After his fall yesterday evening in Norseman, Sir Porridge, AK, was lured this morning by other, more stable, conveyances.
Being of a scientific bent, he also wanted to check the claim that the roads were indeed large enough to accommodate the turning of a camel train. A couple of men sitting in cars in the middle of the road were the only witnesses that it is indeed so. (The camels seemed pleased about the change of scenery.)
The cultural and fashion heart of Norseman:
There are a number of things to do in and around the town but there is pleasure in simply looking.
In Norseman the houses sit upon the ground. That is all. They do not claim the ground as buildings usually do. They finish at their outside walls. No gardens pull the houses and their humanness into the landscape. The red dirt, with its scant grey bushes and tufts of scraggly grass, courses, sinewy and strong, around and under the houses and rickety fences. It shrugs at them as impermanences, parasites to be tolerated; they are not even a slight distraction from the real business of being Country. The road, in contrast, is firm and snug. The red lies underneath, subdued.
One of the houses is so frayed and splintered, its roof so rusty and saggy, with planks of old wood piled against one side, that I hope no one lives there. But I am not sure that it is uninhabited.
Coolgardie is another town sprawling and full of character.
The hotel looks like a movie prop.
Yes, we can see you, Emu, but top effort.
Sir P chose not to squeeze past this one. For size comparison, that’s a petrol tanker (a pretty big chunk of vehicle) to the side.
Sir Porridge sauntered over for a chat with the relatives. Talk about extended family.
It was a long climb to the top but, as befits the demands of ancient knighthoodedness (or is that ‘knighhoodery’?), Sir P is nothing if not fit and game.
The temperature rose then the rain came in widely separated splats and washed off eleven degrees in half that number of minutes. It regained five degrees in five minutes.
Perth danced on the horizon and Sir P danced on the dashboard.
And so, Sir Porridge, AK, completed his journey across the country that has given him so much (including a knighthood). From Pacific to Indian, east to west, green to brown, sunrise to sunset, past animals real and rendered, on transport aged and advanced, sidestepping danger at every turn but allowing time for relaxation and recreation.
Despite the honours bestowed upon him around the world he, like one prime minister “…can’t think of a nobler description of anybody than to be called an average Australian bloke.”