Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Big Aussie BBQ

Yesterday it was time to greet the queen in a real West Australian way – we had a massive barbeque on the Perth foreshore.


There were 120 barbeques, 120,000 sausages (unfortunately no boerewors), 8000 liters of tamato juice, 130,000 drinks and more than 100,000 people who came to greet the queen.

Public transport was free and we took the train into the city early Saturday morning.

Because we were there early we got into the main stage area, and we got close to the action.  This whole area was later locked off and the rest of the common folk had to go somewhere else to look at the queen on the big screens.


This created it’s own problems of course, because my youngest little darling wanted to go to the toilet, and I had to go through what seemed like 7 heavily guarded gates to get out, and had to get stamped to ensure that I’m allowed back in again.  The same applied if you wanted to buy sausages or drinks.  Security was tight and there was no mercy for anyone without the red stamp.


But it was great fun.  I’ve never had the opportunity to see the  queen in real life before, and I was surprised at how human-like her Duck was.  (I don’t know why this duck is always accompanying her, it must be some mascot or something.)

The crowd was extremely well-behaved, and the WA Police tweeted later:

“about 100,000 ppl/no arrests/1 move-on notice/3 elderly ppl collapsed (fine now)/3 kids reunited with carers #CHOGM

It was an alcohol-free event after all, as the Premier correctly assumed that good decent Western Australians won’t start drinking at 9am on a Saturday morning…well, not the 200,00 that came to the foreshore anyway.

The national anthem was sung with pride and once again one couldn’t help but notice how much these people love their country and how proud they are to be Western Australians.  And that includes me.


We were close to the action, and when we asked my youngest what the queen looked like, her response was “she looks very old!”


Apparently Her Majesty also had a look at my daughter’s CHOGM photo earlier this week, and she was very impressed with this beautiful young girl from Africa.  She may even have smiled when she looked at it in admiration: 

Carissa Portrait Nomad


On the way back we got off at Sterling station to run in to IKEA for a cheap lunch and drank free refill cold drinks till we burst. 

So, in one week we met the Premier of WA in person, and saw the queen and her Duck from Edinburgh.  What a week it was, indeed!

I need a holiday.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Chatting with the premier

We had a nice little chat today with my buddy Colin Barnett, the premier of Western Australia.  This was at the opening of the Nomad Two Worlds - Portrait of Diversity exhibition at the state theatre, where the original art work for my daughter’s photo is on display.




This was a great moment for us!  My two girls went with me, because Mom had to stay home and watch their sick brother while I moved around with the VIP’s (I’m referring to my daughters of course!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The face of Namibia for CHOGM 2011


The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held in Perth this year.  This will be the biggest gathering of world leaders in Perth for the last 50 years.

There has been a lot of preparations for this, and amongst other things Colin Barnett (the premier of western Australia) thought it would be a good idea to take photos of immigrants from all 53 countries who live in western Australia– they actually found people from 50 of these countries, which is quite amazing.


These photos are being displayed in the Murray and Hay street malls in Perth, and my daughter's face ended up being a huge poster.

I’m sure her majesty the queen will stop to have a better look at this one: