The Yallingup Mystery

It’s been longer than normal since my last blog, but sometimes I don’t feel like writing, and I want this to be fun, not a chore. At least now I’ll have some stuff to write about, instead of just filling a page for the sake of it. And the biggest thing that happened these last two weeks was of course the long anticipated arrival of Zoey!

The Spirit of Australia

After doing her time in quarantine in Melbourne, she finally made it home to Perth. I went to the airport in advance in the hopes of taking pictures of her plane coming in for landing, but the wind wasn’t cooperating and her aircraft, called The Spirit of Australia landed on a runway far removed from the viewing platform. I got some pictures, but nothing worth sharing. After her plane landed I made my way to the domestic freight terminal and without much hassle collected her. She didn’t fully recognize me until we were in the car.
You could tell it had been quite the ordeal for the little creature because it took her a few days before she started jabbering again. By now she’s confidently strutting around the place, and safe from a few fights with the others she seems to be fitting in.

We’d thought Harry the cat would cause most issues, since his sister Betty is normally the easy-going one. But that turned out to be wishful thinking. Harry and Zoey tolerate each other and are fine with sharing a couch, sometimes secretly sniffing the other in his or her sleep. But Betty is still hissing and growling from across the room. In one bizarre turn of events she even attacked Harry, which prompted Zoey to sprint across the room and body slam her into the wall. Although she was sticking up for her new playmate, Harry got caught in the crossfire and thought he too was a victim of some Dutch brawling. So the good intent was perhaps lost, yet the balance of power shifted slightly to a more stable position.

Hassle is an understatement

Having the little munchkin with us made all the hassles of getting her here more than worth it, but for those who are thinking of doing the same, be warned. Hassle is an understatement. The only easy thing about moving your cat across the globe is opening the door on the pet-carrier when they arrive home, the rest is stressful and expensive. Still worth it though.

After about a week of adjusting, we packed our weekend-bags and jumped in the car to drive South to Yallingup for a short family holiday. We went to the vacation house Emma’s father built in the bush, and stayed there for four nights. It was lovely spending some quality time with her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nieces.

… soon we had our prime suspects

We arrived on Sunday, and had lunch with Emma’s parents. It was nice to spend some time with them. Especially her father since he normally works and lives in London. Her sister arrived with her family on Monday, and right away Mayse (9) and Molly (7) found telltale signs of a mystery which begged for thorough investigation! So we set out with my camera and other “forensic items” to gather clues. We soon uncovered tyre tracks and a lizard trail. During the day we unearthed more evidence and soon we had our prime suspects, Emma’s parents!

The next day Emma’s father gave us a plastic water gun for us to hide so the girls could find it. You can imagine the excitement when they did. They spend the rest of the day taking modelling photos with my camera. Sare, Emma’s sister, was surprised I would let them run around with my camera, but I told her I still have my travel insurance, so instead of losing equipment, I just had some new stuff to potentially gain.

…they would run many French restaurants into the ground…

On Tuesday evening, Raymond and Helen, Emma’s parents, invited us to dinner. We went to the restaurant run by the people who are catering our wedding. They put together a special tasting menu with several things we selected.
I can not describe how delicious their food is. Halfway through the second appetizer I felt extremely confident about the food at our wedding, and after the first main course, I came to the conclusion that they would run many French restaurants into the ground if they were ever to open up shop there. For those of you who can’t attend the wedding in Australia, fret not, we will have a party in Switzerland the year after. For those of you not invited, tough luck.

The day after, we went to the beach, where I had my first (literal) taste of the Indian Ocean. The water felt cold at first, but was actually quite nice once you got in. I brought my underwater camera and with the help of Mayse and Molly we filmed some whiting swimming around. I tried a little bit of snorkeling myself, but after a mouthful of ocean I decided I gave it my best and retired from snorkeling. When I’m back in France I’m going to score me and the girls some of those full face snorkeling masks. A guy at the beach had one and was so nice to let me try it for a bit. My beard created an opening for the water, but I was still sold on the concept.

…dragging my feet…

Later that day, Sare and Gazy invited everyone to dinner at a beautiful restaurant/art gallery next to a lake. Molly coloured in her colouring-in-sheet kid’s menu and I helped a bit. (Or maybe it was the other way around). Another evening of delicious food left me dragging my feet into the house, filled to the brim with satisfaction. How fortunate am I to not only have such great and fun in-laws, but they also know all the good spots to go for dinner. I reckon in-laws will never replace other family members, but if there was ever a family to come close, I found them in Australia.

Driving back North to Perth today, with patches of bushfire scorched earth whizzing by, I was thinking of how much I would like to proudly show my mates and family in Europe my new home. A small chuckle accompanied the realization that the feeling of home had creeped up on me. And, like me, is here to stay.

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