Sunday, June 19, 2011

Looking for the magic

My partner and I do not have an anniversary  because despite being an item for 20 years, we were too lazy or too cheap to ever bother getting married (or when we are feeling rotten we tell each other that the reason is that we are waiting for a better offer. Yeah, good luck with that.)

But last weekend we did have an anniversary worth celebrating as that was one year since we arrived here.  It has been an unforgettable year with a few ghastly lows and many wonderful highs, all the while watching from afar as the city we left behind unfortunately copped a truly unforgettable year too.

So last weekend we headed out to celebrate our milestone. On Friday night we went to the shiny, new and gobsmackingly gorgeous State Theatre Centre (above) for a night of fresh, funny, poignant and original theatre in the form of Perth Theatre Company's production of The Pride. The next night we drove to Fremantle to a tiny club to see one of my favourite acts all the way from New York: the amazing, inspiring, ridiculously cool yet charmingly chatty Joan as Policewoman.

Magic and magic.

So how have we done compared to what we'd hoped when we moved here? Well I've certainly come a mighty long way since our first day when we drove past Mandurah's many enormous and to my mind architecturally bankrupt houses and I glared at my partner and scowled "You said it wasn't like the Gold Coast!"  I've recovered from the shock of discovering that the two predominant styles in these parts are cashed-up bogan and doing-it-tough bogan. I've discovered that there is much, much more to Mandurah than initially meets the eye; this is a good thing.  When people ask how I'm finding it here I say "very interesting" and I am not telling porkies.
We are now on a roll finding the joy and fun that comes with living in a new place.
We came here to explore,
discover and learn,
to find challenges and thrills,
and to be fascinated and intrigued.
 We came here looking for new things to try, new things to love and new versions of the old things we already loved. 

As the marvellous Joan would say, we came here looking for the magic.  We're finding it,  but we sure aren't finished yet, and for now we aren't the slightest bit interested in better offers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Keeping up with the older set

Most of my new friends here are quite bit older than me, in some cases many decades older. I guess that's what comes with mixing in booky, crafty, textile art circles and living in this particular neighbourhood in this particular city. These women are as sharp as tacks, involved in everything, voracious readers and take some keeping up with.

But there is one grand dame I have given up trying to keep up with. Her real name is Tammy but Australians like to give things nicknames so in following local custom we now call her "The Tamster". (My son, the chief dogwalker, is known as The Tamstermeister.) Her owner scored her from the dog rescue place so isn't exactly sure of her age, but she is at least thirteen human years old.  Nobody believes us when we say how old she is.  This summer was so long and hot that she ended up having to have two haircuts (she usually only has one a year) which made her look even younger. 

Before we met her Tammy hadn't been for regular walks for quite some time.  At first we took her for shortish walks around the neighbourhood, then longer and longer ones.  Now she has decided that what she really wanted is runs.  Now I love walking, but running, not so much.  That is a job I leave for the now quite tall people I used to call TheShortFolk.

But the most fun we have with The Tamster is when we take her in the car to the beach.  Last time we went was a beautiful evening and she sprinted down the beach then leapt around in circles like a great big puppy.  In the car on the way home she kept slobbering on my neck as I was trying to drive which is apparently how she says thank you.

She has so much energy and such a zest for life that it is like she is taking some kind of youth serum.  When I'm her age I hope I'm just like her.  Only I hope I can resist any urges to roll in piles of rotting seaweed.  And maybe not so slobbery.  And definitely not so hairy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bad day in birdland

Despite the fact that our rented back garden belongs to the "Missed Opportunity" school of landscape design, it is still heaving with birdlife.  This is largely due to the fact that our neighbour, Tammy's owner, has an beautiful garden full of mature native plants. 

Another neighbour has a cat.  That cat's garden is from the "Scorched Earth with Naff Ornaments" school of landscaping so doesn't get many birds visiting.  The cat is too scared to venture back to Tammy's garden after it had to get rescued by a bunch of firemen after spending a sad night up a tree crying, so it sometimes lurks in our garden instead.  I suspect it hung out in our garden yesterday as this morning I found grim evidence.  Somewhere out in birdland there is a very sore or very dead twentyeight parrot.

We are not allowed to have pets in this rental home.  When we do eventually move to a home of our own the children hope to get a pet.  It will not be a cat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Going bananas for gone bananas.

I've been having a recurring dream.  It is about a gorgeous, curvy, tasty creature.  The creature is cheap, but in my dream certainly never nasty. The creature's name is Bonita.

Yes I have been dreaming about bananas.  We haven't eaten them for months and are in serious banana withdrawal. I can now blame all my incompetencies, inadequacies and inefficiencies on being deficient in all the things I usually score from my banana intake.

Cyclone Yasi swung by in February and wiped out most of Queensland's banana crop and since then prices have gone up and up and up - just like they did a few years ago when Larry swung by.  Apparently Australia does not import bananas though my deprived brain cannot come up with any good reasons for this.  Today bananas were priced at $18.95 a kg at my local supermarket.  After weighing one and doing some calculations I worked out that at the rate this household usually disposes of bananas that that would add at least another $80 to the weekly shop. Given that my weekly grocery bill is already almost double the number I used to spend in New Zealand, I yet again went home bananaless.

Well at least I have my dreams.  Of banana cake, banana muffins, banana pikelets, banana fritters, banana and jam on toast, plain old emergency handbag banana .....  

..... and of September when affordable bananas will apparently start making their way back into the shops.