Travel tales

  I saw this guy on the train from Melbourne to Ballarat, he intrigued me, and I had a note book and pen handy…

He’s wearing black leather lace-ups, reminiscent of those Dad wore in the sixties. His suit is forest green, with cuffs on the trousers and four buttons on the jacket sleeves to discourage nose wiping*. The jacket is folded on his lap, along with a parcel, his hands folded on top. His nails are short and clean, as is his hair. He’s wearing a tie that is nicely neutral  infinitely bland, a vanilla essence of a tie. His shirt is white and plain, long sleeves buttoned at the wrist, a large, neat collar. In the pocket is an envelope. a map, a pen and a big black label inscribed with the words –


church of


of the latter day saints.

The ‘elder’ is not a day over twenty. If that. Later he rolls up his sleeves and takes out a notebook. Writing in the book, he plants his old-time leather shoes on the seat opposite, right under the sign that says- No Feet On The Seats.

*Historically, not especially for the youthful Elder.

# I changed his name, for the usual reasons.

         Perth Nov 28 2010

Driving home after breakfast

The last of spring, feels like summer

Hard flat blue sky

Houses in rows, shoulder to shoulder

Jacaranda in bloom and bougainvillea

at an intersection a cicada is singing

driving home after breakfast

At the end of spring, feeling like summer.

It’s become a tradition, when visiting Perth, to go out for breakfast one morning at a little hipster cafe. I’d tell you the name, but I’ve forgotten it for now. They serve vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals, fair trade, free range, delicious. Bryan and I found it for ourselves on our first visit to ‘the West’, after a long walk in search of The Thread Studio, a textile artist’s heaven on earth. We needed coffee to keep us going! We soon found out it was a favourite haunt of Zoe and Matt, and went with them for breakfast. Some of these breakfasts have been lingered over long enough to order more coffee, and calling it ‘morning tea time’, fabulous cake. Something Persian, full of nuts, and probably syrup. If you are in Perth, and it’s still there, do go. No doubt the name, which I have forgotten, will appear in the comments at the bottom of this post!

On the day I wrote this poem, it was shaping up to be another hot day. Perth had had a mere fraction of its normal winter rain- climate change biting hard. Lawns were brown and the streets dusty. All the car windows were down, like in the summers of my childhood, when we arrived wind-blown and slightly grubby from any long car trip. 

Speaking of heat, anther great place to eat in Perth is Chutney Mary’s, in Subiaco . You don’t have to order the Vindaloo, which is seriously hot! It’s popular and therefore busy, but if you love Indian food, it’s the place to go.