War Baby

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May 31st 2015
Published: June 6th 2015
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Kangaroojack, meets Dancing Dave and Littlewing
War Baby 31/05/2015

Today the 31st May 2015 is a special day, it is two years to the day when we left our favourite farm on a cold and very wet afternoon to head over to Western Australia, well to head West and flip a coin at Alice anyway. I had forgotten, and Caroline showed me a shared memory from Facebook, I was blown away, two years! Where has that time gone? We have done so much!

Even more excitingly last week a message arrived on Kangaroojack’s travel blog site from a fellow blogger, “Littlewing”, asking us if we would like to meet up andto go and watch a documentary about her father which was to be shown on the History channel on Sunday and furthermore another blogger (Dancing Dave) and his wife Denise also happen to be in Perth and would also be at Littlewing’s mum and dads house to watch the documentary.

How would it be possible to turn down an invitation to meet bloggers we only know by name, when the blog has consumed so much of our lives over the last 6 ½ years, this was going to be amazing.

It transpires Dancing
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Blog Royalty, Denis, Dave and Cindy. Dancing Dave and Littlewing
Dave is in town on business and making the most of the long weekend in Western Australia, to catch up with Littlewing and take in some of the Perth sights.

As a note, our friends Jan and Ted (Skiset), who are not only our dear friends but Travel Bloggers as well, met Dancing Dave, Littlewing and few more bloggers when they had a catch up in Sydney a couple of years ago. With the exception of our friends the Wallaby Wanderers, it will be our very first time we have met other bloggers.

You may remember we hooked up with the Wallaby Wanderers six years ago after they followed our blogs just before they came to Australia for their amazing journey, we met at Lake Tineroo in the Atherton Table Lands in far Northern Queensland, you can read that amazing blog which was titled. “Wallaby Wanderers meets Kangaroojack” this was dated 08/08/2009, when we had been in Australia 274 days where as I type this we are on day 2366.

So the thought of meeting other bloggers was fantastic we were excited, so addresses and times were forwarded to us, we realised we were only about 13
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Can you see where I got the resemblance to father Christmas
minutes away from where Cindy’s family lived and tantalisingly she would not tell us what the documentary was about.

Friday night was the usual, we decided to do our shopping after work as we had a long weekend ahead of us that we wanted to enjoy. Caroline is still on crutches so grocery shopping took slightly longer than usual.

I have to confess I had to look up why we have W.A. day (Western Australia Day) and this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Western Australia Day (formerly known as Foundation Day) is a public holiday in Western Australia, celebrated on the first Monday in June each year to commemorate the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829. Because of the celebration of Western Australia Day, WA does not celebrate the Queen's Birthday Holiday in June, as do the other Australian states; it is held in September or October instead.

Saturday arrived and even though I was up early it took a fair while to get going and once we rallied ourselves we had to post some club shirts to our friends Chris and Jan in New South Wales. do you
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Cindy and her mum Madeline, with Dancing Dave at the back
remember one of our recent blogs (Poor Stewie-It’s a Killer), well that’s who we were posting the club shirts to and I have some good news about “Poor Stewie” he has had a reprieve and is no longer “the chosen one” to be killed for the freezer as he is now too big weighing in at a whopping 642 Kilo’s so Chris and Jan will need to identify the next killer soon.

I bet Stewie is dancing around the paddocks kicking his hooves together with joy!!

So with the post sent we went into Cockburn to grab a coffee and some lunch, then went home and had a snooze in the afternoon. Peter was coming over early evening as we were treating him to a night out at Chutney Mary’s which is an excellent Indian Restaurant in Subiaco. Peter was “home alone” as Leigh flew home to New South Wales on Thursday for their daughters baby shower.

Peter arrived at six, we had a table booked for seven. The restaurant is near the Regal Theatre, when you book a table there they always ask if you are going to a show so they know what time you need to be out by. It was nice to be in Subiaco the last time we were at this restaurant was on our wedding anniversary last year.

We had a great meal and Peter thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter had a fish curry where Caroline and I both had Chicken (Caroline had most of hers in a doggy bag to take home), we are thankful to find a good curry in Australia, believe us when we tell you it’s not that easy, not like the UK.

Once home we had a cup of tea then it was straight to bed.

Waking up to a very cold Sunday morning, strewth it was cold, I had my beeny hat and gloves on when I was outside. I had a project to remodel the storage cage on the back of the Landcruiser. It needed a bit of reengineering to make the space work better for us. So with the aid of a trusty angle grinder, I cut out a few bits here and there to try and make it all work.

A few days earlier I had bribed Peter to come over with his whipper snipper and blower. He duly
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Dancing Dave, taking a photo of me, whilst I took a photo of him
arrived at 10, the barbecue was on, breakfast was cooking, I’m told Peter loves how I do garlic mushrooms, with our breakfast fare of bacon, sausages and hash browns, tomatoes and Chorizo, oh and mushrooms as well, yum!

