Tonight we are having a few friends over to celebrate Chinese New Year. My family lived in China for four years back before I was born so I’ve only seen the pictures. From what I have heard from me humans though they loved their time in Shanghai and still miss it very much. Curly and Princess Human even went to an International School (Rainbow Bridge) inside the Shanghai Zoo! They still talk about the grunts and roars from the animals that you could hear from in the class room. Wish I was there.
We are getting Hot Pot, one of me favs as there is always loads of yummy left overs for me to score later and of course with Human guests over they are such a pushover for treats under the table if you just sidle up to em and rest ya chin on their knee! One of me many tricks I’ve learned over the years. Any of you dog readers out there should check out me handy tips for getting Human food here.
Here are a few fireworks from my family’s time in Shanghai during Chinese New Year. Enjoy!
It may surprise you guys to learn that I am quite fond of music, in particular Rock music. One of me favs is “Who Let The Dogs Out“ by Baha Men, a bit of a cliché for us dogs I know but you gotta like such deeply meaningful lyrics as:
Who let the dogs out Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof Who let the dogs out Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof Who let the dogs out Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof Who let the dogs out
Anyway, movin on, another great band I’m a great fan of is AC/DC and my absolute favourite is their song “Highway to Hell” and I have a story for you about that later. Check out the original music video on YouTube
But did you know there is a connection with this song to me adopted home of Perth, Western Australia? I bet ya didn’t know that the road “Highway to Hell “ is real and is the nickname for a road near to my house called “Canning Highway”.
The reason? Bon Scott AC/DC’s frontman grew up around Fremantle. Sadly he died back in the ancient history days of the 1980’s. Released in 1979 “Highway to Hell” was the final album Scott worked on. He would often walk from Fremantle along Canning Highway via the Leopold Hotel and on to the Raffles Hotel, both of which in their day hosted some truly legendary performances from AC/DC amongst others.
Canning Highway a.k.a. Highway to Hell stretches from the Containbow in Fremantle (see my blog on that iconic fixture) all the way to the Art Deco Raffles Hotel and beyond.
Now the fun bit I’m dying to tell you guys and especially anyone planning to be in the Perth region in March, 2020 is, as part of the Perth Festival, the southern part of Canning Highway (one of the busiest roads in Perth) will be closed to cars .
This Highway to Hell will be transformed into a 10km entertainment strip as a tribute to AC/DC. There will be live bands some featuring AC/DC and other music of the 1980s towed along on flatbed trailers. I hear there may even be a reunion of one of my other favourite 1980s Perth bands the Jam Tarts. I would love that!
Recently Grumpy-Human has been “getting healthy” on some new crusade of his. He has taken to dragging me along on these exercising treks. Now normally I’m up for a walk even two a day but come on, 6:30am! I’m not a morning dog!
This morning’s walk took us to an area of Perth I’m not very familiar with: South of Perth Yacht Club and the Canning River foreshore. But honestly it turned out to be a fantastic walk and so many humans and dogs out walking too, I felt guilty for my reticence at getting up so early! And look its cloudy, we like cloudy, that means cool, not HOT weather, first in a couple of weeks!
Anyway, to me story, the big thing was coming across this really ancient old ship. And it has an interesting story all of its own. The ship is called the Duyfken, well a full size replica of the original ship that last sailed over 400 years ago.
Its claim to fame is a little known fact that it made the first recorded European contact with Australia in 1606. Most Australians believe that Dirk Hartog was the first European to set foot in Australia (some even think it was Captain Cook) but this is simply not true.
Captain Willem Janszoon of the Dutch East India Company sailed the Duyfken from Indonesia south east looking for gold in New Guinea. They came across an unknown land but never realised it was in fact a new continent, the island continent of Australia.
It wasn’t until Captain Cook charted Australia 170 years later that the land was recognised as a new continent and not part of Asia or another Indonesian island.
Sadly the Duyfken crew were also the first Europeans to come in contact with Australian Aborigines and it didn’t end well… A bloody conflict ensued and lives were lost on both sides. Not a great start to relations between the two peoples. Perhaps there should have been some European dogs on board, they could have met their Australian Dingo counterparts and showed the Humans how meet and greet is properly done.
