There is something wrong with my laptop. Or with the cellular modem that connects me to the internet. Half the time I try to access any webpage I get a DNS lookup failed error message. I suspect it may be the USB connection of the modem. In any case connection to Facebook and to my blog is at best erratic, and very frustrating.
I am typing this in Word, and shall try sending it as an email.
Last week on Thursday I drove to Toodyay, on the way dropping Jack off with Sue and Steve in Forrestfield. I stayed at the Freemasons’ Hotel, just across the road from the Cola Cafe in the main street of Toodyay. The Cola Cafe is where Steve, Jerry, Daniel and I stopped for lunch once on a ride around the backblocks from Perth. It has the distinction in my mind – apart from having a huge collection of Coca Cola memorabilia and collectibles – as being the first place I have encountered that offers a visor wash station for visiting bikers.
The Freemasons is your basic hotel from the good old days that has seen better times. Indeed it had celebrated its 100th anniversary when I was 9 years old. Despite the fact that the place appears to be falling apart, the shared ablutions were basic but acceptable, the bed was comfortable and clean, and the TV worked. The kitchen served a perfectly acceptable Chicken Parmegian with salad and chips. The other items on the menu looked pretty good too.
The meeting at Toodyay Shire was interesting, particularly the talk by the representative of SAT . It reminded me of a similar talk by the Ombudsman in NZ.
Back in Perth for the weekend, I contacted Dinah and arranged to meet her with Jack. They were both overjoyed to see each other. She was allowed out for three hours each day, so on Saturday and Sunday we went to the beach, and then visited the Kiwi shop, where I finally found (and bought) some Watties’ Tomato sauce! I also bought a slab of Lemon and Paeroa in cans, and a few other items of Kiwi nostalgic fare. Dinah told me she was being released after the weekend, so I arranged to give her a ride home on Monday. She told me a little of her life story, and in a matter-of -fact manner described some of the most horrific abuse I have heard. I realised what a comparatively easy and strife-free life I have had. And that is all I have to say about that.
Monday morning I attended a useful lecture at Curtin University on the subject of Public Buildings and Places of Assembly. It was handy for me to hear the Department’s view on the risks, and which parts of the legislation had priority. It was also pleasing that their views coincide with my own. The WA Health dept has some funny antiquated ideas on some subjects. Way behind where we were in NZ.
Monday afternoon, heading home with Dinah and Jack, who then drove on to Dumbleyung.
I had been quite concerned at not having seen any frogs for a while but all my worries were allayed by a spate of sightings over the last week. The place is still crawling with frogs. A lot seem to have relocated to the wormwood bush where I saw one of the little green and yellow ones, now quite plump and growing fast. In the bay last night was a large frog, looking incongruously big against the leaves that once supported a tiny frog smaller than themselves.