Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Stranded in Perth! It could be worse.

Tuesday 1st

Seems weird, Christmas decorations against a blue sky on a hot sunny day.

I had spent the day on Sunday after the Downing Street party and the Queen had left CHOGM and Perth far behind getting the last of the kit cleared out of the Media Centre.

There was still some hope that my flight to Brisbane might not be cancelled. Into the afternoon it was still showing as scheduled.

It was inevitable. It was then cancelled late on in the afternoon.

Unlike my colleagues who were able to get themselves on alternative airline to Qantas I had to wait because of all the sponsorship nonsense before I could look into booking other airlines.

Needless to say the chance to get out of Perth on any other airline before Wednesday had gone.

Even then the flights prices were through the roof.

The only thing to do was to keep trying.

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had referred the dispute to the Fair Work Australia court.

They would make a ruling about whether the industrial action by the Qantas CEO to ground the fleet would be allowed to continue.

I was glued to the TV News as it devoted all its coverage to the Qantas dispute.

The good news was that in the early hours of Monday morning the ruling from the court was that the dispute should be terminated.

That meant flights would be back in the air as soon as possible.

I hoped then that I might be able to get out by late Monday or early Tuesday.

On Monday morning there was no change in the status of most of the flights for Monday and Tuesday.

After breakfast on Monday morning I bumped into Phil the Sky News cameraman. He was now, like me stuck in Perth for a bit longer with all his team managing to get away either on the PM’s flight or another airline’s.

Phil did have a flight out to he UK via Dubai leaving late that evening.

I was still in limbo.

So we had a day to kick our heels in Perth with all the work done and dusted.

Phil suggested a bit of a cycle ride. So we hired bikes and set out on the 30 kilometre ride to Freemantle.


Me, well my shadow.

The ride skirts round he Swan River passing some fantastic houses. It must be an architects heaven here because no two houses are the same and there are hundreds of them all along the route.

Some of the amazing houses on the route.

Not exactly shacks.....

...more like little palaces...

...each one grand... its own individual way...

...with great views of Perth's CBD and some guys preparing to go kite surfing..

...just so many desirable places, out of my reach though.

Fancy that one Phil?

Of course you need somewhere close to park your boat.

Don't think we got that fast...

..Speed camera on a cycle path? No, on closer inspection it is a meter for a pumping station.

We had lunch in Freemantle and then headed back to Perth in the highest temperatures we had encountered on the trip so far.

Phil introduced me to a thing called Geo Cache. It is a GPS based treasure hunt.

People hide little containers all over the world leaving clues either in the form of riddles or using GPS co-ordinates.

We found two, one at the Roundhouse in Freemantle and one on the ride back.

Phil signed the little finders logs that are in the containers and then carefully put them back for the next treasure seekers to find.

Signing the cache's log book at the Rooundhouse in Freemantle.

Bike parked whilst we search on the route back.

Found it!

Phil signs that cache'e log book too.

It only lasts a couple of days but it takes over the city.

Not far to go now...

...passing where the Queen went to the Big Sausage Sizzle.

Hot but happy after four hours in the saddle.

There was good news when we arrived back at the hotel hot sweaty and knackered but, not suffering from sore bottoms from our four hours of cycling. The Qantas flights had opened up.

I was able to book for the early morning flight to Brisbane.

After dinner I said good bye to Phil as he prepared for his late night flight back to the UK.

I packed my kit.

This morning I left a whole stack of kit that is not needed on the Daybreak assignment with the hotel to be looked after by tourism Western Australia.

After the filming and live broadcasts in Melbourne we’d be hot footing back over to Perth for live broadcasts there when I would be reunited with the kit for the journey home.

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