I took a drive out to the airport yesterday afternoon to check the new road into the place. It’s all changed recently and I don’t go there often.

Going in was dead easy, but I’m glad I checked because there’s a specific lane marked for rental car returns. Now I’m prepared.

I just drove into the carpark then straight out again, within the 10 minutes allowed for drop offs, so I didn’t have to pay anything.

But going out of the airport, heading for home again, I got completely bamboozled. I was in the left lane of a two lane section when I came on a split into two single lanes. The left lane was signposted Armadale and the right lane to Midland. I didn’t want to go south to Armadale so I hurriedly switched across to the Midland lane, thinking I was going to go via Roe Highway or whatever.

But my choice of lane started to veer left and went into a very tight 40Kmh 270deg turn! I couldn’t work out which way I was going and there was no choice, I just had to keep going. I was swearing and cursing because I’d lost my sense of direction. I didn’t know where I was going.

It soon became clear that I was headed for Great Eastern Highway, going east. I turned at some traffic lights, thinking I’d find a way to go north or west, but once on Gt East. Hwy you’re constrained by the railway line on the left. I just had to keep going, trying to find a way back to Roe Hwy. My GPS was no use as it was still trying to direct me back to the airport and it’s too risky to try to reprogram it while driving.

To cut a long story short, I reached Guildford before I was able to turn left over the river bridge and rejoin Roe Hwy. What a debacle. All because I was confused by that sudden split into two lanes back near the airport. They are utterly confusingly signposted.

I won’t be caught like that next time, and I may be being picked up when I come back from Bali so I won’t be driving, but it’s possible I might need to do the rental car thing in reverse. I mean book a car to be picked up at the airport on my arrival about 11pm and drive it home. Cost – $52. Cheaper than a taxi.

Holy smoke, the distance from here to the airport is 55Km and takes a full hour to drive. I’m a long, long way out. On the way home my GPS suddenly said, “You have been driving for two hours. Please consider stopping for a rest.” Two hours and I was still on Reid Highway.


I don’t like blowing my horn at other cars but I had to yesterday. The right lane was stopped at the lights at Quinns while the left lane, my lane, was clear and green. There seemed to be some problem with a car at the lights in the right lane and the tail back drivers were getting frustrated.

So one of them tried to suddenly cross into the left lane just as I was coming up at about 60Kmh. I had to blow the horn and brake a bit. He stopped his move and it was OK. But the thing is, if he’d just moved out slowly, I would have let him cross in front of me, given way to let him out. But no, he had to move suddenly, which surprised me. Fool.


Is this winter again, or what? Funny weather. Rain, rain, grey clouds. Good for the gardens and lawns.


I was using spray on lawn fertiliser from 2 litre containers on Saturday and was about to start, with the hose snapped on, when I was distracted and put the full container, with the hose attached, down on the garden wall (about 300mm high). I forgot about it and didn’t notice it again until yesterday.

The wind must have knocked it over and I found it upside down on the lawn next to the garden wall. But when I picked it up, it was empty, and the lawn where it had been was completely black in a circle about 100mm across.

It seems that all the fertiliser had leaked out from the holes in the container cap, onto that spot of lawn, and burnt it black. All 2 litres of it. Wow, this’ll be interesting, because that area of soil will be saturated with this full strength fertiliser. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I might get a big burst of growth in that spot.


My blog seems to have picked up a couple of followers and one has obviously been doing an awful lot of reading, because he’s commented on a post from last Xmas. Thanks mate, and I hope you’re enjoying what I’ve written. Boy, I’ve written an awful lot – 1156 words in this post alone. I’ve been writing it for six years now. All my posts are quite long and I’ve done about 735 by now. When I use Blog Booker to make a book out of it, it’s thousands of pages. I wonder if anyone will ever read it after I’m dead and buried, like in 100 or 500 years’ time.

I’ve read a bit of Samuel Pepys’s diaries written between 1660 and 1670 and they’re fascinating. I’ve got a BBC set of CDs of the diaries being read with atmospheric sound effects, and it’s 11 discs! That’s more than 12 hours of material. I’ve only just made a start on them. I find it hard to concentrate and stay on the voices unfortunately. My mind wanders and I have to go back and replay sections.


Bali next Sunday and I’d better start my packing. I need to take an awful lot besides just clothes these days. All my dozen medications, tablets, my insulin injectors and the means to keep them cold. Some bandages and Inodine patches (iodine) just in case. Pill containers, with enough spares for another week in case the ash cloud delays the return flight.

All the camera gear, but besides that, two chargers and power cords. My laptop with power brick and cords, and an HDMI cable to plug it into the hotel’s TV if I can.

My CPAP machine with all its hose, mask and power cable. A power board so as to avoid needing too many power plug adapters.

My tripod and head.

Phew, clothes and toiletries are the smaller part of packing these days.


My Sony phone is not proving itself very reliable. Three times now it has locked up completely, such that I can’t even turn it off. I’ve had to take the back off and press that tiny reset contact while pressing the power button to make it restart. Luckily it comes up OK, but this is not good. Bad dog, Sony.

2 comments on “Reconnaissance

  1. I’ve been a TOP reader for many years and when Mike mentioned your blog I took a look. I got intrigued by your references back to things in the past, and have spent about four days reading your blog to get to the present. I think it will make a great book.

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks very much. Wow, four days reading my stuff? I’m even more flattered. I get no feedback, normally, virtually zero, so I don’t know whether no-one is reading, or if my writing is too boring or too personal or what. Therefore I can only write what I’m thinking.

    I’m not intending to make it into a book. The BlogBooker web site I mentioned is only a way of extracting all the web material and turning it into a pdf for my future archive. It’s not meant to be a book for general publication.

    I do intend to write my memoirs, that is, my memories of all the things in my life (I’m 69) before they’re lost, without including too much personal stuff. I will write that as if it would be a book for general reader interest. I have hundreds of photos going back to the 1950s which really should be preserved. But I’ve only made a tentative start so far. Better get a move on, eh?

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