You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Perth’ tag.

“There are two mistakes that one can make on the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting”

~Guatama Siddharta, The Buddha

So I’ve taken a short hiatus from writing – a small break.  I’ve not felt the overwhelming urge to share these past few weeks.



My mind has been busy and private.  January 10th was a big day –  a very important day – and significant to so many people who read this blog.  I think I’ve needed some time to sort out exactly what this anniversary means to me; sometime to regroup and look at what I’ve (we’ve) been through.  I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out…

There are moments I still find myself in disbelief at the chaos of the last couple of years.  I have a feeling these shock waves will strike for a long time to come. How do we get through this stuff…how have I made it?  One thing I know is that this year is extremely significant to me as it is both an end, and a beginning  Funny how that works, hey? …(it’s science).

Getting through the holidays was a triumph unto itself and frankly I  feel like a huge balloon of air has been expelled from my chest.  Definitely a lessening of pressure.  What sort of pressure? Well I’m not too sure, but the build up to that year was insurmountable.  I have made it and I’m still going.  I surprise myself sometimes.  I guess we all do.

Greens PoolsMy last couple of weeks in Western Australia were just great.  After New Years we packed into a friend’s caravan and hit the road.  We would travel ~500km southeast of Perth, cutting diagonally through the bareness of NoWheresVille, Australia, to hit the coast again and check out a little place called Denmark near the city Albany.  With absolutely no regard for its namesake – all that this small community lacks in European charm, it makes up for in abounding natural beauty.  Our hunt for waves proved fruitless, but we had fun exploring the beautiful coastline.  The water was so clear! The terraces and rocky cliffs ever expansive.  We cut across through Margaret River and found our own private beach – the kind of beach that comes to mind when you picture Australia but you’ve never been here.  No people, just sand and waves and sunshine.

We arrived back in Perth it was time to get to work.  I had located a small Christmas tree farm in the far Eastern suburbs that could use a helping hand in exchange for room and board.  Jann – the family matriarch – and I had been in touch and hit it off right away.  Claiming there was little work to be done around the property – due to the dryness and soaring temperatures – we agreed that I would do as much as I could, work-wise, and then spend the rest of my time swimming in the pool.  These are work conditions that I can feel confident in accepting.

Well my week with the family was just amazing.  I was accepted into the family with open arms.  Richard & His AlphornThis is one cool clique, and between their short bouts of conversing only in Swiss-German I was let in on their colourful history. Stories of living in Nigeria, and traveling the world kept me entertained at every meal.  We ate well, and talked well, and it was sad to leave.

This leaving stuff has to be the downside of traveling.  The connections we make as we go – this is the whole point of travel.  Scenery can be fantastic, awe-inspiring.  New cities and towns are (usually)  fun to explore. This is all fine and good,  but the relationships we create, both on the road and at home, are the core of the journey. With the freedom to pick-up -and-go comes the other side of the coin – saying goodbye…it gets old. There’s a reason we naturally settle down and get those roots in the ground.  Only a very special kind of person can keep up the transient lifestyle.

Jill 'n Kim Making the Most of the Final Days! So with only a few days left in the most remote capital city in the world– we planned a going away shindig and it was perfect. Altogether I have had the good luck and fortune to spend more than two months in Perth and the surrounds and have come to consider some of the people I have met there to be the type of friends that are life-long.  A barbeque on the beach…. guitars found their way to nearby laps….the astounding talent of my Western Australian friends was given the limelight.  Damn it – another goodbye.

The Rocks, SydneyAnd with the end comes a new beginning – this time the east coast    I touched down just in time to celebrate Australia Day in the country’s biggest city.  Old friends and new, we had a great time,  After years of practice in Canada, I feel I’m a bit of an expert at this type of celebration.  The sunshine, swimming, beer, and chaos of families running around – I felt right at home. ..

But I’m not….not yet.

Theme Songs of the Day:

There is no real pattern for this whole healing process.  At every turn I find a new way to address a feeling or thought.  It must be one of the most reflective times in my life.  Learning new, honest and organic ways to sift through my emotions is an art-form that takes time and effort.   I’m lucky to have these beautiful surrounding and people around me, to make it all a little easier.”

This is a paragraph that resonates with me.  I take it from a post I wrote back in June (Down Time) and it is still relevant.  I had just been released from the hospital and I’m sure the healing I was referring to had very little to do with my kidney.

