Bureaucracy-like car salesmen, lawyers, politicians, Dutchmen, journalists, and Roel Loopers, to name just a few-has a bad reputation.
I know one should never generalise so let me declare that I have often dealt with excellent public servants at the City of Fremantle and all levels of government.
Why am I writing this? Because I thought there must be some reason and order within City of Fremantle madness I do not understand. It’s probably not the fault of an officer but of the system and lack of rules.
Yesterday the two new fire extinguishers in the Roundhouse were tested and the contractor told me the only other devise he needed to test at Arthur Head for CoF was the one in the Gunners Cottage, which is the office of the Roundhouse volunteers.
This means that none of the artist’s studios at Captain’s and Mrs Trivett lanes have fire extinguishers installed although some of them have highly flammable goods in them. I don’t know a painter who would not have turpentine in their studio.
It seems illogical to me that the Roundhouse, that is highly unlikely to ever catch fire, needs to have two fire extinguishers, but highly flammable artist’s studios in tiny residential cottages that are also open to the public don’t have any.
If a fire broke out in one of the cottages it could very easily and rapidly spread to the others along the lane and all that heritage would be gone.
I have now been living in the cottage at Arthur Head for just over a week and it is wonderful. It is the firts time for me to live in the West End of Fremantle, and it is a change I like. I always lived East of Hampton Road, first Bolton Place, then Swanbourne Street, Bellevue Terrace, Forrest Street and Mc Cleery Street. Living in the middle of the city and being able to do almost everything on foot is such a good change.
I wake up and through my bedroom window I see the lit Fremantle Ports tower, it is also the last thing I see at night, before going to sleep. I sit on the veranda and watch the activity in the harbour, the coming and going of Rottnest Island ferries, all behind the stoic figure of CY O’Connor, and listen to the sounds of it all.
The sea breeze keeps the cottage cool, and I wander around the other cottages and discover little spots I have never noticed before. The industrial look of Slip Street with the Maritime Museum in the background looks different from up here, and so does Bathers Beach.
In the morning I walk the empty and quiet streets before sitting down at Tasty Express at B Shed for my first coffee and reading the West Australian. From there I often walk over to Henry Street to have a second Espresso at the Moore&Moore cafe.
The neighbours are lovely and we are planning regular games of boulles, bocce, petangue, lawn balls, up here on the grass around the Round House on Wednesdays around sunset, in the hope to help re-create a deeper sense of community at this end of town.
I feel pretty special that I live in such a historic, and the most beautiful part, of the city, and have joined the Fremantle Heritage Guides, so I can share my delight with tourists visiting the Round House.
Change often is like starting a whole new life. It is pretty exiting!