My youngest son Bruce has wed his long term sweetheart Paula so of course another trip to Perth WA had to be organized, because of the residual effect on my right eye courtesy of Bells Palsy I decided that driving was'nt an option so i flew over, I had arranged to meet son Marcus at the Perth airport where I had a hire car booked...... do you sense a problem coming?
As Marcus lived in Perth for many years I had, at least in my mind, decided that he would be the driver I was at that stage unaware that he had got an earlier flight and departed the airport about 4 hours before I landed, so I had confirmed the hire car and started roaming the terminal building in search of an errant son.
Fortunately before the time to worry set in I got a call from Bruce who filled me in on Marcus' whereabouts so I set forth on a tour of suburban Perth in search of the 3rd of my sons (Alan) home, now I have made many brief visits to Perth over the years but have never become familiar with its roads so as you may have already guessed I got totally lost and pined for my GPS which was sitting waiting for me on the table at home in Queensland!!!... I finally found a familiar road and my way to Alan's house.
The day continued on the same pattern however as both Alan and his wife Lyn were at work.
I sat for an hour or so chatting with their dog Hugh (AKA known as his royal Hughness) and Lyn arrived home to let me, and Hugh, in.
Eventually, and without any further drama, I got to Bruce and Paula's home, there were enough people there to produce a few minor disruptions, such as my former wife (and mother to our 4 children) had encountered some car trouble and was driving a loan car while hers was being fixed, we survived and had the traditional "Fish & Chips for 8 before gradually drifting of to bed Friday was a fairly uneventful day.... thank you Lord.
Saturday the day of the wedding, Marcus arrived and was delegated to take my hire car to the airport and pick up my favourite daughter Vicki who was due to arrive 2 hours before the wedding... again as I'm sure any regular readers of HoltiesHouse will know.... I'm building up to another crisis point, Vicki managed to phone through a message of flight delay which would make her about 2 hours late, so we now have a sister and a brother to the groom missing and probably doomed to miss at least part of the ceremony.
Paula decided that she would stall this as much as she could, to which end she wasn't dressed (well she didn't have her wedding dress on) when the photographer arrived and with womanly wiles stalled the departure from home for quite a while, as it turned out her timing was impeccable as the bridal car and Marcus & Vicki arrived almost simultaneously, a small aside to this was that Marcus was wearing shorts and a polo shirt when he was called upon to read a part of the service, in his own style he got around this by saying "didn't the invitation say casual dress".
After a lovely service the rains came down but in the snug reception area we didn't mind at all.
The following day I was to attend the 79th birthday celebrations of a friend of 50 plus years in the township of Beverly some 130klm SE of Perth and Marcus wanted to return to Bussleton 200klm S of Perth, I borrowed Paula's car and Marcus took of in the hire car.
Once again, you just know something is about to go pear shaped don't you?.... I got about half way to Beverly and a warning light came on telling me that something was amiss, it didn't take long to find out what the problem was as when I stopped the escaping steam told me that the motor had overheated, here we are in a remote section of state forest with... no water for the radiator, no tools, no mobile coverage for the area, and a disposition which is rapidly becoming less affable.
A kindly motorist pulled up and helped he had water, insulation tape and some small cable ties so we had a temporary repair job done in quick time, I decided to stop about 20 klm on when I spotted a church hall with 3 rainwater tanks figuring I could top up the water if needed, sad to say there were no external taps and while I looked for them the motor cut out and then refused to start, the computer needs to be reset after the overheating incident we figure???
I managed to get Neil, the friend from Beverly by phone and he came out and towed me home, fortunately Paula's parent also live in Beverly and have assumed responsibility for getting the car mobile for when Paula returns from her honeymoon.
I had planned to return home on "The Indian Pacific" which is regarded as one of the worlds best train trips by many, it is a 3 day 3,800 klm journey across the vast outback of Australia, it makes 2 trips per week between Perth and Sydney and on the day I chose to travel it was booked out except for a sleeper cabin which costs $2300, I've seen this train many times and its about a mile long 2 engines to pull it along so I shudder to think how many people it carries, I had checked the internet before leaving home and selected a sleeper cabin for a tad under $1000 and was quite happy to pay that, but as I can fly home for about $300 in 5 hours I'm not so sure about paying $2000 extra for a 3 day trip which still leaves me 800 klm from where my car is.... its looking more like flying all the time.
One final thought on this..... There had better not be any more weddings in Perth for a while!
The anxious Groom and best men wondering why the bride is late, on the left is Cody , Bruce's son