All work stopped as soon as breakfast was served, we sat outside as the day had turned out and was heading to be a beautiful 23 degree’s, what an excellent temperature and tomorrow is the first day of winter.

After our late breakfast we went back to our jobs and Peter had done a lovely job, he had whipper snipped all the things that needed doing, so we thanked him for being a sport and he went back to their house as he had some things we wanted to do.

We had to be a Cindy’s parents at 2.00pm, so after a quick shower we were ready, Darlings Downs was only a quick hop down the road and we were there.

What a lovely rural area, and a very large house on an acre of land, we gingerly rang the bell and were greeted by Cindy’s dad who looked the spitting image of Father Christmas, let’s just stop at the great big whitebeard though, he didn’t go Ho Ho Ho.

We were welcomed inside, where we met Cindy’s Mum and Dad who names were Not Mr and Mrs Christmas but Ken and Madeleine, Cindy, Dancing Dave and his wife Denise, wow we all had so much to say, and on such a beautiful afternoon of course we sat outside.

We were kindly offered food but were so full from our brunch we could only manage drinkies.

Dancing Dave and Cindy are both moderators on the Travel Blog site, so there was a lot of talk about bloggers, blogging, stats, good things and bad things that have happened but it was great fun really and I think they were very complimentary of what we have achieved and how we have promoted our adopted Country of Australia and the general consensus was we had done it proud.

The afternoon was going so quickly, Cindy is a very serious scuba diver and told us about a lot of her dives all over the world, whilst Dave and Denise told us about their amazing adventures to far off places like Ethiopia, Mali and Timbuktu.

It was five
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Pride of Australia for his contribution to the community
o’clock and we were advised that the show was just about to start so we all took our seats, instantly other family members just descended on the house and in the blink of an eye the house was full, all poised in front of the TV.

The show was presented by Tony Robinson, now Sir Tony Robison or as most people probably remember Baldrick from the sitcom ‘Black Adder”. He is now associated with all things historical as he hosted the show Time Team and now was presenting a show called Tony Robinson’s Tour of duty and this one was from Fremantle in Western Australia.

One of the segments had Cindy’s Dad (Ken Brown) who was a War Baby, (Hence our blog name) his mum had met and married an American Serviceman, who was serving in the armed forces in Fremantle, they married and Ken was born.

Kens Dad was posted somewhere in the world (Outside of Australia) and whilst he was away he wrote to his wife (Kens Mum) and the envelopes which always contained a letter and money were intercepted by Ken’s Grandmother (Kens Mum’s Mum) and she pocketed the money and I believe she
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Denise, Cindy and Caroline
destroyed the letters.

Sadly Ken’s mum thought her husband had been killed in action and Kens father thought his wife no longer loved him as she had not responded to any of his letters and eventually his father went back to Texas and carried on with his life and his mum did the same in Fremantle.

Ken had grown up his whole life believing his farther was not interested in him so never bothered in trying to find him and it was Cindy’s sister Deena who found out that Ken’s father was still alive, he had been shot in the head in the Philippines and I think was sent back to the USA on medical grounds, eventually Ken flew out to Texas to meet him for the first time, after 57 years.

Ken and his father flew back to Australia for Ken’s Mum’s 80th Birthday, so a husband and wife would reunite after all that time.

The program was really amazing, and as Cindy had not given us an inkling what the program was about, and it was the most heart-warming story.

Ken was awarded The Pride of Australia Medal in 2014 for his contribution
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The house was full
to the community, as he and his students were rebuilding people’s houses which had been lost in the fires, he seemed so humble about this when we asked him where his medal was he just said, oh Madeline has put it somewhere, I think he was hoping we wouldn’t push him to see it, (But we did)

After the show, Cindy insisted that we stay for dinner and some of the family had brought offerings, to eat, I particularly enjoyed the Chilli Kangaroo balls, no not the balls of a Chilly Kangaroo but chilli meatballs made with Kangaroo, we had salad, steak, sausages, in fact an amazing buffet which was great.

We had arrived at 2.00pm and had such a full fun packed day we think it was about 9.00pm, when we left. We had such a privileged day.

We got home then it was straight to bed.

Monday was a beautiful morning, It was officially the first day of winter ’I rose fairly early and started to conclude the project that I was doing on the Landcruiser.

