Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Good Old Dawesville
I spent four days of last week at home minding sick children. (And every time I tried to use Blogger last week it was busted. How dare this free programme I use not be available when I want it! What a flipping liberty!) So I didn't get nearly enough exercise last week and by this week I was quite antsy. I needed something faster than the usual stopstart stroll with Tammy as she pauses to sniff every bit of footpath grossness. I needed something more interesting than the familiar sights offered by my local streets.
So yesterday morning, after finally dropping two well children off at school, I headed straight to a spot that I'd been meaning to explore further.
Mandurah is full of suburbs that have an older, established part and a newer, all-built-at-once part. Some people prefer the old bits of town and some like the new. Three guesses which parts I like. (I can't tell the houses in the newest areas apart. I have promised the children that if I do succumb and buy us a house in one of the shiny new suburbs, then I will help us find our way home by employing the same technique we use to help us to identify our belongings on baggage carousels: I'll tie a huge red woollen pompom to it.)
The place I headed to yesterday morning was Old Dawesville. When I arrived there it was only 8.15am. It was raining and cool and deserted and fabulous. Due to an unusually high tide it was also somewhat picturesquely flooded.
I set off uphill. Old Dawesville has an eclectic assortment of newer homes dotted amongst the remaining original beach shacks.
Both sorts of homes have glorious views across the estuary and all the way to the hills many miles in the distance. (Yup - saw dolphins.)
Unlike the scorched-earth look of the new suburbs, Old Dawesville has established native flora and is heaving with wildlife, including a peewee casually pretending to have one leg,
a butcherbird that made me get a Leonard Cohen song stuck in my head,
and the biggest spider I've seen outside a museum drawer.
I pounded down tree-lined pathways,
past washed up boats,
past the many picnic settings left on the shore - some now draped with flotsam and jetsam,
and some that had been claimed by the flood -
and past more birds.
I got a bad case of the "I could live here"s.
My thighs protested and my face turned the colour of my raincoat (raspberry), as it does. A kindly old chap used the flooding as a conversation-starter. It turned out that he really just wanted to know whether the startlingly bright colour of my face meant I was likely to soon need the services of ambulance, as kindly old chaps often do.
I noted that not all the locals are so friendly.
But even so, on a soggy, foggy morning I decided that Old Dawesville is good. Very good. So good I could even see why some people might be sorely tempted to spend several hundred thousand smackeroos more than their entire house-shopping budget to buy an uninhabitable asbestosy hovel there.