Work and Play

Pride Festival at Perth, Western Australia 2004
Pride Festival at Perth, Western Australia 2004
It’s Saturday night and I’m just hanging out at home. It’s been a reasonably busy day, flying back from Esperance this morning, meeting Damien this afternoon at the airport, wandering into Northbridge to watch the Pride Parade before heading back home to watch The Bill. So without further ado, here’s the last week of my life… (summarised!).

Last Sunday afternoon I went to watch the cricket and couldn’t help but notice how young some of the players are… or maybe I’m getting old? It was WA vs TASMANIA in a four day domestic match. The game itself, wasn’t too exciting, but I was impressed with the calibre of the Tasmanian team… a good team for such a small state.

Then, on Sunday night I went to see a movie called Goldfish Memory. It would be far too simplistic to label Goldfish Memory as Love Actually meets Queer As Folk (US Version) but there are elements of both productions in this movie. In many ways, this was the movie that “Love Actually” could have been. A few of the plotlines went down the predictable path and that’s what I thought was a weakness in this movie. And because of the predictability, although there are moments of genuine emotion I wasn’t especially “touched” by the movie. Despite some misgivings, I think it’s a good film. And I can really relate to the film’s central premise that, as far as love is concerned, human beings are just like goldfish which are said to have three-second memories… we don’t forget how hard love can be when we fall in love again.

Not much happened on Monday, although I did chat with Sue on the phone about her trip to Africa in which she mentioned personal security as an issue there she hadn’t though too much until arriving. Just mostly watched television, and I especially enjoyed the Andrew Denton interview with Olivia Newton John. Although I didn’t actually see Australian Story about Shirley Strickland, I thought Tuesday’s edition of The West Australian was a little cruel in its headline which declared Shirley, a sad, lonely old drunk… or words to that effect.

Aside from that I haven’t really done all that much socially as Much of the week, though, has been spent dealing with a rather sensitive work matter.

Nonetheless, I was able to travel to Esperance on Friday (returning this morning) which was good. The place was gorgeous and the people were incredibly friendly. When we arrived early morning we were a little worried about the weather, but by mid-morning it had cleared. Although I didn’t get too much of a chance to wander, I thought the coast was incredibly beautiful, though I noticed – from the air – that a lot of the land is salt-affected.

The region also has a very interesting history, mostly settled, in European times, by those with a “sense of adventure”. Perhaps the most famous of all was the American broadcaster, Art Linkletter whose radio program, “Kids Say The Darndest Things”, I grew up listening to. Linkletter was also an extremely wealthy businessman and a good friend of Prime Minister, Harold Holt. Under Reagan, Linkletter was named Ambassador To Australia. Linkletter is now well into his 90s, so I’m not sure if he still visits Esperance, but he certainly has maintained an economic interest in the area as a breeder of Charolais Cattle.

In some ways the sense of non-conformity I gathered from the place still lives on in the Esperance Show. For example, in First Place of the Collections Competition was a rather unassuming collection of six beer cans!

I wandered into Northbridge earlier tonight to watch the Pride Parade.

In many respects, it was similar to Sydney’s Mardi Gras, but it was also different in one major respect: no alcohol. Thus, unlike Sydney, the crowd was pretty well behaved and aside from one bloke yelling out a couple of homophobic comments, it actually seemed like a genuine celebration of diversity, and not just another “New Years Eve-style” celebration. Having been to Mardi Gras on more than one occasion – I haven’t been for three years – I thought Perth’s Pride Parade had some elements that could make Sydney’s interesting once again. But that’s pie in the sky… Sydney has gone down a path and it would be hard to change it now.

Am off to Broome this week. Gosh it’s busy!

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