Travel

Perth Airport does something right

by Cellobella on Saturday, March 26, 2011 · 3 comments

Perth Airport

Photo thanks to M Munns

I’ve been known to slag off Perth Airport from time to time but on arrival last Monday I felt so welcomed that I have only praise.

I know.

I can’t quite believe it either.

I only took carry-on – which in itself is quite impressive for a four day weekend, plus conference, plus dinner dance – so I was able to waltz straight past the baggage retrieval thingys – what is the proper term for them anyway? – past the growing taxi rank – which is always ridiculous – and out to the general vicinity of where the shuttle collects you for the long term parking.

Except the shuttle was just leaving.

I made eye-contact with the driver and did that little moue of disappointment crossed with hopeful smile and gestures of where I need to stand to get a ride – you’ve seen me do it before I’m sure…it’s similar to the look I give at the bar when I finally get enough of your attention to order a crisp Sav Blanc or cheeky Pinot Noir… that look.

Anyway, instead of driving past me and off to the long term carpark, instead of pointing behind him, instead of ignoring me, the driver smiles… I kid you not… smiles, and pulls across the lane into the drop off zone and opens the door.

Off to the long term carpark love?

Thank you so much, I gush.

I turn on my phone to tweet my appreciation – still having a post-conference lovefest with twitter – and before I know it we are pulling into carpark A and I get out to pay the $62 bucks I owe for four days parking (short term would have cost $140 – which is outrageous) and I don’t have a credit card because I’ve had to cancel it again due to the number being on my daughters’ mobile that got lost over the weekend so I have to pay with wads of cash which fortunately I remember to get out of the bank while I was in Sydney.

Thank you I say sweetly to the kind driver and I make my way to the pay machine where a young girl in a high viz vest is smiling at me.

Hello, can I help you?

I’m struggling to find the ticket which I’m sure I’ve put somewhere safe in my wallet/mini-bag but of course it’s been four days and anything could have happened to it but eventually I find it and she puts it in the machine for me, and even though I’m perfectly capable of managing a pay machine as I am a grown up and tall enough to reach, it’s nice to be looked after.

Then she points to the bit where the money goes, and that’s good because I’m used to paying with credit cards which are SO much easier, and I only have a $100 bill because that’s what the bank gave me, but she assures me that the machine will accept such a big note and that I will get notes in change, which is also nice.

I get a cheery farewell and I’m off to my car patiently waiting in S row.

Now I didn’t really need a person helping me with the pay machine but I walked off feeling a bit special – it doesn’t take much.

I felt looked after.

And I’m sure it must be a pretty boring job but the girl was so cheery and sweet and made you feel as if it was her pleasure to be standing around a pay machine at 7.30 on a Monday night, as if there was nothing better she would want to be doing.

And that’s a skill.

So, Perth Airport people, please go and give the driver and the pay-machine girl at carpark A a pat on the back from me, they were great, and you can feel good about yourself too for employing them.

Well done.

Navigation fail in Sydney

by Cellobella on Thursday, March 24, 2011 · 5 comments

It's iconic

Gotta love Sydney.

Well I do.

I guess it’s because I spent a couple of months at a critical age in this fair town… and because I consider Sydney to be to Perth’s somewhat brash teenage self an…

Older, gay uncle?

Worldly, confident spinster aunt?

Or is that Melbourne?

Whatever… I love Sydney.

I love the water, the casual confidence of its inhabitants, the fact you can find scrambled eggs and toast for $7 on a Sunday morning.

I know that Perth people are weeping  into their $4.50 coffees right now.

Seven bucks.

Perth prices are outrageous.

But I digress.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, Sydney.

City crush.

Loved this

Gotta love a city with grafitti like this

Loved this memorial to women who came out because of the Irish famine

She looks determined doesn't she... the new St Mary...

So I’m completely in love with Sydney again and I stay with my friend who I lived with way back in the day when I lived and partied in Sydney.

She lived in Greenwich and she still does so I figured I’d catch the ferry over for old times sake.

