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Entries on 1-October 09

Winter of Discontent

Posted by Ben, Oct 1 2009, 03:59 PM

After arriving in Perth from Bali, I told my closest friend and companion for the past 10 years, that I'd fallen in lust in Bali. I had worked from home for 10 years so we saw more of each other than a normal married couple. I helped promote her small luxury hotel and she nurtured us. Her health had been poor for a couple of years. She was a great mother to my son. A few weeks after Bali we argued over nothing and I walked out but as usual it was me that made the first moves at reconciliation. My phone message was unanswered. When I drove past her apartment on a few winter nights, the lights were out. I left a note under her door mat about tourists from Ireland wanting to rent one of her apartments. Three days later I had a business meeting with the property manager of the Scarborough beachfront apartments where she was living. After 3 days the note was still there so I told the property manager she had either collapsed in her apartment, or gone to hospital, or was visiting her son interstate. Unfortunately they found she had died in her sleep 5 days after the last person spoke with her....
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Entries on 14-August 09

Tearful Man

Posted by Ben, Aug 14 2009, 09:30 AM

My winter escape from Perth this year was to Bali, where in the cafe next to my Kuta hotel where is was eating, I met a wonderful, young, educated, fun, smart, friendly Indonesian bar girl with smooth light brown skin, lighter than my Indonesian great grandmother's. We arrived late to the beautiful island of Nusa Lembongan and with just the shirt on our back decided to stay the night so we could go snorkelling and check the surf. In a hillside villa overlooking the bay of many shades of blue, coral filled water, I feel in lust. The next day after snorkelling with the most beautiful tropical fish in the world, motorcycling round the island to secluded beaches, etc I think I fell in love. I'm not sure because we were only together for 4 days but on the long high speed boat ride back to Bali, I couldn't stop tears rolling down my cheek because I was powerless to change her life. Despite airfares being so cheap between Bali and Perth, I have been told that a tourist visa from high risk countries like Indonesia are difficult to get. One migration agent told me $10,000 bond would...
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Entries on 10-July 09

Baby

Posted by Ben, Jul 10 2009, 01:49 PM

I booked flights back to Perth today after my daughter was born a few days ago near Vientiane. Arriving at the end of winter and beginning of hay fever season. That sound pessimistic but there are many positives to Perth one of the best places on earth.

I rode my fold-up bicycle through the Tha Bo markets this morning. There was a lady selling cinnamon bark. That was the only thing she was selling. I don't know if there was a big demand for that item in this small town today. Another was selling shallots. I bought some fresh orange juice blended with crushed ice. It is humid here while Perth is freezing. This will be my first winter away from Perth in years.

We're in the VIP room of the Thabo Crown Prince Hospital (TCPH) @ $30 per day. It is very clean. The staff are very good and well trained. The Isan food for 2 is delicious - better than restaurants and included in the $30 per day. Baby was a little jaundice, so they're giving her UV lamp therapy. Nurses guaranteed me there is no risk of skin cancer with this low dose and filtered spectrum. The beautiful Thai...
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Entries on 10-May 09

Earnest Spear Fishing Perth

Posted by Ben, May 10 2009, 07:25 PM

The Importance of Being Earnest play written by Oscar Wild, performed by the Churchlands Senior High School in Perth on Friday night at Chruchlands was SUPERB. The best acting performance I have ever seen in Perth.

Next morning I sailed to the 3 Mile Reef beyond and north of "Little Island". After anchoring and pulling down the jib, my passenger Adrian Glover and I dived overboard with spear-guns for a bit of spear fishing in Perth waters. I speared fish for tourists for a living at Aitutaki Cook Islands for years but this was the first time in decades that the primordial hunter instinct came over me again. That hunter instinct is something I recommend all single mother encourage their cotton-wool clad sons to experience. Out of practice and in cool water of May I still managed to spear nice sized fish, one of which was delicious barbecued whole. Didn't have time to BBQ it till next day because as soon as we sailed back to the Hillarys Yacht Club, I raced to get a Mother's Day present. She's a fan of Irish writers and a widely published writer.

Then is was off...
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Entries on 7-May 09

Day in Perth

Posted by Ben, May 7 2009, 09:57 AM

Autumn weather in Perth this year has been perfect. Warm, clear blue skys, light winds, day after day. We've just had one of the driest Aprils in Perth on record and now into May 2009, the perfect Perth days keep coming. I feel sorry for workers stuck in air-conditioned offices in the Perth CBD. Yesterday I did my usual office work in the morning. In my lunch hour I surfed Trigg Point. Didn't get wiped out once but did get caught inside once. With rocks only shin distant deep, I wonder when I'll connect. Rocks at Trigg Point have ripped out fins and put a dent in the bottom of my surfboard but so nothing but scratches on the top of my toes as the sucking current drags dangling legs across rocks.

In the afternoon I popped into see how the 4th motherboard of my PC repair was going. I paid extra for a guarantee which expired but because I was sold a lemon the company is for now keeping up their after sales service commitment to me. Their technician said that testing of the 4th motherboard showed it was still faulty. He guessed that the manufacture is not prepared to fix the...
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Entries on 27-January 09

Australia Day

Posted by Ben, Jan 27 2009, 08:03 AM

Australia Day Perth

Australia Day started with a swim at Scarborough Beach with my son. After losing weight from my low cholesterol diet it was going to be a day of eating for enjoyment even if it meant dying earlier. Delicious oysters at Cafe Del Pescatore were followed by a traditional Australian meat BBQ at the public BBQ on the Scarborough Beach foreshore with Jill, Anna and friends. After being in the sun in a sailing regatta most of the day before I could feel sun burning and almost turned down an invitation to spend the afternoon on a boat on Perth waters.

The vast deck of the ex-crayfishing boat was a wonderful party platform. Many other boats anchored in Crawley Bay were packed with party goers, as were the banks of the Swan River. Music and laughter drifted across the water as our wonderful hosts Peter and Nola kept serving up great food and drinks.

Party Goes Drifting By

Sunset brought out the best light and aircraft before the Australia Day fireworks display over the Swan River. My spare camera batteries were so low that it was a matter of point an shoot.

Bi-planes...
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Entries on 19-January 09

Decadent Social Justice

Posted by Ben, Jan 19 2009, 04:30 PM

I guess the majority of recipients of our taxes for Prime Minister Rudd's Christmas spend were needy however I heard from my medically unwell friend who lives in a Western Australian Homes West house in Perth that when the money arrived, drunks in hoon-mobiles kept him awake all night going in and out of nearby drunken / drug parties in Homes West rentals. Am I doing something wrong being among the working poor to pay taxes for able bodied stupid people. Would it be possible for Homes West in Perth to send out inspectors at times of windfall payouts to see who's not showing any concern for public housing nor social concern for their neighbors in high density public housing.


Entries on 22-December 08

Weight Problem

Posted by Ben, Dec 22 2008, 07:55 AM

With Dutch genes I've always been tall and thin. To help put on weight I eat a lot, including cheese, butter, full cream yogurt and guzzling a litre of full cream milk a day. Annoying to me are exercise machines with modes for "weight loss" without a mode for "weight gain". That's a breach of equal opportunity against thin people. Every few years I have a routine medical checkup. Recently my Perth Doctor told me all was OK: liver function, blood pressure, testosterone level, etc except cholesterol; up from a few years ago. I've always detested skim milk, soya milk and all those horrible tasting milk substitutes. I already catch and eat more fish than red meat but giving up on oysters and prawns is a dismal thought.

If is sit too much I loose a bit of weight. With a moderate amount of exercise: surfing and cycling Perth streets, I maintain weight but this type of aerobic exercise does not build a lot of muscle. Apart from spending boring amounts of time pumping iron in a Perth gym is anyone able to advise me how to put on weight by eating delisious...
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Entries on 20-November 08

Science

Posted by Ben, Nov 20 2008, 01:16 PM

David Blair, Western Australian Scientists of the Year, showed me through the VERY interesting Gravity Discovery Centre and gravity wave detection research facilities of the Australian International Gravitational Observatory at GinGin about 50 minutes drive north of Perth, up Wanneroo Road past Yanchep National Caves. It turned out that David and I had the same physics teacher, Dr Greenhouse, who inspired me to become a science teacher and researcher. Davidís uncle, Guy Grey Smith was a friend of my parents in Darlington who made the breakfast bowels we ate from. Also by coincidence, David was speaking on ABC radio about environmental sustainability, while I was driving my car to meet him. David is a great host. His enthusiasm in showing me the Gravity Discovery Centre is infectious. The Gravity Discovery Centre includes interesting interactive physics displays, inventions such as Ralph Sarichís prototype orbital engine, nature displays, a huge art gallery with spectacular paintings and photos of the cosmos and how different cultures relate to the cosmos, the Australian International...
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Entries on 6-August 08

Cultural Tolerance

Posted by Ben, Aug 6 2008, 07:49 PM

Serving as an Australian Volunteer Abroad (now named Australian Volunteers International) science teacher at Aitutaki, Cook Islands, Polynesia, South Pacific, was a great experience for me. I lived on Aitutaki continuously for 10 years. An important thing it taught me was that all cultures have their strengths and weaknesses - yes, even the Anglo-Saxon / Celtic / European, which is dominant in Perth Australia. When I first went to Aituaki I lived in the private home of the chief of the island while he lived next-door in the house of the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) I admired him a lot. He taught me a lot of things. He and village chiefs would always have first pick at the feast table. They nearly always went for fish head. After watching them suck eyes and brains, I tried and started to get a taste for fish head too. After a year I realised that head is the best part of the fish. Sucking eyes and brains is one of my party stunts in Perth. After all the gasps and oohs die down I say I can't help your western cultural hangups. You're missing the best part of the fish.
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