I'm in Perth at the moment at my mate Loweys Step Uncles house, the guys, Mickey, Riv, Tom and Ferg have lent me their Land Cruiser, which is unreal and i can't believe how lucky i am. It's a 1985 HJ60 named simply 'Poo Log'. I've spent the last two days with the help of Neil (Toms Step Uncle), who is an amazing source of Cruiser knowledge, fixing bits and cleaning it inside and out as the boys have neglected the cosmetics and general up keep for awhile no doubt cause they're always rushing here and there, but it is as sound as a pound and runs very well. I've spent a fortune on bits i'm going to need back up North mainly off road accessories like tyre deflators, air compressor, snatch strap, jerry cans and loads of other things and when the boys are back they can keep it all as no doubt they will need it all at some point.
Neil has a great family his Wife Sue is really nice and is a Education Assistant at the local school and has been feeding me and looking after me. Their Son, Alex, 7 and Daughter Lilly, 5 are both amazingly cool and so full of life it's tiring just watching them run around taking on the World as each day brings a new adventure for them. It keeps me grounded and fresh in the knowledge that we should all act the age of 7 at some point in our lives if not just a little bit a day.
Alex reminds me of me when i was his age, he loves collecting shells, bugs and anything to do with wildlife. He has also very kindly donated his bedroom for me to stay in, it's amazing he has precious stones and other cool wildlife things in there, it is exactly what my room looked like 22 years ago! He's even given me some of his favourite collections to take on my travels with me, i will cherish them and keep them with me always as i know it was a big thing for him to do. Lilly is the spitting image of my Sister Elly and loves her girly things as did Elly all those years ago.
It's been good here and has made me think of home a lot and how much i miss my Family and reminded me how important Family life is.
But all though it's fantastic here and i feel very relaxed, getting to this point was another story...
I left Exmouth for the drive to Perth at 0400 with a couple of girl friends from Exmouth, Sam and Alana and on a good day it's a 12 hour drive. At 0630 travelling at 100kph I hit a pretty large kangaroo head on as i came over the brow of a hill, pretty crazy stuff. The girls have only just past their driving tests so i'm glad i was driving. Due to the car not having a Roo Bar it caved the whole front end in. We were in one of the girls little sports car and were lucky thats all it did. I have been told if you can't stop in time just hit it full pelt and do not swerve, so thats what happened and it was the right thing to do.
Unfortunately it pushed the aircon radiator back into the main radiator which ruptured and pissed coolent everywhere, we were just under an hour from the nearest servo, as we were in the middle of nowhere we just jumped in the car and took it easy to the servo stopping ever now and then to top up on coolent. We made it but the car was a mess and we had to make a decision as to what to do. We all wanted to carry on but with the car in such a state and the temperature already hitting 40 degrees it was pretty tense. Luckily for us a very nice Gentleman, Collin, and his Grandson, Luke, were on hand to help pull the radiator out and have a go at fixing it, he had all the tools and was an old sheep farmer that was used to bush mechanics and full of some interesting stories that passed the time easily enough, he was thankfully a lifesaver. After 4 hours of undoing, moving, bending, fixing, sealing, stretching, swearing, sweating, oil spatters, coolant sprays and putting back together we were on our way again with the decision that now the radiator all be it bent and definitely not a 100% was not pissing coolent and causing any immediate alarm to carry on to Perth, still 10 hours away.
We all had our reason as to why we had to get to Perth but mine was that I wanted to see my mate Nat who has been and still is touring with Joy Division on their Unknown Pleasures tour as their lead guitarist. I wanted to get there for 1800 to hang out and catch up prior to the gig but didn't get there till 2200. I still managed to catch the last 40 minutes of the set though which included my favourite song 'Love will tear us apart', which Nat completely nailed and give me goose bumps!
When i finally got to the Astor Theatre in Central Perth it was packed, hundreds of people all jumping and dancing to the beat of Joy Division. I saw Nat on stage in full solo mode with Peter Hook and the boys ripping it up, so I just barged my way through the masses to the front of the stage, with everyone i passed or pushed out of the way swearing at me, punching me in the back and poking me, i even got pinched, how strange. I made it to the front with a lot of evils being thrown my way but i didn't care i had travelled 18 hours to see my mate.
He knew i was coming to the gig and I had kept him informed the whole way down of our misadventures so he knew I was late and maybe not going to make it at all but as he finished one of his full on guitar swearing revamps with the mini second of silence that followed I shouted 'Oi Nat!'. He looked up and gave me a huge smile, let go of his guitar and gave me a massive high five and a nod. I give him a thumbs up and turned to walk to the back of the mass of people but as i did every single person i had pushed, shoved and thrown to the floor had changed there demeanour and were now fighting to shake my hand and asking me who i was and whats the name of the guitarist, I was a little shocked as i expected another fight out of the middle age gladiators pit but i wasn't interested in any of them. I just found a quiet spot and drank my beer and enjoyed the show.
I met up with Nat afterward and we had a good catch up back stage and i met the the boys from Joy Division who already knew of my plight to get to Perth and were all very impressed with the effort I made to see them play, well I didn't say anything but i wasn't there for them i was there for Nat. We got pretty drunk that night but both of us were knackered so we ended up falling asleep in the hotel bar but woke up in Nats bedroom, no idea how.
We made up for it the next day, the feeling was in the air that we should drink till Nat had to leave for a gig in New Zealand at 1500. We bought some beers and sat on the bank of the Swan River, Nat even going for a swim trying to catch Puffer Fish in his pants. We were joined by some friends from Exmouth Alana and Bec and the mayhem commenced, we convinced them to drive us around Perth whilst we drank and made fools of ourselves until Nat left. Which came around far to soon. All in all it was an amazing couple of days, i just wish Nat could have stayed longer.
I've been in Perth only a few days but it feels like weeks. All going well I'll be heading back up North tomorrow, i normally don't mind the odd misadventure as I feel it is good for your soul to experience life on an uneasy footing but i could really do with an uneventful drive back to Exmouth!
I will be back to Perth at some point and look forward to catching up with Neil, Sue, Alex, Lilly and everyone else I have seen whilst down here again. Thanks for everything guys.
Roo bashing wagon...