It's Saturday morning and I'm at Big Brother Alan's place in Perth having spent the week in WA prior to little brother Bruce's 50th birthday party. You know you're old when your little brother hits the half century!
This is the first week of 5 weeks holidays for me and I have been making the most of it and catching up with a lot of friends in WA.
Cam picked me up on Sunday afternoon and we headed for the CFFL mid-season draft at Michael and Rachel's place. Letchy, Warren and Steve were there in person, Peter and Josh joined us online and Kent and Collo couldn't make it. Draft nights are always a great combination of fun and footy talk. For me it is the chance to reconnect with my closest mates, The CFFL has been running for over 10 years so there is a great storehouse of history, shared memories, experiences, fun and mateship between us and I really value my rare opportunities to get together with the boys now that I live on the other side of the country.
I stayed the night at Warren & Laura's in Bayswater.
Monday was a public holiday in WA and I met up with Jordan in town and we took the train down to Fremantle to have lunch. He had been really crook all week with gastro and was still a bit tender. In hindsight Mexican food for lunch perhaps wasn't the smartest choice we could have made! He survived and was hoping to make it to work the next morning for the first day of his new job at an Italian food wholesalers in Mt Hawthorn.
That night I met up with Chris at Subiaco and we went to the footy to see Richmond beat a disappointing West Coast. Bruce, Paula and Cody were sitting not far from us and were happy with the result. I was too but resisted rubbing it in to Chris seeing as she had shouted me the ticket and driven 800km up from Esperance to be there. We had some dinner in Leederville after the game then she dropped me off at Letchy's place in Ballajura.
Letchy and I had planned to go hiking on the Bibbulmun Track Tuesday and Wednesday but a mishap when I was driving the night-rider bus on Saturday night thwarted that. I slipped over on a pool of water while cleaning some vomit out of the bus(!) and landed very heavily, wrenching my knee in the process. I was limping badly after it happened and although it had improved by Tuesday, there was no way I could have hiked 40km carrying a 20kg backpack.
Letchy lent me his old Gemini and I went to visit our old friend Miriam in Innaloo. She is 93 but in remarkably good shape considering and was delighted to see me.
I had dinner with Mum and Alan before staying at Letchy's place Tues night.
I was up early on Wednesday, met my mate Bruce and we headed down to Busselton for the day. I did the driving because Bruce has a broken wrist, courtesy of an abseiling mishap on the year 9 camp and is off work until the end of August. I needed to do a house inspection in Busselton and talk to the tenants about our plans. We are considering selling the house so that we can buy a place in Ocean Grove so I arranged for a couple of real estate agents to come and do valuations on the house. After finding a few things I wanted in the shed we dropped into the high school so I could say g'day to a few people. I was heartened by the very warm welcome I received from a bunch of people and enjoyed catching up with Gaultie, Cam, St Nick and several others.
Bruce and I wasted no time getting back to Perth because game one of State of Origin started at 5.30 Perth time. After NSW had a rare win I went back to spend another night at Letchy's; with a midnight trip to the airport with Alan to pick up Vicki thrown in.
On Thursday arvo I joined the members of The Breakfast Club, Broady, Hugh and Phil for our first get-together in well over a year. I had hoped we might get away for the night somewhere but typically Broady let me down when it came to organization. Needless to say I gave him grief about it all night.
The Breakfast Club have been meeting together for 20 years so there is a very deep bond between us and we all treasure the times we get to spend together now. I led the group through a bit of a self-evaluation reflection exercise which I think was quite useful in helping us think about where we are in our lives across a whole range of topics. We started at an Indian restaurant, adjourned to an ice cream parlour then finished at a cafe but were kicked out of there at closing time and had to finish the reflection sitting in Hugh's car outside Phil's place. I slept the night in the "school room" in Phil & Julie's backyard.
On Friday morning Alex came to pick me up and we went to meet Jordy for lunch in Mt Hawthorn. His new job is going well which is great news. From there Al and I went to a local op shop and bought a bed and mattress for Jordan who is currently living in a garage at a mate's place in Wilson. We picked him up after work and delivered him and his new bed home. He was very grateful to have something proper to sleep on. We drove over to Morley to join the family for a birthday dinner at Sizzler for Bruce, Cody and Zander who had birthdays on consecutive days this week.
After dinner we returned to Alan's place and watched some footy then Alan Vicki and I sat down for a conference to discuss plans concerning Dad who is due to have major surgery on June 13.
We had previously put a plan in place but this had to be re-worked because of other family commitments for Vicki.
We nutted it all out which was useful and a source of relief for everyone.
In short, I'll be with Dad in Queensland from June 12-July 1, Alan will come over for two weeks from June 30 to July 12 and Vicki will go back up once her family have gone home in mid-July.
Tonight is Bruce's birthday party, the major reason I came over to WA but as you can see I have been busy and made good use of my time since I've been here.