Tag Archives: Perth

Guess Who Came To Dinner ?

Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Smith arrive at the War Memorial

Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Smith arrive at the War Memorial

I am not a particularly great fan of the Bush Administration by any means so when the second most powerful person in America, Condoleezza Rice, came to visit the most isolated city in the world it raised an eyebrow.
However, being a news junkie there was no way I was going to miss this golden opportunity of grabbing a photo of Condie. I was hoping for Colin Powell, but Condie would do!

As it so happened her trip coincided with my usual Friday horror workout at Jacobs Ladder just near to where she was going to lay a wreath. so I decided to take my camera with me (just in case). As fate would have it as I drove to the torture stairs that morning there was her entourage causing chaos in Mt Lawley. Imagine my surprise to discover she was sipping coffee at “Cino to Go” my local cafe. I could have saved myself the trouble and snapped her right there and then. However I thought better of tackling the secret service and continued. The day was

Condoleezza Rice at Kings Park War Memorial

Condoleezza Rice at Kings Park War Memorial

not particularly kind, light drizzle and a biting cold but despite this (and the fact I was in my sweaty workout gear) I decided to head up to Kings Park. I was just hoping my unusual attire and sweaty appearance wouldn’t catch the eye of the secret service. I had just watched the movie, Vantage Point, so I was sure I was a candidate for being monitored. And sure enough within minutes of my arrival at the war memorial a policeman spotted me and came walking over. I was politely asked to leave the area as sniffer dogs were about to arrive (I didn’t think I smelt that bad!). I took my position behind the ropes and amused myself by watching the secret servicemen. I am sure they felt embarrassed acting cool and important in front of about fifty onlookers and sweaty me. I was distracted from my secret service watching briefly, when a light plane flew over the War Memorial with a banner saying ” Condoleezza –

Condoleezza Rice as the Last Post is played.

Condoleezza Rice as the Last Post is played.

Macedonians welcome you here”. I wasn’t quite sure what that all meant so I went back to my Secret Service watching, spotting one frolicking in the scrubs.

The entourage arrived quickly and without much warning. Condie slipped out of the white car and down the stairs of the War Memorial within a blink of an eye. I am guessing, as she walked tentatively on the slippery surface, she was kicking herself for wearing high heels. The diggers who had been out in the cold for a least an hour stood to attention, the Last Post was played and the Lest We Forget Ode was spoken. But the most impressive and most moving part of the ceremony was the wreath laying, thanks to Condoleezza.
With wreath in hand she climbed the steps, placed the ring

Condoleezza Rice head bowed in Silent Prayer

Condoleezza Rice head bowed in Silent Prayer

of flowers, read the inscription, bowed her head and took several minutes praying. It felt like ages that her solitary figure, with head bowed, stood dwarfed by the huge obelisk. It was quite extraordinary, and I went away thinking that would be the image I would forever associate with her.Oh yeah and sipping a cup of coffee at Cino’s in Mt Lawley. That’s just weird, Condoleezza Rice in Mt Lawley doesn’t make sense. But her simple and sincere act in front of our War Memorial was pretty humbling.

Poor thing was then dragged behind the war memorial to the waiting media, giving her little time to soak in the magnificent view. Then it was up the hill in high heels for a press conference. Yippee, she must just love unofficial visits. Just before being whisked off in her bullet proof limo to her private plane, she had a photo with a group of bewildered school kids who pulled faces and giggled. By the time I had made it home, she was gone.

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Filed under Believe it or not, Bizarre, VIP's in WA

Save Jacob’s Ladder

If you waJacob’s Laddernt somewhere to view compulsive addictive behavior, swing by Jacob’s Ladder (Cardiac Hill) any old day of the week, and there you will find us. Sweaty Betty’s of all shapes and sizes going up and down the 241 concrete steps, which hang at a 43 degree angle off the side of Mt Eliza. Every person has their own special reason for being there, whether it is simply for fitness, too many business lunches or training for the Kokoda trail / Mt Everest, you name it, they are there. You can run, walk, limp or slowly trundle up the steep incline (doing well to keep to the left, if you don’t want to be bowled over by the descending herds). You can do it once, twice, thirty times, no one cares, because everyone is just looking at their feet. Even when you get to the top, don’t be surprised if no one talks to you, it isn’t that they don’t want to, it is just there isn’t enough air in their lungs. I have found some comfort in knowing that the Mounts Hospital is at the bottom of the ladder , but I pity the fools who would have carry/drag me down there.

Jacob’s LadderJacob’s Ladder was originally constructed in 1909 and consisted of 221 jarrah steps. During the 1960’s the ladder became somewhat dangerous and was replaced with a concrete version. Interestingly, it was a local who gave the ladder its name when they placed a sign reading “This way to Jacob’s Ladder”.

My grandparents actually met and fell in love at the top of Jacob’s Ladder in the 1920’s, where the turnstile use to be .

Trying To Pull Down The Icon

It was recently announced that the Perth City Council are considering removing Jacob’s Ladder permanently so they can build more high rises. It is so so typical….. I shall keep you informed of further developments (pardon the pun).

So where can you find this horror hill ? It is at the end of Cliff Street, West Perth (near the King’s Park entrance) or an easier way is to simply follow the trail of sweat. Just a word of warning I would be careful what you touch eg, handrails, seats, water fountain , I wasn’t kidding about the trail of sweat!


Filed under Physical Activities