Monday, July 31, 2006

River Walk and Ice Cream 

After walking to Freo via the beach a couple of weekends ago, I decided to take the river route yesterday. I didn't stick to the shoreline all the way, and a little after passing Victoria St discovered I had 6.5km to go. Lucky the rain held off.

Along the way, I passed dinghies on the shore and a public jetty, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Mead's restaurant (which sits over the water), the Swan Canoe Club, St Hilda's (where they're building a new junior school and want to know who's excited), Minim Cove (where they've removed over 13 000 tons of contaminated soil and built big houses with small yards and no trees), old houses in North Freo, the water police at Harvey Beach, and the Prawn Bay Tidal Wetlands (I didn't see any prawns).

Then I walked under the Stirling Bridge and over the Fremantle Traffic Bridge into town. At Elizabeth's I found a copy of Time and the Hunter by Italo Calvino. The shop assistant said she'd wondered when someone would buy it. So I bought myself a butterscotch ice cream (I'd walked how far?) and caught the train home.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Serris Wheel 

After eight years with the same internet service provider, I'm making a shift. Only the sales staff misheard me and they've given my surname (and therefore part of my username) an S instead of an F. I even said 'F for Freddy' to the first sales person but I had to call back with my BSB and the second person took my details again.

I know the name mix-up happens to other family members, even to people who aren't related but who have the same surname, so it's not just me. But I'm sure there aren't people out there explaining that it's Flanagan, not Slanagan, or Smith and not Fmith.

I tried to login three times with my new account before I checked my 'toolbox' and discovered the mistake. I thought maybe I'd mistyped the password, or that my username might be case-sensitive, but in the back of my mind I knew it was that Serris woman come to bite me on the bum. Why do they ask for the number from some photographic ID that they can't see? Actually, that's pretty lucky because the photo ID number I gave them is from an out of date card. But I'm fixing that and I really am me and I really will pay the bills.

Or maybe now's the time for a slight change of identity? Is it too much to hope for a better pretend name?

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Black and Denim, Osso Bucco and Red 

Gill and family invited me over for tea Sunday night. Before I left I started to get snarly. I hadn't written as much as I'd planned, I hadn't done any washing, I hadn't gone to Bunnings to buy a second clothes rack and I hadn't bought any red wine to take along. How disorganised can one woman be? Fancy not going to Bunnings and carting a clothes horse home. So I had a shower and put on my jeans and my cheap long-sleeved black cotton top, which made me feel much better. Familiar, I guess, and black. Then Shan rang to see if I could find out the title and artist of a song she heard on triple j a few months back and we had a good chat. Which made me more late but in a much better mood. I missed a train by a couple of minutes but another came along in a few more and Gill just finished a call to Queensland as I walked in. We ate osso bucco for dinner with extra lemon zest, and Gill had a cleanskin bottle of red for us to drink as well. Gill knew the lyrics to Shan's song - 'beautiful melody' - and we found the info on the net. I posted it off in the mail yesterday. Martin dropped me home sometime after one. Disorganised but loved, thank goodness.
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

BCA Forum and Heritage Pics 

Today I went to Blind Citizens WA's 2006 forum. The Midland trains didn't run due to track work, so I caught a replacement bendy bus from Perth station. Just as I wondered if I needed to press the bell for the bus to stop at Maylands, it pulled up right outside the venue - the Senses Foundation building on Whatley Crescent, opposite the railway. How's that for service?

BCWA currently have an office in the building, which once housed the Royal WA Institute for the Blind and the cane and brush factories that employed blind people. The factories closed a few years ago and I met a woman today who worked here for 24 years. The property has now been sold. The facade is heritage listed and will remain, while the inside is likely to be demolished for apartments. Here's a pic from the corner.

Front of Senses Foundation in Maylands

I've heard the buildings kindly described as rambling - a rabbit warren. The toilet block, which is clean and neat, is outdoors from the main front building. From outside between buildings, I looked up at the walkways attached to the second storeys.

Under walkway, through railings and up at roof.

Walkway with trellised sides and neatly painted guttering.

The gutters at the base of the main building are deep and I wonder if there have always been guard rails to prevent people falling in?

White metal guard rails surround gutters

Despite the institutional walls, there's a warm glow from the resource room, where a woman is washing cups and saucers at the sink.

