There is only one word to describe my first Saturday paddle after 6 months - awesome. The weather was perfect - a crisp Perth Spring day, not a breath of wind and not a ripple on the Swan River. It doesn't get any better than this and I felt so lucky to be on the water that I wouldn't have had a bigger grin if my old fella weighed the proverbial metric tonne. Or even an imperial ton.
A (relatively) big turnout was expected at Point Walter this morning - M4P had flown back from Adelaide just to paddle, Mean Gene was joining the crew, Bad James was in town, Westy was on his first Saturday paddle in a million years (there may be an exaggeration factor applied there) and I had returned from swanning around on the company dollar. At one stage we thought Travis the Beetle was coming as well, until he developed Manflu. The World Health Organisation had quarantined five blocks around his Fremantle residence on hearing of an outbreak of Manflu, so there was no chance of him breaking the containment lines. Good James had also been invited but since he left Gorilla Biscuit Pty Ltd to rape the world's fossil fuels, he had developed a rash from wiping his bum with hundred-dollar bills. Lucky bugger.
Due to a communications issue I hadn't brought my Endorfinn for Mean Gene, thinking he wasn't coming. When I arrived 20 minutes early and saw Mean Gene keen as a teen queen (yes, I know I'm reaching with that rhyme) I snappily took the F1-like diesel Captiva back home to grab it. In the 45 minutes it took me to return, everyone except Westy had rightly hit the water. Westy has been paddling twice a week for the six months since I left and is bloody quick as I found out last Tuesday, so I was very glad this was a social paddle, even if we were playing catch up. Past the Bicton baths we found our elusive quarries and after mucking around in the wash of some passing speed boats headed up to Mosman Bay.
Mean Gene was much more stable in Westy's Endorfinn than he was last summer and even on the rare occasion that he fell out, the water was beautiful so it wasn't exactly a tragic event.
By 0920 the boats were back on the cars, and my waterproof Fuji camera had performed a credible impersonation of a fishtank. The 3-inch screen resembled a porthole on the Titanic. Luckily, as we sat down under a shady tree to sample the Billabong Brewery sixpack that Bad James had brought, he had also brought a camera-phone to prove that we weren't the homeless warbs that we appeared to be should we be (probably deservedly) arrested.
Next weekend we collectively commence brewing two varieties of beer and a ginger beer (for the lovely ladies that put up with us) in preparation for the festive season. Stand by for a grammatically-poor, tonally-slurring blog. More importantly, the beer-for-breakfast bar has been set, and we were all very happy to pre-sage the fried pig with some very tasty brews. As 40-somethings (the new 30-somethings by the way) all this is definitely socially acceptable. Just ask us.
Zephyrs Cafe, East Fremantle
I've already reviewed Zephyr's. It's tops. We arrived there at 10am and sat down at the best table in the house, overlooking the Swan. The food is just as good as it was on the last review, although I don't recall the child-labour last time. The chap delivering our smouldering pig would have struggled to look 12. Even a Hunter Valley Catholic Choirmaster would have thought him too young (too soon?).
The important part of this breakfast was my discovery that there is such an animal as a Mummy Blog. Apparently someone called Mia Freedman coos and bubbles at the the joys of the crying little shite machines that we spawn. Look, let's be serious. When kids get to the point of sensible conversation...err...actually just conversation at all...they're tops. When all you get is double-ended projectile excretions as you sit down for lunch at the pub then it isn't so much fun. Mummy Blogs...WTF? Apparently Mia makes a fortune out of describing little Lateesha-May's last bowel movements - crikey, is anyone really that interested? If they are, I'm more than happy to blog about my own personal modern use of the cubit measurement (the length of a forearm).
Punters - there needs to be a revolt against the rise of Mummy Blogs. A counter-culture needs to emerge. It starts here - PBP is it. Send me stories of all things manly and I'll publish them. Unless of course they are un-Australian or lame, in which case I'll forward them to Mia's Mummy Blog. Make sure you are puffing a stogie and imbibing a single malt whilst watching contact sports when you are doing it.
I am Bloke. Hear me roar.
Viva Le Coq.