest day so far this summer, the air conditioning was on, there were just too many people breathing.
We had to queue in the traffic as we approached the Showground, it would appear that everyone had decided to drive rather than go in by train. Saying that, when you looked at some if the equipment that families were carrying, Eskies (Coolbox), Gazebos, Chairs, Blankets, Food (the Eskies were for the Beer) and BBQ’s, to be honest we probably wouldn’t have jumped on a train with that lot either.
As it was we were very British in our attitude towards attending this event, we carried nothing other than what we were wearing and our wallets.
Being British, we are used to paying for it as we go, even on a family day out. It’s rather said really because it does take away the whole Family ethos, the doing things together and helping each other, to ensure that as a family you have a good time.
As it was, if we wanted a cold drink, we found a cold drink stall, if we wanted some shade we stood under a tree or went indoors, if we wanted to sit down, we found some steps, a wall or patch of grass, we wouldn’t need a blanket anyway, because they are for sleeping under and we weren’t going to go to sleep and why would you need a BBQ when you can go to a Stall that sells food, we’ll come back to that one in a bit.
We eventually got into the Showground and found a parking space, now this will impress all those back in the UK. A captive audience situation and it only costs $3 (£1.30) to park all day, we obviously are a long way from being Aussie yet though, there were loads of them parking on scraps of land down side streets around the Showground and carrying there masses of belongings rather than part with $3.
We decided to do all the rides first before the crowds built up and the sun got too hot, we went on a few rides but there weren’t many that caught the eye and it was getting very hot so we stopped at a Slushie (flavoured ice drink) van.
Fraser was starting to look a bit pale, a combination of being bounced and spun round on rides that in the past he would not have gone on.
It turned out that Fraser for breakfast, had a Bowl of what over here is called Breakfast Fruit, washed down with a glass of milk compliments of Sharon. Without mentioning this, he asked his Mum if he could have a Bowl (large) of cereal and a Glass of Fruit Juice, she said yes. Without mentioning this, he then sat outside and ate a Bacon Sandwich, before asking his Dad whether he could have another one.
His Dad, not realising that he had already consumed a Bowl of Breakfast Fruit with a Large Glass of Milk and a Large Bowl of Cereal with a Glass of Fruit Juice, thought he’s going to be on his feet all day and let him have a Second Bacon Sandwich.
While we were queuing up for the Slushie Fraser couldn’t keep it to himself any longer and decided to share his breakfast(s) with the piece of grass in front of the Slushie Van, we did ask the Slushie man if he had anything we could use to clear it up and he threw a cup of water over it and went back to making money.
From there we walked around the grounds and because we are British and not very good at making our own entertainment had pretty much done all the things that had been organised for us including the Circus, so it was time for lunch.
This is where the great master plan really went pear shape, we looked at the different food options around and there wasn’t a great deal to offer and what there was were poorly staffed with massive queues in front of them so we decided that we had done enough and would drive to Fremantle for lunch instead.
It didn’t take long to get to Fremantle and we parked in the Station Car Park where you could park all day in return for purchasing a rail ticket, as Sharon and Malcolm needed a train ticket to get home, that was problem solved.
We walked round to the Harbour where all the food establishments are, we had lunch at Ciccerellos, supposedly the best Fish and Chips in WA if not Australia if you believe all the Blah.
Bearing in mind the massive turnover they have in this place it wasn’t bad, today it was sufficient, it was ok, but it was not the best we’ve had since we have been in Australia.
After lunch we went for a walk into the centre of town and the coffee strip, we had a look round the undercover market which is a must to browse round when in Freo (Australian for Fremantle). After we looked round the market we stopped for coffee outside Dome, pretty boring we know, but at least with Dome you always have a good idea of how average it is going to be.
We weren’t disappointed and after an average cup of coffee we walked back to the station, we said goodbye to Sharon and Malcolm and they got on the train home while we began the long drive back to Busso (Australian for Busselton).
The toughest part of the journey back was getting out of Fremantle, but despite Carolyn doing her best to get us lost we made it out of there and were soon on the Freeway heading south.
We got home at about 8.30 pm, slightly knackered, put the kids to bed and had an early night ourselves.