i was sorely tempted to click my heels together a few times over the last week in some vain hope i would be magically whisked away to where i really wanted to be, which was not in perth. but i had to make do with more mundane means of transportation and wait for the plane to come and get me back
im not going to bore you with the work talk. it wasnt always what i expected but i did get some really valuable insights and it was very worthwhile. perth i found disorienting, i dont know why, just the way the sun was never where i thought it should be, and the light was different, and the city centre itself, well, not really a city.
it really did feel like a big country town clinging to the edge of the earth desperately trying not to slide off, with the desert pushing in from the east in waves of heat, even at the end of winter. but it was totally and utterly redeemed by the magnificence that was the swan river. stunning, in all directions.
i worked pretty hard while i was there, lots of long meetings, and notes and paper writing at night, so i didnt get to explore much, but i did have the wednesday off and i figured out the train timetable (oh, on that note, they have an oystercard-type system, tag on tag off. it was awesome. how hard can it be sydney transport?!), to get myself out of town a bit. my first stop was calico and ivy down at mosman park.
(sorry, i completely neglected to get a decent photo). of course i have been to the excellent shop of the same name in balmain where i was superbly attended to by the wonderful donna, and i was equally impressed with their perth store. it was a bit bigger than the balmain store and probably had a bit more yarn, but i think the balmain store has more fabric. it was a very similar aesthetic anyway, and the service was great. i did have an upper limit on the budget, so i couldnt really afford a whole garments worth of kid classic, for example, but i made do with these: one ball of kid silk haze, in the most divine pearly silver. just for a simple drop stitch scarf. im not 100% about me and mohair but i just couldnt resist. just one, to experiment with.
two skeins of koigu, in a mushroomy colour, as a replacement for the spud & chloe (which i think is ruined. let us not speak of it further).
and four balls of a lovely rowan baby alpaca that id not seen before. its so incredibly soft, and im thinking a hat and a mittens for next winter.
im really happy with all of these, a nice variety without blowing the budget. happy again, me and my little brown paper bag jumped back on the train and headed down to fremantle. that was an interesting place. i was met with this statue outside the train station.
which i think is kind of symbolic really. its a wild and crazy part of the world down there. it wouldnt take much for the dingoes to reclaim it. i went for a very long walk here, trying to get as close to the ocean as i could, but its a port town, and a really busy big one, so most of the waterfront is taken up with boats. lots and lots of boats. there was a nice sandy track that looked promising, i went through a tunnel cut into the sandstone under the round house
and came out on bathers beach
gorgeous. the water is the most astonishing blue here, and the way the sun shimmers, as though its reflecting all that red desert light back onto the ocean, it was really beautiful.
i walked as far as i could around the small inner harbour wall on one side,
and then the other,
right to the very end. you can see rottnest island from here (its that kind of white smudge on the horizon),
but thats it, the rest of the waterfront is built up with docks. i stopped at the fish markets and had freshly bbq-ed WA prawns for lunch,
then sat in the lovely park across the road and knitted for a while, before checking out the shops in the ‘cappuccino strip’ (seriously, australia, there must be a better way to do tourism than copy the gold coast model), then back to the waterfront to catch a large boat back up the swan river.
this was a nice trip but also frustrating. the pilot was also commentating, and she was an ignorant white aussie who gave the passengers no sense of australian history apart from the dollar value of the ugly mansions lining the swan.
i wanted to get up and yell at her that there were people here 40 000 years ago and these stupid mansions are built on their land with dollars made by ripping minerals out of their soil, but you cant talk about that kind of stuff here apparently without someone calling you a greeny or a commie (not that i care, considering im both). so instead i let the breeze ruffle my hair and thought nice peaceful thoughts as we played chicken with some sailors
‘my boat’s bigger than your boat’ appears to be the main rule of the waterway in WA. which really is my main impression of the place – a gussied up gold town teetering on the edge of chaos and anarchy. any minute now its gonna blow.
i was glad to get the hell out of dodge and back home to my loved ones, furry and otherwise. and there will be no more of those adventures this year, and a whole heap more knitting.
cant wait to catch up with people soon, and thank you for the lovely comments last time, they really helped.