Monday, June 13, 2005


Rose Porteous says she cannot wait to leave boring Perth for elegant Melbourne.

Ahh, how to explain the phenomenon that is Rose to those who don’t know her? To paraphrase Voltaire, if Rose didn’t exist, it would be necessary for us to invent her. Every city needs a high-profile demented harridan in its populace, if only to give the local drag queens someone to model themselves on.

The flamboyant widow of iron-ore magnate Lang Hancock said she was sinking into a dark depression in her Perth palace. She and her four poodles were itching to settle into a simple life of elegance in Toorak.

[sound of Blandwagon exhaling coffee upon hitting the word ‘elegance’]

"I've been really depressed," she said. "I didn't leave the house for three months. I stopped eating. I thought I would have a nervous breakdown.

"I've lived in Prix D'Amour for 15 years, but it intimidates people and I'm reclusive here.

"It's like a fort. Nobody wants to come in, unless it is to throw eggs or golf balls, or shoot pellets at the windows. It is so isolated and a lot of people have conned me. So many awful people. If I was a stupid girl, I would be on the streets.

In a fair universe, yes. But we live in a world of injustice.

"And I bake like a pizza in my bedroom. I've been camping in my morning room for months because it is so hot. There comes a time in life when you just want simple elegance."

[sound of Blandwagon not learning his lesson the first time and exhaling coffee again]

Melbourne would be an exciting new chapter in her life, she said.

"When I'm in Melbourne, I feel good. There's culture," she said. "I'm nobody in Melbourne. I'll be able to lead a normal life.

"I am not coming to Melbourne to big-note myself. If I can help a charity or cause I will do it, but I'm not going to be a social matron.

Great! Rose is taking up charity work again! Maybe she can hold another fashion show, raise $15,860, and then reimburse herself $14,671 out of that for, among other things, getting her chandeliers cleaned.

"I just want to live in sheer elegance and privacy, be a good host at home and make really good friends.

[Dammit! Not again! It’s like I’m pebble-dashing my office with coffee here!]

"I can walk out with my pooches and look at the shops and be with ordinary people."

She said she admired Melbourne socialites Lillian Frank and Lady Susan Renouf.

Rose doesn’t realize that Melbourne already has resident demented harridans, and I’m quite certain they’d be very territorial.

But her best friends would always be her four poodles – Snoopy, Linus, Dennis (the Menace) and Lulu, all named after cartoon characters.

Sweet merciful crap.

"For a depressed person at the time, it was the biggest joy," she said. "With what I have gone through in life, I prefer poodles to humans.

Given the humans they mix with, the poodles probably feel the same way.

"You just give them love and a cuddle and they are happy. With human beings, the more you give them, the more they want."

It was not clear whether her Waterford crystal chandelier, one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, would move to Melbourne.

Depends on how much charity work she can land.

Mrs Porteous said her husband, William, would probably stay in Perth in the short term, but would be a regular visitor to Melbourne.

She would bring her driver, though, because she did not feel confident tackling the trams on Melbourne's busy streets.

Prix D'Amour is to be demolished in August and carved up into 10 lots and sold in a deal believed to be worth about $36 million.

Next month, before the bulldozers move in, much of its contents will go under the hammer.

We can’t send in the bulldozers now? While she’s trapped in the morning room?

But seriously, this is just what those toffee-nosed Melburnians need; a freakish Filipino maid who married her boss, (who died not too long afterwards in cirumstances that were the basis of Coronial Inquiry) and now spends vast globs of money on the sorts of hideous things that only Filipino maids would consider to possess ‘sheer elegance’; gilded furniture, eye-blistering art, barrels of cosmetics, mansions that look like parking garages, and South African real estate agents.

This can’t end well.


Blogger phaedrus said...

That article picture is GREAT. Do the papers down there usually pay so much attention to depressed, reclusive gold-diggers?

11:12 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

No; Rose is one of a kind.

Ah, words to delight even the most wretched soul.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

Hey, on the bright side, Perth will start to look like a much more attractive holiday destination!

I'm just glad that BrisVegas is too much of a hole in the ground for even Rose Porteous. I don't think this town is big enough. Actually, I don't think Melbourne is either.

10:39 AM  

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