As I get ready to fly to Vietnam, I have taken a few moments to skim through some of my older posts.   It’s interesting to see how this journey has progressed.  I have to admit: I don’t remember writing all that much of it.  Once out there, the words have done their intended duty – they have punched the healing time-card.  Looking back is something I don’t think I’ll make a habit of. ..not yet, at least.

A Taste of the Great Ocean RoadConquering My Fear!After Tonga, I had a week or so in Melbourne.  Catching up with old friends and making new ones – I kept busy and managed to meet some people heading west along the Great Ocean Road.  Beautiful!  The twelve apostles are a highlight.  We had decent weather and it was entirely too cold to swim, but we did attempt whale-watching from the shores of Warnambool.

Adelaide is probably best described as delightful and easy; a planned-city makes for straight-forward navigation.  The museum and art gallery were good hideouts during the rain.  As the weather got better I made my way north to stay with a fabulous family.  I spent time reading in front of the fire (pure luxury) and then got a chance to ride through the hills on the back of a bike!  With the promise of more French food and good conversation,Nothing Like It! I will definitely be making another stop in South Australia.  Thanks friends!

Although Perth found me in my seventh time-zone in little less than a month, arriving here feels as close to coming home as I think possible.  My plans to make a couple of small trips down south – they fell by the wayside as soon as I arrived.  It’s too easy to be in beautiful North Beach, with my friends and my pseudo-routines…albeit I am in a tent in the backyard…but its home-like…in a breezy sort of way.

Western Australia is a place that is close to my heart.  I think it’s interesting to look back on my last visit here, five months in the past.  I was at a very, noticeably different place.  As I gently peruse my current headspace, I can see the lengths at which I’ve travelled to get here…time zones notwithstanding.

The Twelve Apostles

Sunshine During Rain

Sunshine During Rain

Ah, the break has been good.  In slowing my writing down for a bit, I have had to adapt and learn to organize my thoughts in a different way; reassess, I guess.

I will never regret the two years that I have been writing with some sort of regularity.  I think it has saved me more often than not.  I also know it brings clarity to large portions of the past that I would otherwise see in a blur (or forget entirely).  “Oh, right – we DID go to Whistler in June…oh, yeah….THAT’S  how we spent October.”  You know, things like that…more important events and thoughts as well, but you get the idea.

I think this may be a bit of a turning point for me.  I’m not sure where exactly I’m turning from, and in which direction I’m now faced, but there’s some kind of crazy road sign associated with it, I’m sure.

Only in Melbourne

Only in Melbourne

Actually the Melbourne hook-turn comes to mind as a very suitable analogy.  Here in Melbourne there is an insane, yet perfectly legal and common maneuver whereby you pull into the far lane to make a right hand turn (keep in mind we drive on the left over here, and to turn right means to cross oncoming traffic).  So you’re driving along and realize you need to go right at the next intersection.  You must pull into the left lane, turn your blinker on and wait for a gap in traffic traveling in both directions! What!?!  You should really only attempt this crazy turn when you’re comfortable.  It feels SO strange…a little exhilarating…different…

… yeah, a good analogy I’d say.

West Coast Eagles lost!

West Coast Eagles lost!

So as one may assume, I have landed myself in Melbourne, a lovely city, indeed.  It was a sad affair to leave Perth, but I had a great last couple of days there, before heading south.  On my last night, Kim and I managed to snag Footy tickets (thanks Sean!)!  Now this is a truly Aussie passion and I can see why: a riled up crowd full of supporters for both teams, fit men running up and down a huge field…running, tackling, kicking (and that’s not including what’s happening in the stands!), over-priced-beer-drinking… Yup – they’ve got everything a good hockey game has, with the exception of ice and Luongo.

I won’t pretend to understand the rules, but it was great to watch – and the atmosphere was electric.  We made friends with the people sitting next to us and managed to make our way to the club bar for a celebratory pint or two.  Good times!

A View from Federation Square

A View from Federation Square

The flight to Melbourne was straight forward, and wouldn’t you know, I happen to be sharing the plane with Matt Gresham, the musician I had seen a couple of weeks earlier in the city (One of his songs was features in my ‘theme songs of the day’ last post).  We had a little chat, and I got to tell him what a great performer he is.  Good times!

