Karen Koren: Wonderful Minchins of Oz

I’M in Perth; not Perth in Perthshire, Scotland, but Perth in Western Australia. I can’t believe it. Never been here before and it is just gorgeous.

I’ve been here a couple of days now, on my way to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in Victoria - another three-hour flight I believe. I’m visiting comedian Tim Minchin’s family while he is in Austria entertaining at the Altitude Festival and no doubt getting a bit of skiing in.

I am at his mum and dad’s place, a farm a couple of hours east of Perth, in 30 degrees of heat. Actually, they say I brought a bit of cloud and the coolness with me. It’s sheep and sandalwood country. Sandalwood is just being reintroduced. It takes around 20 years to yield a crop, so presumably it is being done by the Minchins to ensure there is an industry for Tim to fall back on, just in case.

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Up at their farm, I was very honoured to be given a little cottage all to myself, with en suite, small kitchen, dining area, the lot. Amazing. We arrived at night so there was not much to see and after a lovely dinner and a couple of wines I went to my wee cottage, happily jetlagged.

I woke up at dawn with noises outside my cottage - sounded like laughing, wolf whistles and then gun shots. Truth be told I was too scared to look out. Eventually I dragged myself up and went to the big house where I was told that every morning the crows like to crowd around the cottage to admire their reflection in the panes of glass and peck at the windows.

Then I noticed the big house had a verandah all the way around it, and views across the countryside that were incredible - quite made me forget all about the amorous crows!