Those following me on twitter would have seen how the story unfolded:

Cellobella At circular quay waiting for the greenwich ferry. Life is good. :-)

Cellobella Forgot how much I love the ferry service in sydney. #wanttoliveinsydney :-)

Cellobella @deeleea totes. It’s such a nice way to get around. Feels like a treat not public transport. :-)

Cellobella Lol just discovered I’m on completely the wrong ferry. It’s back to circular quay for me. #whatanidiot

Cellobella Bored of being on ferry now #navigationfail

My friend had texted me and when I said oh I was just at Watson’s Bay, rang me to tell me I’d caught a ferry going in completely the opposite direction.

It’s been twenty years since I lived in Sydney.

So I changed ferries…

Me on the RIGHT ferry

And I spent the night in Greenwich and we reminisced about old times…

Going to Rogues…

On our way out to Rogues back in 1991...

OMG yes… check out those clip-on earrings… oh dear me… such glamour.

We drank wine and discussed how we met the drummer of Air Supply and he told us that Mariah Carey was the next big thing.

We talked more about Rogues… well it was our favourite nightclub.

Hey that was a designer dress... stop laughing!

Thought you might like to see the full look.

We haven’t changed a bit!

Okay maybe a bit.

Don’t you love the tassles?

Not enough dresses these days have tassles IMHO.

This was my outfit of choice for going to the casino back in Perth – but I wore it with a waist length wig.

And then it started raining.

And I fell asleep to the sound of rain on the roof and actually I didn’t sleep well because it was soooo noisy.

Such a novelty to hear rain though.

*slaps self* This is not going to be a weather post.

Next morning I waited patiently for the rain to stop.

But it was torrential.

And, with a coffee date in the city I had to get going.

‘sif a Perth person is going to have an umbrella!

Monday morning was... wet.

I could feel the rain slide off the back of my jacket, through my top and slip down the back of my jeans.

Cl-assy.

I was wet wet wet.

But still happy to be in Sydney.

Even though I was a little over the rain.

I dried out about 3pm.

Ahhh my dear Uncle Syd.

See ya next time.

Peeps… Gay uncle?  Worldly older cousin?  What do you think?

Ausblogcon2011

by Cellobella on Sunday, March 20, 2011 · 6 comments

image

So the conference is over and a better organised conference I don’t think I’ve been to.

This btw is really a holding post.

Written from my phone.

Today my plan is to catch a ferry to greenwich to stay with a friend.

Then tomorrow catching up with a few work friends before heading back to perth in time for the first night of the women’s teams.

Bridge of course.

And it’s raining in sydney town!

Remember rain perthites?

I love not being hot so much I am not even going to take a taxi to circular quay.

I certainly won’t look hot after that.

More on the bloggers conference when I get to a computer but for now love to my new bloggy friends.

You are amazing.

xxx

Blogging that conference

by Cellobella on Friday, March 18, 2011 · 1 comment

image

How does that saying go… It’s as pretty as an airport?

Well I made it.

Packed this morning so probably forgot something important.

Certainly concerned that haven’t brought “right” clothes for the event.  What does one wear to a bloggers conference anyway?

Too late to worry about that now.

Should board shortly. Do I have time for a quick wee?

Not if I keep blogging.

Exciting club!

Sydney here I come!

Ah. Ten minute delay. Excuse me while I powder my nose.

A religious moment

by Cellobella on Thursday, March 17, 2011

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

by Cellobella on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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

A story from my first trip to Bali

by Cellobella on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cocktails at the swim up bar - deluxe

Ah back in the day when I thought flouro pink was an acceptable colour to wear on your head (in the early 1990s) Groover and I went to Bali.

White water rafting

We went white water rafting in Ubud and banana boating off Nusa Dua.

Monkey forest

We went to the Holy Monkey Forest and suffered Bali Belly – at the same time.

Yes that was a fun trip.

We bought fringed leather jackets that we never wore.

We bargained for copy watches that we didn’t want to see who was the better haggler (I was).

Groover dived into the swimming pool, banged his head and had a huge egg on his head for days.

