Posts tagged ‘perth’

January 31, 2014


When I first came to Perth, about 4 years ago, there was a feeling that a shift was underway in the city. Not just in eating and drinking, but across the arts and the mindset of the people. I’d hear comparison to other cities; a sign of a wannabee if ever there was one. I’d also hear plenty of trash being talked about a place that I fell in love with. It’s always the way that you can knock your own city, but woe betide an outsider who tries. Fast forward to 2014 and Perth is a different place in my mind. I’m now a resident, passionate about telling those who’ll listen about this sparky city sat alone on the side of a huge continent. The mindset is different. I don’t hear the comparisons as much anymore. i still hear bitching (sometimes from myself) but that too has subsided. Perth isn’t the wannabee. It’s arrived; recognised by the likes of the New York Times as a must see destination. Carving it’s own place without comparison, there’s things afoot.

So, I feel privileged to be part of a team that is bringing positive stories about Perth to the fore. I posted #RottnestLobster the other week. Now I’m posting #EatPerth, produced by Offshoot Creative for Tourism WA, it features Rich Keam, a winner of Best Jobs in the World and our very own Taste Master WA.

Rich’s guide is Laura Moseley. It’s difficult to describe Laura, but lets’s just say she’s an elegant, effortless, eating machine. I’m sure she’ll hate that description and I’m also sure it doesn’t quite explain the dynamo quality she posseses. Anyhow, that’s enough gushing… enjoy a view of Perth and see you soon for a Danny Zuccho.

September 20, 2013

On the lam from the 9 to 5

A year ago today I sat in Duck & Waffle, looking out across the City of London, and beyond. Up there on the 40th floor I could see my life in London spread out on the streets below. The offices that I’d worked in, the areas I’d lived in, the pubs I’d drunk in, the architectural markers that trigger bursts of memories. 

The last day of one career and the start of another. I’d worked in 6 roles, with 12 bosses, across 5 offices, in 3 cities, for the same employer. I’d been there as the Global Financial Crisis hit, had microphones thrust in my face as I exited the building (novel the first time but annoying by the 4th or 5th) and seen public perception of my industry nose dive.  My time was up.

A year later and I sat this morning looking out across Perth CBD, from Kings Park. Perched on a wall, coffee in hand, I couldn’t help but reflect. It’s been a year of travel and change, getting to grips with a career change and the building of a business. So what have I learnt from a year on the lam from the 9 to 5?

Simply, there is no 9 to 5 when you’re working for yourself. Ideas strike at any point; no respecter of the clock. While these lightbulb moments excite there is the drudge of the paperwork. Insurance, tax, accounting, licence agreements, all those things that you want to put off but are essential to getting paid and protecting your business.

We made the move from the UK to ensure some balance. We haven’t found it yet. Working 7 days a week is common. Realising that there’s always something that needs to be done no matter how many days you work is a start to regaining a semblance of balance. You have to impose some rules,  structure and draw lines of work and home. A great lesson learnt from another couple working together: No business before coffee. A simple rule that ensures work isn’t the first thing that’s discussed in a morning.

Procrastination, my old enemy, isn’t just the enemy of the to do list, but of your bank balance. A simple equation that if the work isn’t  done, then you don’t get paid. Let’s be honest. In a 9 to 5, you easily get away with an off day (or week), safe in the knowledge that payday will come regardless.

The lesson above all others is that being on the lam from the 9 to 5, isn’t easy. It is the most work you’ll ever do. Sometimes for little reward or praise. You’ll wonder, why the f*** am I doing this. But then you immediately know why you’re doing it. Becuase when things come right, when you have wins (however big or small) you know that it was down to your work, the decision to get out and do things for yourself.


May 24, 2013

Night of the… ?

So what was billed as Night of the Afflicted actually turns out to be anything but. A table of 5 guys, littered with empty mugs of Feral and craft bottles aplenty. It can hardly be described as affliction when one of your number walks in, casually places a Growler of True South’s finest on the table and asks should we crack this open. Flown in fresh from the East, only good things can ensue. Much respect to Scott and even more respect to Jess the “Beer Mule”.


As I waited at the bar for the first to arrive there was an awkward conversation between two fifty-somethings next to me. A blind date. Possibly an internet date. Time was that you’d scoff at this kind of thing. It’s normal these days. I realised that there’s an ever blurring between online and offline. I after all was sat waiting for a bunch of people I tweet with and have spoken to for articles. As I ever so slightly swayed towards the doors of Ace Pizza, our second destination of the evening I thought this is proof that there’s always a good excuse for an impromptu Twissup. So the question is when and where is the next? Whose in?

