Saturday, February 16

urban walkabout freo

With the Urban Walkabout map under one arm, a local behind the wheel, and the Love Freo book on the coffee table, there is no excuse for a dud coffee or numbing chain-store experience in Fremantle.

Favourites from a weekend in the port city. 

Il Cibo (cafe) 2 Market St
Remedy (store) 96 High St
New Edition (bookstore cafe) 82 High St
Ootong & Lincoln (cafe) 258 South Tce
Lauder & Howard & Ottoman Empire (antiques) 17 Blinco St
Squarepeg Home (Danish homewares) 17b Blinco St
Missy Moos (burger bar) 400 South Tce
Willow & the Bowerbird (lifestyle/giftware) 78 George St
Moore & Moore (cafe/gallery) 46 Henry St

Thursday, February 14

beach boy

Perth turns out a damn fine summer's day, and the past week has seen the city baking in consecutive days over 40 degrees with higher than average humidity for a desert fringe. The suburbs heat up like a pressure cooker, with everyone hanging out for the Freo Doctor (onshore breeze) to arrive.  Staying with my friend Louise and her bubba Yeats, we were happy to join the crowds at South Beach for a late arvo dip and picnic in the shade. 

Wednesday, February 13

saint vitus' dance

Last year it was Roger; this year Vitus got a guernsey for the annual Italian inspired festa, held in the grounds of Villa Patricia, in the walled hilltop Renaissance bogan city of Busselton al Mare.  Followers of the Buongiorno school of Italian and a few hangers-on came together to celebrate the ridiculous notion that there is a saint for epileptics and people who oversleep.  

A procession of flag wavers prostrated themselves through the dunes, to the calm waters of Geographe Bay, where St Vitus was dunked, and holy salt water was splashed with reverence. Following elite athletic displays in the quoits and sock toss events, it was back to the Villa for the serious business of canapé selection and medieval mingling mania. 

colour my world

The resident gardener has been busy with a paintbrush at Country Road.  Tom's grandmother loved to decorate with wild abandon, and the gene was passed down to his mum who channels it with a fine eye for colour. A dead bush need not be a cause for tears, just cut it back to a sculptural shape and paint it a shocking purple, or turn your old ironing board into a quirky occasional table. 

More of her amazing garden here and here

Wednesday, February 6

sunrise chai

Our summer mornings are early and quiet, with our usual ritual being a 20 minute meditation, half hour potter in the garden then a big teapot of chai on the verandah. Even with hot days, our classic Mediterranean climate treats us to a few cool mornings with an easterly breeze straight off the desert. When the rest of the year is a bikini on rising, I love a short stint in a jumper and a double handed tea cup hug. 

the gnarabup elephant

My favourite down south beach and coffee combo is the White Elephant at Gnarabup.  A cold dip followed by a lazy latte on the deck watching the distant surfers at Main Break and the activity of summer glide through the morning. It seems other people also know about this destination and it is not advisable on long weekends, lest you want to queue with the mob that descend from the city. 

The Elephant narrowly missed being destroyed in the 2011 bushfire and the black stumps of tea-trees on the dunes are a stark reminder.  
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