We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!

We left Bunbury early this morning (Wednesday , Feb. 28) after a grand concert with extraordinary singing from the crowd who gathered. What a wonderful venue.

We had a very attentive audience from the moment we entered the cathedral.

And we are looking more like we have some colour to our pale white northern skins.

Though some of us are gaining colour slower than others.

Tour leader Scott has led us to many places, and we are suffering the hardships of our stay with admirable fortitude. Here are some views from the porch of our apartment hotel in Mandurah, thanks the the host congregation for such a wonderful place to stay. We may not leave for weeks!!!

But, first, a concert here in Christ Church, Mandurah.

After Sunday, a day of rest!…but first…

[Photos today taken by Barbara Liotscos because my camera and iPad aren’t talking to one another!]

Worship on Sunday at St. John’s, Albany was a new challenge for us…we had our instruments but no sound equipment…we had to do it “unplugged!” It’s odd how we get so reliant on technology to make us sound good; we forget that it used to be all unplugged!

After church, a quick load out and off towards Bunbury. During our travelling from Albany to Bunbury, Scott, our intrepid tour leader, led us first to Boston’s Brewery for lunch and then to a never-anticipated sky walking adventure among the Tingle Trees.

Here, led by fearless (or was that terrified beyond words) Sarah we began our walk among the trees, climbing this catwalk in the air some FORTY METERS (that’s about 130 feet) up into the trees, who still soared above us. The pictures can speak better than me about that day!

We spent the night Sunday and all day Monday in the Caravan Park in Bunbury, resting, doing laundry, and setting up equipment. Since this is Tuesday, we are prepared for our concert tonight — after a trip to the wildlife park this afternoon and a sound check.

So, the saga continues!

Albany Concert & Worship

Much country has been covered and many wonderful people have been met since last I wrote.

We left Kojonup filled with delightful memories and having held our first concert, and travelled to Albany, on the southern ocean. We had delightful hosts for our stay. Peter and Marion and the other billet-hosts helped us unload, set up, and then took us into their homes for supper before the concert. We had a great time at the concert, with over 100 attending–very enthusiastic and willing to sing.

Thanks to Barb Liotscos for the picture.

Saturday, we had time to tour and explore, visiting The Anzac Centre and the fortifications at entrance to Albany Harbour. Delightful tour guides, but most importantly, an awe-inspired display centre honouring the Australian and New Zealand participants in W.W.1, particularly at Gallipoli.

Then we went to the last remnant of whaling, a station in Albany which is now a tourist centre. Again, we ate stupendously. Here’s the view from the dining porch.

And, of course, the obligatory picture to prove we are still alive and well…note the photobomb in the background.

Then it was off to The Gap (at ocean’s edge) a distillery visit, and home to our billets.

Sunday morning we rose, led music in worship at St. John’s Anglican Church in Albany, then headed (by scenic routes–that’s for the next post) to Bunbury.

Two final photos from Albany, the view from our billet’s home of Albany Harbour.

That’s enough for now. More to come!

Too old? Not yet!!!

Kojonup, Western Australia, hosted the first concert in our series. An agricultural town and shire, the people really know how to make a group welcome.

During the afternoon sound check, our listeners almost out-numbered the musicians. But by concert-time it was filling up well.

The memorial hall was filled with enthusiastic first timers, and for us at least, they know how to get things off well: all had a choice of juice, or a dark or light sherry, chips and nibbles. Great idea!

The hall was a great place to sing, being rated as such by an Aus. Agency.

And then at intermission, a light supper (sandwiches, “slices” and candies, plus tea, coffee made for a fun evening with new friends. THANK YOU, Kojonup!

Now we’re off to Albany.

Amazing Sights Today

We went, as earlier said, to The Pinnacles, a formation of rocks emerging from the desert sands.

On the way north we caught this glimpse of the Indian Ocean.

It is really that blue!

Then, on to Nambung National Park, site of the Pinnacles! The sand is really that yellow!

Hot, but still energetic, Sarah and I, along with the rest of the Common Cup, headed back south.