May 22, 2013

Unofficial Good Beer Week & GABS, Night of the Afflicted: Thursday 23rd May, Five Bar, Mount Lawley

As the beer flows over East for Good Beer Week and GABS, those unable to travel find themselves in that place between envy and jealousy. Twitter, Instagram, Crafty Pint and a number of blogs just feed that thought of: why am I here, why am I not over there, why do they get to have all the f****** beer and I’m covered in enough blue paint to pull off a convincing impression of Papa Smurf. Taunts and teases even come via old school means. A GABS programme posted with a handwritten note. The thought of whether I can forego the paint brush and the thousand or so parquetry tiles that with a heavy work schedule are my foreseeable future. The answer is no. There’s always next year.


But, I’m a firm believer in making the best of what you’ve got and also a believer that if there’s an excuse to get people together for a beer then you should do it. So with the help of Twitter, Justin (@therealgornstar) and Scott (@sbbrew) a plan was hatched. One of those beautiful online plans where you just say yeah let’s do it. It’s a night for the afflicted… the affliction being that we aren’t amongst those lucky bastards in Melbourne (*shakes fist at the sky*). Yes, Perth is great, yada, yada, yada, but the beer action is over there.

So, Night of the Afflicted, tomorrow Thursday 23rd May at Five in Mount Lawley, from 5.30pm. You can choose to go for a drop of the East, keep it West or foriegn shores. It could just be a few middle aged geezers propping up the bar bemoaning our stupid decision not to go to Melbourne, it may be more. In fact you may not give a toss about what is going on in Melbourne, but hey it’s an excuse for a beer. No RSVP required, just bring yer drinking boots.

May 2, 2013

One gallon at a time

The love of beer has a strange progression. You make your first forays into good beer and gradually or abruptly eschew the bland beer of your past. Then comes the ever growing fundamentalism. You try to convert those around you to your hoppy doctrine. To join the revolution. Easily the most annoying part of the process for those around you.

Then in time comes the dream of brewing. You’ve drunk the work of others and it creeps into your addled brain that brewing your own wouldn’t be a bad idea. In fact hey, maybe even a brewery of my own one day. I’m not quite at this stage yet but I’ve been reading pieces recently about folk at those stages in the road to a brewery. The guys at Boatrocker talking about it with Crafty in Australia and a new series of posts from Broadford Brewer on his move from homebrew to pro as he sets up the Northern Monk Brewing Co., in the UK.  For now I can idly dream. That’s the dream that doesn’t involve hours and hours of cleaning, scrubbing and sanatising.

As I write I’m taking a break for scrubbing, scraping, painting, wrenching and banging. Renovating is thirsty work but in the absence of beer I’m working out where my next step on the beer path will fit into our small apartment. Yes you’ve guessed it, I’m finally taking a crack at some homebrew. I’ve had books on the shelf for years, trawled the internet for blogs and even interviewed a few homebrewers but now it seems like the time has come. There’s no garage, spare room, under the stairs or cellar… so for now it’ll be one gallon at a time in the Brew Cupboard.

April 29, 2013

Meet Offshoot Creative…

I mentioned some months ago about a new business. A partnership with the other half, creating content for businesses and organisations in WA and beyond. I’ve been quiet on this front since but that’s not to say that we’ve been sat twiddling our thumbs. We are Offshoot Creative and thought it only polite to say hello. Hello.

Work is underway or complete on various video and social media content projects (the labours of which we hope to share soon) as well as consulting with organisations on how best to present themselves in the social space. It’s been a great start, collaborating with forward thinkers and creative go getters; but we are always looking to talk to people about new projects. People who like the thought of doing something a little different. So go old school and get in touch or stalk us on Facebook and Twitter. Either way, we hope to speak to you soon.


April 13, 2013

Banish the Whinger

When i first arrived in Perth, I made my intentions clear. In my own mind first and then in a piece for The West. I would not become a whingeing Pom. By putting it in print it was licence for friends and family to pull me up should I start to opine negatively on aspects of Perth life. I stray from time to time but pull myself back into line and give myself a mental slap. A hard one.

I’m keeping up my attempt at positive over negative, celebrating the great rather than skewering the poor and inept. It lacks a cynical edge that i feel lurks in every Brit but so far, so good; I think. There is of course a difference between a whinge and genuine criticism and I reserve the right of fair and balanced critique, as opposed to a soul sucking whingey tirade. I do find that far from the whingeing Pom, there’s a dissatisfaction amongst the Aussies I know about aspects of Perth life. Whether that’s prices, service, politics, development, you name it. The expats and even eastern state incomers I meet are upbeat and see the positives of life here. We came here by concious choice of course.

Perhaps those raised in Perth see that something has been lost? That expansion and wealth has changed aspects of the City and the State? That Perth will be indistinguisahable from other cities? That parts of what they love will be lost to change – be that good or bad.

I don’t know – maybe you can tell me?

