A few days ago, I swam in the Indian Ocean. I splashed about on the beach, in the place where land meets ocean. They say spirits and the other worldly are strong in place as this: where opposing worlds collide - doorways, shade, when sun shines and rain falls, twilight, perhaps even where one can walk and swim at the same time. I was a strong swimmer in my youth, could stroke with the best of them. I developed exercise induced asthma in my teens, meaning if I do anything too exerting for long a stretch of time, breathing gets tough, no oxygen in my blood, muscles seize up. The worst place for this to happen is in the ocean with its waves, its unpredictable currents. I swam with Adam and Jojo, who at 8 years old is a stronger swimmer than I am. Further out to the ocean, there's a yellow free-floating platform for folks to dive off into the clear salt water. We decided to swim there. A third of the way there, asthma kicked in and the incredible Nigerian Hulk/INUAMAN alter ego of mine saw the threat of life flashing before its eyes, shook its shuddering yellow heart and swam back to shore. But Adam came back and offered to swim with me. It was the longest 100meters of my life. I panicked a few times, grabbed Adam's back so tightly that my nails broke his skin and he bled there into the ocean. But I battled, reached the platform, climbed and felt like I'd overcome something dark. I dived off the platform a couple of times, finally returned to the shore, thought about my little victory, and again a few other things unlocked inside, things I'm still seeking the right arrangement of words for. It'll come. The following day, we go out to the skating rink as Becky, Adam's older daughter has ice skating lessons. We leave her to it, Adam, Jo and I go to Bibra Lake, a gorgeous park/playground/barbecue spot by water and we watch the black swans sunbathe for a while. I learn a few more things about the school system in Perth. As well as having a strong swimming curriculum, there are classes for Facebook and driving; learning the basics of how a car works, road safety and actual on-the-road driving lessons are on the syllabus! My phone rings for a 12:30 interview and we arrive back at the rink to pick up Rebecca before heading home.
Rob Pell-Walpole, who is essentially the voice of Fuel (who produce my theatre work), my production manger, and friend calls to say he has arrived in Perth and I head out to find him. The more I walk through the city, I imagine that it'll be perfect for a Midnight Run and make a mental note to suggest it. I find the Season of Perth Hotel finally, and call Rob from the reception. My attempts are futile and I wait a little frustrated on the sofa there. I overhear a conversation between two gentleman. 'I'm not gonna bother rehearsing' says the first one 'Why?' says the second. 'I'll be fine, didn't rehearse for Japan' says the first. 'Erm excuse me' Says I 'Are you playing at the Perth Festival?' 'Yes' says he 'You?' 'Yes' Says I, 'I have a show called The 14th Tale, I wrote and will perform it, its about (etc) what about you?' 'We are in a band, we're playing tonight' 'My name is Inua, you?' 'Pete' says the first man offering his hand, 'Tjinder' says the second one. 'So' Says I, 'What is your band called?...' 'CORNERSHOP'.