Right then, what's Patrick been up to?
Well this weekend I've really been doing the tourist thing. On Saturday I went with a friend on Perth's Famous Wine Cruise
(source of the first of many kinds of red this weekend) Paul (the friend I went with) is from Victoria but works over here three weeks out of each month, when we met he was grumbling that he never does anything touristy while he's here so we hit on the idea of doing something really very touristy together.
Paul's good company so I knew I'd enjoy the day anyway but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the cruise. We took in two very tranquil local wineries, being fed an excellent three course lunch at one and plied with assorted wines (yes Dad: they were indeed all varietals but not too 'beefed up', and several were really quite interesting, in particular a couple of the Sandalford ones) throughout the day. On the boat the captain gave a gently funny commentary, pointed out a few sights as they wafted by... all very civilised really.
... the really surprising enjoyable part (and this could have been partly due to the amount of wine consumed by that stage) was the unexpected entertainment laid on by the rest of the crew over lunch and on through the trip back to Perth. Two of them turned out to be really quite talented singers and while it was all a bit cheesy it was also a lot of fun.
So then after a lie in and a couple of cups of coffee on Sunday it was onto the second red of the weekend, the the Red Bull Air Race
. Eric went down earlier in the morning than I, and consequently got even more sunburned (red type #3) but also got some spectacular photos, all of which I'm getting copied to disc and bringing back for my giant album. These were taken after I'd joined him for the actual race (11am onward) and the air show after.
there's heaps of info on their site about how the race works but essentially these tiny planes whooshed around an obstacle course laid out over the Swan River, commentary was on the South Bank, where we watched from and where the city skyline provided a stunning backdrop to some incredible flying.
After the race we walked round the river and back over to the North Bank from which we watched assorted other air-acrobatics being performed by various planes. The most spectacular of which were the antics of this blue Hornet, expertly captured here by Eric's telephoto high res digital SLR (I left my little noddy cam in my pocket all day) moments before it did this:
... disapearing upward at an incredible rate letting off flak as it went. After the race I caught up with my cousin Jonathan who's been over for a frisbee tournament. Johnny had missed most of the air show (they'd arrived on the North Bank and been impressed but a bit bewildered by the race minus commentary) but being an aeronautical engineer by training he was able to tell us all sorts about how difficult it is to get planes to do the sorts of things we'd been watching them do. It was really great seeing him again before he left, even if it's a little odd that the first time we see each other in about 5 years should be on the other side of the world.
The last red in the title refers to another thing (like my sunburn, which wasn't too bad and is fading rather than peeling) I won't post pictures of but I managed to fall down running for a train the other night and have a scuffed knee, elbow and hand in much the sort of way that hasn't happened to me since I was about 8. Running for a train however should be a thing of the past, for the next week at least since this afternoon I picked up the blue thing from the title:
My car! For this week at least. it's a honking great big V6 Holden Commodore, with a SatNav system in it so I don't get lost, and it comes mostly courtesy of my parents whose birthday present I'm using to pay for it (thanks again Mum & Dad!). Once I've posted this I'm going to head off in it to explore the south coast of Western Australia and I'll tell you all about that when I return.
bye for now!