13 Days and Nights

Stephen and I were guessing how long we had been home. We thought nearly two weeks. We had a few days of not much happening, just settling in, unpacking and shopping for food. I went with Marie to see Mum on the Wednesday, after three nights at home. We had a Working Voices Choir committee meeting on the Thursday evening, then went to see Marie and Geoff to catch up on Friday afternoon. G, our exchangee came to pick up the keys for his Croydon apartment on Saturday morning and we went to the Stadium to check out where we would meet Matt on Sunday. There was a great sunset as we walked back to Albany Highway to get our bus home.

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On Sunday afternoon we went to the football with Matt. We all went back to our place afterwards for tea. We travelled by wheelchair taxi after catching public transport to the Stadium.

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On Monday Marie and I did a Tilda Workshop together. I have taken on a quite challenging project which should keep me going for a while. If it doesn’t become a UFO (unfinished object).

We went to the State Libary on Tuesday to see some short documentaries as part of NAIDOC week, then had lunch at the senior citizens centre at City Place. Stephen and I took Mum to the Parky Pub on Wednesday. It was a sunny day, but cold, and they had an open fire in the dining room. We sat close to it.

In the evening we went to a talk at our local libary with the CEO of Greenpeace. It was an interview type talk and very interesting, and scary, of course. His message is that although it is good to get on board with recylcing, without systemic change it won’t make a lot of difference to global warming. It is a matter of the government shifting the responsibility on to citizens – and we are not the main polluters. We asked what we could possibly do and he reminded us that social change has to come from ‘we the people’ – our choir has a song about that. Stephen mentioned the choir when he asked a question at the end. He had prepared some slips of paper as business cards and there were a few people interested, including one man.

Yesterday I met with Glenda, Jackie, Lesley, Scott and Matt at a cafe at Dog Swamp shopping centre to discuss his goal plan. He has a very interesting and fulfilling life. Thank goodness. Stephen shopped whilst I was out.

Today we went to another lunchtime film event at the State Library. The films were documentaries celebrating Aboriginal artists and musicians. We went to City Place for lunch and ran into Jeff Carroll.

At the moment I am ensconced in a cafe just around the corner from our place. It is new, and styles itself as a Dairy Cafe, with products such as icecream, milk, yogurt and cream from Sunnydale Dairies (Waroona). The coffee is OK, but better is that I have it almost to myself, apart from Lesley, the owner. There are two other cafes close by, but they are sometimes so busy that I don’t feel tempted to go in. I’m pretty sure this one will take off as well.

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Home at Last

On Saturday morning we had a sort of private taxi to the airport. It was very quick and we had help with our suitcases, which we much appreciated. We checked in and went through security. The security section was quite pleasant, with lots of pods open and no waiting. They did not require as much sorting out of stuff as in China, and had the special screening machines for people, which meant they didn’t actually touch us.

After that, we went to one of the cafes for breakfast. I had a bowl of porridge and shared it with Stephen as it was quite big. Our flight was at 9.30 a.m. and we assumed (rightly) that we would not be fed immediately on getting onboard. The photo at the top was taken at the cafe.

It was a relatively pleasant 12.5 hour flight. We were served two meals, a brunch and an evening meal. In between, which was quite a long time, they served little savoury rolls and other snacks and drinks on demand. The staff were lovely and always behaved as if it was their pleasure to look after us. It was a day flight for us, and we didn’t try to sleep, just rested. Although we were sick of being cooped up by the end we agreed that we were well looked after and it was as enjoyable as it possibly could have been.

At Singapore we were transferring in the same Terminal. It was still quite a long way to our next gate, and we even caught a little train, but somehow not as frenetic as some of our transfers have been. The 5 hour flight to Perth wasn’t quite as nice as the previous one, we mainly had male flight attendants and they simply didn’t appear to be enjoying themselves looking after us. The food wasn’t quite as good either. I guess it depends on the contractor doing the meals, as much as the actual airline.

Stephen hadn’t eaten on the flight, so after coming through the automatic passport check and customs we went to a cafe for coffee and snacks. I was still feeling OK, with very little sleep, but Stephen was feeling pretty sleep deprived.

Much as it is a security feature to have someone in the house when we are away, it is still disconcerting to find things in different places, etc. I felt well enough to go and do a little bit of shopping for food for dinner and breakfast. We went shopping again yesterday (Monday) for extra groceries.

This morning I spent time finishing unpacking and sorting out my study. I did some washing yesterday and it was still pretty damp this morning. I’m feeling that there may be less dust from the building site next door and have put the washing outside to dry. We thought that the building might have progressed more than it has, but they appear to have done all of the foundations.

On Sunday night we had difficulty sleeping. We got up at 1.30 a.m. and had hot milk and toast, then went back to bed. We slept in, despite the workers having commenced at about 7.00 a.m. Last night we went to bed later, at about 11.00 p.m. and pretty much slept until 7.00 a.m. when we were woken by the noise from the building site. As a consequence we feel somewhat better today.