So my point? I think that Perth is a city coming into its own. Changed since I first visited not too many years ago. The hospitality scene grows, imitates and now innovates. There’s a growing confidence that I think will only lead to great things. Speaking to Mechanics Institute bar manager and champion bartender, Ben Tua, the other day it’s clear we are on the cusp. He heads off to Amsterdam as Bols Champion Bartender for Australia and New Zealand. In the last rounds of that comp, 4 contenders were from Perth. He’s up against global competition to bring home the title of Bols World Champ – who knows he may get a statue in Northbridge if he does. He pointed out that Perth 4 years ago was unloved by parts of the drinks industry. Now: “they wouldn’t think of not coming to Perth”. The mushroom cloud that is the small bar scene has doubtless been a main feature of this change. It’s one example repeated. The success of events like the Hawkers Night Market and the Gourmet Escape being others at different levels – feel free to fill the gaps in the comments. So, we should challenge and champion, banish the whinger in us all and see where this take us.











February 28, 2013

Beautiful curves on the bumpy road

I last wrote about Perth throwing me a few beautiful curves with my first forays into the Perth International Arts Festival and the surrounding Fringe. Well, it continues to delight and feed the creative side of my brain that could so easily be dulled by nights of My Kitchen Rules (seriously… what is this shit?). There’s been a few bum notes along the way – Chrysta Bell and Cat Power – technically great but not quite connecting with the audience; but they are just a bump in an otherwise none stop delight.

Fringe World, De Parel

The Fringe World festival drew to a close at the weekend and i’m left feeling that I didn’t see enough. I missed Tomas Ford, a show i’ve been told I have to see as much for the hands-on audience particpation as for anything else. I’ve previously seen Tomas at a private wedding show but have yet to see his anarchic electro cabaret on stage, to the paying public. My time will come. The Fringe programme mixed innovative venues as much as the acts themselves. Again, I don’t feel like I fully saw everything on offer, but again, there’s always next year. Here’s a piece for The Locals on Perth’s own Spiegeltent.

The Secret River at His Majesties Theatre was a theatrical experience as good as i’ve ever had. A chance to see the Sydney Theatre Company’s, stage adaptation of Kate Grenvilles’s novel, it’s one to be seen if you get the opportunity. Darkly humourous in places, the plays final scenes stay with you long beyond the curtain call. It’s a book i’ll be rushing to read.

February 21, 2013

Recently Published & Coming Soon

The eagle eyed amongst you may have worked out that I’m doing a bit for The West these days. It seems that the tip of polite perserverance in approaching editors I got some time back was spot on, as it’s landed me some good commissions. Not least my recent Page 3 butter spread… which for those familiar with the British tabloids may raise something of a snigger. Its one of a few over recent weeks that sees me on a Thursday picking up the paper and retreating to a coffee shop to pore over it. Then, looking round the shop to see who else is reading it. With basically two print newspaper choices in Perth there’s always someone close to casting an eye over my bit. It may sound strange but there’s a thrill tinged with nerves when you see someone digesting your article over their long black and eggs. I’d like to lean over and ask what they think, but fear this would be a step too far.


Other than The West there are a number of exciting developments. Three of note. One that I dare not mention for fear of jinxing, so I’ll have to wait on this one. The second a collaboration with my favourite beer site, the Crafty Pint, which to my opinion is the best beer site out there (though perhaps I am a tad biased). I should be providing regular content for Crafty which as I found out recently is a real chore. Drinking fresh wheat beer from the tank at one of WA’s oldest breweries (at 10:30am) is murder. Third, something that i’ve hinted at in previous posts… the set up of a new business, Offshoot Creative. A partnership with the the other half, we’re creating content for clients in Perth and beyond, whether that be video, stills, words or events. Watch this space for more on this very soon.

February 20, 2013

Style over substance

Plenty of times i’ve stood at the bar, eyed the pumpclips and been at a loss. Faced with a lineup of bad design in both name and graphic. You know the kind of thing: Rudolf’s Christmas Fart, with a picture of flatulent reindeer and a pile of carrots. In these situations i’ll look again at the clips, the brewers and the style, but in some circumstances i’ll just take a punt. Great discoveries happen this way and I enjoy wobbling to the bar towards closing for another pint of Fart. That was the old world, where a line of real ale pumps wasn’t just a cruel mirage. Now, i’m drinking as much bottled as I am tap, trying to get a better handle on the Aussie beer scene, but faced with a similar situation I recently went for good design and a good name with a bottle of Doss Blockos.


As the title of this post suggests it was a case of style over substance, that ended in a judgement of meh. I love the bottle design and the name, but started to become a little dubious as the bottle was placed in a brown paper bag, with no glass offered. Now, i’m in my mid 30’s, i’ve kinda got passed drinking in the park and the hobo style isn’t for me. The barmans bepuzzlement at the request for a glass told me that perhaps I should have gone for another $10 can of Punk (a price which lives up to the Sex Pistols ideal of Punk no doubt… take the money and run). Let’s just say that the almost indiscernable taste wouldn’t have been heightened by a brown paper bag. Great design and great beer is a truly wonderful union but this perhaps reinforces that beer is always king and design comes a close second.

Note: Sorry to disappoint but I don’t believe Rudolf’s Christmas Fart exists but i’m willing to give the name up to Skinners should they wish to brew some Farts.


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