Today the Duyfken is used to educate Australia about this long forgotten chapter in its history. It does school trips and tours around the Swan River but has sailed as far away as Europe, dog it doesn’t look big enough for that, count me out of that adventure!
For those interested in finding out more check out the Duyfken website here.
These past few days have seen some pretty hot weather here in Perth, yesterday it was 42C (108F for you old school types). I hate it, I was born in Ireland so this is not natural to me. I have no Dingo, Australian Kelpie or Australian Cattle Dog in me to help. I hold my DNA test up as evidence of that!
So I just don’t cope well with hot weather.
To make matters worse, me Humans are renovating the house so we have NO air-conditioning! I know, I know, me wolf ancestors never had AC either and they survived. But no I’m not soft alright, they didn’t live in Australia.
Me Humans do understand and hose me down or take me to the beach to cool off which is great.
Now I hear some of you Northern Hemisphere dogs saying I have it way to good, mutter mutter as you suffer through winter! But I say NO. it’s not enough peoples! Where is the snow I ask?
Just a few short years ago at this time of year here I was catching snow balls in Germany for Christmas!
Or chasing me ball in a snowy forest!
Or building snowdogs
Or having fun catching the balls falling from the sky. Never understood why they seem to disappear though when you catch em in ya mouth…
Enjoy your summer or your winter guys.
It is hot but it is an Australian summer after all! But please spare a thought for all the brave firefighters here in Australia battling the bush fires across the country. We even have firefighters helping from as far away as Canada!
My Friends, this week I want to introduce you to The Containbow! What is it you say? Well more in a mo.
I was on one of my walks with me humans the other day and we wandered past this thing and I think it’s absolutely wonderful. The locals either love it or hate it but I think its way cool. And the walk along the swan river and up the hill to the Containbow site is great for dog and human. The views across the river and port are stunning.
The Containbow is a sculpture by Perth artist Marcus Canning, installed on a spot overlooking the Swan River and the Port of Fremantle. It forms a rainbow with 9 recycled sea containers brightly painted in the colours of the rainbow.
The Containbow is the universal symbol of hope, welcoming visitors to Fremantle and acknowledges the city not only as a shipping port but as a place of art and culture and even counter-culture. Certainly it represents the unique style of Freo.
It creates some pretty good shade for a dog too! Summer has started in Australia and its already pretty hot.
Now me blog visitors if you have never been to Perth you are in for a treat. Kings Park, in the centre of the city is possibly one of the most beautiful city parks in the world, certainly one of the biggest. And, it’s elevated above the city to about 60 m which gives you wonderful panoramic views of Perth CBD and way beyond.
One of me favourite things about Kings Park is the botanical gardens, I just love the smell of all the flowers and plants.
Coming from Europe I had never seem most of these plants before. The Wild Flowers in particular are so cool and pretty much are native to just Western Australia. I have been with me humans in the countryside this time of year and you can see the Wild Flowers blooming as far as the eye can see.
These are mostly Kangaroo Paw and Pink Everlastings. Although me humans tell me the yellow one is a peppermint tree.
This is the Boab Tree, native to the far north of Western Australia in the Kimberley region.
This is a mystery because its closest relatives are in Africa and it’s totally unlike any other Australian tree. No one knows how it got here when its relatives are on the other side of the Indian Ocean 6000 km away. I tell ya it wasn’t us dogs so my theory is it was the first Humans 75,000 years ago who came out of Africa, travelled around the rim of the Indian Ocean to get here. Or did the seeds drift across the Indian Ocean from Africa? I love a mystery!
I will admit to a certain amount of wee-age on some of these plants, just could not help me-self sorry… But hey, its all for a good cause eh.
These stunning yellow guys are me favourite native Wild Flower, the Banksia. Named after Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who travelled with Captain Cook on his first venture to Australia from England in the 1700’s. See I’m full of facts coz I’m a Border Collie! The Banksia plants are known for the prolific production of nectar which is great for bees and this little guy, the Honeyeater or Red Wattlebird, native to southern Australia.
I love this park and it great views of city and nature, if you ever get to visit Perth ya gotta come up here.
Now sadly after a perfect afternoon of wandering around the park with me Humans we have to go home.