I had a total of three days in Melbourne and my tour guide did the city a great service by introducing me to the wonderful cultural diversity that oozes off the pavement here.  There are so many restaurants and cafes and galleries; little nooks to get lost in.  The streets are littered with pieces of orange and red and yellow; it’s just at that point in the season where the balance has been tipped: there are more leaves on the ground than in the trees.   Everyone looks good, somewhere to go, a hurried but casual pace.   This is how I imagined it to be.

It flows upside-down...crystal clear on the bottom

It flows upside-down...crystal clear on the bottom

My tour guide, and host, Matt, is a friend I met in Hawaii many months ago.  He has recently moved back to Australia to travel around a bit and, as his family lives in Melbourne, he thought that a good place to start.  We have kept in touch and the plan is to stay in the city a few days – then we head down to Tasmania for a week of exploring.  What fun.

An adventure awaits… but then, when doesn’t it?

Theme songs of the Day:

Rose PicklesThe Custom Kings, from the album At Sea

Number One – The Custom Kings, from the album At Sea

Olive Picking on the Side of the Road

Olive Picking on the Side of the Road

I’ve been having a tough time finding the inspiration to write and I’m not exactly sure why.  Coming back to Perth has given me a sense of well-being that only a few other cities ever have.

I haven’t stopped writing altogether, but the last couple of weeks have proved a difficult lesson in sharing.  I’m not able to write for anyone  else but me right now….as I say that…mmhh…maybe I can write a little….you know, now that I’m here…

Why not, eh?

One of the reasons I may be having trouble finding any sort of motivation is that I have just celebrated my thirtieth birthday.  It was a little bitter-sweet to be entirely honest.  Birthdays have always been a priority for Kevin and I.  As most of you know, we always planned bbqs, parties, camping trips…fun-filled events –  for both of our bdays – it’s always just been an excuse to celebrate.  Although it’s exciting to be in another country for the ‘big day’, in my heart I am somewhere in between here and home.  I don’t know how to explain it…another reason not to write.  I’m only able to write around the idea of my feelings.  I can’t quite figure it out in my own head, so how do I type it up into a neat little paragraph (or a slightly larger paragraph, in the instance)?

Maybe another excuse for the lack of written word – I’m relaxing a bit.  I feel like the shock might be wearing off a little bit.  I’m seeing things a little more clearly;  I am getting outside everyday and I’m spending more time by myself than I have in years. 

Just a nibble

Just a nibble

Getting used to the alone thing.  I guess we’ve all had to do this at one time or another;  a break-up or what have you.  There’s something special about eating alone at a restaurant. 

With my many hours of quiet time, I am re-learning that everyone is extraordinarily complex.  I knew this before, but it has really hit home during this trip.  We all have these amazing experiences.   Listening to people’s stories and hearing how they work; what goes on in their minds.  What music they like, how they get on with their families, why they are where they are…its all so fascinating.

Maybe focusing on other people allows me perspective that I don’t get when I turn inside-out.  I am saddest when looking deep into my own heart, but when I get a tiny glimpse of what lays in others’ hearts, I can see, reflected, all that I am going through and all that I’ve been through…just from farther out.  I like this perspective best: no magnifying glass necessary.



Anyway, my time in this city has been wonderful.  We’ve been enjoying some great live music.  I have a bike.. it’s blue and it’s awesome: a birthday gift from a friend.  I have ridden it almost everyday since I got it last week.  What a great feeling: riding along the water and looking out into the plain of blue that is the Indian Ocean.  

Kim and I have found time to go to the aquarium (AQWA) and the zoo.  I am currently a walking encyclopedia of flora and fauna.  There are some CRAZY animals out there.  My favourite it the Leafy Seadragon.  These are absolutely beautiful creatures.  They bob gracefully through the water and you would never know they even existed, as they blend in so well with common sea kelp. 

Beautiful, unassuming, and complex…. just like us.

Theme Songs of the Day:

We Are Not CriminalsMatt Gresham (…we saw him live and he has SO much energy!)

Paper AeroplaneAngus & Julia Stone, from the album Chocolates and Cigarettes

Wow!  I have fallen in love…  Perth is just amazing!  We have packed so much into three days that is feels like two weeks. 

