Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hello Emptiness

Wendy here. Well the honeymoon is over. Don has flown away home and I'm feeling cranky, lonely and tired.

And even worse FAT. Yup I finally had to face reality and recognize that living on all the pastries, icecream and cookies I could possibly imagine is not doing good things to my waistline, so... it was time for the inevitable - a diet. So although I had to spend the major portion of my day grading.I have slowed down the calorie intake and when my brain got too tired to think, instead of eating, I took a walk up High street to see what I could find. Here is the view from Pakenham of our little gated community.

I actually headed off in a different direction at first, but ended up trying to find hills to climb and this brought me back around to High Street. On the way I encountered colorful parrots flying around. (This never ceases to amaze me - they are so bright and cheerful and they chatter noisily even though they can be hard to find once they land in the trees.)

High Street climbs a hill that leads to a large war memorial on the top. Each side of the memorial is dedicated to a different war effort. One side says 1918, one says Gallipoli, One says Palestine and the fourth is dedicated to the Fallen Sailors and Soldiers. Along the edges of the hill crest are smaller monuments - to the Dutch for their martial support for example - This monument had fresh flower bouquets laid upon it. At the central monument here was some kind of religious gathering. I heard praying and then saw the group head off in a little mini-bus. They looked very serious.

You can see Perth from the top of the hill off in the distance tothe East:

The way home gave me a chance to look at some of the typical historic architecture.

This was an interesting car parked along the side of the road.

This is now a hostel or hotel of some kind, but is a beautiful long colonial building with the most gorgeous iron-work I've yet seen here. Unfortunately the picture does not really show the details of the work.

On the way home I crossed through the High Street Mall (pedestrian and shopping zone.) I include this photo because I pass this way almost every single day that I am out and about. Past the same buskers with their off-key singing and cracked voices and the people reading their newspapers and all the tourists looking for the perfect plastic souvenir to remind them of their stay.

On the way home I ran into Ros Fairhead and so I accompanied her to her volunteer office. She donates her time once a week to a place that offers inexpensive legal counselling for the poor. She was looking stunning and imposing in dark clothing with her hair pulled up. I was sweaty from my hike wearing my cheap souvenir t-shirt and jeans (My underwear even showing as I had forgotten I was wearing low-rise jeans after visiting the ladies room and had tucked my shirt in! (How embarrassing!) She had taken me to the theater the night before and it was a fantastic production!

"Tough Girls" is based on the real life events in Victoria, about police corruption and a gang war that was the sensation of Australia during the 1980s. (There was even a major mini-series written about these events) The web site explains it better ( ) says:

Victoria’s underworld is tearing itself apart, and the new order is yet to be revealed. Tough Girls is a new musical theatre work by one of Australian theatre’s brightest stars, which looks at the women crucially involved in these events.

Tough Girls is about the tough girls in crime families, inspired by the very public life story of Kath Pettingill, the matriarch of the criminal family involved in the Walsh St police killings in Victoria. Set in a caravan park on the outskirts of Melbourne, the play is about the similarities and complicities between the good and the bad guys, the banality of evil and the Australian underworld that is busy destroying itself.

I really enjoyed this production. The music was great, the acting was fantastic and the writing was excellent. The play presented real thought-provoking commentary on some major ethical issues and on the difficult lives for women in worlds that are dominated by men. I suspect this play will win some major prizes in the next few years.


At 8:14 PM, Anonymous min said...

There's an Overeaters Anonymous meeting on Delhi street in Perth. This should kill two birds with one stone (or however many stone you plan to shed). There are people there, so you won't be lonely. Phone: +61 8 9420 7254
Or you can talk to the parrots for company.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

I think I'll talk to the parrots, "Hello, My name is Polly and I am addicted to food..."


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