Trackside at Karrakatta

Karrakatta from the tracks

Another incident stopped the trains last night, well, stopped the Fremantle line, and this time I was on the train.

The train stopped about 25 m shy of the Karrakatta platform.

The driver’s voice came over the PA – “Passengers.  There has been an incident and the train will be stopped for a while.  Please be patient.”

(or something along those lines)

Of course most of us can guess what that means.

A short time later fire and emergency trucks started to arrive, lights flashing, and we could hear people shouting along side the train.

Couldn’t really hear what they were saying though, and we couldn’t see down the train to what the problem was.

Then an announcement came over that we should stand back from the doors which were going to be opened and a fellow jumped in and said that “Obviosuly there’s been an accident, please be patient, and you probably don’t want to look out the windows on the left hand side.”

Well of course then most people looked out the windows but from our carriage – the front one – you couldn’t see anything.

Then followed a period of waiting with emergency personnel running up and down alongside the train.

Then the lights went out.

I saw a blanket being passed down.

Someone running by with a kit of some kind.

Lots of shouting.

Eventually we saw people walking past which is when we realised they were evacuating the train carriage behind us.

And then we saw a ladder come past and we were asked to go to the front of the carriage to disembark.

We used the ladder to hold onto to jump safely to the ground with the help of tough looking emergency officers… tough but gentle.

And walked along the track to the platform where more emergency officers were standing by to help us up.

I thought they might debrief us but instead we were asked to move to the side of the road where busses would be coming to take us down the line.

They were very efficient in getting us all off the train safely.

I forgot of course to “tag off”.  (For non-commuters – you tag off with your electonic smartrider card to show that you’ve left the train)

In the end I got a lift home with a kid who had got his mum to pick him up.

In fact, turns out I knew her from my kids’ first school.

Small place, Perth.

You just have to feel sorry for the family and for the poor driver.

Weather with you

Rainy Royal Street

You can tell it has been a dry winter when I’m blogging OMG it’s raining posts.

OMG it’s raining!

No really.

It is.

It is sooooo nice to see the rainwashed pavements, to see the thundercloud gloom spread through the big picture windows of the office.

Yes I have raised the blind to let in more light and watch the rain sheet across my vision.

But then.

I could have predicted rain this end of October.

It always rains around my birthday.


I predict the traffic will be woeful this afternoon.

Perth can’t handle the rain!  (she says in her best Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men style)

Perth motorists plus puddles equals traffic chaos

Standing still

Expect delays the sign said over the Kwinana Freeway.

Well duh.

By the time I saw this sign – about 150 metres on the Perth side of the Mt Henry Bridge – I’d already been sitting in standstill traffic for twenty minutes.

I’m quite fond of the Mt Henry Bridge – my dad was the Director of Engineering for the company that built it and I went to the opening – but I’m not keen to spend my Tuesday afternoon admiring the view from that vantage point.

A “police incident” at Leederville Train Station apparently closed both the Joondalup line and two lanes of the freeway heading north.

I was on my way home from Bunbury.

It took me an hour to get to East Perth and I was grateful that I’d decided to catch the train in this morning rather than my car.

The tunnel (another Dad project) was chocablock.

Perth is rubbish when there is traffic.

One can only guess what the “police incident” was – and my heart goes out to those involved.

On the scale of things, sitting in traffic is – as Groover might say – a “nothing burger”.

It’s raining it’s pouring

Or at least it was when I was trying to walk home…

Two commuters cower under the shelter at Cottesloe Train Station as the rain pours down.

What better way to follow a post about sex than by talking about the weather?

I watched the line of showers all afternoon at work knowing that in all liklihood it would be raining when I got home.

This is the radar image from the BOM website showing a line of showers over Perth

And even though I could see the drops of rain dripping down the windows of the train outside I wasn’t prepared for just how heavy the rain was when the doors opened.

Course I couldn’t get my brollie open before the doors closed so like the rest of the startled and unprepared commuters I ran to the small shelter.

Only in Perth do people wait for the rain to stop and, once I’d ascertained that there was no chance on my husband coming to pick up his soggy damsel in distress I wrestled with said umbrella, zipped up all my bags and set off home.

And you know I would have got home relatively dry – apart from the bottom third of my trousers – except for that tosser who went through an enormous puddle and sprayed me with water as I walked innocently past.

Still the rain is nice I guess.

Later I saw a national weather map with a fairly impressive low over the south west.

Cool huh?