(I know, not a very flattering shirt–too Form-fitting)!!

We stopped at Yanchep National Park on the way home, saw Koala bears hiding in the trees (my iPhone couldn’t capture them, but just wait!) And as we were leaving we met these sweet things.

Tomorrow begins the concert journey, we move to billets, and sing our hearts out! Blessings to all.

Where Does The Time Go?

Day 7 is beginning (it’s 6:40 am here),and I just realized we’ve been here a week. I’m sitting on the deck, coffee in hand, listening to the birds greet the rising sun. Common Cup has finished the first run through of all our tour songs, figured out rented equipment, and partied into our comfort zones. Now we’re ready for the serious work of concerts, touring, and sharing music.

Yesterday we took a short break and did lunch and a swim at Hillary’s Boat Harbour (google it!). It was a warm sunny day and some of us got wet in the Indian Ocean! No pictures of the wet ones are allowed!–but we did feast…again, ni pictures!

Today we will go to The Palisades, a featured geological area. Also, we hope to do some serious (for us) swimming. Hopefully we can share some pictures from today.

For those of you reading this while it’s still yesterday, the immediate future is still here! Thanks for reading…more later!

Starting our Down-Under Tour

We made it–all of us–to Perth, to Gwelup and the Karrinyup Waters Caravan Park. Arriving Saturday afternoon, Sarah and I were met by Scott, and taken to the unit we will share ’til Wednesday morning, when we hit the concert road.

Today (Sunday) we set up equipment, got acquainted with our rental equipment, and began a sound check. Then tonight, Scott treated us to a slightly Canadianized Australian Barbecue.

There was also a shopping trip to get all of us Sim Cards so our phones would work here. And groceries! And items forgotten! And some of us (certainly NOT me) have gotten to a first-name basis with the manager of the nearby “liquid libations centre!”

So, weary, sore fingered (guitar fingers), fed to the brim, and enjoying the plus 25 nighttime temperatures, I will sign off until tomorrow. Blessings abound!

Catching up with friends

Friday, in Sydney, we had time for ourselves–dealing with the essentials like grocery shopping, laundry, and the like. Partly that was to let Sarah’s knee heal a bit. You see, getting off the plane the other day she bent it wrong, and it has been wrapped and iced much of the rest of the time. So, we persevere and take care.

And that did not stop us from discovering lots of things to see and do, including meeting with Darren Liepold and Brian Nicholson, two ministry colleagues from Canada who are now living and working in we went out to eat, enjoyed great conversations and told extraordinary tales about our lives and work, who knew the church could be so similar in different countries and cultures?

So, to continue the tradition, here’s Friday’s picture of Brian, Darren, Sarah, and Bob feasting. Saturday we fly to Perth where the working part of this trip will begin.

Oh, and s it is Chinese New Year, here’s one of my favorite displays for the celebration. Look closely!!!

Water, sun and surf!

G’day from Sydney. Well, we are really here! Today we had a delightful cruise through much of the harbour here in Sydney. Our guide was insightful and we learned a lot about this amazing city’s history.

Then, after lunch with newly-met friends from the boat tour, (here from Edinburgh) we had a bus tour of the southern half of the landward side of the harbour, with another well-versed historian/guide/driver. We saw some amazing sights, and I even got “just a bit wet” at Bondi Beach…warm sands and splashing surf…with pictures on camera, not phone, so they’ll have to wait for you to see them.

Then topping off a full, fun day, supper tonight at Harpoon Harry’s, just across from our hotel.

Tomorrow we are on our own during the day, then meeting friends Darren and Brian for supper. And just last night I got a phone call from Scott, welcoming us to Australia. I guess it is all coming together.

The long journey!

Monday, Sarah and I began the day in Calgary, journeyed to Los Angeles, changed planes and terminals, and boarded the Quantas flight to Sydney.

Wednesday we arrived in Sydney…what happened to Tuesday? It seems to have disappeared!

Now we are in the hotel in downtown Sydney with a new Aussie phone number and no one to call!

Showers will feel nice!