Towards the Final Curtain I

The heatwave continues with temperature soaring to 49c in some parts of the  regions around here. At the moment we have touched 46.5c and that is expected to get even hotter today and tomorrow. Port Augusta recorded 50.1c but the “Official Temperature” was only 44c.  I have problems with this “Official Temperature” guff and I see it the temperature is what that big bright orange ball in the sky beats down on your wee head – that’s the temperature – not some reading on a thermometer, protected from direct sunlight, protected from rain and protected from wind. It may well be “Official”but that doesn’t make it real.

Government: The fires are getting worse and now the outer suburbs of Sydney are at risk

Prime Minister: Yes I know

Government: The temperatures  will soar into the high 40s this entire week and break records across the whole nation

Prime Minister: Yes I know

Government: The Drought is spreading and cattle are dying  and farmers are in desperate straights

Prime Minister: Yes I know.

Prime Minister: Address your concerns to the Deputy Prime Minister, I am going on holiday

Oh I agree, everyone deserves a holiday, but when your house is threatened by fire, it  is not perhaps the best time to take said holiday. At this time the Prime Minister should be here – taking happy family photographs in a warm sunny place while firefightere have died at home, and an area, bigger than Wales is burning , is not a good look.

A temperature reading at Waikerie in South Australia  was 51c and my  thermometer  was reading 50c – which is as high as it can go but the “Official” temperature is 44.3c.    Well, yes, it’s still hot but  6 degrees

Wonder what the “Official”temperature is.

lower than what it really is. Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be the hottest day of the heatwave with Saturday predicted to be thunderstorms – which should be interesting since I have a fundraising day for the RFDS. Fortunately the one that the Council was trying to organise for Saturday evening, has been cancelled. We really needed more than two people although John and I would have managed, we have done it before,  but certainly under less stressful weather conditions. Just had a look at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) site and it says 45c with overnight  at 28c – another uncomfortable night.  Tomorrow we are looking at about 46+c before the cool change sweeps through, bringing much welcome and needed relief.

Friday and the temperature did indeed reach 45c but in some parts of the state it went higher and a fire started. It is now burning out of control and heading towards the town of Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills.  Everything was thrown at this fire but the high heat, the difficulty of the terrain and the changing winds just blew it out of control. Despite all they have on their hands, New South Wales sent some of their firefighters down to help us. There have been reported injuries to firefighters and police and 28 people have been taken to hospital. The wind whipped up dust storms for a while – which really didn’t help matters. We just have to pray that nothing happened here because our firefighters and units have gone to help fight the fires in the Adelaide Hills.

The fundraising  for the RFDS that was supposed to happen today – didn’t. What with all the heat and the problems thoughout the week dates were mixed up. Well yes, we do have a fundraising

Part of the fire area in South Australia.

event and it is on 22nd December but somehow days got mixed up and it was believed that the 22nd was today (Saturday) – it”s tomorrow (Sunday) and I’m not down to do it – it being Sunday. Anyway, we have put it down as a heat related  mix-up. The fires here in South Australia have claimed two lives and injured 28 – many of those injured are firefighters and the present outlook is not  good.

Towards the Final Curtain H.

The fires continue to burn in New South Wales and Queensland. There are 700 South Australian Firefighters and fire units as well as 40 Canadian Firefighters helping  to battle the fires. The weather patterns are not helping and as far as I am aware it is hot and windy in NSW. I mean the strangeness of the weather can be seen here in South Australia – Sunday and it was 46c, Monday 37c, Tuesday (today) I was positively cold when out walking the dog this morning, with the temperature at 17c. In NSW a cool change brought in winds of 100 kph  which change direction rapidly, hampering fire-fighting efforts.  There are over 120  fires with some 1800 firefighters, water bombers, fire retardant aircraft and support personnel  battling them. Here is SA it has been windy for much of the day. Actually, it has been windy for much of the last week and being surrounded

by  Eucalyptus trees, there are leaves and bits of branches  everywhere. For the time being I have simply given up trying to clean up. Sweep up today, much the same tomorrow.

Makes me feel cool looking at it.

The weather this week has been cool to cold in the early morning (when Benji and me go out) then warming up to mid 25c(ish)  during the day Sometimes 27c. This is set to change rapidly as Sunday will be 37c and the Temperature will be in the low to mid 40+c all week with the change coming next Saturday 21st. So, this will be the first  real heat-wave of the summer rather than the two mini heatwaves we had had thus far. This will not be a nice week. I was thinking I might get up really early and take Benji for a double walk since we wont get out in the afternoon – pavements (sidewalks) will be hot. I will reset my alarm – 15 minutes can make a difference – it did last time. I found this photograph and I think I might just use it as my  desktop for the week  :o)  The State Government has  declared a Red Alert for South Australia for the week of extreme heat. My outside  thermometer has already registered 43c and it’s only Monday! The Friday temperature for Adelaide is forecast to be 45c, so goodness knows what it will be up here.

