Sunday, 9 March 2014

And the Answer is..........PERTH (Australia not Scotland)

Yes, the nomadic Canadian/Swiss/Australian Family Hendricks is on the move again.  After 3 joyful years in Melbourne, we are giving up our bi-coastal lifestyle and heading west to be reunited regularly as a family.

Perth?  You ask, where/what is Perth?  Well, here is my summary of Perth, the resource capital of the state of Western Australia in no particular order.

1.  It is THE most isolated capital city in the world. 3,438 km from Melbourne, slightly more to Sydney, 8,325 to Johannesburg, 14,466 to London, 14,831km to Vancouver,  18,770 to New York,  but only 6,478 to Antarctica!

2.  The nearest city of greater than 100,000 is Adelaide at 2,104 km to the south-east.

3.  Perth is the resource capital of Australia, and the fourth most populous city after Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide with a population of around 1.9 million.

4.  Perth is the capital of the state of Western Australia, commonly referred to down under as WA.

5.  Perth is blessed with a hot, dry Mediterranean climate with an average winter temperature around 18c and average summer temps of 31c.  Cactus, Palms, and tropical flora flourish.

6.  Perth is home to four public universities: the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, and Edith Cowan University. There is also one private university, the University of Notre Dame.

7.  The WA coast is the playground of many whales and a large Great White shark population, while also being blessed with some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, including Perth's Cottlesloe, voted by Lonely Planet as the second best beach in the world for families.

That's a slice of Perth.  C2 has probably spent more time in Perth than in Melbourne in the three years that we have been in Australia, and the time has come to address that inbalance.  While I am utterly heartsick at leaving my beautiful Melbourne with the remarkable network of friends who have been like family,  and the unique Franco-Australian society we have forged, I recognise that we have to wrench ourselves away for the sake of our family.  Even J realises it.  To quote my man Bruce:

"...Well it comes with a hard hard price
you can't shut off the risk and pain
Without losin' the love that remains
We're all riders on this train..."  (Bruce Sprinsgteen "Human Touch")

Kinda describes this nomadic, expat life of ours.  At least to me.  I have been so blessed with wonderful friendships and connections in Geneva and Melbourne.  I hope I am as lucky this time around.  Resigning from a job that I love and where I felt valued has also been painful but there are NGOs in Perth too.

So on we go, we've settled on a house in a charming area of Perth between the giant Swan river, (the saltwater river that defines Perth) and the Indian Ocean.  An easy walk to the river, and a short way to the beaches of the Indian Ocean, 5 minutes to Cottlesloe.  Also a short drive is Perth's Alliance Française, where I expect J and I will spend much time continuing the french education he began in Geneva and continued in Melbourne.

Guess who else is coming?  Yep, 15-1/2 year old Murphy.  Her Vet signed-off on one more airplane journey, scheduled for April 5 with C2.  J and I will travel the next day.  I cannot be there if anything happens to her en-route.  This much I do know.  Watch this space.

It's a fast departure this time, the next three weeks will be full of organising the move, temporary accommodations, painful good-byes but joyful see-you-soon's, and parties we are dubbing the "Who-wants-to-put-the-Hendricks-up-at-Christmas-enroute-to-Canada" parties.

To conclude, here are a few images of Perth taken on a trip a couple of years ago.  Not too bad eh?

Downtown Perth

Cottlesloe Beach, a heartbeat away

J and I walking along Cottlesloe Beach
J and C2 jumping into the surf at Cottlesloe

Rottnest Island, Perth's playground just off the coast of Fremantle

More Rotto (as the Aussies call it)

Of course, there are also lots of these guys....but we'll do our best to avoid them!


DL NELSON said...

I think you have friendships for who you are and your ability to be a friend. No need to worry.

Jen said...

Wishing you a smooth move, a quick adaptation to your new world and lots of good new memories. I know this has been a tough decision but in the end it witll be so good to be together!

Melissa Miller said...

Oh, good luck my friend. I will soon be saying my own painful good-byes. Yet I somehow feel as though I've been waiting for this door to open. Funny, I'll be off to WA, too!