This Life in Perth blog is intended to keep you in touch with the latest in West Australian affairs. Even though you can’t be here to enjoy Perth, it doesn't stop me from giving you tit bits to keep you up-to-date with what's going on in Perth and Western Australia.
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A 20-foot shark tore a man in half yesterday as he was snorkelling with passengers off Australia's west coast. It has been speculated that a great white shark or tiger shark (both of which are common in the area) was responsible. Witnesses say that the man didn't have a hope against the 6-metre shark which made a beeline for him. Several other divers who were in the water with him were unhurt.
The attack happened off Wreck Point, off Pelseart Island, which is part of the Abrolhos Islands group, 60km west of Geraldton and comes just months after another man was killed by white pointers off a popular beach in South Australia, heightening the already common fear surrounding shark attacks
The body has not been recovered and searches have stopped. A Police spokesman said that currents in the area are such that anything would have been taken out to sea and with the large volume of fish and the many sharks in the Abrolhos islands they don't think there's anything left …
The questions are being asked whether it is wise to snorkel on the edge of the deep continental shelf where large sharks are known to inhabit. I guess anything like this can be avoided by simply not going in the water, it is the shark's domain, if we snorkel in deep waters then we take that risk.
Saturday 16th March 2005
I admit it was great to visit the UK and travel round and see the family but it did remind me why we moved out here to Perth. Perth is just so clean and dryer than the UK. I left 2 deg in the UK and arrived to 28 deg in Perth, fantastic.
We did have a great 3 weeks in the UK, spending time with my sister in Loughborough, some friends in Milton Keynes, lunch with an extended family (31 in all) on my Dad's side in Nuneaton (see picture below for just a few of us). My Dad I was very pleased to see, he lives in Spain now but made the trip back especially to see me. From Nuneaton it was over to South Wales to see Gareth's Mum followed by Exeter to see my Mum and a quick visit to the castle where we were married in 2000. Then finally Kent to see Gareth's Dad. Of course during this time we also crammed in lots of family and friends that lived in the near vicinity to where we were stopping. I even popped into my old workplace to see the crew there. I just couldn’t resist taking a picture from my old office window. Which view do you prefer?
Monday 11 April 2005
To the left is a view of London and to the Right Perth
OK so it is not the first time I have had a go at kite-surfing, Gareth has a kite and I have body-dragged behind home a few times. I even had a go at dragging with him having a hold on me once. Trouble was his kite was too big and powerful for me and scared me somewhat when it took me several meters out of the water.
So I was really pleased to find out that when faced with a kite of a manageable size to learn on and not high winds I actually really enjoyed the sport. Where I went for the lesson was cool too. The water was only waist deep so no worry about getting dragged out of my depth. I think I will be going back there now until I’m a bit more of an expert.
Trouble is now that we are in Autumn we will be saying goodbye to the sea breezes and having nearly everyday a good kite surfing day to having to settle for an OK day every once in a while until the sea breeze is back in October. Oh well I hope to bring you photos of me looking cool on a kite-surfing board at some point in the not too distant future.
Saturday 16 April
We want to see how the build is coming along on our Investment property and I must admit the site of a part built house is a little exciting. I almost want to move into it myself. Trouble is I love the home we already have in Woodvale and we can’t afford to pay the mortgage on 2 properties and just keep it for a weekend home.
It has been 13 weeks now since the building work commenced on our investment property and it is coming along nicely. I just need to now start to think about organizing the few bits and pieces we decided to do our selves such as organise the cross-over to be paid and ordering flooring and window treatments.
I can’t wait to see it complete.
While we were there we took a walk along Port Kennedy beach which seems to be a popular place for a spot of beach fishing. Perhaps I should invest in a fishing rod and have a go myself.
Sunday 17 April 2005
Well OK I must have been asleep last year and missed it but I didn’t miss it today. There I was just off the train and on my way through Perth CBD to work when a panda bear wanting to give me a hug chased me along the sidewalk.
After catching my breath and taking a look round I noticed that the Perth City streets where covered with students in fancy dress of one kind or another selling newspapers for charity.
What was going on? It didn’t matter where you turned there was a fairy or some guy dressed up in drag wanting to take your money off you!!!
A little investigation and I learnt that it was PROSH DAY. PROSH (short for possession) is a special day in April when University students dress up in fancy dress and sell a satirical (funny) newspaper with the funds going to charity. Charities this year include
Cystic Fibrosis, Senses, and
Wednesday 20 April 2005
On the 25th April each year the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops are remembered on ANZAC Day when all Australians commemorate the landing in the Gallipoli bay in Turkey during the first World War. It was a campaign that lasted 8 months and saw over 8,000 Australians killed.
Eric Bogle wrote a song called "Waltzing Matilda", in honor of the troops. The song is about a soldier who lost his legs in the battle. A recect version of this song is sung by The Pogues.
Here are the lyrics
When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen-fifteen my country said son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off for Gallipoli
How well I remember that terrible day
When the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
And we buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then it started all over again
Now those who were living did their best to survive
In that mad world of death, blood and fire
And for seven long weeks I kept myself alive
While the corpses around me piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I awoke in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, Christ I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
And no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
To the green bushes so far and near
For to hang tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me
So they collected the cripples, the wounded and maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The legless, the armless, the blind and insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
And they turned their faces away
And now every April I sit on my perch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving the dreams of past glory
I see the old men, all twisted and torn
The forgotten heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask me, what are they marching for ?
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men still answer the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a-waltzing Matilda with me ?
Monday 25 April