Thursday: Camp preparation- Went OK, found the CY O'Connor statue at Fremantle and set up a few checkpoints and detours for days 2 and 3. Favourite Daughter was my chauffeur and did not enjoy the Perth traffic. Spent some time with Josh at Carine preparing for their camp and settled the financial arrangements which I'm quite happy with.
Stayed at Alex's place for the night and had an in-your-face taste of Maddington at a mate of his place.
Friday: Professional Development, aptly on the topic of mental health.- Not a bad day of PD on a topic of some interest both professionally and personally.
Fri night to Sunday: The WA Men's Gathering at Araluen.This will be my first taste of a Men's Gathering event, not sure what to expect but am willing to check it out and see. - The weekend Men's Gathering was a predictable mix of weirdness and intimacy. About 100 blokes were there and football sex and beer were not the vernacular. Overall it was a serious event with men who are interested in changing their lives or improving the quality of same. There were drums and bare chests for those who were into it (not me) but also small groups that involved quite deep and personal sharing as we discussed various topics raised by the keynote speaker. I was impressed with the sincerity and resolve of many men and made some good contacts with blokes who've been through a range of experiences, many painful. I felt a bond with a couple of blokes in particular and hope to stay in touch with them, and found myself able to talk about how my life has been over the last year or so. I also found time to do a few paintings. One was bought my my room mate and I gave the other two to the blokes I just mentioned.
Sunday night: Possibly Breakfast Club.- We got together at the Mekong Vietnamese restaurant in Mt Lawley and had a really good night of stories and laughter. Phil is leaving for Afghanistan on Wed for 16 days work and felt a little nervous about returning there considering the levels of violence there. He and his family are going back there in April to work full time.
I stayed the night at Hugh's, in the sweltering Perth heat. The temp. was another reminder of why I don't want to ever live in Perth again! As if I needed any!
Better get going, got a train to catch.