Meet me at the cactus

Close up cactus

Saw the million dollar artwork for Perth yesterday.

Perth train station

Do I love it?

Am I supposed to?

Is that the point of public art?

I’ll give it this much… it stands out.

And I kind of like that about public art.

It can’t always be tasteful and classic… a statue of the great and good… usually a white male.

Oh yes the statue of Sir Charles Court is due to be unveiled soon…

Not that I’ve got anything against Sir Charles.

I danced with him once at the Shinju Matsuri ball in Broome, and I must say he was quite light on his feet.

But we need more than a statue in Forrest Place.

We need a statement.

Does it make a difference that the artist – James Angus – has an impressive resume.

Has his art in several state galleries and collections.

Holds a masters from Yale.

It shouldn’t.

We should take each artwork on its own merits.

We should respond to it, or not, and gauge its value by the strength of the reaction it evokes.

And on that basis, well, this has to be a triumph.

If nothing else, it is certainly a landmark.

Meet you at the cactus next time we’re in Perth.

Your shout.



Pine trees

I quite often drive by Karrakatta Cemetary and every time I do recently I feel sad for the pine trees, completely stripped of their foliage in that big March hailstorm.

The graves below were covered for weeks with thick mulch.

I am guessing it will be a while before they regrow.

Pine Tree

This is what they should look like…

Pine Tree

And hail damaged cars are everywhere too.

Headlines that make me laugh

Driving down Stirling Highway on the way to work during peak hour in the morning is not fun.

From about eight o’clock it is chockers between Eric St and Claremont shopping centre… and I mean chockers.

But there is one bright spot on the journey…

Funny sign

It’s an office where the old fire station used to be at the top of the hill just before you start the slow crawl past the two private schools whose mummies and daddies insist on dropping their little darlings off… at least I assume that’s why it is so slow… during holidays time the drive is a breeze.

Every week or so there is a new headline…

Last week was “More Storm damage in Victoria” referring of course to the Melbourne Storm rugby league team salary cap fiasco, and before that “All batts are off” referring to the Peter Garrett home insulation embarrassment.

I can’t wait for them to change the signs and I was rewarded with my patience on Saturday when I drove past and saw their comment on the Troy Buswell/Adele Carles affair.


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.


Goodbye girls

What a week!

Two funerals – which to be fair were both uplifting in their own ways.  An odd mixture of celebration and sadness and seeing people at their most real.

I do like this trend of personal funerals rather than the traditional church burials – you really feel you know the person.

As for mine?

I don’t care.

Cremate me in a cardboard box and play Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Suite 1 as you throw my ashes off the ridge at Ennuin (or wherever),  that’d do for me.  It’s up to you. Funerals are for the living not the dead. 

I stopped to smell the roses on the way to work one day this week.  That’s what funerals do for you.

Smelling the roses

It didn’t smell but it did look pretty.

I wasn’t going to talk about funerals today, but I guess they have been a big part of this week.

My crazy protein diet is still on.

Tomatoes and bacon for breakfast – my favourite breakfast and one I rarely have because… well it’s bacon. 

But bacon is protein and therefore allowed.

I’m losing weight.

The girls are going.

Gee it’s been fun having them.  I can see some lingerie purchases will soon be necessary.


But my waist is coming back.  Yay!

I might even be able to bear to buy some scales.

In other news, the other day I was in the city and came across a Free Iran protest.

This I could tell from the banners. 

All the speeches were in Arabic so can’t tell you exactly what the protest is about.

It made me feel good to be an Australian.

How we allow everyone to have their moment to speak publically about issues they care about.

I think we’d all like a free Iran.

So it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow… have any plans?

I’m planning a visit to the beauty parlour – an annual overhaul?

I do hate going and have people fuss over me.

Yes I realise that that makes me less of a woman.

Let me check my care factor… oh… zero.

So I’m stealing myself for some major fuss.

Standby for a sleeker, browner, glossier Cellobella.

Just like me, but better.

Yes day


Today West Australians go to the polls to vote for or against daylight saving.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sky is blue, there’s no wind. It’s tee-shirt weather.

