The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

A week in Perth

– April 21st, 2006 –

I’m a little bit late posting this. Needless to say, internet access - let alone wifi - is somewhat lacking in the oldest rainforest on the planet. As I’m writing this, Emma and I are sat in our camper van just south of Port Douglas in northern Queensland. Tommorow, we’re driving up to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation which promises to be fantastic, if the weather holds out (but I guess it’s our own fault for coming to Queensland at the tail end of the rainy season, and did it rain today!). But this post isn’t about Queensland, but our week in Perth.

I like Perth. There are lots of reasons why; from the pristine CBD and cheap sushi, to the stunning scenery and great beaches. There’s an energy in Perth similar to other Australian cities, but Perth in particular seems more so. There’s a lot of building going on, house prices are on the riseit certainly seems like a city on the up. However, there’s one thing I couldn’t get used to in my week in Perth—apart from the tea as Emma pointed out last week—was the feeling of isolation.

Perth is an isolated city. Let me try and put it into some geographical context. Perth’s closest major city is Singapore, not an Australian city. It’s the same distance from Perth to Sydney as is it from London to Moscow and you can fit three UK’s in the state of WA (Western Australia). Imagine one large city in half of europe. So, Perth is pretty isolated geographically and you would expect that culturally things might be a bit out with the rest of the nation—thankfully this isn’t the case as Perth seemed as metropoliton as Sydney or Melbourne. But, I just couldn’t get the isolation thing out of my head, and to be honest, it kind of made me feel quite agoraphobic. Is this because everything is so close, and we’re so packed together, in the UK? Not sure.

Anyway, following on from Emma’s post, things were quite hectic with the run up to Emma and Clinton’s wedding last Friday. The day itself was fantastic. The happy couple were blessed with beautiful weather (a cool 30C!), great food, good music and plenty of booze. The ceremony was quite different to a UK ceremony—It was very laid back, conducted in a public venue overlooking Perth under a large gum tree. Following photos in several locations we accompanied the bridal party to the reception in a fish resturant called the mussel bar in Freemantle (about three doors down from Little Creatures) for quite possibly the best sit-down meal for a wedding we’ve been too. Emma and Clinton headed off for their honeymoon in The Kimberley an Emma (The Wife) and I, were left in the capable hands of the bride’s sisters (Jenny and Rachel and boyfriends Tim and Russell), to show us the sites for our last two days in Perth.

We were all geared up for a trip to Rottnest Island the day after the wedding, but booze, too much sun and lack of sleep got the better of us (and the fact it was Easter weekend). Instead, in the afternoon, we headed over to Freemantle and up the north coast along the beaches.

Our flight to Cairns on Sunday wasn’t until 10:30pm, so we had plenty of time to get another full day in. Jenny had the idea of heading up to one of the wineries in the Swan Valley for lunch (no complaints from us!). Jane Brook winery is a fairly small winery, but produces some cracking wines. Favourites were the Margaret River Merlot and the Shiraz and, wierdly, a sparkling red. Coupled with a great spread of local cheeses, bread, homemade coriander and chilli pesto and hummous we settled down for a slightly tipsy lunch.

We’ve enjoyed our time in Perth. We’ll give it a few years, but we’ll be back for sure.

Filed in: personal.

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