Posted on October 21, 2008 - by MG
Brother-in-law Paul reckons it’s too cold to swim without a wettie. But Our Kid is tall and strong and lives in the mountains! Nothing can put him off!
Ah, mes braves, so much to tell about my visit to Western Australia, I don’t think I’ll have time.
Bullet point summary then:
- My sister’s new baby is awesome. I couldn’t get enough of holding him. 8-week old babies are delicious. They just lie in your arms looking up at you with their gorgeous little eyes.
- My sister’s whole family is awesome. When two very good looking people marry and produce children you get beautiful kids, but my nephews and niece are also clever, funny and adorable. I say this entirely without bias.
- Claremont is terrific. They know things about baking there that have long been forgotten in this country. The coffee shops of Claremont (and prob Australia in general) are several notches above what we are allowed in the UK. I still have fond memories of the passion fruit muffin I ate the last day I was there. With whipped cream on the side, and not the spray kind!
- The Indian Ocean looks fab but it’s devilish cold down in Perth, where Antarctic currents wash up on the beaches. It took me a whole hour to pick up the courage to swim at Meelpup Beach, despite the dazzling soft white sand and crystalline, turquoise water. Waters are sharky, too…Great Whites and tiger sharks munch on Western Australians all too often.
- Talked to almost 400 students at local Claremont schools. Great fun and some wonderful questions. Including one (of a long series of intelligent queries) from a Year 9 (= to UK Yr 10) at John XIII College.
“Has becoming a writer changed you as a person?”
Hmm, very perceptive to imagine that it might. The answer is a resounding yes. As I told the Year 9s at JTC, I used to spend precious little time on inner contemplation, the opposite, in fact. As a scientist and an entrepreneur I was quite sniffy at all the industries around self-help; NLP, psychotherapy for the mentally healthy, basically anything that encourages you to look into your inner self. Even now I’m uncomfortable with those things. An inner voice objects with the cry “Stop finding yourself so damn interesting!”
But as a writer I’ve been forced to spend hours and hours mining my feelings and emotions and memories for material. Yuck! I had hoped I could write entirely without recourse to any of that. But I’m not clever enough to write intellectually dense yet emotionally spartan material. I’ve become rather contemplative. It’s all a bit embarrassing.
- A new friend, Daniel confirmed a long-held suspicion of mine; over a plate of slow-roasted, aged organic beef and a glass of decent Cab Sav, he told me that men fall properly in love only once. “Your first girlfriend kills you,” he said.
In ZERO MOMENT I am currently enjoying tormenting poor Joshua’s tender young heart. Since I’m a girl I can only guess at what teenage boys go through. (Well I observe, remember and then guess.) Daniel’s comment was timely confirmation.
I encourage all my male readers to backup – or deny Daniel’s assertion. Does your first girlfriend spoil you for all those who follow?