Thursday, July 13, 2017

Perth holiday

I have had the most incredible host for the past week. I don't think even my good friends would be able to put up with me for this long, so she is a real saint. Sharon took me from Fibres West to Northam for tea, and then we looked at the painted grain silos nearby.
Then we stopped in York and found this beautiful gallery. When I walked into the shop, I immediately saw Bridget's tea towels and remembered that she was back in Australia! We had met in Belfast years ago and it was wonderful to see her work all around this shop. Of course I had to get her book on Australian birds.
Meanwhile, during the evenings, this winged one was being born.
The next day, we had breakfast with Sharon's brother and partner and saw SO MANY beautiful birds. I didn't even bother trying to photograph them, though here is the wetlands/lake we were walking about, with black swans and other birds.
She made me the most delicious and nourishing dinners, and then we'd sit in the evenings for more handwork and Australian programs.
Monday was a great treat: the zoo! I haven't been since I was a child, but this was the way I was going to get to see the classic animals of this continent.
After spotting this one, we saw a mother koala with a baby riding on her back as she scampered high up into the trees.
This one is an unusual sighting because his bill only turns this bright blue during mating season. He's a FAST swimmer and we followed him all around the waterways. There were a ton of other animals but I won't bore you here. Since it's school holidays, there were lots and lots of children about as well.
And suddenly, all done! Very special, and in its new home.
Jaslyn and her daughter took me on a lovely walk through Kings Park with stunning views of the city. That was my third visit to the park since landing! Di took me after I landed at the airport, Sharon took me so that we could have an impromptu gathering on Sunday of tutors who were still in Perth, and then this was the visit where I actually got to walk through bush and see more of the park.
After a fun lunch of yum cha and Italian pastries for dessert, I finally got to see and touch the Indian Ocean for the first time in my life. We were pelted a bit by the rain on the beach but it was worth it.
The next day Sharon took me to see the gorgeous new circular library. This is the kind of library all citizens deserve! We also visited a bunch of places in the city and I gleefully spent the money I earned on art sales on all kinds of treats like books, art, and decadent lotions. Then we went out for Japanese dinner and then gelato with Di before going to the movies, a lovely documentary about cats in Istanbul.
Today was tea with family, a special dance/meditation class, walking around Fremantle (which included more delightful food and a touch more shopping), and then the final drive up the coast.
This was close to where I was the other day, but this time we got to stay out longer in the better weather, mesmerized by the waves and ocean sounds and surfers that start to look like other creatures entirely.
After another perfect home-cooked dinner, Sharon kept me motivated to finish the next duck commission, the smallest I've done. It turned out perfectly. Now, some sleep before tomorrow's packing and pickup: a five hour drive down south for Teaching Round Two!

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