Two windows in red brick building.

Nooks and crannies surprise me. Stacks of blue plastic chairs stand behind the wire fence protecting this nook.

Chairs behind wire fence in wall, with fire extinguisher.

From the car park the building looms large over people chatting out the front.

The front entrance stands wide and tall over figures below the steps

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Threat to Australind Rail Services 

A friend is coming up on the Australind tomorrow from Bunbury. She'll arrive at the Perth railway station at 8.30am, spend the day here, and catch the 5.30pm Australind service home.

My friend, with much anger, told me that Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Alannah McTiernan has proposed dropping one of the two daily Australind services. Instead, passengers will travel on extra coach services to Mandurah, once the Perth-Mandurah rail line is complete, where they will then catch trains into the city. The proposal, and an invitation to comment, can be read at the TransWA Web site.

According to the media release 'Bunbury to be linked to the Perth-to-Mandurah railway' (20 June 2006), "The Minister said the Australind would still make one trip a day, from Perth at 9am and from Bunbury on the return trip at 2.45pm."

People who wish to take the train to and from the city will now be forced to stay overnight, an expense people travelling to attend medical appointments may not be able to afford.

My friend has a physical disability and prefers the extra leg room on the train. She's not the only one. Dennis Wordsworth, a Margaret River resident, believes the changes will disadvantage seniors. The Augusta Margaret River Mail reports:

Mr Wordsworth said the Australind train service is valued by the local community, particularly the elderly, who are able to book a seat, carry on luggage, access toilet facilities, as well as enjoy a more comfortable standard of transport.

"The plan to replace one of the return trips of this train service with coach transport will result in a significant loss of service to residents of the South West," he said.

"The train gives me a better chance to meet new people, stretch my legs and protect my two new knees and stretch my back.

"I don't travel much at present, however my wife and I are both approaching 75, and when we are unable to drive we will both have to use it for medical appointments or to see relatives."

'Train service petition' (Augusta Margaret River Mail, 2006)

In Collie, Henny Earnshaw is concerned about losing a piece of South West history if the Australind is scrapped completely. Her local member of parliament, Collie-Wellington MLA Mick Murray is for the changes. From the Collie Mail:

Collie-Wellington MLA Mick Murray said he supported the proposal to have extra coach services from Bunbury to Mandurah replace some Australind train services.

"I think its a great idea because there will be an extra six services out of Bunbury," he said.

"The service will allow more flexibility for travellers."

Mr Murray said he would campaign for Collie travellers to have a coach service which would allow them to not have to go to Bunbury.

"I certainly will be grizzling to get a service for Collie where you can hook up with a coach at the bottom of Rowlands or dropped off at Brunswick," he said.

'Fight to save history' (Collie Mail, 29 June 2006)

Coaches currently connect with the Australind from Collie and, according to McTiernan's media release, there will be coach replacements for the Australind services. The coaches won't go all the way into East Perth and instead will connect with suburban trains at Armadale. If this goes ahead, it will be impossible to travel between Bunbury and Perth on government services without making a transfer. Private operator South West Coach Lines currently runs services from Bunbury to Perth via Mandurah without transfers.

The Collie Mail article is also posted at Railway Page, where user The Vinelander has commented,

People prefer trains..END OF STORY!

And this from Labor Government.

From the Opposition comes 'Castrilli backs South West call to save the Australind' (, 5 July 2006). According to the Augusta Margaret River Mail, next month both South West Region MLC Barry House and Bunbury MLA John Castrilli will present petitions on the issue to parliament.

Barry House is quoted as saying, "Clearly this proposal suits the people of Perth at the expense of inconveniencing the elderly and the people of the regional areas who clearly need this service the most."

I don't know how this is convenient to Perth people. I live in Perth and I need to get down south on public transport. Catching the train into the city, then catching a train to Mandurah, then a bus to Bunbury and possibly transferring to a different bus to Busselton doesn't sound convenient to me.

A community group has formed to oppose the changes:

A group called Save the Australind is passing two petitions against the proposal around the region that will be presented to the Upper and Lower Houses of State Parliament next month.

Spokeswoman Catherine Hardcastle says the group is also organising a public rally to coincide with the tabling of the petitions.

Ms Hardcastle says community feeling against the proposal is strong.