Took Benji out for a walk this evening – after the sun had gone down and things cooled down somewhat. We had a good walk and cleared about 14,000 steps – which when you consider the day it has been, is not three bad. Tomorrow could be very different. The City Council are winding down and it’s their Christmas Break-up on Saturday. The RFDS have been asked to do the catering. We are trying to get a team organised for this and at the moment we have two with me being one of the two – my Son being the other one  :o)  We are both doing a Fundraising function on Saturday morning, so Saturday is going to be a very busy day.

The fires in New South Wales have gotten worse with several of the fires joining together to create what they are now calling a “Megafire”with 10 meter high flames – scary!!! With the current weather conditions it’s not going to get any better soon. The heavwave that is currently scortching South Australia will move east and in the next few days will start to effect the NSW fires. As you may know, I have been feeding the Magpies.  Generally I  leave out  some bread to go hard, then crush it up into  crumbs – and that’s what I give to the Magpies.  Had a sudden wave to the brain and thought “Why don’t I get birdseed and use that” so, that’s what I did. This morning (5:40am) Benji and I went out and the Magpies were there, so I emptied some of the container of birdseed for them.    They went over, looked at it and walked away – wouldn’t even touch it. Looks as if I

The Magpie

shall have to go back to stale breadcrumbs. Don’t know what to do with this birdseed now. Might give it to Benji and see if it will induce him to whistle and sing.

I have just been out to check on the temperature and, according to my thermometer  it is 43c and still three days of this to go. I’m thinking  it’s going to be a long week.

My “Backyard” Not a lot to burn here.

Heatwaves, Fires and Gardens

Decorating the Shopping Mall Food Court

After the two mini-heatwaves things have not only died gown they have gone downright silly. This last week – the last days of spring and the first days of summer, have been cold, wet, dank and generally miserable. I mean it was only touch and go that I wear gloves when out walking with Benji first thing in the morning. However, I did have a heavier than usual jacket on. The fires are still burning in Queens;land and New South Wales while in other parts of the states – there being a drought there is nothing much to burn. A former Moderator died  and  the service was last Wednesday. Annabell was unwell and I  spent the day looking after her, so I was not able to go down to Adelaide to the service. Then on Friday past, one of our oldest members – 97 – died. He was a member and his wish was that the funeral should be at the church. His two daughters are charismatics and  they insisted that the funeral  be at their hall.

The others all bounced away.

This is not what he wanted but their argument is that they are family and their wishes prevail regardless  of what we might “think” he wanted. But it’s not something you argue about, so his daughters had their way and since they had no idea what they were doing – and didn’t ask anyone for advice, it was not perhaps the  the best run service. The oldest daughter telephoned us at 9:30 (the funeral is at 11am) and asked if we would do the introduction and open the service. They didn’t even consult with their own acting pastor, nor tell him what they were doing. He was as much in the dark as we were.  Anyway, we got through it in a decent / respectful manner – which was important.

Thursday and my car is going for a minor repair. The rear light is not working and it seems it needs a part replaced. It arrived yesterday so the mechanic is going to do the repair this morning. Shouldn’t take long. Took Benji out for his walk this morning and was surprised to see lots of kangaroos at the  far end of the walk.

These, however seem more skittish than usual and took off as soon as I came into view. A braver than the rest stayed and I did get one (not so great) photograph. Since there has been some rain there should be still some food and water left out in the bush.  I have  started laying out food for the birds but not near the house – not with all these cats around the place. Mostly for the Magpies which are big enough and strong enough to  chase the cats off.  If you have never been swooped by Magpies, you are very lucky. I have and let me tell you, it’s not fun.  During the breeding season they are fierce in defending their nests and their territory and  they can cause serious injury. However, there are no trees up this end – no nests – no swooping – reasonably friendly Magpies.

I said – years ago – when we moved here, that my house was the last house in town and that beyond me was bush. Of course that is no longer the case and there are many houses that

Same garden other side of the driveway
One of the few gardens

were build  beyond me to accommodate  the  “Mining Boom”demand for accommodation.  Not very many of the houses are privately owned. There are very few gardens – mostly the front area is covered in gravel and is a car-park rather than a front garden – sometimes between 6 – 8 cars, SUVs or mining vehicles. There are a few gardens but “few ‘ïs about the right word. I’ve never taken a photograph because it would be too time consuming to open Photoshop and  scrub out all the individual  registration numbers and, in some cases, the mining identifications of the vehicles that are parked on the gravel.

The fires continue in New South Wales and Queensland. Over 40 firefighters have arrived from Canada to help our firefighters battle the  fires. The City of Sydney is not immune and the dust and smoke from the fires drifting over the city are causing more than a few problems, and the photographs from Zambia showing the drying up of the Victoria Falls, is more than a worry. The temperature today was 46c