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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 9 September 2016

It’s (Not That) Quiet on the Western Front (1)

Many years ago in a pre - child life, I started writing about the place where I grew up which is Perth, Western Australia. I starting writing to commit to memory all the things I loved about it. I found this old piece of writing today and have decided to post it in excerpts as a homage to the Perth I knew and loved.  Perth has changed significantly in the past five years due to the mining boom. Rampant development and consumerism has affected many parts of the city which I held dear.

So in memory of the Perth I once knew:


My hometown hugs the shores of the West Australian coastline. She nestles there like a faint diamond amongst the vastness of the state. The fact that Perth is the most isolated city in the world of its size, is useful for dinner party conversation or when someone asks:

Where in Australia are you from?
Which side is that?
The west coast. The other side from Sydney and Melbourne. The side no-one visits.


It’s the most isolated city in the world.
Oh really. I didn’t know that.
Yes. It’s closer to Singapore than its own capital city.

At this point, the consideration that you are from the most isolated city in the world has entered the person’s head. The neurons in their brain come to a silent conclusion:  HICKSVILLE.

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia; the largest state in country

Coming from Perth, I’m used to this kind of geographical prejudice. My hometown doesn’t have the international status of Sydney, the unofficial capital of Australia or even Alice Springs, home of the much clambered upon Uluru. People who grow up in Perth have a love-hate relationship with this remoteness.  We dislike the isolation for it breeds cliques and a small town watchfulness. It fails to rate on the international stage despite world class beaches and the best weather in Australia. Perth could disappear tomorrow and would anyone know? But the isolation gives us space to create, develop and initiate away from other influences and trends. It is an immensely creative city with a Mediterranean outlook.


When the plane approaches Perth, my nose is pressed up against the window. If it is a daytime descent, the land below looks like an Aboriginal dot painting. If anyone were to doubt the complex physical and psychical connection that the first Australians have with their land, all you would need to do is view the land from an airplane to have those doubts diminish.

The view of Oz from an airplane 

In daylight the clarity of the sky is unlike any other place I have been. The combination of light and space and air forms a blue clearer and sharper than any other. This blue is my homecoming. If it is night, I look for the lights of the Perth skyline. Harder to spot than a vastly lit metropolis like London or Hong Kong, the Perth city lights flare against the inky darkness like a lighthouse beacon guiding the aircraft towards the landing strip. I am always impatient to get out of the plane and the airport; eager for the first few deep inhalations of West Australian air. Dry, crisp and tinged with leaves and sun. Arriving at daytime, the glare of the sun and bright blue sky hits you as you exit the building. You immediately feel as if you have been zapped intravenously with high dosage vitamins.

Breathe in. Out.

I'm back.

Horror Vacui

Oh I had so many ideas of what to write about for this next blog entry. Our trip to Iceland; our first 'family summer holiday', a.k.a what to do with a really active child 24/7 for six weeks; an abridged version to all the books I am reading/not reading; my transcendent experience at a Paul Kelly gig and many more ranty bits which are not making it on here because of the weird reality that I am busier now not working than when I was working.

This makes no sense right. After all, I was working four days a week before. How can I have less time now that I am gainfully unemployed?

Friends ask if I am enjoying my free time.

Free time, I laugh, Yeah I am enjoying it. This is it right now. Us talking.

They say that nature abhors a vacuum. Applying this principle to the increased hours in my day, I concur with 'horror vacui' as first postulated by Parmenides. My diary is living proof of this theory.

Is it a law of nature that the more time you have, the more things you do? Certainly this is something I have always been guilty of.  I am more tired too as a result. At first I blamed myself for doing too much but now I realise I am just following the laws of physics.

Horror Vacui, would be the perfect heading for my gravestone as cause of death. I am sure when the time for my eternal rest comes, it will be from over exertion.

But until then, excuse me. I have stuff I need to do.