'Rally planned against rail changes plan' (ABC Online, 17 July 2006).

If you have more information, a comment, an idea or an opposing view, please post a comment or let me know.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ready for Blogger Meetup 

This post is mostly for Janet, who is not a blogger. Hope everything's cruising along. Missed you last week! I'm off to Perth Blogger Meetup, so I hope to catch up with you next week in chat. Maybe Tim'll be back by then too. All's well here. Loving this winter sun! Catchya soon.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mystery Onion Shortage 

A woman wrote to our local paper a few weeks back to complain about onions. They're naked, she said, and they don't keep as well as onions with their outer layers. She complained that because she always takes the outer layer off regardless, she's wasting edible onion parts.

Ha, ha, I thought, funny Western suburbs people. No letters about plans for wind farms, or crayboats attracting sharks to surf spots, or even about rich people wanting to develop the local land and coast to better suit themselves.

But I read the letter because I'd already gone to the supermarket once and discovered they didn't have any white onions - naked or otherwise - and it bothered me. I asked a guy in one local supermarket and he went out the back to check. No white onions. Tonight at a different supermarket - no white onions. What's going on?

Gill says she uses brown onions for cooking and purple ones for salads. Mum says you have to use white onions, you can't use brown ones!

So, do I change my habits, break with family custom? Is there a shortage of white onions?

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Pretty Flags 

Gill's lent me her copy of The Herd's The Sun Never Sets and I can't stop playing it. Even when it's not playing I have the music in my head. I really like Can't Breathe and Full Moon and I can't stop waving pretty flags in the air.

They tour WA in September, playing at the Rosemount, Mojo's, the Prince in Bunbury, and 3 Bears in Dunsborough.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Kings Park on a Sunny Saturday in July 

Forgetting to pay the rent online can have its advantages. I caught the bus to the property agent yesterday and, rather than wait for the next bus, decided to walk through Kings Park to the city. At the Western Power Playground I saw a sign pointing to the DNA Tower.

I must have looked a little lost amongst all the kids, parents and footballs because just as I worked out how to get to the walkway, a guy with his kids called out, "You can join us if you can't find them."

At the tower I decided that I can climb the Leeuwin Lighthouse so I should be okay, even though the lighthouse doesn't shake. The people in the photo look like they're up there for a casual meeting with whoever's in the clouds.

Four open platforms high, double helix metal staircase, clouds, trees.

From the tower I could look back down the way I'd come towards the playground and out to sea.

Wide grass walk between bushland from tower, sea in distance

The river is visible, looking down towards the water either side of the Narrows as seen here and also towards Barrack St.

Looking over bushland to Swan River and South Perth

Heading towards town, I spotted this silver princess and wanted to take a photo of the bell-like gum nuts.

Silver Princess eucalyt, with white gum nuts and red blossoms

No Ragged Blossom here, all neat and perfect.

Red gum blossom

Yellow flowers are everywhere and yet they always make me turn and look.

Yellow blossom on acacia bush

I'd almost walked past this bloom before I swung around. Yellow again!

Flowering bendy bit on a tree

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Distractedly, Hungrily Yours 

Face-to-face, voice or text? A couple of articles have me wondering about personal communication and maintaining or building contact and intimacy. Firstly, an article in the Washington Post:

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

'Social isolation growing in U.S., study finds Many Americans have 'less of a safety net of close friends and confidants'' (The Washington Post at MSNBC, 23 June 2006).

The article included comments by one of the study contributors from Duke University, as well as a Harvard researcher who suggested TV contributed to the shift and a University of Toronto academic who commented that social networks are not fraying but changing.

By coincidence (I briefly set a Google Alert for 'adaptive technology' - changed that pretty quick smart), I came across Lost connection: Is technology isolating us? (Chicago Sun-Times, 12 July 2006).

"It does seem impossible to find anyone under the age of 30 out in public who is not on a cell phone, even when they are walking with a group of friends," observed Jeffrey Sconce, associate professor of radio, TV and film at Northwestern University. "It's almost as if no one is interested in what they are actually doing, but in what someone else they know might be doing."

Sconce said telecommunications companies benefit from "a new social order where more and more people seem to communicate, not to pass along any actual information, but for the sake of communicating itself."

