Tripping the light not-so fantastic


I love the Council House lightshow and when showing visitors around I will always point it out – if I’m near the city.

The other day for instance I drove my eastern states colleague back to his hotel and driving past Kings Park I thought a little detour was in order.

He made the usual appreciative noises about the view – which is pretty spectacular – and I, pointed out Council House.

“See that building down there lit up in pink”, I said, “Well the City spent millions on this great lightshow and I really love it. Any minute now it will change colour. ”

“It’s soooo beautiful!” I enthused.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

But the building remained stubbornly pink.

And I shamefacedly drove down the hill and dropped him off.

Two nights later I was driving back from bridge – State Open Teams – we’re coming last – and I noticed that the building was STILL pink!

What the hell?

Was it broken?

So I rang up the City of Perth (as you do) and asked them.

Turns out if you’re a not-for-profit or charity you can book the light show.

This week, apparently, the light show has been commandeered by the Pink Ribbon Day crowd.

You know, for breast cancer.

And get this… it’s free!

Well… unless you want a complicated show that is when it costs you the time it takes to program in the lights… maybe $50 the fellow told me.

And it can be quite complicated – words scrolling across the building for example.

I was blown away.

But, I’m afraid, still a little bit pissed off that the “proper” light show wasn’t on when I wanted to show off to my colleague.

But that’s just me.


Breast cancer research is a good cause – I just kind of wish they’d paid the $50 and put on a show.

Council House lit up in pink for Pink Ribbon Day...


Apologies for fuzzy cam but it’s only an instamatic camera – what can you do?

And that green spiky thing is the belltower.

I wonder if you can hire that too?

Crawley Boathouse

The Crawley boathouse

Today I wandered towards the Crawley boathouse and the Eliza statue for a bit of a looksee.

On Saturdays you struggle for space as the jetty out to the old boathouse is groaning under the weight of bridal parties keen for those “special shots”.

(or maybe not so special as there are A LOT of brides who get the boatshed shots)

But have you ever wondered about the boat that lives inside the boathouse?

Me too.

Through the broken board.
A lone kayak

Afterward I wandered back to Neds for a coffee and then had lunch with an archaeology friend.

She is so enthusiastic about archaeology that it is impossible not to be inspired, so afterwards I enquired about post-graduate diplomas.

It’s a “next-year” project if it ever happens but I confess that some of the units do look very interesting.

And oh! The excitement of field trips. I loves it.


We’ll see.

What the hell is that?


So I flew up to Geraldton the other week and as I flew up the coast past our fair city I noticed what appeared to be – I don’t know – oil slicks? – emanating from the land.

Sewage slicks?

Freshwater creeks?

They were all along the coast but stopped once we got past civilisation.

Of course I snuck out my electronic camera and defying the chance that the navigation on the plane would go spastic and we’d end up in Bunbury – trusting, in fact, the pilots to LOOK OUT THE WINDOW and keep the coast on their right – I took a couple of snaps.

Quickly sliding my little instamatic behind a convenient cardie when the cabin crew walked past.

So what is your best guess?

I’m buggered if I know.

UPDATE:  Well you guys were rubbish at telling me what those lines were I must say!  Luckily at work today I ran across Professor Jorg Imberger who is the water guru of Perth, and he told me they are the result of Langmuir circulation. Vis a vis – it is wind my friends, wind.  Well you learn something every day.  I am, for one, happy to learn that they aren’t the result of pollution or anything nasty.


Geraldton 2008

I love this photo – my two gorgeous ones laughing and enjoying being kids on a swingy roundabout.

But they won’t be able to do that again.

The fun police – the wrap your children in cotton wool brigade – have decided that it’s too dangerous.

I’m in Geraldton and I discover to my SHOCK that the Merry Go Round by the Sea otherwise known as the 50 cent swing has been clamped to the ground!

Where is the fun in that I ask you???

It’s a seat.

Merry Go Round


Merry go round

Not happy. (despite the photo)


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.

Albany Road Trip

As slack as all shit.

Yes that’s me… but in my defence I did travel a lot last week.

Giant Ram at Wagin

This is the Giant Ram in Wagin, home to the Wagin Woolarama.

I thought it would be a fun little detour but it added HOURS to our journey.

Still at least I got a photo of me next to some giant ram’s balls.

Me at the Giant Ram

And that doesn’t happen every day.

I stayed down at Middleton Beach near the site of the hotel I got engaged in (Easter 1992). The old hotel has been bulldozed now for some time and as you can see from the silent sock protest, the locals are not happy.