But oh wait… one good thing about being up here is ya can see the traffic on the roads leaving the city…
and this is a Friday afternoon on a long weekend so every Human known to dog is heading south to the southern beaches, wine and food regions for the long weekend.
Oh well we will just have to stay up here a little longer! Here are a few more Wild Flowers to enjoy…
See ya and have a great weekend
Oh, and if ya want to know more about Kings Park and Perth, here is a great web site.
It’s with a glad heart that this Border Collie can report the safe return to the fold of one of me flock. Curly-Human has returned from Europe. I’m guessing on that noisy and frankly dangerous claustrophobic flying contraption, I can smell it on her.
And she had loads of prezzies for the other Humans but all I
got was the bubble-wrap… mutter mutter… Actually I like bubble wrap although me
Humans usually take it off me.
One very happy and very relieved border collie with all
flock accounted for signing off.
Last weekend was such a lovely weekend. The late winter / early spring weather was perfect for going out for a walk. Coincidently me Humans discovered a guided walk around Fremantle harbour run by Fremantle Ports that was dog friendly.
Anyway although me Humans were a little sceptical being locals it turned out way more interesting than any of us thought. Anyone local reading me blog should go along, the walks are free, ya get morning tea chucked in (although me Humans scoffed most of it, all I got was a bitten off biscuit crumb).
The views are spectacular and the guides are really knowledgeable about the port both from a working shipping port perspective to the multitude of animal wildlife and ecological programs going on.
Now I love boats and ships and pretty much anything that
moves on water. I know, I know, I’m a Border Collie but there is something
captivating about so much water and so much activity on the water. Ya sometimes
see dolphins too but sadly not today.
A few facts and figures about the Port of Fremantle in Western Australia. Most of this from the knowledgeable guides: The harbour was opened in 1897. It housed the largest submarine base in the southern hemisphere during WW2. In the 1970’s it was a major entry point into Australia for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants.
Fremantle is a major container port but also hosts cruise ships and many ferries and private pleasure craft.
This Human Dude is C Y O’ Connor, West Australia’s Chief Engineer and responsible for the construction of Fremantle Harbour, something other engineers thought impossible. Sad story though, he was also responsible for building a water supply line to the goldfields at Coolgardie some 330 miles from Perth and is the world’s longest water main. However when first turned on no water flowed and myth has it he was so distraught he committed suicide. The really sad thing is a few days later the water did flow it just took a very long time due to the huge distance.
This boat is the Leeuwin II, a sailing ship based out of Fremantle Port, that is operated by Leeuwin Ocean Adventures a charity group taking young Humans out on 3 day training adventures. Lucky people, I’d volunteer!
That’s it for me this week, I’m off to find a Human to finally chuck me ball.
This time out I’m going to the cool little seaside town of Dunsborough, Western Australia. Last year I had so much fun with me Humans here that I think everyone should know about this little dog friendly jewel located about 250 km (150 miles) south of Perth in the south western part of Australia.
Its dog and people friendly and…
…it has the best pies you will ever taste (if ya can get em off Grumpy-Human that is…).
Now of course the main reason to come to Dunsborough is for the beach, swimming and ball chasing.
And how about our digs in Dunsborough eh? Dog friendly too, local rental property right next to the beach and really good value.
Some things to see and do in and around Dunsborough:
So apart from the fab beaches there is this really great tasting food pub Clancy’s Fish Pub and I’m aloud outside in the garden seating.
Now I think I will have the chilli mussels, Ta.
Whales are pretty awesome creatures and I’m told often sighted of the coast here. Now I had a bit of a squizz but could not see one.
This winery is pretty cool too, not that I like wine much but me Humans seem quite partial to it. I do like the gardens and food however! And for more wine tasting there is always the famous Margret River region a few kms south of Dunsborough.
The Jacaranda tree is one of my favourite trees and not just for peeing on!
We are coming up to the spring bloom in the next few months here in Perth. These are pictures from last year’s Jacaranda festival held in the nearby suburb of Applecross.
The fantastic purple blooms explode across these older Perth suburbs and is a brilliant sight. Not sure if you guys have Jacaranda trees in your neighbourhood, I’m told by me Humans they originate in South America.