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
Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday: Erg session at hotel
Thursday:
Friday: Just a lot of nervous energy
Saturday:

*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.

Inside

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

No.

What is that weird sound?

It’s coming from outside.

I check through the blind.

Oh.

It’s the rain.

The pouring rain.

I’d forgotten what pouring rain sounded like.

Later…

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.

Seriously.

You CAN do it.

Please?

A religious moment

The Cathedral

I don’t go into churches often, except on holiday where churches are part of the tourism circuit or, you know, for weddings or funerals, but today I popped into the Bunbury Cathedral.

The new Bunbury Cathedral.

The old one was rendered unsafe by a mini-tornado in 2005 and had to be demolished.

You don’t see brand new cathedrals all that often and as I was in Bunbury I thought I’d check it out.

The windows from the outside

Rather than traditional stained glass, the Bishop has gone for more modern techniques.

Inside the glass is quite effective

The art is courtesy of Robert Juniper.  I say courtesy but I’m sure he was paid handsomely, and his signature is clearly on the artwork.

They were originally paintings which were photographed, blown up and the image inserted between panes of glass.

Much more cost effective – both initially and in terms of maintenance.

If a panel breaks you simply order another.

Close up inside

The alter piece is another Juniper piece depicting the resurrection.

This time the painting was transformed into a tapestry (made in some third world country).

Not a tyre

No signature evident here.

I did have to ask why there was a tyre in the bottom right corner didn’t I?

I guess I’ve seen too many tyres abandoned in the Australian outback.

It’s not a tyre of course, but the opening of the tomb.

My bad.

I thought it was rather a modern touch.

Ah well.

The alter

Meantime that’s Juniper in the red shirt.

It must be quite an honour to have your work chosen.

I loved the Australian-ness of it.

Inside, the Cathedral feels quite modern.

The font looks a bit like a plunge bath for the disabled and the entry isn’t as awe-inspiring as the cathedrals of Italy because you don’t go directly into the hall churchy bit.

Going past the gift shop just doesn’t feel the same.

In summary I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Or even, if I’m allowed to have an opinion.

Well it’s my blog.

So.

Some bits I liked.

I liked the alter piece (despite the tyre tomb).

I quite liked the artwork – though I didn’t like the fact that Juniper’s signature was so obvious – it just seemed a bit wrong in a church – not sure why. (unless of course it was donated then… maybe?)

I didn’t like the font or the brickwork.

Both more Uniting Church than Catholic I thought.

I did like the view – very impressive from up on the hill.

Looks less impressive in a photo

As I write this I’m wondering if I’m more fuddy duddy than I thought.

Is it my experience of old churches that is dampening my reaction.

It’s just…

It’s just I wanted to be inspired and I wasn’t.

And it left me feeling a bit disappointed.

Sigh.

Maybe if I was Catholic I’d feel differently.

After all it was made for the congregation, not me.

From the old Cathedral maybe?

Why I’m a good daughter

This is what happens if the door is left ever so slightly open

Oh I know darlings!

Enough said right?

I mean I don’t even defrost my OWN fridge so what the hell am I doing, the floors strewn with towels, trying to dislodge the wedged in drawers of my parents’ fridge?

Good daughter things.

That’s what I’m doing.

Luckily it is quite warm so the fridge is defrosting quickly, I am after all only here in Dunsborough one night before heading back to Perth to catch my plane to Sydney on Friday – exciting club!

It’s very quiet.

Weird being here on my own.

I bought Indian takeaway (too much) and a few beers, although I’ve only drunk one (they were on special).

(Sure I hear you say… well they were $18 for 6, which is better than $6.50 for one – so what’s a girl to do)

And life feels pretty mellow.

A beer and a view of Geographe Bay

Photo essay from Esperance

The colour and clarity of the Southern Ocean is to die for.

I love Esperance.

The water is so beautiful, the beaches so white, the rocky outcrops so… rocky.

If only the sharks weren’t so big, the water temperature so low, the wind so… windy.

Of course being a bit of a space geek I also love that Skylab fell on Esperance.

Seen on the side of the Skylab museum

I’ve been meaning to go to the Skylab exhibit each time I visit… maybe next time.

The museum is open from 1.30 to 4.30.

I wonder about this advertising campaign though.

Are they promoting the fact they have very officious rangers?

Not much litter around though so perhaps Keep Australia Beautiful should think about a similar campaign:

“Don’t litter or we’ll sic the Esperance rangers on you!”

It's a windy place old Esperance, so I imagine this was used well

Yep it’s a wind radar.

Not really much more to say.

An amuse bouche on the menu at the Tearooms

This did amuse me as I ordered my bacon and scrambled eggs and long black coffee.

Oh which reminds me of the coffee I had in Mandurah on the weekend – I asked for a long black and clearly confused the waitress who served my black coffee in a tall clear glass. LOL

The view across the bay from the Tearooms.

It was 37 degrees in Perth this day and about 25 in Esperance.  Mild and overcast.

The pine trees were planted as a navigational aid – you can kind of see why here.

Ahhh Esperance.

I hope to come back soon and next time maybe go to see what’s left of Skylab.

Can you help name this wildflower?

What is this called?

Yesterday I asked for your help in naming the flowers I photographed on my recent trip to Dunsborough.

A trip obstensively organised in order for me to play bridge, drink and eat with others who like to play bridge, drink and eat.

We didn’t win any money but the Busselton Bridge Club put on a fine event and we had a lot of fun.

Luckily for this blog, Doug (well his fiancee) and Paul came to the party with a bunch of names and now there is just one little orphan.

Any ideas?

Does this pic help?

Wildflowers in Dunsborough are tiny treasures

Blue lady orchid

I know that I am somewhat parochial when it comes to the wonders of Western Australia.

This will come as no surprise to you.

We are carrying the nation at the moment of course and some of our natural features are extraordinary:

Purnalulu, Karajini, whale sharks to name a few.

And of course our wonderful wildflowers.

Mostly when you say wildflowers people think of the carpet of flowers that spreads across the midwest, but this time of year the southern forests are a treasure trove.

No wonder pioneer Georgiana Molloy got so excited.

The thing with the forests is that it is not until you are walking through the bush that you really see these glorious beauties.

And of course I was walking with my macro set to on.

I discovered two orchids – a pink enamel (my son assures me) and a blue lady.

Pink enamel orchid

If you can help me with the names of some of the others I’d love you for it.

How gorgeous is this purple fringed one?!

Some kind of fringe flower