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Monday, 26 October 2009

In Perth

Stayed overnight in Bendigo, drove back to Melbourne and flew to Perth, and took a taxi to our hotel apartment - overlooking the Swan River - where we could refine the detail of our first programme tomorrow; selecting short clips that will be instantly ready to illustrate debate. John and I view a filmed conversation and make a selection. I clip that bit out of the longer film so it can be placed on my desktop with the other clips.
First thing this morning John and I hired bicycles from reception and did a 20k circuit of Swan Reach under grey skies as the city high rises drifted across the near horizon. We were ignored by pelicans and cormorants as we passed sharing space with other cyclists, strollers and joggers. In a café in town we discussed transport politics over eggs benedict, melon juice and coffee cycling back to our apartment by 1100 to continue work. I caught Lin on skype for a couple of minutes - staying up late as usual. From the quiet of our room we are in immediate contact with the rest of the world. My sense of time and place is especially fluid.
One of John's filmed 'conversations'. Mayor and CEO of Marion
We've worked on through the day, John liaising with some of those whose films we'll be showing, getting a grand view of sunset over Perth. It is hard to express my enjoyment at having, in John, someone who shares my fascination with what goes on in the fuzzy messy grey area where politics and administration overlap in the making of government. My self-confidence on this subject has always been fragile - because the subject is so intangible and my approach more descriptive than prescriptive depending deeply on the engagement of those I presume to teach.
John confirms permission to use a film from Toodyay
We've done as much preparation as possible. Now to get a night's rest - and start on my next police procedural - This Night's Foul Work by Fred Vargas - before sleep overtakes me.

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Simon Baddeley