"I often wonder what it is doing to good old-fashioned introspection," he said. "With all the emphasis on constant electronic dialogue, when will people find the time to actually just sit and think?"

I see people under 30 not talking on mobiles all the time. I don't think conversation's ever been just about sharing information. On the other hand, I've come across the same young woman at the bus stop near the shops a couple of times. She must work in a nearby business and while she waits she phones friends to see what they're doing. Whatever they're doing, she sounds regretful that she's not with them, or doing something more fulfilling than waiting for the bus. I don't think she's looked at me yet (not that I'd necessarily notice and quite understandable, given that I'm usually eating cashews and dropping a few on the footpath) and I wonder if it's not enough that she has a job, her time is now her own and she's on her way home?

But I'm old and maybe I've just hit that age when I should be whinging about how you can't understand what anyone's singing these days. Do you call that singing? And maybe I recognise myself a little and wish I could have learnt to be more present in everyday situations earlier. So now I'm not talking about communication and I am talking about wanting to be distracted and tuned in at the same time, that's what we're using the Internet and mobiles to do.

Then TechCrunch mentioned a new service called Twttr. Twttr allows people to SMS their friends all at once. The review says, 'People are using it to send messages like ?Cleaning my apartment? and ?Hungry?.'


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Watch Where You Put That 

Last year I wondered what someone could do with information about how people mouse around.

Now TechCrunch reports that Click Tales let's bloggers and other Web site owners view video of where their users move the mouse while viewing a site.

I'm self-conscious enough away from the computer, without knowing that someone could be analysing how I move my mouse. But I'm intrigued. I wonder if they'll be tracking a user's gaze soon?

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hi Mum! Hi Dad! 

Hey, I don't have enough readers not to welcome those with a brand new computer and a link to my blog. Not to mention a recommendation from my sister. One or two more family blogs and we'll have ourselves a Ferrisphere.

Mum or Dad, you can comment by clicking on the link below.

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WA Blog Index 

Came across The Australia Index - WA Blogs today. They list a WA blog called Dancing with the Blind Lady: A Laypersons Experience. Vastly different to a blind lady dancing, which I know a bit about, and more about legal matters. My blog's there and it's kind of weird to see it listed without me knowing about the site. Maybe I did know about it and forgot?
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Coaxed Into Cooking 

Matt the Abstract Gourmet is making it really hard for me to ignore my oven and the butternuts I scoot past in the vegie section. Mmm, Spiced Roast Pumpkin Soup. Then there's the Home Made Hummus recipe from a few days ago that I copy and pasted for future reference. Sooner or later I'll be eating more than vegies and cous cous.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

La La La 

Deanne, you're happier than 90 percent of the other people who took Tickle's Happiness Test.

Whacko. Who'd've thought I'd need to develop such a dark sense of humour to be this way? Lol.

The results tell me that:

For example, your test results show that your level of cheerfulness is one of the things that helps you feel happier overall. This means that for the most part you have a good-natured disposition and can take blissful delight in even the smallest things. You may also tend to be in good spirits more often than not. By seeking out humor even in hard times, you can keep your life filled with laughter. While your cheerfulness has a positive impact on how happy you are, it's still not the biggest factor that affects your overall happiness. Want to know which area of your life makes you the happiest?

Given that I'm happier than 90% of the other people distracted by the test, and that I don't have money to splurge on anything but friands and crime novels, I figured the secret to my happiness shall remain a mystery. Cue mysterious Mona Lisa smile.

How did I discover my abundant happiness? I visited Iris, who linked to - where somehow I clicked on a Google Text ad pointing to The Happiness Test: Seven Secrets to a Happy Life. Don't think I'm upset by how easily led I am. I'm off to skip and frolic.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

4 Meme 

Rodney Olsen from The Journey's tagged me for a meme themed Four. I don't think I've ever been tagged before, so here goes:

4 Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:

Caravan Park Office Person / Friendly Face
Newsletter Editor
Grill Bar Attendant (who wouldn't love to hand out raw meat?)
Exam Paper Checker (Note: not a marker, a checker - only I can't remember quite what I checked and, no, it wasn't a good job for me!)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over And Over:

The Blues Brothers (this was on Rodney's list but I bet it's on lots of lists)
When Harry Met Sally (actually, last time I watched this, both Harry and Sally annoyed me, so maybe I'm over it - but I wasn't completely off Marie and Jesse, so maybe not)
The Castle

I'm not really one to quietly watch films over and over again. So there's four comedies - two of which are musical and two of which have Carrie Fisher in them.