You don’t get mornings like this in summer. Or at least you do… but only if you get up REALLY early.

Of course if you have Daylight Saving you can get up a little later and still enjoy the morning before it gets too hot, but the chances of that happening in this referendum are slim.

Enjoy your mornings while you can peeps.

It’s an argument I’m surprised the Yes campaign haven’t latched onto.

I first heard it on the radio.

An elderly woman rang up and I was expecting the full-on No rant and instead she said that she liked Daylight Saving because it meant it was cool enough for her to walk to her shops in the morning.

She didn’t drive and in a non-daylight saving summer she normally relied on friends and family to drive her as it was too hot to walk. She didn’t like to shop in the evening as she was concerned about her safety in the near-dark and anyway the shops weren’t open! (another referendum fail)

I hope she’s got a lot of friends because she’ll probably need them next summer.

We thought on arrival at our polling place this morning at about 9.30 that we’d got the wrong place.

There were no streamers, no posters… just the sign you see above.

As we left the Yes supporters showed up.

Maybe the Nos slept in?


Fire Tweets

kinglakeI’m new to Twitter and so if this sounds a little evangelical, a little newly converted, my apologies.

I’ve been following the fires in Victoria via my twitter feed, getting updates from 774melbourne and CFA.

And I really feel connected. As much from the official tweets as the more informal ones from other twitterers in the area.

I’ve also tuned into 774’s emergency coverage on the stream.

The news is grim. Many lives lost, hundreds of houses, towns have disappeared.

At the time of writing this, 36 people have been confirmed dead.

And the fires continue.

13 minutes ago:

CFA advises people in the Dederang area to stay in their homes or head to a neighbour’s . Implement your fire plan. It is too late to leave

I hope you are safe.

Keep Cott Beautiful

Seems the Town of Cottesloe read my post about the Michael Jackson litter campaign and decided to update their signage.  Hope it works although I will miss having a giggle at the old posters.

The weather this Christmas break has been beautiful.  High 20s to low 30s.  Crystal clear days.

Not what I’d call shark weather.  You know, those oily November days where the sea is flat and grey.

And yet it has been shark weather.  A fellow got taken off Port Kennedy and yesterday on our walk the authorities pulled everyone out of the water.

It was like a scene from Jaws.  A beautiful beach day with everyone standing on the beach or the groin looking for a fin. 

Five helicopters were circling overhead.

We didn’t see the shark and walked home.

Meantime once again I have proved myself to be a bad mother.

Last night we invited our son’s friend’s parents over for a Christmas drink.

“So did Hugamuga get a good report?” they asked making small talk.



We hadn’t seen his report!!

That’s bad isn’t it?

He did really well I think – 3 A’s in the core subjects… and they are the subjects that count!

Thank you America!

The enduring image for me will be two women at my work embracing each other, tears in their eyes, saying to me “finally I can be proud to be American.”

It was a magic moment and I was glad to witness it in my lifetime.

Thank you.

And to give McCain his due – it was the most gracious concession speech I’ve heard in a long time.  Impressive.

It feels like a new world.

And what’s that feeling I’m having… um… haven’t felt it for a while… oh I know…


Bali Bombers on death row

You know, I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable with this endless… what would you call it… vigil… wait… for the deaths of the Bali bombers.

It’s as if as soon as they are gunned down by the firing squad the whole of Australia can take a deep breath and feel safe again.

It’s bollocks.

Three more deaths is not going to bring our innocence back.

Yes, these men committed a heinous crime. No one could dispute that.

Yes, they don’t appear to be repentant. At all.

And yes I so feel for the families and the victims of the attack.

But to say these men deserve the death penalty just feels so wrong to me.

I don’t believe in the death penalty. I don’t think it solves anything. It doesn’t bring the victims back. It doesn’t deter others.  It makes martyrs of criminals.

And how can the Australian government appeal for clemency for Australians overseas if we don’t speak up for these men?

All the death penalty does is bring law abiding citizens down to the same level – and I don’t want to go there.

I just don’t want to go there.