Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Day in Freo bags me 4 books and a new journal

I needed a day to myself, to get my head clear, write, read and walk.  It was a bit of a bleak time at work last week, and the long weekend did not completely clear the decks.  I felt cheated of three days off work, that I could have been writing, spent with a panic-attack hangover caused by the job.  So I took a 'sickie' today.  And I have never felt better.

Mr K had an all day conference in the second city of Freo.  We got up early, left early and after an hour and a bloody three quarters, arrived at our destination.  Sure made me feel like I had gone away on a holiday, I wanted my in-flight meal and drink.  As the crow flies it is less than 20kms, we had traveled about 25 as we are not crows.  This took us 1.45hrs.  Eat your heart out West Sydney!

It was early for Freo, 9am.  Not many people were up and about, stark contrast to Perth CBD where 9am is practically lunchtime.  First stop for me was one of the two Elizabeth's Bookshops - a treasure trove of pre-loved books (or maybe some were only one night stands) stacked on floor to ceiling bookshelves, on the floor, on tables in every nook and cranny.  There is a vague organisation, but the fun part is trawling for a treasure.  Found one book here - 

Breakfast next.  Not feeling very brave or bohemian, and the fact that a lot of the hipper places looked closed, I went for the safe and sure Dome Coffee.  With a foccacia, pineapple juice, skinny cap, newspaper, journal and book, before me I had a little private chuckle at the sheer indulgence of it all.  Took me an hour and a half to eat breakfast.

A walk drew me to the second purveyor of books, New Edition. A tall elegant building housing a book shop and a cafe, and bizarrely, as only Freo can do, at the back of the bookstore, a hippy dress/bead/incense shop.  It was bizarre, as the book shop was rather posh, a bit Sydney.  I found two treasures here -

I will do some book reviews on all these at a later date. Anyone have a cold/flu/plague that they can come and sneeze on me so I can stay in bed and read for a few days?

Spent the next  hours just walking, observing, absorbing.  Found the public library and did a bit of reading which inspired me to sit down to write for a while.  Wasn't really hungry by 1pm but felt compelled to leave the library after it got overrun by kids, people with too few shoes and too much (matted) hair and a permeating sound of furious clacking on keyboards on the public computers.  

On 'the strip' I found most eatery's had now opened, again going to for the known, I chose Benny's - a quiet table up the back with a book, journal and Caesar salad.  Does it get any better than this!  I moved on when the staff seemed to be moving tables around me, perhaps I had outstayed my welcome.  Another stroll back to the library, the kids should have gone home for naps by now, and the shoe-less, matted hair lot surely cant concentrate that long.

Found yet another bookshop, Dymocks, and of course another book -

Nice little haul.  A good days gathering.  I spent the rest of the afternoon, waiting for Mr K in the library until I was joined at the writing table by the Bachelor Of the Year - a man whose body and clothes looked (and sadly, for me, and every person within 100 metres, smelt) like they had never seen soap, let alone water.  He wore three hats, each grubbier than the next, and .. get this ... HE tied a handkerchief, well grey rag, over this nose/mouth.  Was he being kind to me as he hadn't brushed his teeth that decade, or was it me who smelt?  Guess its all a matter of perspective!

Moved into the fresh air, and had a very nice and critical time writing about the comings and goings of Freo.

Day rating : 8/10


  1. You're not alone I've been feeling in a bit of a slump lately too, but there's nothing like a mental health day to help things along though :) Must be the moon or the weather or something!
    I haven't been out to Fremantle in ages although the sound of the traffic I think I'll avoid it for a while!

  2. We frequent Fremantle often, especially in football season at the Norfolk Hotel, they have the large screen, the New Edition Bookshop is one of my favourites. What a great day you had, I'm jealous xxx Rae

  3. I am jealous - this sounds like my type of day except perhaps for the sharing of a table with the Bachelor of the Year.