I worked outside enjoying the beautiful weather all day, the day peeked at a gorgeous 22 degree’s,
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Caroline was doing our scanning project where we are scanning and digitising all our documents so we can store them electronically and not have so much paperwork hanging around. I was outside in the sun, working on jack.,

With all the washing and ironing done, it was just an easy evening in front of the TV before going back to work, we were going to have to drop her off at her colleagues house who would drive Caroline in to work.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


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Andy, Caroline and Cindy's sister Deena

6th June 2015
War Baby

The smiles say it all
Our pleasure to catch up with "Travelblog's most prolific bloggers"...double the fun...yep...there's not one...but two Kangaroo Jacks. Great times!
6th June 2015
War Baby

War baby
Kangaroojack, meets Dancing Dave and Littlewing...took a great story to bring us together...an even better one heard when we were finally together. What a great time had by all...looking forward to next time!
6th June 2015

Poor Stewie,
Well the time for decision came and poor Stewie was sent to the sale yards last week! Money or a pet? Hard decision but there you go, too big too eat, too valuable to keep. Farewell Stewie, you earned us a lovely $2.30 for each of your kgs! Thank you.
6th June 2015

Poor Stewie,
Well the time for decision came and poor Stewie was sent to the sale yards last week! Money or a pet? Hard decision but there you go, too big too eat, too valuable to keep. Farewell Stewie, you earned us a lovely $2.30 for each of your kgs! Thank you.
6th June 2015

Indian Restaurants in Perth
Really enjoyed your blog, mate, fascinating stuff. Indian near Freo - Maya in Market Street central Freo, exceptional but pricy; Mother India in East Freo, cheep and cheerful and very tasty, the Cove on Canning Highway near North Lake Road is in a romantic old house, or my current favourite Copper Chimney on South Terrace South Freo, corner of Jenkin st, is excellent South Indian fare at a great price. There's curry aplenty in Freo!!
6th June 2015

Travel Bloggers Unite!!
Hi guys, What an amazing story! I'll bet there wasn't a dry eye in the house when the TV programme aired. So sad and so many wasted years but, finally, a story with a happy ending :). So pleased you got to meet Dave, Denise and Cindy, our fellow bloggers. Now perhaps, you'll no longer be giving us a hard time because you hadn't met any of them. :) Sounds as though you all had a fantastic time and, what a gathering to meet at. Caroline, hope that your injuries are much better by this. Love you guys. J & T xoxoxo
6th June 2015

What an amazing family story...
I love happy endings...and that you were able to share it with fellow TBers.
6th June 2015
War Baby

'Bout time!
'Bout time you got yourselves to one of the family gatherings ;-) Sounds like an amazing weekend - hope you put this one in the TravelBlog Album thread!
6th June 2015
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War Baby
Hi JT, Yes it was about time and it was awesome, how the hell do we out it on the TB Album thread and where and what is it. Am I not supposed to ask such stupid questions, but I have too. Our fondest regards as always. Kj
6th June 2015

Thank you so much and sorry about the balls ;)
I cant thank you guys enough for squeezing in time and fitting in with our last minute altered plans - none of us new the episode was going to air until thursday night. It was especially poignant watching it as my grandmother passed away only a couple of months ago. As Jan says, sad and wasted years but also a very happy ending - two ends of time neatly tied. Wars rarely give that opportunity. My sister was showing her french backpackers she is hosting that you can eat Kangaroo and had no idea of your blogger name so I found it hilarious when she turned up with Kangaroo Balls! Was really interesting talking to everybody about blogging, you raised many questions Id never thought about before - why do we blog? It seems we all have our different reasons, but im glad we do, our community is truly awesome. Meeting you both with the absolute pleasure of seeing Dave and Denise again, along with the bloggers I met in Sydney, is a bonus I never thought about when I decided to type my first blog. I really do have to say that you both are awesome ambassadors for our country. Your prolific blogging reflects your amazing quest for adventure in a land you came to to explore - and you certainly have done that. Some of your blogs twig old memories, others make me go..oh we have that in Australia???. Well done and dont stop blogging or travelling...keep in touch - you have cannons to fire ;)
6th June 2015

War Baby
Hey Cindy we had an awesome time, why are you saying sorry for the Kangaroo balls, I am a confused carnivore I love meat , but I love animals, so may be this makes me a hypocrite but they are two different things in my mind. Awesome time/awesome people. Kj
7th June 2015

Great tales!
How fabulous--the TBers meet-up, the happy ending on the War Baby's parent's tale and the story of Ken's Pride of Australia medal! And Jo [blogger=16935]--what is the Travelblog Album Thread? I'm met so many TBers in Bolivia and Peru with whom I'm still close, and I'd love to post photos of our sweet meet-ups and see those of others, too. Caroline--best wishes on getting off those crutches soon and hopping about like a proper Kangaroo!
8th June 2015

War Baby
Hi TaraCloud, Thank you for your message on the blog, it was awesome to meet up with other bloggers was a real treat. Caroline is now off crutches and is getting back to normal, what ever norma is. Our best regards Kangaroojack
8th June 2015

Happy Days
What a fantastic gathering that would've been! I guess the story of Cindy's grandparents was not uncommon back then, sadly, what a treat to get to watch the documentary with her and her family. I love the everyday stories that everyone has, in a way that's the magic of blogging (or a documentary!), sharing them with a wider audience, nobody is without a good story. Here's to many more travelblogging meet ups!
8th June 2015

War Baby
Hi Rachael, thanks for your message, we had an absolute blast, and the documentary was just amazing, what was also great was to be able to put a face to the name, though Dancing Dave has a face that only a mother would love. Our regards Kangaroiojack

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