"Hi. My name is Blue. It's been seven days since my last paddle..."
Having been forced into joining Lazy Paddlers Anonymous for the last week, I probably should have said this as I lugged my ski down to the South Perth foreshore, carefully avoiding the broken bottles that clearly showed the high water mark. With the Gorilla Biscuit Factory swinging back into full production after the break, I had found myself furiously smacking my face down onto the table for first couple of days (just to get back into the swing) and then into the dough continuously for the remainder of the week, so no opportunities to skive off on the ski arose.
|M4P wanted to practice quick re-entries.|
I was joined this morning by Travis the Beetle, freshly back from Deliverance, USA where he had suffered a broken ankle whilst being chased by a couple of chaps wanting him to squeal like a pig. Or he could have done it skiing - it was one of those reasons, anyway. Travis had wantonly ditched his ankle brace to get back on his Stand-Up Paddle Board, hoping to get his leg working properly again. Westy was unable to join us, having been sent to Istanbul to check out the Turkish delights at the company's new facility, where rumour has it that the biscuits are far uglier than ours. M4P had decided to become sharkbait in the surf this morning and James the Clingwrap Killer was out on his bike. So it was only Travis and I that set off under threatening skies for a lap around the island and a trip into East Perth.
It had been about a month since Travis had paddled, and even with his injury you wouldn't have known he had anything wrong with him. As it was, every time he slowed down I made oinking noises that mysteriously seemed to get him to go faster.
The jellyfish were out in force this morning and like a serial killer at Camp Biggest Loser it appeared that every second dip of the blade was absorbed by blubber.
Despite the threatening skies, it was still pretty warm as we lazily paddled along the foreshore, checking out the Bootcamp classes and many other early risers pounding the pavement.
As we rounded the North East corner of Heirisson Island (where the causeway crosses) Travis commenced a lap back around the island but to lengthen the paddle I headed up around the Graham Farmer Freeway bridge.
|East Perth. More lighthouses required.|
It was on the way back that tragedy almost struck. As I diverted from the safe route to salute the rich people in the Mediterranean-like canal of East Perth, I came too close to the point at Claisebrook, grounding on a rock that was only barely marked by two bloody big lighthouses. The ski instantly took a 20 degree list to port, but instead of abandoning ship immediately, I thought about breakfast. It was about then that I tripped and fell into a Moldovan 'dancer'...err..lifeboat, to thickly-accented shouts in my head of 'Women and children last!'.
Having survived my grounding and with no sign of either women or children onboard, I was able to right the ship and keep going, after a lap into the private lake of the rich and famous.
I once again met Travis, just north of the island and we pushed forth back to our cars, just in time to see a council ranger pull up in the space right in front of the Bluemobile. Having taken the chance that we would be back before the paid-parking period commenced, and failing dismally, I put the big ones in to at least have my door open and be making some effort to go before he started booking people.
If there is one thing that I hate more than bastard sharks, it's bastard parkies. Like referees, it is a special child that grows up thinking 'I want to be a parking inspector'. So it was that I observed Mr Bastard Parkie pull up in a space that someone else could have used, not pay for it, and then start dishing out tickets to people who, like himself, had no ticket on their windscreen. He probably kicks disabled puppies for fun, just after he's finished putting broken glass on the foreshore where paddlers put in from. Bastard.
But all in all it was a good paddle - barely any traffic on the water, not much wind and only a little current. Just what I needed after a week of nothing.
Atomic Espresso, 21 Mends St, South Perth, 08 9368 0990
I make it a rule never to queue for anything, particularly pubs. It's an English habit, and it smacks of bad management. But with every other place in South Perth full, we joined the queue of two for the Atomic. I've never queued for breakfast before, so was keen to see if it was going to be worth it. The 15 minutes that we waited were spent perusing the menu, which was extensive and reasonably priced. When we finally were seated it was outside with a nice breeze blowing down Mends St.
|Mrs T's Eggs Benny. Who knew phones could take pictures??|
The Atomic doesn't take cards - just cash - a bit of an oddity, but it wasn't the end of the world, and when I ordered (at the counter, after queuing again!) I was greeted with a 5ft tall blond vision of loveliness. In fact, seated all around us were the beautiful people as well so the contrast of we two old men was stark. I ordered Eggs Norwegian ($17.50) - scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, capers and red onion on sourdough with spinach and a small dollop of creme fraiche. I'd put a photo here for you but my camera jagged in (or it could have been that I didn't charge it...). It was pretty tasty, with the eggs scrambled lightly and flatly, and the smoked salmon, capers and red onion combo working a treat. The spinach was, well, it was spinach. Like a dose of cough medicine, you know it is going to be bad, but there it was so I ate it anyway.
Mrs Travis and little Travisette joined us, and so the index could continue, Mrs T thoughtfully ordered the Eggs Benny. The eggs were nicely poached and the Hollandaise came in its own little pot rather than smothered all over the place, like it should be. Mrs T was satisfied, if not wowed by the Benny. Luckily her phone was at hand for the morning's only picture...
|No relation to Mrs T.|
The tall flat white coffee ($5) was passable, lukewarm and nothing to rave about.
In short, when you're hungry after a paddle you'll eat anything - even boiled spinach. Having to queue, then queue again to order, and no card facility was three degrees of inconvenience. And whilst the food was pretty good (standfast the spinach), the wait wasn't justified. The staff and the clientele were mostly good sorts, and that certainly didn't hurt the ambience, but I wouldn't go out of my way again to come here again for breakfast.