Sunday, 12 February 2012


In which whale sharks are once again the star performers
Starring Jack the jellyfish killer

From Brisbane I flew to Perth to see my excellent friends Belinda and Geoff.  I’d been to Perth before so that liberated all of us from any kind of rigorous sightseeing agenda and we were able to spend the weekend mainly lying around, eating (a lot) and entertaining their kids – something the whale shark videos proved particularly useful for. 

We did manage a trip down to the beach though my interest in swimming in the sea in Perth has declined considerably over the past few months.  Firstly in KL I met a Texan guy whose best friend was taken by a shark at Rottnest Island (just off the coast from Perth) and then my friend Bee mentioned, as we dived into the nice clear waters off Cottesloe Beach that someone had been eaten right there about a month ago.  Thankfully there was a large group of school kids doing their swimming lesson further up the beach and making exactly the type of noise and splashes that, having seen Jaws, I knew would attract the sharks away from us. 


My friends live in an area called Bicton which is right on the river and we spent a very nice morning taking their new canoe its maiden voyage along the shore, building sandcastles and with the help of a number of children examining jellyfish which were bobbling harmlessly (unusual for Australian animals I know) in the shallow water.  Distracted by something or other we turned back to find that one of the ringleaders had orchestrated the accumulation of an enormous heap of jellyfish that were slowly cooking in the hot sun.  “You’re going to throw them back, aren’t you?” I said to, lets call him Jack, in the most authoritative tone I could muster.  “No,” he replied with that particular Aussie lift at the end of the sentence that other nationalities use to indicate that they are sharing utterly obvious facts with a person of limited intelligence.  “But they will die,” I said.  He just stared at me.  Apparently, I learned later, you are not supposed to say ‘die’ to children in Australia. 

Amazing home cooked breakfast
My extensive exploration of the culinary delights of Oz extended to a night out at wine bar for cocktails(of course!), champagne, oysters and cheese!  In one night I must surely have spent everything I saved by living off noodles and soup for so long.  Australia is expensive but it’s certainly worth it. 

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