now then, perth was rather a jolly time for all involved (ive got behind again, its now 2007 so happy new year btw). if i remember rightly, we touched down about 10 am after a horrible flight in which i realised that trying to cram a nights sleep into three hours on a plane doesnt work and that just because you go back a couple of hours in time zones it doesnt make you feel any better. so our first day in perth, i pretty much spent sleeping. in the evening i made my first venture into town, to the lucky shag, the Barmy Army pub for perth, which was by far the best of the HQ's they had in australia and a place with which we would all become quite familiar over the next 10 days. To be honest I still cant believe we spent 10 days in Perth, it all went so quickly. 6 of these were spent at cricket and the rest of it was to be honest a bit of a right off, as rather than attempt anything vaguely intelligent and actually explore a part of the world i will quite possibly never return to (definitely not for 4 years anyway) i managed to fall victim to the curse of Northbridge (the backpacker friendly, fun part of perth) and spent probably 8 1/2 of my ten days there w***ered. it was a very black time for me, i had to deal with england surrendering the ashes by the thid test and i can only apologise for the fact that if you want to hear a lot about the finer points of australian culture (no jokes) and read some captain cook-esque explorer stories, they most certainly will not be found on the perth section of this website. ask nick. But, in truth Perth is well known for its amazing nightlife, it is definitely the best i have known in Australia so far and along with the whole atmosphere in Perth which is really friendly and relaxed it was most pleasent. One of the best things about Perth were the beaches and particularly Cottesloe beach, wihich with Perth skyline in the background is a really beautiful sight. With the laid back, friendly atmosphere of Perth types and the beaches, it was definitely beach bum central.
So anyway, on our second day we decided to have a gander down at the Gabba (perth cricket ground) at the second day of an england warm up match against Western Australia. Thats all i have to say about that. It wasnt very interesting and in no way will your lives or your appreciation of my time in Oz so far be enhanced by my talking about it. So i wont. The 5 days at the Test were pretty fun tho, although thinking baack now, it did pretty much get worse as it went along. Funny that.... It all started so well with a monty-inspired effort on the first day to bowl Australia out and it seemed then that the atmosphere and feel of the ground was reaching Adelaide-esque proportions, as england fans congregated in the aisles and on the banks of the gabba. Unfortunately Die Polizei soon put a stop to this and both our hold on the game and the atmosphere in the ground deteriorated over 5 days to zero, as if both were somehow competing with eachother in the s***ometer. By the last day with the game well and truly lost we had something of a ball, celebrating our defeat as im convinced only the english can by singing in the ground long after the ashes had been lost and the players had come over for their (by now irritatingly frequent) round of applause in defeat. After we eventually got booted from the premises, began what i can only describe as the biggest session i have ever had, starting in the ground at 11 am, through a day in the Lucky Shag and culminating in seeing brett lee playing bass in his band (who are actually pretty good, check em out, Six and Out) in the Dean at 2 in the morning, then on to the Bog (Aidan if you're reading, you know we still own that place) eventually stumbling home at crazy o clock. Unfortunately nick and i had booked to do wildlife kayaking the next day, which would probably have been great fun, but the 7 am start rendered this unlikely at best. Despite alarm setting aplenty and the very best of intentions, to cut a long story short we missed the deadline by a mere 5 hours. This signalled a turnaround in attitudes for the rest of Perth. Never again would i let alcohol ruin my plans for the next day, never again would i drink to such proportions as this infamous night and for the next couple of days, we chilled out in the charming suburbia of Fremantle.
Fremantle is a small town about 20 minutes south of Perth and it was a really nice place to spend a couple of quiet days, including one of the first prisons we sent our convicts to. nice. It was much less skyscrapy than perth and was something of a recluse for many cricket fans, looking to get away from it all for a couple of days. We also made a Day trip to Rottnest Island, off the West Coast of Perth, on of our last days there. It was p\originally a prison for Aboriginal folk and i think they should have kept it as a prison, cos it was well rubbaaash. The afternoon cruise round the islands waters in a glass under water explorer gave us a good chance to see some of the sea life and that was definitely the highlight of our tour there. Cruising around the crystal clear waters, checking out the tropical fish was fantastic. Apart from that we saw lots of Quokkas (horrible little possumy type animals), some crap beaches and at one stage we were tempted to go for a round of golf there, such was our lack of enthusiasm for Ratnest Island. (if you're ever there, stay away from the golf course, all the greens are sand). It did at least provide a further much needed day of Detox, where the strongest thing we had to drink was Gatorade (proven to make the Aussies play harder and finish stronger, dontcha know) but it was no kangaroo island.
Other highlights from Perth including being very lucky and managing to blag a few tickets to a small noel gallagher accoustic gig at perth concert hall on saturday night. it was a fantastic intimate gig and noel even engaged in a bit of cricket chat with england fans, although it was home to far too many england cricket and man city shirts. We made up for that the next night however when we watched Spurs beat Man City 2-1 at three in the morning, with Ozspurs.com, the official Aussie Spurs supporters club. They're based in Perth and for some reason Spurs have a massive following out there and so we went down to meet about half of 1980's Southgate, now expats with funny accents. And so that was pretty much it for Perth, after one last cheeky night in Northbridge, which ended with nick and i being well and truly 'merked' by three Canadian/American girls who ended up being absolute religious nutters (one of them wound up praying for nick to find jesus in front of him), it was on to Melbourne for Christmas.