Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas in the Wild West

So the trip continues to Western Australia! This time last year we were very settled in Sydney starting to look at buying property (just as well that didn’t come off), we knew where to buy the groceries, had discovered our new best restaurants, had a great bunch of mates and R2 was moored 10 mins from our apartment, which had that view. If you had said that in less than a year we would have been leaving I would have said never. Sydney really is the place that has it all; I over heard a guy on the ferry one day say on the phone ‘it’s still the place everyone wants to live’. We loved it and I don’t mind telling you it really was hard to leave. We had a great send off, which made it even harder as it really hit home what great friends we had made. ReVision went on the truck, the car went on a train and we went business class, all off to the wild west…..

Since we have arrived I can honestly say we have never worked so hard, so it is a little hard to comment on life in Perth yet. Carolyn has been holding down two jobs effectively and has made two trips back to Sydney. Andrew has found his calling and is loving/living work, it just goes to show that it is possible to find a perfect job. Although if you have to go to work, getting up in your beach side apartment, driving down the coast for 20 mins to an office that looks out over the Indian ocean, with dolphins swimming by in an industry you are passionate about is a bit hard to beat - good on him eh – I just wish he’d put the blackberry down at weekends at least!

Then there is ReVision; she has taken up nearly every other spare minute we have since arriving. She fared well on the truck, however the job of putting her back together combined with updating some equipment and carrying out necessary maintenance has been all consuming. She’s been overhauled below the water, all new instruments, all new mast lighting and wiring, pulpit has been off, bowsprit painted, some varnish refreshed, sails repaired – the list goes on… But today we have declared her fit to go to sea – she’s been out just locally but next weekend the plan is to take her on our Christmas trip and go south about 200 miles to Geographe Bay. This is just north of Margeret River, apparently it has some great sheltered, shallow anchoring in clear water - just what we need for some heavy duty relaxation whilst partaking some of the local wines and produce.

That all said our first impressions of Perth are good, the weather and beachside living is certainly agreeable. Carolyn is fairly regularly seen in the sea before work in the morning. The quality of fresh food is exceptional; we do have the best food shop in Perth just up the road, which is just so tempting, but there are plenty of fresh supermarkets which are also fantastic. As a result we have mainly been eating at home, cooking on our new Webber- Q (BBQ), sat on our fabulous terrace overlooking the beach and ocean with Rotnest island in the distance. We have met a few people through work, neighbours and marina neighbours . All of whom have made us very welcome, so we are starting to get out and about a little more – always handy through the Christmas period. Having said that Perth city is probably one of the most uninteresting city’s we have ever been to, there is really nothing there, although it’s small enough to walk across and is quite green. The Swan River is huge but shallow so it’s just water with nothing really going on in the city area anyway. Needless to say we never go there other than for work. The list for and against Perth at present is as follows:

For / Against
Beaches / No shops after 5 or services on the weekend
Weather / A long way from anywhere
Food & Wine / Restaurants
Cottesloe / Perth City
People (other than CUBS) / CUBS (cashed up boguns)
Real stuff happens here – it’s wild! / Too many Brits – one dart board on a balcony is one too many!

It is interesting how you adapt. It’s quite late in the evening and Andrew has just flown off to Dubai, I am writing this with music blaring from the street and xmas revelers partying, and I am oblivious. When we lived in Mosman it was always so quiet, you only heard the engines from ships over the water. Here it is full on with the sound of waves crashing all the time, surf life savers and runners in the mornings, kite surfers in the afternoons and the partying on the weekend. I only realised tonight that I don’t even notice the noise anymore and the sea, beach and sunsets are just spectacular! Maybe I even like living in this place – it makes you feel alive.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.