Sock protest

So far the silent sock protest has had little effect on the overseas owners.

Twilight wetlands

I had a quiet little walk around Middleton Beach, the moon was out and it was still light. Some mad buggers were swimming in what looked like freezing water.

I walked on, not tempted.

Early morning in Albany

There is something magical about the light in Albany.

Burning off

Farmers are burning off their stubble this time of year (does anyone know why they do that?) and the result is a misty, eerie light as you drive back to Perth.

Smoky Paddock

And that’s what I love about travelling on my own.

Full control of the sound system – I can listen to whatever daggy music or podcasts I like without any interference or groans.

And I can stop whenever I want to take photos – or not stop at all should I choose.

Blowing in the wind

Albany Windfarm

On a recent trip to Albany I went down to the windfarm – about ten minutes out of town or so – to check it out.

The turbines are impressively big.

The whooshing noise they make impressively loud.

And the cliffs reminded me of the Cliffs of Moher. Vaguely.

There are lots of fun stats about the speed of the tip of the blades – which are as big as a jumbo jet’s wing – but what I can tell you is that they move faster than they look from a distance.

Worth a visit if you’re down that way.

Albany Windfarm

Albany Windfarm

Me and the Queen

I’m listening to Corrine Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On, it’s just the perfect Sunday morning track. 

Me and the Queen

This morning we wandered down to the port to check out the Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger liner in the world.

Three times the size of the Titanic, the ship dwarfs the Fremantle Passenger Terminal.

Queen Mary 2

We couldn’t get too close and so it wasn’t that interesting an experience if I’m honest.

Still you never know, one day I might even go on a cruise, you know, when I’m old enough.

Probably around the time that I give up dying my hair and own my own zimmer frame.

More interesting photo wise was the number of people taking photos.

Taking photos of the Queen Mary 2

And in fact perhaps the view from the ship itself is somewhat more interesting… this is a still from their webcam up on the bridge (click on the image to get an up to date photo):

Tonight we have another night of Theatresports.

This time we’re making the kids come along and watch.

Payback for all those concerts of theirs we sat through.

It will be interesting to see their reaction.

Poolside in Broome


How beautiful is that pool.

I started work early yesterday so I could snaffle an hour by the pool in the afternoon.

Lucky I did because the thunderclouds rolled in.


We were having a little barbie near the pool and the lightning scared the kids a little.

It was spectacular.

Sadly no rain which means Broome is still on track to have the driest wet on record.

Me and Groover

At this time of year Broome is humid.

It’s like walking through a sauna… okay,  a sauna before you tip water over the hot stones.

I love Broome.

I love the multi-cultural vibe.

The corrugated iron buildings everywhere.

That tropical feel.

Oh, and the lucky geckos in the shower.

Lucky gecko

More Broome photos.

The bus nazi

On Wednesday I caught the bus from Esperance to Kalgoorlie… it was quite the experience.

It’s pretty cheap – only $52 for a five hour ride through the flat brown land into the desert.

The bus was about five minutes late and when the driver pulled up he jumped out, flung open the luggage compartment and started shouting.

“You!  Are you going to Kalgoorlie?  Put your luggage in here now!”

Yes the soup nazi’s cousin was in charge of the bus.

“Make sure you sit in the seat you’ve been allocated!”

“Noone is allowed to sit in the back seat… you hear that kids.”

“Don’t put your feet on the seats!”

My allocated seat was right at the front of the bus and as we drove out of Esperance I overheard him talking to the office in Kalgoorlie.

Apparently he’d picked up the bus to find the television broken and that the back seats had been urinated on.


No wonder he was a little grumpy, I actually started feeling a bit sorry for him.

After all he was trying to do his best.

I spent a lot of the first part of the journey on the phone – hey – I was working and when we got to the first stop he turned to me and said:  “Are you going to be on that phone the whole way?  Well move back then.”

I moved back.

He was a short man with a loud voice, I wasn’t going to argue.

The bus was pretty empty and there was lots of choice.

When we got to Norseman I got myself a coffee and shared a picnic table with a truckie called Jeff.

He was heading up to visit a prospector mate in Kalgoorlie.

We had a nice chat but soon the bus nazi was agitating for us all to get back on the bus.

I threw the rest of my coffee out and clambered back on.

All in all the journey was quite good.

The seats comfortable (even if some of them urine soaked) and with spare seats abounding, plenty of room to spread out.

The movies were woeful.

Still if you’ve got a good book and a phone – no problem.

And if talking on the phone irritates the driver at least it doesn’t interfere with the navigation systems.