The plane ride  over was pretty uneventful.  I had a bit of cry on the plane – something about being at 15,000 ft…. it gets me every time.  I guess I needed the release, that and it’s been my first alone time since landing.  I realize I constantly carry the conflicting emotions of sad, and very, overwhelmingly happy emotions.  Where do I go from there? How can I hope to reach these strong levels of emotion again in my lifetime?   Will I become more numb as I go?  Will I find new levels of both happy and sad?  I guess it will change.  I will continue to experience life and, hopefully, find new layers of depth; grow older and wiser….

I have the feeling that I have, through the events of the last year and a half, become very attuned to what’s happening around me.  I am maybe more sensitive, more empathetic…but in the same breath, I am seeing my life from the outside a little more. 

I’m excited to travel, meet new people, connect, experience.  I think my challenge will be to figure out how to personally invest in these events and interactions.  Don’t get me wrong, when I am talking with someone, I am fully present.  I feel like I may be looking through a third person’s eyes.   I may be taking refuge in the safety  of an ‘outside’ self as a way of self-preservation…  I want to connect but I don’t think I have much of myself left to give.  The parts that remain must be kept for myself. 

I have loved and lost in a VERY extreme way.  I am searching for emotions to counter-act my past experiences, no small feat…all this, without giving myself over in any substantial way. 

mmhhh….that was a bit of a tangent.

On an entirely different note: my computer has a virus, and until I can clean it up, I have limited time on the Internet.  This isn’t so bad is it?  A major drawback is that I can’t post pictures…but I will get that sorted in the next week or so and then I will have some visuals to check out.

So what have we done in Perth so far?  What haven’twe done??  I arrived at around noon on Tuesday.  My friend Kim and I hopped in the van and headed north to her place.  WE stopped and one of the countless beaches here on the west coast and I had my first swim in the Indian Ocean.  From there we met up with her friend Jenny and drove up the coast to Yanchep National Park.  Wrapped around a beautiful lake, this park is home to kangaroos, koalas and birds.  We watched as the lazy koalas slept in the trees above us. 

We headed back towards the city and stopped at, of all places, the cemetary.  Someone in the know had told us to check it out, as there are quite a few kangaroos there and you can actually get pretty close.  We saw eight of the grazing on the grass.  I hoped along beside them (yes, there ARE pictures).   Wow!

We watched the sunset at a beach near Kim and Stu’s house.  Amazing

The next day we headed south to a small city called Freemantle.  We toured the shops and cafes and then went on a tour through the prison.  It was horrifying but fascinating as well.  The prison was actually used up until 1991 when they were permanently closed down.  At the time of closure they still used buckets for latrines.  Something else that we all found amazing is that punishment by whipping  was still legal until 1993.  It was simply an over-site (the last person that had the experience of the cat o’ nine tails was in 1943).  When Western Australia abolished corporal punishment in ’93 they realized that the ‘whipping legislature’ had never been removed.  Quite the over-site.

After the gruesome but educational tour, we headed to a local microbrewery called Little Creatures.  The venue is an old wearhouse that has been converted to a funky bistro/brewhouse (much like the Canoe Club in Victoria).   All us roomates had a great time chatting and eating and then we headed over to Clancy’s Fish Club where we watched the Battle of the Bands: West Coast Blues and Roots.  It was a fun night.

The next day found us at the beach.  We spent a few hours surfing and then headed home for naps.  That evening Kim had a surprise for me:  she had tickets for Cirque du Soleil: Dralion...!!!  AWESOME!

We dressed up and headed into the blue and yellow tent.  The show was phenomenal.  I believe we both shed a tear of joy at the end of the performance.  It was beautiful and funny and awe-inspiring – I’ve never seen anything like it. 

It’s hard to belive I haven’t even been here four full days.   The next adventure begins tomorrow as the two of us head South towards Margaret River.  We will hit some wineries…beaches….anything and everything, camping along the way….why not?  We should all be so lucky to hit anything and everything along the way – that’s what life is all about!


Theme Songs for the day:

OH! OH! OH! Trouble –  An Angle, from the album…I’m not sure…

Where is My Mind – Pixies, from the album Surfer Rosa *(and if you haven’t been lucky enough to listen to this song but sort of recognize it – it’s the closing-credit song from Fight Club)

FortressPinback, from the Album Summer in Abaddon

Top Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other followers

Flickr Photos

Recent Comments

benzin vertikutierer… on Road Trip!
jazz on About Today
Lonnie L. on Time in Bright Acrylics
Darby on About Today
About Today «… on Not Drowning But Waving

January 2020
« Dec