We are on our way to London for a visit to Wales and the old Anglo Saxons counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. For the last few days we’ve had a stop en route in Perth to visit David, Yuki and the boys.
The weather here has given us sunny days but very cool nights. The daytime temperatures were around 20C but the temperature has dropped down to as low as 2C on some nights. When the sun goes down it gets very cold.
It has been good to see the grandkids again. Orin is now a very bright little boy. He can follow the instructions on the Lego set that we gave him and he delights in taking things apart and reassembling them over again. He rarely asks for help. He is enjoying being at Kindergarten which, in Perth, are attached to the local primary schools. We found that it was important to distinguish ‘Kinder’( his weekday activity) from ‘Kindy’ which is a Japanese language Kindergarten that he attends on Saturdays. Orin can speak Japanese and English fluently, swapping from one to another depending on whether he is talking-to Mum or Dad.
Little Koa has grown up a lot since we last saw him in November last year. He is babbling away, singing songs and crawling all around the house. Like Orin, he understands words in both languages. Koa learnt to say ‘Poppa” while we were here and smiled at me every time he said it. The two boys play well together (for the most part) and both wanted a story from us before going to bed. We left the Japanese story telling to David.
After doing a quick Google search for good photo locations, we spent some time in the mornings stopping to do some photography. The first place was Crawley Edge Boatshed, at Matilda Bay on the Swan River. This beautiful blue boatshed sits at the end of a timber boardwalk on the banks of Matilda Bay on the Swan River.
This is a favourite spot for Instagrammers. Every other time that I have driven past the boat shed, there has been no one around anywhere, but on this occasion it seem s that half of India there with a tour group of young people taking ages to shoot themselves in stupid poses on the little jetty. It was a long time before I could get a turn to take a photograph. When I turned around to walk back ti the car, there was an equally long line of Chinese tourists behind me. These tour groups must be taking it in shifts to photograph this place!
The boat house was built some time in the 1930s, perhaps to house the pleasure boat of some affluent local person, it’s changed hands numerous times, as well as undergoing various repairs and renovations over the decades after storms and floods.
On another morning, we drove down to Cottlesloe Beach where there is a nice panoramic view from the breakwater over to the old pavilion on the beach front.
This beach has more than a kilometre of pure white sand and has been one of Perth’s most popular spots for swimming, snorkelling and surfing for many years. A better time to photograph here probably would have been in the evening when the sun sets over the the Indian Ocean but when travelling, you are only here when you are here. You can’t often choose the best time.
Yuki and David are leaving for a trip to Japan next weekend and they wanted to find some gifts for the people that they would be visiting. There is a nice shop at the Perth Botanical Gardens, so we went there to do some shopping. It is just near the war memorial and the lookout there has a great view over the Swan River and Perth CBD.
Saturday (May 18) was my birthday and Orin was very keen to make me a cake. He and his Mum worked hard in the kitchen and made a beautiful cake decorated with strawberries. We ate it all for afternoon tea.
The Federal election was held on the same day as my birthday. Counting of votes starts when the polls close at 6.00 pm. That meant we didn’t have very long to wait vary long to see some of the results from the eastern states as Perth’s time is two hours behind. We were as surprised as anyone to see that the incumbent Liberal / National Party coalition were returned to govern for the next three years. Three months ago, I would have said that they would be annihilated. Two weeks ago, I might have said that they would lose narrowly, but for them to win was a real surprise!
Our hotel was right in the middle of the city and this was a very convenient place to do some last minute shopping. One of the things that I like about Perth is how they have kept many of their old buildings. These are now interspersed with the more modern ones and create a nice juxtaposition between the new and old architectural styles.
I’m posting this from the airport at Perth, just before boarding the long QF9 flight which goes to London non-stop from here. It’s going to be about 17 hours in the air but we have done it once before and we know what to expect. If you haven’t read it before, you can see my summary of this flight here.