Australia !

August 2022

Where do we start? Because of Eleanor’s -currently spaced out- treatment reviews and associated tests, we were able to plan ahead, grabbing a chunk of time that we could find a few weeks to travel in. It took a few months of organising; insurance, medical clearance and timing it just right, but we did it! Of course this didn’t detract from the worry of being away from home and away from our comfort blanket.

December 2012

August 2022

For the first time, just shy of 10 years, Eleanor was able to return to Perth in Western Australia to pay her Grandad a visit, he has visited the UK on a few occasions during this time, but it was so nice for us to be able to get away to visit him, and feel free of hospitals for a little while! Similar to a lot of long distance families; Eleanor’s Mum (Kelly) also hadn’t seen her Dad for almost 4 years, due to the pandemic.

We really couldn’t have done it without the help of Eleanor’s medical team at The Royal Marsden, Insurancewith for being so helpful in making sure Eleanor was fully covered whilst we were away and Qatar Airways for looking after Eleanor (and us) so well – right through from ground staff to cabin crew, in London and especially Doha!

Above all Eleanor’s ‘Gaga Ray’ and ‘Nana Carol’ for covering the majority of the airline ticket costs and for looking after us so well whilst we were there.

Here are just some of the highlights, we did so much and visited so many more places, but we hope you enjoy this small selection of pictures; they are memories we will all treasure dearly…

With a huge amount of campaigning by Dad (Tim), some very helpful contacts, and thanks to the wonderful Qatar Airways, Eleanor’s outbound travel was in luxury and style. After all she’s been through so far, she deserved nothing less! Before take off, Eleanor is seen here sat in her business class seat, reading the airline’s safety briefing in braille and holding her apple & mint smoothie for a ‘cheers’.

After a couple of days, one of our first destinations was to ABC Radio Perth where Eleanor was interviewed live on air for the daytime show with ABC presenter Christine Layton. Much more about that and the full interview, can be found on this page here. The picture above was taken at the studio, just before going live on air and is of Kelly, Tim, Eleanor, Christine Layton and Ray.

On Sunday 21st August we were treated by Ray, along with his wife Carol to a meal at The Royal Perth Golf Club, in part to celebrate Tim’s birthday and as a big get together, so some good friends could also meet a little girl they’d heard all about, but had never met!

During our trip, there were a few visits to wildlife parks and Eleanor relished in being able to touch and smell the cutest animals up close and personal. Apparently Koalas smell like eucalyptus!

Despite needing sight to play most video games, we decided to take Eleanor along to The Nostalgia Box, Perth’s very own retro gaming museum, in fact it is Australia’s one & only video game console museum! The proprietor David Green kindly arranged for us to have a quiet hour, all to ourselves, so Eleanor could feel all the retro game consoles, where this isn’t usually possible. David helped Eleanor to access the retro consoles and explained all about their history. David is using this experience to further his understanding of accessibility at his museum, and to this end, is also working with VisAbility (Western Australia’s sight loss support organisation); so that hopefully one day very soon it is accessible to more visually impaired people.

More animals and of course Kangaroos who all took a shine to Eleanor – probably something to do with the fact she had food to feed them!

Sunset at Cottesloe beach, probably one of the most iconic locations in Western Australia. Eleanor can just about see enough to appreciate some of the final moments of a sunset.

Whilst in Cottesloe we had arranged to meet up with one of Eleanor’s colleagues from The Old VicMichael Burrows was just one of the many staff there that made the building tick behind the scenes. He is an accomplished author, poet and screenwriter; go check out his website! We had such a lovely meal, meeting his wife Kate and generally catching up, such lovely people. Just wishing our night would have lasted longer.

Our visit to Rottnest Island (1). We really couldn’t come to Perth without a trip over to Rottnest to get an all important Quokka selfie (even ‘Doggy’ got one too).

Very special memories we will not forget in a hurry. Can’t wait to go back.

Kelly, Tim & Eleanor. x

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