While it has been cold and wet in Melbourne, today has been 26 degrees C here in Perth where we are visiting David and Yuki. We have enjoyed the nice warm weather and are looking forward to the next few days when this nice sunny climate will continue.
We started our morning with a visit to the office tower in which the mining company Rio Tinto’s headquarters are located. Every year they have an exhibition and sale of paintings by aboriginal artists who live in the areas in which they have their mining operations. Rio Tinto displays and sells the paintings at no charge and it is a wonderful way of supporting local communities and providing an income for the people. Many of the paintings are spectacular works of art. We managed to see the same exhibition last year when we were here in Perth at a similar time. This one is equally as good and we bought a painting by an artist named Allery Sandy of the Yindjibarndi People.
Just across the street from our hotel is the Perth Apple Store. Tomorrow is the day on which the iPhone 6 starts selling. We have been amused by the queue that has been building along the footpath all day. When we walked along the street this morning, there were about a dozen people already lined up.
Tonight at 5:00 pm, the queue now has a couple of hundred people. .It extends along a block and then around the corner for another 100 metres. It’s interesting that these people will line up all night to buy a phone. Almost all the people in the queue are Asains. I walked along the line and counted only 4 non-Asains in the total length of the queue.
In the middle of the day, we spent some time in KIng’s Park and the Botanical Gardens. The main roads into the park are lined with old gum trees, each of which has a plaque commemorating a Western Australian Soldier who died in World War 1. Since it is the 100 year commemoration of WW1, we paid special attention to the names on some of the plaques. We had visited many of the places where these brave young men had died – Messiness, Polygon Wood, Amiens and Bullecourt, for example.
The wild flowers in the Botanical Gardens were really beautiful and there was a terrific display of various species. It’s almost as if nature gave this dry area of Australia something to make up for its rather dry and inhospitable climate. We had lunch at the cafe and then a walk around the War Memorial and the lookout that provides a splendid view across the river to the city.
It was a very nice day, so we decided to spend a little time driving along the area that the locals call the ‘Sunset Coast’. This road follows along the beaches that border the Indian Ocean. We started near Swanbourne where the SAS are located and then continued north past Scarborough. We were back in town early enough for me to have a coffee with my old friend Ibrahim with whom I worked many years ago at Control Data. Ibrahim is now teaching English to foreign students. One of his sons is a gifted artist and has had entries in the Archibald Competition (Australia’s annual leading portrait prize competition) for the last few years. We have some tickets to see this exhibition back in Melbourne in a few weeks and we will look forward to seeing his latest painting.
After a little while to catch up with a few things, it was then time for dinner with David and Yuki. They are doing well and we are looking forward to spending a lot more time with them over the weekend when that can get away from their work.