4 Places You Have Lived:

Busselton, WA
Kardinya, WA
Augusta, WA
North Melbourne, Victoria

4 TV Shows You Love To Watch:

Enough Rope
Boston Legal
All Saints
Forensic Investigators

4 Places You Have Been On Vacation:

Airlie Beach, Queensland
Wilcannia, New South Wales (Hi Janet - thanks for a great trip!)
Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon, Northern Territory
Swansea, Tasmania (Heya Megs, Hi Cal!)

I went to other places on these trips (that's right, I didn't just holiday in Wilcannia one time) and I've only ever travelled within Australia.

4 Websites You Visit Daily (or often):

4 Of Your Favorite Foods:

Choc Aniseed Rings
Tuna Pasta Stuff
Browne's Traditional Natural-Style Yoghurt

4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now:

A Warm Cafe
New York City

4 Favourite Bands/Singers:

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Mike Patton
Crowded House
The Whitlams

I hate listing my favourite music. My CD collection does have a fair bit by the above bands/singers, so there you go.

4 People To Tag:

A Blogger Would Be Good

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Extending My Browsing Self 

After months of using Firefox, I've downloaded Opera version 9. Yay. I feel like I've come home, everything's so easy and zoomed up to a comfortable 110%. I love it. The last versions crashed on my computer often enough that I opted for Firefox, which I'd installed to check my Web pages, and for my Dad to use instead of IE. Mum and Dad have bought a new computer and it'll come with Firefox already installed, so I'm glad he's familiar with it. Rijk van Geijtenbeek has drawn up a table showing the Top 150 Popular Firefox Extensions and Opera. Until I read this, I didn't know there was an extension for mouse gesture functions in Firefox, so it's handy whichever way you look at it.
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Friday, July 07, 2006

Sea Stuff 

Gill, Martin and Caelan visited yesterday and we went to the beach. Caelan went swimming but the currents looked a bit strong for a wuss like me and I didn't think rolling around where the waves break would make my day. Gill discovered a rubbery sea thing but we're not sure what it is.

Round, rubbery sea life, brown with black markings on hand

Then she found some cool sea weed. You can tell from the photo that we're at the beach as the sun's going down.

Orange red seaweed held in sun against beach and vegetation

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Keeping Up With The News 

After missing news of Eliza Jane Davis's murder until a week after it broke, I'm trying to stay more in touch. When I searched for more news about her murder, I found the front page of last week's Bunbury Mail and Eliza pictured in a Bunbury Catholic College uniform. Too close to home. Friends say they don't want to hear the news - it's all bad, it's upsetting, and they don't need it. I agree when it comes to sensational disaster stories told only because there's video footage or because it happened in an English-speaking nation and there's not much happening here. I can't see how it helps the community to miss news that's happening in places you care about, affecting people you know or have known.

So this week I've visited The West. Why do they have medical news headlines under the 'Entertainment' banner? Why is Perth's weather given on the second line of the chart - under Canberra's? Why do they use headlines and grabs on the main page that don't make it clear what the articles are about? Some headlines and leads are more useful than others but I don't think readers should have to guess, or waste time loading pages just to see if an article's relevant.

Perth Now uses headlines and blurbs that tell more about what to expect from a story and, despite its name, it does have regional news. ABC Online's WA News is another site I should check more often. Have I mentioned that I genuinely miss GWN News? Lots of news about footy teams in Gnowangerup or junior basketballers from Geraldton but at least it feels close.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Aussie Writers See Something and Say So 

When I first read the 'If you see something, say something' billboards at the train station, I couldn't work them out. Accusing, encouraging - they seemed to speak to me personally. Yes! I thought, I will say something! Because the thought of seeing something more than I usually do is really exciting. I'd be shouting it from somewhere high up, no worries.

Took me a while to work out that I hadn't developed a mental illness and that in fact I'd been asked to keep an eye out for terrorists. Then I wondered, if I thought I saw something but couldn't be sure, or if I heard or touched or smelt something, should I say something? I keep a close eye on my own backpack, that's for sure. But even for me, there's so much to see that doesn't require telling. I was bursting with stuff I could see, stuff I could say something about. Little stories.

