Perth. How I’ve missed your blue eyes and warm breath.

30 03 2012

We’ve been here for just over three weeks now and with my hand on my heart I can tell you that of those twenty five days, I have only seen one day where there was a wisp of a cloud in the sky. It’s been blue skies and temperatures 27degC and above every day.  Every day!  Of course any Perth-ites reading this will be wiping their brow and saying “Yep, that’s right.”  Perth has not had this many heatwaves for the last 115 years, a heatwave being classified as temperatures reaching over 35degC for three consecutive days or more.  It is supposed to rain this weekend.  Rain.  Now that will be a novelty!

Since I was here three years ago the city has really got its groove on.  There are new skyscrapers making a noticeable impact on the city skyline and the new stadium is an eclectic combination of building materials that look like they’ve been collected from the local recyclers.  But even with the vast improvements in the public transport and the new Perth underground, cars are still bumper to bumper on the freeway morning and night.  Mental note: avoid the freeway at all costs.

A good friend of Roger’s has very kindly loaned us his jeep to get us around Perth until we buy our own car, however, the battery is knackered and so the Suzuki X90 has to be bump-started every time we use it.  we can, we park on a slope or a hill. But if there is pushing to be done, I am the official pusher…much to Roger’s embarrassment.  He feels awful sitting in the driver’s seat while “the missus” is hanging off the back, but I refuse to bump start it.  I know what will happen.  By the time we reach the end of our street I will have flooded the engine, Roger will be awash with perspiration, he will have pulled both his hamstrings and will be trying very hard not to swear at me.  The marriage will last much longer if I just push.

Our temporary wheels

The creepy crawlies in Perth are just the same as before.  I’ve watched mesmerised as a thick line of ants carry molecules of left over dog food to their homes.  One has to give this some perspective to fully appreciate the capabilities of the ant.  It would be like me putting my old Toyota Starlet on my head and carrying it from one end of Oamaru to the other.  If I was a bug in the insect world, and I was starting a business, I would hire ants.  Those little buggers are indefatigueable.  Let that be your power word for the day.

In addition to the ants, I’ve had an unpleasant encounter with a spider the size of my hand, a cockroach that leapt across the surface of a swimming pool straight into my face *shudders convulsively* and just two nights ago Roger and I found ourselves clambering over the top of each other chasing a mouse across the kitchen countertop.  Mental note: shake shoes thoroughly before inserting foot.

Orb Spider - the latest addition to my Aunty De's World of Pets

My final animal encounter occurred about a week ago during a job interview.  There I was sitting round a board table opposite He-Editor and She-Editor, both whom I was trying to win over with my best hire-me-I’m-amazing-smile.  Meanwhile, underneath the table out of view, my feet were being licked to death by a small, brown daschund clothed in a burberry diamante studded harness who had waddled into the room uninvited.

As I saw it, I had three options:
1.  Allow the unwelcome foot bath to continue and ignore it as best I could.
2.  Ask politely for the dog to be removed from the interview room and in doing so wave my anti-dog flag for all to see.
3.  Kick it away.


Daschund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While all of this was running frantically through my head, I was at the same time trying to absorb the words of She-Editor who was by now outlining the roles and responsibilities of the job.  I smiled and nodded, completely oblivious to what she was saying: “My feet are under the table, the dog is under the table.  They probably can’t see underneath there.  I should say something, that would be better.  Or maybe I could just kick it.  No, better not kick it.  I’ll just give it a firm nudge and then the wet tongued handbag will leave me alone.”

So I tried to nudge the dog away from me, but ended up ‘chinning’ the dog, causing it to become straddled on my airborne foot from which it then fell off sideways.  “Oh Kiri,” said He-Editor who had been observing all of this from his side of the table, “is the dog bothering you?”  BUSTED!

Oh the shame, the shame! A grown, respectable woman picking on a helpless albeit very well dressed dog.  “Would you mind terribly putting it outside?  I’m finding it quite distracting, a dog licking my feet while I’m being interviewed,” I said flashing my winning smile, which fell crookedly off my face.  The gig was up.  I doubted if there would be a job forthcoming from this interview.

I maintained as much composure and dignity as I could while I click-clacked out of the building.  However, my final shreds of that disappeared as in my high heels, in full view of the staff, I pranced over to the jeep and began straining and pushing it from behind. Roger, wanting to assist me in my efforts, was half hanging out of the door when the back wheel of the vehicle accidentally rolled up onto his Zigtech Reebok shoe.  He yelped, then hollered and then leaped about the carpark clutching his foot in pain.  Meanwhile, I was left vainly clinging to the back of the driver-less car which had begun edging its way down the gradual slope towards the gleaming BMWs and Range Rovers parked on the other side of the carpark!

It was one of those days to remember.  And have you ever noticed the god-awful sound that high heels make when they are being dragged unwillingly across an asphalt surface?