Goodbye summer – hello autumn

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Sunset -“My Back Yard”

I was not working in the garden because it was too hot – now it’s too wet. It has been raining for two days. Not the heavy rain that causes any kind of flooding but a light rain that still gets you very wet. However, if I can I will try and do some work in the sheds or the garage. I say try because I now have an additional dog. Some friends have to go for medical treatment (wife) in Adelaide so I said I would look after their dog for a few days. That’s fine but when you are outside it is very difficult to walk  with three small dogs  seeking attention and running around your feet. You get scared of standing on paws and hurting  one.  The “foster dog” wants attention and my dogs want reassurance, so it makes for a difficult time outside  :o)

What I am in the process of doing is going through a ton of boxes and shredding and dumping things I no longer want nor need. At the moment the garage floor  space look like a tip.  I brought the boxes in from the sheds and they are currently scattered over the place in various stages of being emptied.  Hmmm, I got the recycle bin in ok, not too sure if I can get it out as easily  :o)  – at least, not until I have moved some of these boxes.
Still, I have been threatening to do this for nearly a year now.

The cyclone ended up a sort of a fizzier in that it headed towards the coast packing winds of up to 250kph, then sort of died and in the event caused relatively little damage as a category 2 cyclone. This is good and I am glad that the Pilbara was spared serious damage. But then again, although it died out and caused little damage, it did halt the export of some $500 million worth of Iron Ore . I sometimes wonder about all the media hype. Rusty was built up as being  a monster storm, and at a category 4 and rising, this is fair comment. This went on for days and people were evacuated or went into shelters, but when it finally did hit the coast it dropped from a 4 to a 3 to a 2 to a tropical depression – all of which is good, – but it sort of creates a kind of anti-climax – if that’t not too bizarre of a comment. However, we are thankful that no one was killed, hurt or injured.

It’s an ugly tree, but it’s my ugly tree.

SAMSUNGNow that the temperature has continued to drop (at least over here) I will try and get down to Adelaide during the course of this coming week. I have things I need to get done and my brother-in-law is back in hospital again so I would like to get out and see him. There is  quite a difference between between driving in 28c and driving in 43c temperatures even although the car has very good air-conditioning. However, there is major construction work on the roads leading to the Medical Centre and traffic crawls along there.  I don’t make a habit of using the phone in the car but I had to phone Herself and tell her  that I was barrelling along the South Road at a whole 2 klms per hour.  I don’t think I would minded half so much if it were not for the fact that snails were overtaking us.

Helen is back home and when my wife spoke to her this afternoon she says she is planning to be at church tomorrow – in a wheelchair. She still cannot walk but she will be there none-the-less. I have sent the paperwork off to Adelaide re. the Commissions, and should hear by the time I get back from the city.

To the left is an Australian Native Tree. Personally I think they are a) ugly b) messy c) not suitable for this environment (urban)  d) they are a recognisable fire hazzard and e) they  can drop branches and injure people. In some parks people are warned not to  camp near or under gum trees. They are ugly in my eyes because, well they just are and for the life of me I cannot see any redeeming qualities about them. They are messy because they constantly shed bark which is very messy and a pest in an urban setting and downright dangerous in a country setting they create massive amount of litter – that is helping to fuel the bush fires. I may not like it, but I don’t really want to see anything to happen to it. After all, it didn’t ask to be planted where it is, so it should not suffer from Council mistakes.

Our weather is grey and it rained for a little while this afternoon. Nothing much but the temperature is well down. Still having problems in NSW and I heard from family that the bushfires are being reported on the news in the UK.  The cyclone is now heading back out to sea and it seems unlikely that  there will be any  problems from that. However, there is another low pressure building up which might lead to a new cyclone.

The dogs are certainly enjoying the cooler conditions and I have  not had to carry the little man during our morning walks. Behind the town there is a Levy Bank, about nine feet high.  Many, many years ago it was built to protect the settlement from floods. The weather patterns were also different then. I used to take the dogs for a walk alond the length of the levy bank and it was a good quiet walk. No so  these days, – it has become the haunt of trail bikes.  I took the dogs out for their walk at 6:30 this morning and (true!!) I had a pullover on. It was positively chilly.  I might take advantage of the cooler weather to get some things planted in the garden and hope that they get established before we have any more really hot weather. I might even get the garden shop to identify the above tree. —– PS I think I write too much…..

So far – so good!

2013-01-05 19.57.00The interesting thing about Australia, in general, is the many contrasts and the way things can change so quickly – from normal to catastrophic in the blink of an eye. Only a  month or so ago, we were having heavy rain and thunderstorms – now we are in heatwave conditions with homes and property being destroyed. So how are we today – Friday 11th January – well, parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory are in heatwave conditions, large parts of the Eastern States, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales (NSW),  are struggling with serious bush fires and over in Western Australia they are bracing themselves for the onset of a Category 4 (and increasing) Hurricane  ( Cyclone in this part of the world) and in some parts of the Highlands, snow has fallen. It’s a strange country, that due to its geographical position, can change so quickly. In Scotland , where I came from, we have pretty miserable weather most of the time, but we never had any conditions where the temperature can drop 23 degrees overnight – i.e. today 47.9 , tomorrow 24.9. In some parts of Scotland if the temperature fell 23 degrees overnight, you would freeze to death. As I said the other day, we went from a record 47.9c down to 26c the following day.

Tourist: ” What’s that special Scottish name for when the weather is cold, grey, wet and miserable?”

Resident:  “Summer”

NSW are bracing for record temperatures again tomorrow as the exhausted firefighters battle some 130 fires burning across the state. To add to this volatile situation three fires were deliberately started and the arsonists have been arrested. All three are teenagers who thought is was a bit of a lark and their stupid parents agree even attacking the  media as they reported the  story. I continue to take comfort from the words of Charles de Gaulle ” The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs”.

Saturday 12th.: Was wakened up by a very strange noise at 4am this morning. I thought someone was coming in through the roof . Got out of bed and put the light on and realised what the strange noise was –  it was raining!. Went to check on the  dogs and they were still asleep. I went back to bed. When I  finally got up at 6:30 the rain had gone and all was quiet. A short while later I took the dogs out for their walk and it was positively cool. I checked the thermometer and found  the temperature was a mere 19c. The little man started off as usual, full of energy,  and the interesting thing is that he maintained most of that energy for the whole time we were out and most of the time he was running ahead to the full extent of the retractable lead. The temperature today is supposed to be 28c. and it looks as if the change in weather pattern is pushing the  Cyclone back out to sea, away from Western Australia although it is still close enough to bring wind and some heavy rain. So far, it’s good that we have managed to escape any bushfires this time round. —– Photograph is a part of my back yard.