It's been a lazy few days since we got back from our roadtrip. I can't say we've done much, except that we went for our second swim this week at the Riverton pool. (So much for swimming three times a week). It's a lovely 50m pool, and once again, Jim and I had a lane to ourselves, at 0815 in the morning. We decided to get the 10 entry pass, which gives a discount. With my student discount as well this came to about $72 for both of us, for 10 swims each. About $3.60 per swim. Equivalent to c£2.40 each. This is good value, and given we cycle 30 minutes each way to the pool, you can see why it makes me feel virtuous. 90 minutes exercise for $3.60.
Also in the last couple of days, I've been back to Fremantle Prison Museum, this time to do the Great Escapes tour. This had some good stories about the ingenuity of the escapes that have taken place. I think the guide said there had been 130,000 people imprisoned at Fremantle Prison but only 28 escapes. One escape was done by a trusty prisoner building a rickety ladder and hiding it underneath the prison hospital which was located between the inner and outer walls. Then he waited until winter when it was cold at daybreak, saved some soup from the evening meal, and just before dawn, offered hot soup (with stolen sleeping pills) to the guard in the guntower. The guard drank it, went to sleep and the prisoner hopped it over the wall. The guard took 12 hours to awaken, and was disciplined and downgraded to the lowest staff grade. All the successful escapes have names, and this one was the "Sleeping Beauty" escape.
I have been drawing the pomegranates that are growing on the tree where we live. The blossoms are bright orange, and the set seedheads are bright orange or yellow. Yet once the fruit starts to swell it is a bright lime green, and gets darker as it grows. The fruit takes a long time to ripen, and must go through a range of colours before it is red or apricot/pink and fully ripe. I have drawings at each stage, and will have a lot more before I go home.
Jim goes home on 1 May. So this means I will have about 7 weeks on my own here, until I complete the semester. After 7 weeks without Jim, I know I'm going to be fed up with my own company. Yet I don't know exactly what date my final assessment will be. Most of my modules have continual assessment, but the textile module, Cloth & Habitable Space, has a final review during Examination Weeks, some time between 4 and 15 June, precise date to be advised. The tutor has said to book my flight as it suits me, and I can have an early assessment if required. Because final review is tutor and peer assessed, I don't want to be evaluated outside of the class assessment. I'm not even sure whether a decision will have been made about our assessment date by the time university restarts on 28 February (!) The last date that my changeable air ticket is valid is 26 June 2012. It is a one year ticket, but if you choose your return journey in the last month of its validity, there is an extra charge (I accepted when I booked it, and it was still the best deal available). Unfortunately I did not realise that it would be so long before I knew when my studies would be complete. So do I take a chance, choose a date and book it now, to get my seat confirmed? If my assessment ends up being on Monday 4 June, I'm going to want to go home on Wednesday 6 June, but if the assessment ends up on 15 June, I'd probably wait until Monday 18 June to travel.
I think weekend flights are very busy, so I'm going to avoid them. My flights out here were on a Monday, and I was really lucky to be able to have vacant seats next to me on both flights so I could lie down and sleep. Is this because Monday flights to/from Australia are less popular at that time of year? Or was I just very lucky?
I think by June, I will just want to be going home to Jim.