Chocolates, cheese and jumpy castles

Early one morning, while making the rounds, I took a shot of cocaine and I – hang on, I’m not Johnny Cash, which is a relief. Instead, I put on my running shoes and did a two mile run around Margaret River. I got a bit lost and went to the top of a hill, following a trail that I tried (and thankfully failed) to make my wife walk on our first yomp into town a few days ago. At least running on my own I had nobody to suffer alongside me.

I got back, we packed up and then drove off in search of fun. First we went to a cheese depository, or dairy, or whatever you call it, and bought an enormous amount of cheddar, which sweated in the boot of the car as we drove across the country.
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Earlyish to rise and early to bed

We got up earlyish and headed into Margaret River for breakfast: coffee and a doughnut for me, and croissants and muffin for the ladies. We ate them in a cosy little bakery with old furniture and pictures of Freda Kahlo on the walls, and possibly some horsehair, because by the end I was gagging and sneezing. Out we went into the world outside, and my wife took La Serpiente and Destroyer up to the shops to buy nappies, while I fetched the car so they wouldn’t take umbrage at walking all the way home.

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Fremantle to Margaret River

This morning we packed up and left the apartment in Fremantle. I liked it: it had a nice view of the harbour from the balcony, the kitchen was nicely outfitted, the underfloor heating was awesome and the bed was enormous. But it wasn’t suitable for children – whether that was the steps everywhere for small children to trip over, or the hard tiled floors that made the underfloor heating possible, or just my two little goons’ obsession with doing things as dangerously as possible. You don’t need to eat breakfast while jumping up and down on a chair that you’re simultaneously trying to lean back so you can be thrown over the railing and down a flight of stairs. It’s just that apparently that’s the fun way to do it, when you’re somewhere approaching four years old. Continue reading “Fremantle to Margaret River”

A day out on Rottnest Island

One of the last things we did on Rottnest was to get lunch at the Hotel Rottnest, which has a children’s menu adorned with a truly terrifying picture of some demonic animal. That animal is the quokka, which is a cat-sized marsupial, now only found on Rottnest and Albany Islands. And that animal was why were were on Rottnest Island.
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Beer and shit

Tuvalu was an island that famously had an economy built on birdshit; over centuries, it became deeply covered in guano, which was then sold as a highly effective fertiliser, making the people of Tuvalu both rich and a great case study for affluence-induced Type II diabetes, but now as I understand it, the bottom has dropped out of the birdshit market and there’s nothing to do but sell people .tv internet domains until rising sea levels eliminate the island.

Another island with an economy sending to revolve around fecal matter is Rottnest, and I say that because practically the first thing you’re presented with on arrival is quokka crap as far as the eye can see. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see quokkas crapping. (Quokkas are either very cute small marsupials or enormous rats that hop everywhere and crap everywhere else.)

The residents of Rottnest are largely unperturbed by this, so used are they to it. At least, that explains why we were eating a meal at the Hotel Rottnest and there was a sizeable turd in plain view, inside the restaurant. (We were on the outside of the restaurant, looking in at this dirty protest.) "Oh, it’s just a quokka, a member of staff said when we pointed it out, as though it’s fine to have excrement on the floor of your restaurant as long as people think the animal is cute. People say my kids are cute but I don’t think they’d allow me to have them defecate all over the place and then not clear it up.

But perhaps she was just fatigued by constant quokka crapping. As I walked out the front door of the restaurant with some drinks, another quokka was on the threshold, apparently preparing to curl one out on the doormat.

The real reason I’m so focussed on this was because of my beer.

Here’s my beer:

And here’s my beer when I was about to take a last mouthful, just after a seagull shat in it:

No thank you, Rottnest.

Of course, if you don’t get crapped on, Rottnest is very nice. I’ll describe that a bit later. First, I had to get every other animal emptying their system, out of my system.

Getting to Perth

Today was La Serpiente’s and Destroyer’s first visit to Australia; after last night’s TV marathon, they went straight to bed, so this morning we woke them up, hosed them down and then went off to the airport. We flew with Scoot, because they were cheap. Scoot fly 787s, which is cool, because I’ve never flown in one before (although I had been to the factory in Everett once – world’s largest building by volume, trivia fans) and also because they have these special windows that you can dim electronically, instead of pulling a blind down. (The dimming doesn’t happen instantaneously; at max dimness, the sky becomes a dark shade of blue and you’re like "that’s quite impressive, but not as useful as a proper blind"; but then five minutes later it’s opaque. I remember complaints when the 787s first flew commercially that the electronic window shading didn’t work; maybe the punters were just too impatient.) Continue reading “Getting to Perth”

Almost time for launch

This morning I related my conversation from yesterday to a colleague. “Well, you don’t have any EQ” she said.

I had the last laugh, because only people who don’t have any EQ would be confident in making bold statements about other people lacking EQ.

Oh, hang on. That’s not right…
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