Someone else's thought the same and done something. See Something is an Australian site that shares stories and photos on the theme of 'Say Something.' Contributions are welcome.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Come Fly With Me 

My neighbour has her music up. I hope it's not in response to me and the Chili Peppers this morning. I'm not sure I sang 'Power of Equality' as loudly as she sang 'New York, New York.' I wonder if everyone in the building did a few high kicks? Is it mandatory? Maybe they're all taking their hair out of Princess Leia-style hairdos or pulling their skivvies down from over their heads? Maybe they're all at work.
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Ethically Repugnant 

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello is quoted in The Age today as saying:

"The biggest funder of medical research is the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth would not fund research which it thought was ethically repugnant."
'Canberra to resist stem cell moves', 3 July 2006.

I'm not sure where I stand on much of the scientific research that will potentially lead to treatments or therapies for retinitis pigmentosa. I'm aware that animals are bred to have various forms of the disease, in order that we may experiment. I know that many people are dealing with more than one disability, or with a disability that affects the whole body, or with a disability that inflicts pain. I'm uncomfortable with this knowledge. And I'm angry that research that could help people with disabilities is deemed by the government as "ethically repugnant."

Thank you very much.

Yeah, I've been blogging at RetGen and staying neutral about the Victorian government wanting to legalise therapeutic cloning despite the Commonwealth's queasiness.

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Tim Tams and a Walk to the Port 

For Judith's visit, I bought double-coated Tim Tams, just like I did for Scott's visit. Only Judith opted for a Ginger Nut instead. That's a whole packet of Tim Tams for me - unlesss someone pops round very early and eats the last one. I can say, Gee, don't they go quickly? but I can't say, Gee, I wonder where they all go?. Double-coated are the go.

Judith and I walked down to the beach and back yesterday but today I went further. All the way to Port Beach. I'd forgotten how much I like the sound of trucks until I headed up to the road and towards the railway. I took a photo of the railway bridge over Tydeman Road because I've only ever looked down from the trains to the Railway Hotel here.

Looking up at two metal train bridges against blue sky

When I reached Queen Victoria Road, I considered walking to North Fremantle station. Yeah, but who wants to say they almost walked somewhere? Queen Victoria Bridge felt close, so I ignored the fading light and headed towards Freo. My photos of the railway bridge across the Swan didn't turn out so good but here's one anyway. I think it'll give you an idea of why my walk felt worth it.

Harbour lights, railway bridge, long yellow light reflecting in water

There are bus stops just the other side of the bridge, but rather than wait twelve whole minutes I decided to walk into town and catch a train home. The best walk I've had in ages. I felt confined stepping onto the train, which isn't usual for me, and felt like I'd given up control of my travels to sit in a stale carriage.

So I might walk into Freo again someday. Maybe after another visit from someone who doesn't eat Tim Tams?

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Claremont Pool 

The Claremont Pool is heated by geothermal water taken from the Yarragadee Aquifer. The water doesn't go into the pools, it just heats the water that is in the pools and is then returned to the aquifer. I think the temperature in the outdoor 25-metre pool, at 28 degrees, felt warmer than the indoor pool at Margs. The pool felt shorter too, so much so that I did an extra four laps thinking the Margaret River pool must really be 30 metres long.

On the way there I noticed dark clouds, the cold, the smell of burgers at HJs and the beckoning doorway to Dymocks (across the road until, oops, I crossed the road to find Twelve Sharp on the shelves). My neighbour noticed me walking in the opposite direction to the pool and asked me about it when he saw me there. Then I had to explain that I'd been walking in the wrong direction because I didn't know the way - but I'd be fine to find my way home, no worries!

The pool looked an inviting green, with shade cloth covering each end. I went with the shorter, shallow pool for my first swim in months but I'd like to swim in the 50-metre pool sometime. I'll never have much stamina but I like it.

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Bikely is a site for sharing favourite, or useful, bike routes. Australian routes are listed, including some from Perth.

I learnt about this through ResearchBuzz, which also mentioned Google Maps Australia and Ask Maps Footsteps. Ask Maps is US-based but I like that the service caters to pedestrians as well as drivers with its directions.

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