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Outside the R&I Bank, Barrack Street, Perth.

I'm sitting on a rock near a series of pools and waterfalls. About 3 metres to my left the traffic is bustling past. 3 metres in front of me stands a statue of the man who founded this city (query - who losted it?).

As I look down Barrack Street, I can see the huge looming skyscrapers of Westpac House and St Martin's arcade. Even now I sit in the shade of a large bank building. But, to my right, I can see the graceful form of the town hall, all red brick, instead of those concrete and glass monstrosities they call architecture these days.

Yet there still remains a touch or two of the old grace of the city, unnoticed though it may be by the general population as they rush to and fro trying to get from here to there and back again within their lunch breaks. Looking across Barrack Street I can see three old style buildings, all fluted columns and fancy verandahs. Beside these fluffy, frilly, fancied up buildings, all got up in their best trimmings like girls going to a party; beside these party girls, the skyscrapers look like tall, sleek sophisticated models in skin-tight gowns and supercillious sneers. Each is beautiful in their own way. I just happen to prefer the party girls to the models.

I don't know if the place that I wrote this from is still accessible anymore. There's been some demolition work done, to turn the area where the bank was into part of a "heritage precinct". This was written at some stage in the early 1990's as far as I can guess - before I got into the habit of dating my work, anyway. I suppose I should go back there and see what I can see now.

This work is copyright Meg Thornton 1990 - 2005. All rights reserved.

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