coffee – crocodiles and snakes

Occasion: St Martin’s graduation ceremony at London’s Southbank Festival Hall. Tasha, my son’s girlfriend, received merits for her post-grad animation course, an event sprinkled with celebrities and a few rousing speeches. With no rain for once, we went on to roam in Covent Garden.

Delicious Thai food at Busaba in Floral Street, eye-bright tincture for my computer-stressed eyes from Neil’s Yard, and – I can’t just keep this for myself – the best coffee in London is to be had at the Monmouth Coffee Company in Monmouth Street. All in all a memorable day.

Tasha grew up in Darwin. Her adventurous mum satisfied my curiosity about Western Australia’s wildlife today. Here’s what sticks in my mind. Crocodiles are happiest in rivers where they find plenty of delicate morsels, including humans -such tragic accidents can happen after torrential rains when crocs stray to places where people don’t expect them. An occasional old croc appears in salt water at the coast. It would be a pensioned-off one, chased away by younger males. Crocs found in wrong places are put into croc-sanctuaries. They are also eaten, crocodile meat tastes like a cross between chicken and duck meat.

I wanted to know about snakes, too. The black ones are fatal, the brown ones less so, and then there are the beautiful ones, sparkling and colourful, that live in trees. They’re harmless.

On reflection, Darwin’s wildlife is no different to the wildlife found in the underbelly of UK’s cities. Common sense and well-tuned intuition apply. And Western Australia has a few advantages, vast open spaces, and no fragile Euro currency.

On-line again, befriending my new laptop and getting back into the swing of writing and editing. A heavenly scent ascends from a cup of freshly ground Guatemalan coffee brought home from the Monmouth Coffee Company.


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2 responses to “coffee – crocodiles and snakes

  1. Sounds like a wonderful day and congratulations to Tasha and of course all the graduating students it is such a special occasion no matter what lies ahead. We have snakes here and they are all pretty harmless except for the adders. We have a huge Western Whip Snake who has lived with us quite some time. He/She is very shy and actually is quite unusual to spot unless he is drowsy. He does however leave his overcoat in the flower bed on a regular basis. I have to admit that the wildlife of Australia has always scared me a bit but I think that is fear born of ignorance. Another interesting post and next time we are in the Capital I will pay a visit to that coffee shop.


  2. Where is it in France you are, Diane? Whip Snake because of its whipping long tail, I suppose. I looked up some pictures, beautiful and not dangerous to humans. I grew up at a lake near the Alps where the woods are also littered with ponds. We had adders, but unless one blundered blindly ahead, they would slip away quickly. I saw many of those wonderful skins, intact.
    In my garden I have a friendly slow worm. They grow quite old. When my cat was still alive she would bring it onto the deck as a present. I would take it back to it’s usual spot and Jetty would return it to me. A game we had with the poor thing.


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