It’s Saturday morning and it’s another fine day in Perth. The temperature is forecast to reach forty degrees this weekend which, I’m told, is not entirely unusual for mid to late March. Winter on the other hand, I’m told is fairly grey here. It’s an interesting climate to say the least. I woke up just before nine o’clock even though I thought it was much later. Curiously enough, my sleep pattern still seems to be a little “East Coast” as, as hard as I try, I just can’t seem to sleep in. Perhaps it’s the weather; maybe it’s the traffic noise. Anyway…
Since the last time I’ve written, I’ve become more involved in some more organised social activities.
Last Saturday, you may recall, I was DETERMINED to sleep in. I woke up quite early, but easily managed to go back to sleep until just before lunchtime. It had been a reasonably busy week at work, and I’d had a late night on the Friday, so I thought a good sleep in was quite reasonable. And besides, I didn’t really have anything planned for the weekend anyway.
Around lunchtime, however, I wandered over to East Perth proper. In common with many other Australian cities, Perth has decided to re-develop inner city living. The area itself reminds me, in some ways, of Darling Harbour. In other respects it is like a Gold Coast canal development. At the moment, however, it just feels incomplete. As I wandered around, no one was to be found. There were no sounds from the houses. And hardly anyone on the street. The brasserie where I had lunch was virtually empty. Nonetheless, lunch was good.
While there I also visited the Janet Holmes a Court Gallery. The current exhibition there features the work of Jarinyanu David Downs who was born near Lake Gregory around 1925, in country belonging to the Wangkajunga language group in the Great Sandy Desert region of Western Australia. Until his early twenties Jarinyanu followed a completely traditional lifestyle, closely engaged with desert country. He then left the desert to work mostly on cattle stations for the next twenty years. Jarinyanu’s painting career began in Fitzroy Crossing, in the late 1960’s, carving shields, boomerangs and coolamons. In the 1980’s he bagan painting mostly figurative works, using a combination of acrylic paints and natural earth pigments on canvas. This exhibition features paintings by Jarinyanu in which he explores his traditional ‘stories’ or Dreamings, often integrating references to christian stories into his work. My favourite piece was one about his mother and some of her stories.
Later in the afternoon I wandered home and began feeling a little sorry for myself. Just as I was wondering “why God have you brought me here to feel so lonely”, I received a phone call from a woman at the ABC, Verity, inviting me to join her and her friends for lunch on Sunday.
She’s a volunteer with the West Australian AIDS Council and was involved in a Long Table Lunch. The lunch itself was excellent and I had some really great conversations about everything from radio to adoption to art and architecutre. From there, I went to meet a couple of blokes who have been particularly friendly since arriving, Shawn & Lance, with whom I had a glass of wine or two. Likewise, we had some really great conversations about a range of issues. From there, it was home for dinner and then finally I had a drink or two at the pub I have mentioned previously, “The Court”.
On Wednesday I wandered down to Rydges CBD Bar. Located on street level (just near the historic His Majesties Theatre), the CBD Bar is half-restaurant, half-bar. It has a really nice open air feel. It’s also a little bit posh with high ceilings and modern timber furnishings. The reason? “Fruits In Suits” which is exactly as the name implies. Earlier in the afternoon, I’d asked someone from work, “Should I go, or is it dodgy”. At his suggestion I wandered down, although I would never have attended something like this in Sydney – it kind of reaks of Rotary. Nonetheles, I had a reasonably good time and met some interesting people. I spent the first half-hour though standing by myself until someone came over and asked, “Are you here by yourself”? etc.
Last night, I attended my first work “Social Club” event: drinks at a place called “The Lucky Shag”. Yes, that’s right! They’re very literal in their naming of events here in Perth! It’s a waterfront bar located on the banks of the Swan River. The river has a wonderful walking track for most of the way along it which meant I was able to have a very leisurely, cruisy walk almost all the way from home to there. The bar has a predominantly Western Australian wine list and serves beer by the pint. It seems like it’s a very popular spot on a Friday night, due to its proximity to the CBD and to its river views. We drank, played pool and chatted. On a couple of occasions a few people wanted to talk shop which I found a bit overwhelming, since I just wanted to relax and socialise, but I guess it was okay and I understand why they wanted to chat.
Tonight I’ll probably go and see a play either Jonah (at WAAPA) or Unidentified Human Remains (at Curtin University). UHR sounds pretty interesting and it contains nudity, but it is OTB (over the bridge) and I’m a little broke at the moment, so I guess I’ll make a decision later today about that.