Cyclones, Microchips and Black Thumb

Romp in the long grass - "sigh"
Romp in the long grass – “sigh”

As I am writing a Severe Category 5 Cyclone is about to batter into North Queensland. Here in our little corner of the Commonwealth, the rain has finally stopped. I have been out doing some stuff for the RFDS and on the drive back to the house, I could actually see the stars – which means, no rain clouds. This weekend will be a very busy weekend between RFDS and the Church I probably wont sit down much before 4pm Sunday after we put the Moderator on the aircraft to return to Adelaide. I have a trailer load of stuff waiting to get taken down to the dump and it’s been waiting for the best part of a week now. I hope to be able to get it attended to on Monday morning.  Herself is still loosing blood, still tired but she keeps going on. Nothing else for it, really. We are still waiting to see the  specialist and I have a feeling I may have to take her to Adelaide for that.

In May I have to be in Adelaide for most of a week to attend the State Assembly, then I’m fairly free  until early June. I should be there twice in June, but I have the  suspicion that I could develop a bit of a cold for one of them.  I had thought of going to the Andrea Bocelli concert in September and then I had a look at the ticket prices and by the time I pay transport and hotel bills I would not have a lot of change out of $1100 and I really cannot justify that.  I’m not being a cheapskate but $1100 for a two and a half hour concert is really not justifiable. Yes I could get very cheap tickets and I suppose people will, but it seems pointless to me to go to a concert and be so far away from the stage that you need a telescope to see it.

It’s Australia! The Category 5 cyclone was downgraded to 4 -3-2-1 -severe tropical storm, which caused some damage, but, thankfully, not as much as was expected. There was damage to power lines, trees and some structural damage, but mostly heavy rain and flooding. Thankfully, also, the weekend is over and I can sit down. It was a hectic three days starting with an RFDS function on Friday, then all day Saturday – 10am – 8pm  and from 9:30 Sunday until 3pm.  And to round it all off, we had the entire clan for dinner on Sunday evening. This morning I did, finally, manage to get the trailer emptied, so it’s all ready for use again.

I telephoned my Vet this morning asked about the Microchip of my dogs and how long does it last – it remains active for as long as the dog is alive. The only time any changes

This is what rain looks like...
Sneaky things, clouds..

are made is if the dog changes ownership and the registration has to be changed. Other than that – it’s for life.

Next month I have to spend a week in Adelaide and have been looking for a hotel. Normally I stay in the same place, but on this particular occasion, it has been decided to divide the Assembly- two days at one venue, two days at another – stupid idea if you ask me!! So I was looking – on line – for a place somewhere between the two. Was asleep and just after midnight (00:22) I had a telephone call from a Holiday Inn who wanted to talk rates with me. I was not impressed and it took me a while before I settled down and got back to sleep. Guess where I wont be staying?? But after all that I would seem that the best course of action is to do nothing and go where I generally go and put up with the extra traveling for the two days. Still think it’s a silly idea and something we have never done before. I do hope it’s not setting a precedent.

RFDS Aircraft
RFDS Aircraft

I have two RFDS functions this week – one tomorrow (Wednesday ) and one on Saturday. Tomorrow should be a fine day but not so sure about the weekend. Thursday and Friday I hope to get some work done in the garden. I have not, as yet, ripped out the dead plants, but I will tomorrow. After that I think I really need to decide if it is worth continuing this struggle. – I think the “Black Thumb” has come back again. Sometimes all I have to do is look at a plant and it goes into self-destruct.  I think it’s a talent !!

Dogs, ramps, vets and cyclones – no change!

Yogi2The Terrorist is not a well  little boy. At the moment he is not too bad but we have had to curtail our walking for the moment. I cannot take Chienna out because he would go  slightly spare and I would have to take him, but then after about ten minutes I would be carrying him. I don’t mind that at all, but it is not good for him. Anyway, I saw a dog ramp in a catalogue the other day so I will dig that out and have a serious thought about it. Actually, as an aside to that I have ordered one so it will let him get up onto his bed without any trauma. It should arrive within a week. He has slowed down quite a bit and he has difficulty jumping on to the raised bed. I will make an appointment with the vet and let  him have a look and see if we can  determine the cause of the problem – other than just getting old.