It was my first ever overseas holiday with a boy.

Lycra and lots of food

by Cellobella on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 · 1 comment

The last two days in Ubud have been “activity” days.

Yesterday we did the Paon Bali Cooking class and today the Bali Baik downhill cycle.

We're ready to cook

The cooking class started with a visit to Ubud markets, then a stop at the padi fields before we were invited into our hosts home.

Wayan gave us a tour of his home – explaining each of the buildings – and how it all fits into their Hindu religion and then we went to the big outdoor kitchen and were fitted out with aprons.

Rory learns to bbq Bali style

A Balinese Magimix

All hands on deck to make the steamed tuna in banana leaf

It was a fabulous experience and the food.

Well lets just say I’ll be on a strict regime on my return.

Luckily the next day we went cycling.

Our cycling crew

Well I say cycling but in reality it was sitting on a bike rolling down hill.

Rolling through picturesque villages, and padi fields, dodging the scooters, ducks and dogs.

Seeing as the brochure says – the real Bali.

Afterwards our tour guides laid on a lovely Balinese meal and undid all our good work.

Heaven.

coffee ex cat

Oh and we got to drink coffee excreted from a cat.

Now you can’t get more real than that!

[As I type this I am watching the 7pm news from Brisbane on the Australia Network. Extraordinary footage from the floods. My heart goes out to all the families affected.]

A high class problem

by Cellobella on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 · 3 comments

Breakfast at Scene

The last two mornings we’ve had a picnic breakfast delivered to our villa.

The butlers come with the baskets and set up the table in the gazebo with fresh fruit, plunger coffee, bakery items, cheese and cold cuts.

But here’s the thing.

Eggs taste best eaten within seconds from being taken off the stove.

And plunger coffee?

Shudder.

So despite the convenience and luxeness of having our breakfast delivered, this morning we wandered up to the restaurant.

Espresso coffee.

Freshly scrambled eggs.

A view of the valley, the early morning mist lingering in the sunlight.

Sure, you can’t just wander up in your jim jams.

And yes I don’t look my best in the morning.

But ahhh, it is worth it.

For the coffee alone – worth it.

Delightful.

Markets, Massage and Mozaic

by Cellobella on Sunday, January 9, 2011 · 2 comments

How good is Bali?

It’s just so relaxed and friendly.

Breakfast in the gazebo

Okay I am staying in a luxury villa with hot and cold running butlers – which incidentally costs less per night than a dodgy motel in Karratha – but even so.

This morning we were woken by our butler carrying our picnic breakfast which he set up in our private gazebo.

We wandered out in our kimonos and chilled out with our tropical fruit juices reading the little “compilation” newspaper.

Then we went to central Ubud to the markets where it took a little while to get into the bargaining thing.

Ubud markets

The exchange rate is terrific right now and I needed reminding that really I was talking the difference between 5 and 6 dollars for a dress.

We then went for suckling pig everyone tells you to try if you go to Ubud… opposite the Palace, don’t miss it, you sit on grass mats, and the crackling is the best I’ve ever tasted…

Well I wouldn’t go that far – I can make mean crackling – but the pork is delicious and the Bintang cool and refreshing on a warm day after an hours frantic bargaining.

We got back to the villa in time for a little swim in our private pool and relax before calling for the electric buggy to take us down to the spa.

Traditional Balinese massages for two please and go hard.

overlooking the Ayung River

The massage room overlooks the Ayung River and the little black undies they give you are hilarious… more hilarious on Groover it must be said.

The massage was lovely.

Afterwards we grabbed umbrellas to shield us from the afternoon downpour and strolled among the frogs to the restaurant for afternoon tea – or in this case double shot espressos.

Then the buggy again to take us back to our villa.

Tonight we went to dinner at Mozaic – apparently the most famous restaurant in Ubud (probably after that suckling pig place the name of which I can’t remember).

We had the discovery degustation menu and the premium wine selection which was gorgeous.

It is heaven here.

And you know what?

Some people live like this all the time.

Sigh.

Imagine that.