Just consider yourself lucky that Back to WA, Rolf Harris’s marvellous musical contribution to the sesquicentennial celebrations of his Australian State of birth, appears entirely unavailable in any form on the internet. Had it been on youtube, the video of it would have been right above this text. You’ve dodged a bullet there. Just bear in mind that in 1978, as Rolf Harris dutifully sang that WA was “the only place for me”, he had already been living in the UK for a quarter of a century. From my very vague memories of the lyrics, his justification was that he had been to Honolulu AND LA but he much preferred WA (even though he didn’t actually live there any more). And if it’s good enough for Rolf Harris, it’s good enough for me.

So here I am, back in Perth, Western Australia, and it’s certainly time I updated this blog. I wrote a good three paragraphs about my flight but the mere act of writing has proven cathartic enough so, in summary: A) everyone hates crying babies on a plane but I have some sympathy for their parents. However, if your child is 10 years old and his pathetic non-stop whinging can be heard the length of the plane, then you are a bad parent and stoning is too good for both you and your four fat, selfish offspring. B) The food peaked at mediocre and then got worse. C) Thanks for the three-hour window of opportunity to sleep between finishing collecting the dinner trays at 1am and turning the lights out, and then turning the lights back on at 4am to start serving breakfast.

So yes, the flight may well have turned me into a sleep-deprived misanthrope but this was all negated by the pleasure of walking outside into sunshine and a total absence of snow. Not to mention the relief that my bicycle hadn’t been trashed by the luggage handlers. My father met me at the airport and drove me back to his place, made me coffee, drove me on a few more errands and finally dropped me at my residence where I ignored all the boxes that needed unpacking and had a quick nap before going for a ride and then being taken out for a meal by my parents. In fact, I hate unpacking so much, it’s surprising the number of chores I got done instead of taking stuff out of boxes, such as getting a telephone, ordering some internet and even trying to tee up some work.

It took me a week and a bit to get a fridge so I made a point of showing up at my parents’ place about dinner time. Here is old man Rollerson relaxing in his back garden with a glass of wine while contemplating the barbecue:

He's torn between two thoughts. The first that his glass needs refilling and the second whether he should give the meat two or three minutes on each side.

But it wasn’t just the parents who were taking care of me. Frequent Blog o’Rollo commenter Chong took me on a twilight ride that took in both of Perth’s rivers.

A pleasant loop on a pleasant evening.

We met at the tunnel in East Perth.

Do you see how I took a blurry photo and now I'm trying to pretend it's meant to be artistic?

And we got back to town just as it was starting to get dark. Note how Chong eschews the saddle bag by stuffing everything into his pockets.

But the fun didn’t stop there. Chong had his rice cooker set so we picked some 100% no MSG dishes from The Sparrow takeaway and headed back to Chong’s where the highlight of the evening was my first taste of durian. It wasn’t nearly as smelly as I had been led to believe and it was quite fun watching Chong cut the spiky fruit up to get to the edible portions.

Funny-looking stuff, isn't it?

So the smell is weird, it’s a bit slimy and it makes you think of offal. Wikipedia has a nice description of the flavour. I could only manage the one piece but I suspect it’s a taste that I’ll acquire as I eat more of it. Chong, on the other hand, had a few straight and then made himself a milkshake with some of the remaining pieces.

And I’ll leave you with this little video I made of the short bike ride I had last Sunday. It’s really only there to taunt those of you in the northern hemisphere who are snowed in but it’s mainly on the bike path along the Swan River and then up into Kings Park*.

*There is no apostrophe in Kings Park but there is one in the Royal King’s Park Tennis Club.

22 Comment on “Back to WA

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