A beautiful Australian wedding

Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
Trip End Apr 16, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, December 16, 2010

And so we arrived back in Perth the day before Dave & Mel's beautiful wedding, a ceremony followed by drinks and canapes right down by the river in Bicton very near their house. Being Perth the weather was obligingly hot and sunny and at the reception in a fantastic restaurant down by the beach we were entertained by a classic West Coast sunset over the beach right outside the window.

We were very pleased to be able to help Dave & Mel out alongside Dave’s sister and niece and friends Jason, Nick and Chris with various preparations for the big day and on the day itself. Gordon was on driving duty helping to ferry stuff for the ceremony and drinks down by the river in Dave & Mel’s fantastic old VW Camper Van. On the surface this seems like a simple assignment but then you have to bear in mind the eccentricities of such a van: to start it you needed to put the key in, turn it and then fish out a cable from underneath the steering wheel, stick a screwdriver in and turn it anti-clockwise five times before doing three half turns to the left, separated by a 1.5 second pause whilst at the same time doing a salsa beat for 1.4 seconds on the gas pedal. To open the sliding door you needed to tickle the doorhandle 4 times, give the left door jam a sensous rub and then push the handle down with your entire body weight and pull back at a precise 72 degree angle. Failure to comply with any of the above could result in the door falling off.

Nevertheless, we soon had the van mastered and negotiated the simple tasks with only a close encounter in the bottleshop car park with a Bogan Sports Yute (we think we might have left a bit of a mark on his shiny hide with the VW’s big bumper but got out fast enough that we got away with it) and a small incident with the sliding door coming off when we brought the van back to the house later on (sorry Dave!).

Despite our assistance the wedding went off without a hitch and was absolutely beautiful, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  We had an absolute ball: we were able to let our hair down and get out on the dancefloor to pull some pretty spectacular moves (something we hadn’t really done for a while- not being a major activity in Malaysia or Indonesia) and get to know some of Dave & Mel’s friends & family from Perth, New Zealand and England. 

The day after the wedding we spent a day at the Perth Test match with 2 of Dave & Mel’s friend which was a fabulous spectacle only slightly tempered by the fact that we all had steaming hangovers and were sat in the sun all day.  Oh, yes, and the small matter of Australia seriously kicking our ass in this match. At lunchtime we decided there was nothing for it except to start drinking again and went off to have a few cold beers in the bar; all the while singing along to the Barmy Army just around the corner: "God save YOUR gracious queen, Long live to reign over YOU," etc).

The following day the gang all staying at Dave & Mel’s (there were quite a few of us there- Nick, Jason and Chris were in a camper van parked in the neighbour’s plot and us in the tent pitched next to the campervan!) then headed off to Rottnest Island just off from Perth. We spent a lovely day cycling around the island marvelling at the sandy beaches and coves and spotting quokkas (strange little things that are like a cross between kangaroos and rats) and finished off with a fantastic dinner at the pub overlooking the ocean. This was followed by a slightly drunken ride back to the cabin made more dangerous by the hundreds of quokkas that had come out and sat around on the roads; hard to see in the dark but the consequences of hitting one at high speed on a bike are serious......

Unfortunately that evening the weather broke for the first time since we had been in Australia and some very un-Australian heavy and persistent  rain set in, forcing us back to Perth a little earlier than planned for a couple more days of chilling out at Dave & Mel’s place with everybody, making inroads into the bubbly left over from the wedding and eating them out of house and home.

Thanks again for the new Mr & Mrs Evans for having us at their wedding and for their fantastic hospitality; making us feel so welcome and at home. We demand the right to return the courtesy next time you are in London.
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