A strange week

Sunset drinks in Broome

My son went in for a pretty serious operation on Friday.

It was scary.

After three hours on the table he was weak and groggy.

This is of course not unexpected, just horrible to see when it’s your baby, your son, your brother.

He is recovering quickly. Resting a lot.

And. Finally. Home.

To distract myself this week (coincidentally) I travelled to Karratha and Broome (Monday-Thursday). That’s what I mean by a strange week.

I love travelling north.

I like the people I catch up with. I like the environment. I like the red dirt and the dreaming.

I didn’t wear my brand new sandshoes*.

The photo is me and Madelaine having a sunset St Clair Sav Blanc at Cable Beach.

Needless to say my exercise regime has been compromised…

Sunday: Social Rowing
Wednesday: Erg session at hotel
Friday: Just a lot of nervous energy

*the Pindan dirt would stain them in seconds flat

Rottnest holiday

Rottnest Island.

Expensive but if you are there for more than two days you fall in love all over again.

And you truly relax.

You just have to block out how much you are spending.

Kickstart the holiday

What’s the best way to say – mate.  I’m on holidays.

For me, it’s taking off immediately for Dunsborough.  Even if it is only for a couple of nights.


We are lucky in that Mum and Dad have built down there so spur of the moment getaways are possible and yet this is the first time we’ve been down all year.

Mind you. This is my first holiday this year.

View from the bed

We had a lovely break and raced the bad weather back to Perth well rested and planning our next visit.

While down there I caught up with my sister’s blog.

She is a homeschooler – really a wholeschooler – and I am continually amazed and impressed with how she is raising her kids to be truly themselves.

If she lived in Perth I would ask her to homeschool my kids!

I would beg her.

My niece is equally impressive. She has set up an animal rescue program to rescue dogs on death row.

How amazing is that?

What was I doing at her age?

Reading crap novels probably.

And my nephew is acting in Shakespearean plays in adult productions.

Yeah I would totally get her to homeschool my kids.

Cigars and Stories

Where have I been?

Well its been busy and I have been a poor correspondent.

So this post is a catch up on stuff… and I won’t get caught up in trying to put things in order… you’ll just have to roll with me here.

OMG so good

It’s been a week since I caught up with my Brisbane colleagues and went out for an amazing meal at Cutler and Co in Melbourne.

The food was amazing… those little ‘cigars’ were filled with foie gras, which I know is not particularly good for the goose, but tastes amazing.

The cigars were one of the ‘surprise’ courses.

The wine was even better thanks to the superior judgement of the two in charge of the wine menu and I was quite glad that I didn’t see the prices so that I could enjoy the wine without the taint of “OMFG How much???!!”  You know how it is.

It felt good to be in the Queensland gang and I am still chuffed I was included.

What a sexy cycling get up

Okay this was a couple of weeks ago when Groover joined me in Melbs for a dirty weekend.

We went to Lygon St to catch up with The Cuteness (see below somewhere) and then picked up bikes at the share bike station, bought a couple of helmets at the local 711 for $5 each and cycled our way through the CBD back to the hotel.  Great fun and good value.

The helmets are good quality and we squeezed them into our hand luggage for use at home.

Not that we have bikes but you never know when they might come in handy.

The cuteness

Enough said.

This is my niece.  She is very gorgeous.

Foggy Melbourne

I hadn’t seen foggy Melbourne before.

At Pony Fish Island

We went to this little bar which is on an island in the middle of the Yarra.  Very groovy.  They even serve mulled wine there sometimes.

Brisbane sunshine

This is the week before in Brisbane.

The view from the training rooms at the office.

Great view huh?

In full flight

A week after the bike riding back in Perth, we go out with some friends to see Ira Glass and This American Life in the cinema.  If you missed it, you can hear what we saw here at This American Life.

It was a great show.

It underlined to me a couple of things… one:  how distracting the visual can be!  David Sedaris dressed up as a clown for his story and I don’t remember the story AT ALL.

Two:  How telling stories without notes is SO MUCH BETTER than watching someone read.

I am going to aim for NO NOTES in future.

It is one of the very impressive things I’ve always noticed about Colin Barnett btw.  He must have to give hundreds of speeches and I’ve never seen him with notes.

And for those freaking out that I’ve mentioned a person from a political party – I’m sure it is not because of the party he represents.  He’s just a good public speaker.

After the film we trooped around the corner to a little lane way bar called Ezra Pound.

It’s a tiny bar full of mismatched furniture, with a limited wine and even more limited food menu but it’s cute and groovy and a little bit hip.

I felt very much in-the-know taking my friends there…

We told stories, drank wine and beer and ate some pretty sexy olives.

My new office

When I got back to Perth I had to find somewhere to “live” at work.

I’ve been seconded to another position for a couple of months.

So I now have an office.

Very exciting and a bit lonely too if I’m honest.

Apart from all that.  Not much storm damage and all family well.

The secret signs of cleaners

So I am in Brisbane at the moment.

My last night in fact and tonight, when I got back to my room and headed straight for the bathroom I sighed with contentment when I noticed the message from the cleaner:

The sign of attention to detail

Whenever I see the little folded triangles it’s like the cleaner has left a little sign for me.

See, they are saying, I have cleaned your room.

And I, as the temporary occupant think, yes. My room is clean.

Indeed, the dirty dishes I left soaking on the sink have been cleaned thoroughly and put away.

Perhaps I would feel that my room was clean even if the only thing touched was the toilet paper… it’s possible.

I have myself utilised the secret sign of cleaners to indicate a clean house in my own home.

It made me feel better although I am not sure the other occupants of my domicile noticed.


I don’t think the secret sign necessarily means attention to detail.


That is a pillow

Just sayin’


I’m in Brisbane waiting for someone to take my order at a Turkish restaurant.

Rapidly losing my sangfroid because there is nothing like eating alone to make you impatient with waiting staff.

Southbank itself is a rather lively well landscapes part of town and this Sunday is busy with people strolling along the wide footpaths and eating and drinking in the many restaurants and bars.

Ah my order has been taken.

Thank goodness for my smartphone the century’s equivalent to a book as entertainment when dining alone.

Really you’d think serving singles and getting them out quickly would be good for the restaurant too.

Who wants to dine in a restaurant full of sad lonely desperately trying to look interested in words with friends people who have no friends!


This morning I went rowing on the Swan.

Huh food has arrived very quickly. Must have sensed my comment above.

Hmm it was a rather ordinary meal.

Poor ordering maybe.

Anyway the rowing was fantastic.

Gliding on the water which was still and flat, the rising sun making butter yellow reflections.

No dolphins today.

It was so good to be breaking the routine and experiencing the city in a new and beautiful way.

The pain will come tomorrow I suspect.

Right. Off to the mini mart and some telly before bed.

Signing out.

It’s my birthday and I’ll whinge if I want to


Okay I’m not really whinging.

I like Melbourne.

I could live here. No. Really.

(Anyone want to offer me a job?)

But the thing with the tram lines does my head in.

I feel like a bird in an aviary.

Or Truman in The Truman Show.

Does anyone else feel like that?


Just me?


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.


Feeling like a grown up

There are a few times during your life when you feel like a grown up.

Antler New Zero cabin and medium sizes

You know, even at the age of forty-something-let’s-not-go-there, inside I still feel 17…okay maybe 22, are you the same?

And when I look in the mirror or catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window of the train sometimes I get a little unpleasant shock.

But there have been times in my life when I’ve suddenly thought… shit.  I’m a grown up.

Owning a mortgage on a house with a linen cupboard and larder – felt like a grown up then!

When I walked out of the hospital with my newborn.

The first time I travelled on my own.

Wearing matching underwear for the first time.

And today when I picked up my first ever set of matching luggage.

Grown. Up.

The luggage

I wanted matching cases, with the small one able to be used as hand luggage on domestic flights.

They had to have spinners – four wheels.

And they had to have those in-built groovy combination locking mechanisms.

I really wanted red luggage.


This stuff was 41% off so it was practically free right?

I could live with bronze.


So why does it have to be matched luggage?

You know, I don’t know.

I mean the times I will actually use both at the same time will be few and far between.

And it’s not as if there are luggage police – well not ones that are interested in whether they match or not.

“Excuse me madam, we see you don’t have matching luggage… please come this way…”


“Last month you were spotted with a black suitcase, today yours is bronze… please explain!”

Bronze.  A fancy pants way of saying beige.

Matched luggage is just… nice.


Grown up.

So ‘fess up.

What makes you feel grown up?

And how old are you inside?


Stand to the left Perth – and make our city better!

Warning: Rant alert

Perth Train Station at 8 in the morning

A foggy morning.

The rain splattered against the skylight in my bathroom so I knew it was raining.


Deep happiness.

I walk into my bedroom to get changed and I can hear this weird rushing sound.

I check to see if the overhead fan is on… or maybe the reverse cycle air-conditioning.


What is that weird sound?

It’s coming from outside.

I check through the blind.


It’s the rain.

The pouring rain.

I’d forgotten what pouring rain sounded like.


The train was packed at a quarter to eight.

Standing room only.

And when we got to Perth Station the train disgorged its damp and steaming passengers into a mass of humanity.

It swelled at the bottleneck of the escalator.

Does this happen anywhere else in the world?

I have only seen it in Perth.

In London, in Washington DC, in New York, in Paris – much larger populations – the commuters flow like a river, a babbling brook.

But in Perth no – every morning – a huge swell of people trying to get on the escalator.

And here’s why.

No-one stands to the left.

There is no fast moving lane to the right.

Crazy town.

It’s the same on the roads, but don’t get me started.

I would love it if someone could stand there – some official in a high viz vest and just educate my fellow commuters.

Stand to left, walk to the right.

It’s a simple message.

And couldn’t we have some posters in the trains or something?

We have posters for everything else.

C’mon Perth – it’s not that hard.

You can do it.


You CAN do it.