THE travel bug has really got me. The bastard's got me on the ankles, the legs and, most uncomfortably, on the arse. I've been applying the insect repellent every day but it seems the Perth Mozzies are a strong breed.
The first two days in Perth we've spent getting our bearings and drinking regularly on the river terrace at the Lucky Shag. Yesterday, we spotted that a jetboat leaves from the jetty just below it so, under pressure from the designer but not sure whether it was a good idea or not, we paid our 40 Aussie dollars for a spin around the bay.
Did I say spin? My God, it was like spending 20 minutes in a tumble driver. The driver, who smiled when I suggest he must be a sadist, put his 600hp jet-propelled boat through a number of manouevres around the Swan river that left us thoroughly soaked and all shook up. Having said that it was absolutely exhilarating, better than any fairground ride at Alton Towers.
Getting our feet back on dry land I needed a pint. Bedford Malcolm was there partaking of a cheeky glass of wine so I spent the afternoon with him discussing all manner of things, including the many jelly fish floating around in the water just below the Shag.
A Shag, by the way, is a kind of seagull, I have discovered. At least, that's the only Shag I've seen so far.
It's hilarious standing outside in the "beer garden" of the Shag while the Australians enjoy their Christmas Parties in nigh-on 80 degree heat, dressed in santa claus hats and reindeer antlers. All the shops are decorated in snow, yet I bet they've never once had a white christmas.
Heard about the Tornados in Wales and London - the only problem out here is the massive bush fires that are causing real trouble.
The Aussies are still being extra loud but I had to laugh yesterday as the Designer and I crossed the railway bridge. A bloke behind started shouting "Baldy" at the top of his voice. Eventually, though I tried desperately to resist, I turned around. He took off his sun glasses, peered at me, and realised he had the wrong person. "Sorry, mate," he said rather sheepishly as he trudged off with his girlfriend. Unfortunately, the other people around me found it all pretty amusing which, I guess, I did to. Wish it had happened to someone else though.
That might have hurt my pride, but last night a snooker ball hurt me somewhere else. One of the Five-Testers, as I will call the 20 or so of us doing the lot from now on, was playing pool in the Shag and managed to chip the ball off the table right into my private parts. I had been blissfully unaware of the impending danger as I chatted away with some of the other guys, beer in hand.
I also managed to smoke out an entire Vietnamese restaurant last night. I ordered the Mongolian Lamb with chilli and onion (on hot plate), and when the waiter delivered it to our table the hot plate was empty. In his other hand, however, he had a bowl of Lamb, chilli, onion and sauce which he plonked onto the sizzling platter. Cue a mountainous amount of smoke covering about six tables in the vicinity and sending many, including the unfortunate Designer, into coughing fits. I did feel slightly embarrassed.
There are some great bars in Northbridge, the area of Perth where our hotel resides. I think, rather than spending hours at the Shag, we may well spend a few more days closer to home. Live Bands, the scene is really kicking. A bit like the Yard. Not.