For those of you who have been with me from the start, you know I’m all about Perth, and even more I’m all about South Perth. If you’re sitting in Shanghai or New York or Salzburg or Rio or somewhere, reading this and thinking, Man, that Perth, Western Australia sounds like the place to be, then you’d be right.
The artwork above attempts to give you some idea of the vista you will have in store for you when you arrive. The photo is mid-1990s but basically it only omits the awesome Belltower and the even more awesome Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.
My bit, South Perth, is very middle-class and lovely. I’m a short walk from the Swan River (see picture) and can have a coffee whilst watching porpoises frolic at the Mend Street Jetty if I please. Okay, I only saw the porpoises once, but that’s pretty good.
Last Sunday I encountered the well-heeled urchins of our area, twice.
The first time was at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning or as some would describe it, 9.30am. I could hear the door bell buzzers being rung in our building. Then my buzzer rang. Then more buzzing. Usually this means a religious representative, a person-of-faith, is searching for someone to proselytise. I’m never rude to them, I merely say “No thank you.”
I can see the front gate from my flat. I grumpily got out of bed and cracked open my front door. Five well-dressed, non-Oliver Twist-like urchins of approximately fourteen years of age stood there radiating good-health. They laughed lightly to each other as they moronically pressed on the various buzzers. “Hey,” I said in a scratchy voice that made them turn as one, “PISS OFF!!” They stopped immediately turned and walked off. One politely threw back a “Sorry!” as he departed.
Later on in the day whilst on the Angelo Street strip, (Actually, it’s not a strip yet, but if we Angeloni* talk it up, then who knows?) I spotted more, or perhaps the same, urchins picking mandarins from a street tree. They were on each others shoulders to reach the higher up fruit. It reminded me of the sort of thing that author Tom Hungerford might have penned about his days in South Perth when it was semi-rural and there were market gardens along Mill Point Road.
Speaking of T.A.G.(Tom) Hungerford, I struggled to find a good on-line bio of the author. The Perth Theatre Company one is fine, but the fact I didn’t have, say, seven or eight to choose from in the first two pages of a Google search, says something about how we in Perth regard our home-grown talent. Interesting.
Elevate The Insignificant
*Note: Please note my coining of the neologism Angeloni to refer to the people living in the Angelo Street Precinct of South Perth. Obviously I based this construction on the more famous Angeleno to describe a denizen of Los Angeles. Feel free to share this new word with your friends and family. And yeah, I guess Angelono would be the singular form but it sounds naff. Lingo buffs please rush to commend/condemn.