(okay I realise that only my fellow fans of the weather channel will be excited about this)

This radar image shows the south of Australia including a spectacular low over the south west

The day after the rain

On Sunday, the sky was the deepest blue:

Umbrella Tree

Then yesterday Perth had the worst storm certainly since 1994 – a storm which knocked over our back fence and uprooted our tree – and probably since 1978’s Cyclone Alby.

The storm was intense where I was and I was nowhere near the centre.

In the city the hail was fingernail size rather than tennis ball sized but the hail came in horizontally and the rain was very heavy.

The thunder cracked the sky causing the ground to shudder and the lightning was intense and frightening.

I was in my car.

With the traffic a nightmare – Perth was in gridlock – I decided I would do more good if I went back to work to help out.

I got home about nine thirty.

By that time the roads were clear – clear of traffic – but covered with debris.

We were lucky – no damage.

Groover who was in Floreat at the time of the hailstorm had parked undercover and his car was spared the very large hail that fell there.

Early Morning Clouds

This morning the sky was blue with a few Simpson like clouds scudding across the sky.

The air felt fresh and washed.

But it soon became hot and humid.

We expected more storms today but they didn’t seem to happen, well not near me.

It made for a beautiful sunset.


My commute

I thought I should report in after a week commuting.

My destination is Claisebrook and while I wait for my train every afternoon I sit and watch the cars whizz by heading for the “Polly Pipe” (the Graeme Farmer Freeway tunnel), a journey I used to drive for the last few years.

At this time of the year the traffic flows well but I look forward to the summer holidays being over and me alighting a train while the cars crawl by.

So far I must say, so painless.

I love being able to read on the way to work, something very tricky to do when you are driving your car.

I can call people without risking a $250 fine.

And apart from all that there’s a feeling of “being pious” and “doing good”.

I walk to the station in the morning – a five to ten minute affair – often stopping off at the deli for a piece of fruit for lunch or some such.

In the winter that might be a bit meh but at the moment it’s lovely to walk through the ‘burb.

Walking back is a little warmer, still with my runners on, not too bad and hey it’s more exercise than I’d get from driving.

It also makes you feel part of the world, commuting.

Seeing everyone else on their way to work, school or play.

Sort of a “we’re all in this together” kind of feeling.

So commuting gets a thumbs up from me after one week, the only question remaining is why I haven’t always commuted.

I guess it’s simply because I had a cheap parking space.

For those of you interested, I made a little video of my journey home last night.

Not the most riveting of films, I won’t tell a lie, but possibly of interest if you’re from Perth as you might recognise some of the landmarks.

You’ll see some of the Claremont redevelopment for example.

Anyway here ’tis:

Old books and old friends

If you see me commuting by train this week – oh yes, I’m a train commuter now – you’ll spot me reading an ancient book my mother owned.

Billabong’s Daughter by Mary Grant Bruce.

I love the Billabong books but these days they are a bit politically incorrect.

Make that very non PC and I think the newer editions have been… sanitised.

It’s about a station in northern Victoria (I think) just after the First World War and the story is about the squatter Jim Linton and his family.

They act like the upper class might in England, dispensing largess to the lesser well off or should that be ‘orf’.

Far different to squatters of today who (for the most part) are the lesser well off.

There’s lots of cattle mustering and you do get a feel for the country back at the turn of the last century.

They are… quaint… I guess and part of the attraction to me is the fact that my mum used to love them when she was a gel.

Commuting with Billabong has been great so far, although the walk home can be a bit warm.

The five day liquid only diet has come to an end.

I’m not sure I’ll willingly do it again.

It hasn’t been too hard in terms of keeping to the apple juice/ginger root three hourly drinks (bleah) but it is boring drinking liquids all the time.

And I don’t think I’ve lost any weight which I’m disappointed in. I rather hoped I might kick off my new year a bit slimmer. Sigh.

Work has been busy but I must confess sitting the heat out in office air-conditioning has been pleasant.

On the last Sunday before I had to go back to work I went out for drinks at Salt, down at Port Beach with some friends.

The liquid-only diet doesn’t preclude alcohol but I did limit myself to just the one beer. 🙂

We met this couple nearly ten years ago in Bali – we scabbed a lift to Club Med with them – and since then we’ve become close friends.

Salt is great on a sunny Sunday afternoon. They have someone singing… the food is (looks) great and the beer is cold.

They style themselves as a nano-brewery and I tried the wheat beer – the Heifweisen (or something like that).

I enjoyed it.

Next time I want to try the pizza.