Summer is “officially ” over and we are now into Autumn.  Cannot say that I noticed all that much difference. It’s still sticky at night and I still have the overhead fans on and I still get up in the morning drained and slightly washed out. Herself suggested that I should have a bowl of water on the floor to  overcome the dryness of the fans but knowing me I’d probably get up during the night and step in it or kick it over. My room is the warmest and I have not been to bed in 90 days. – Let me qualify that – wearing shorts and a Tshirt, I lay down on the top of my bed and sleep, I don’t actually pull back the covers and get into bed – too warm for that,  and it’s only really a problem if we have a sudden change and the temperature drops more than a couple of degrees during the night.  The latest suggestion is that the Australian  weather has been on steroids this summer. Well that works because it now appears that a good number of our athletes have been. Certainly  Cyclone Rusty was a bit of a fizzier but now on the opposite side of the country a new cyclone is building up in the Coral Sea. Between fires, floods and cyclones it has been an “interesting” summer.  However, I believe summer is over when I can go back into bed again.

Still waiting to see the Vet about the little man. At the moment he seems ok and I have  made a temporary step for him.  During the course of today I will wander around some of the hardware shops( actually there is only three) and see if they have any polystyrene that I can  have  and make into a step for him. The photograph is the dog that I was looking after for a few days – an affectionate little thing – and I finally managed to sort out the orientation.

Fires, flood and cyclones – again.

With some people, a break just cannot be caught!  Parts of Victoria were on fire and now other parts are threatened by torrential rain and flooding. Same in New South Wales as storm fronts  sweep in  from the Pacific and the Coral Sea, dumping massive amounts of rain. Sometimes it’s an advantage to live in the most boring state in the commonwealth. And in between all that comes the news that a young volunteer fire fighter has been killed. He was cleaning up after a fire when a tree branch fell on him.

Now we have major flooding in large areas of Queensland /  New South Wales and reports of three dead including a 17 y.o.boy who was swept into a flooded drain. He and his mate were wading through the water at the Golf Club looking for golf balls when they were swept away. His friend survived. Thousands have been evacuated and there are flood warnings out on over 15 river systems across two states. Sometimes we get a bit of localised flooding in Adelaide, but never to the same extent because we just don’t have the river systems. On top of all this comes the news that Western Australia is bracing for another tropical cyclone.

The last few days we have had high temperatures and yesterday at 43.5 was the high of three days of mid 40s. Today it’s supposed to be back down again –  think in the high 20s – just another day when you go to bed hot and bothered and wake up in the wee small hours looking for a blanket as you shut off the overhead fan. Added to this is the fact that it’s raining and things change very quickly  Apart from not doing flooding we don’t do snow here either.  Although, having said that we do have the occasional hail storm that temporarily covers the ground and looks like snow – for all of half an hour.

I am confined to the house and sheds and garage for most of the day. My car is away for repairs. Nothing too serious – the fuel  gauge is not working and I need that to be working when I drive to Adelaide.  It tells me the distance to empty so I can plan the fuel stops – although the truth is I really don’t need it because it’s a set route from here to Adelaide – unless I want to deviate by several hundred miles and arrive from a different direction. But the reason I use the distance to empty function is that if I want to get home for something, knowing where the petrol (gas) stations are,  I know how far I can go without having to stop for fuel.

A “Red Alert” has been issued for people in parts of the coastal areas of Western Australia as Cyclone Rusty approaches. Rusty is a category 4 cyclone , punching winds of up to 250kph and  although it’s a thousand miles away from us, we will expect to get some residual rain, not enough to cause any problems, but some. It is expected to hit land  this  afternoon sometimes – if it keeps its current speed.