Posts Tagged ‘weather’

You know that awful feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you receive an ‘official’ government letter?  Well, I have had cause twice recently to wonder and on opening the letters have discovered that big brother is indeed alive and well and watching (out) for us.

I have always thought that its  bad manners to discuss with a lady her age, but oh no – there it is boldly emblazoned on both the letters –
Dear Maria (hmm – very familiar given that I don’t know this person from a lump of coal) – Congratulations on reaching 50!  Congratulations my arse – so what – we all get there sooner or later.  And then proceeding to tell me of the possible decline of my health and offering all the screening tests under the sun!  Hey gently guys, gently – many people start to feel a little fragile around that blessed 50 number!  Yep, BB is watching us all…

And that throw-away comment I made a few weeks ago about the loss of Spring was a tad too quick.  This week we have been sweltering in Summer temperatures with the last four days reaching the high twenties – and with little relief in sight!  Still, we shouldn’t complain – at least we are coming in the warmer weather unlike our European friends who can only look forward to cold and colder!!!

Busy getting ready for the departure of good friend Meredith who is heading west to the tiny community of Mt Perry and her hubby Andrew.  Wonder what the weekend will bring?



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Well the job of cleaning up is well underway.  There is the Rally for Relief, the Sound Relief and now Operation Bounce Back. Enough with the jargon!
This morning is bright and sunny, but still with lots of those thick fluffy clouds towering into the stratosphere above us.  The thermometer climbs quickly, pushing towards yesterday’s hot of 35.9 °C, the hottest so far this month, but still short of the January record of 38°C!

And as the temperature climbs, so does the humidity!  Ah yes 79% – ugh!
At least the awful smell of the mud rising from the drying surfaces all over town is dissipating somewhat – that lurking, rotting smell that belongs in some horror film.

This morning was the first meeting of the year for the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise.  It amazed me just how much I missed them, given that such an early start every Wednesday morning is not always welcomed by the body – this morning being one of them when I woke with at start at 6:10 am (we begin on the dot of 6:30am).  With Australia Day looming next week and our long-time support for the Council activities, Service Director Lisa was in full swing organising all of us to cook and serve 1,000 breakfasts followed by the Australiana Games.  In deference to the recovering Queens Park, this year we are using the City Hall and the Green surrounding it.  We will also have a representative of the Shelter Box team displaying one and answering questions.

This morning was also time to farewell Nathasja and Nanna from Denmark as they continue their holiday north to Cairns.  Maybe the Danes are particularly reserved people, or maybe the shock of meeting us quietened them down!  Either way, they were two of the shyest visitors we have ever had through Couchsurfing.  Maybe they will come out of their shells as they grow a little older . . .

And so it is back into the business year.  Already I have a couple of jobs on the go and I have been fielding enquiries also.  Despite the heat in the office (fans in over-drive and wondering whether I should buy a small air-conditioner), it is head down and fingers to the keyboard grindstone.  Planning for meetings in the coming week, then back to a large application for a Healthy Communities Coordinator who is to be based with the local Fraser Coast Regional Council.

I will also ramp up the planning and preparations for my first Japanese English Group who will be here in March with AIIU.  Time to interview the first of the families and to get newsletter articles ready for the school.

A phone call from Lisa at Council saves the day.  The first of the lunch dates for the year – we all meet at the Federal Hotel – all the old crew that I used to work with at Council.  It was lovely to catch up with them all and hear their Christmas season news as well as sharing their frustrations of the flood dramas.  With a major building evacuation, I fear that Susan was the one that bore the brunt of much of it.  If only the same processes and people were available as in the last flood!  Thankfully, the pub is air-conditioned.

Midway through our meals, the storm that had been threatening hits and even though we are there for an hour, it is still pouring as we leave.  After standing chatting for 5 minutes, there was nothing for it but to make a dash for the car parked two spaces from the door.  Succeeded in getting drenched even though I was so close.  Lennox Street is again covered with water in this flash flood and even Ann Street in the block before home is inches deep.   Amazingly the yard is filled with water – more that we have seen in the last two weeks combined – yep, the rain was as heavy as!  The saving grace is that it has bought us some relief from the draining heat and humidity and at 3:24 pm, the temperature is now a much more bearable 24.3°C – bring on autumn and winter I say!

So quite a social day to push on into summer.

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Ha ha, I laugh in the face of my earlier comments about the weather!  It got colder and colder, with August well and truly living up to its windy reputation.  The winds have been coming from the freezing Southern Ocean across the cold desert landmass and howling into the Wide Bay for the last week.  Wednesday this week we had a maximum of 17.1ºC – way way colder than it has been and overnight temperatures have been as low as 2.8ºC.  So, no more joking by me about how winter was Tuesday?, or was it Wednesday, this week!  Yes, winter is alive and well in Queensland!!

We spent the last ten days with Kaori visiting from Japan as part of an AIIU Study Tour with students from her Japanese High School.  Each day they attended St Mary’s College here in Maryborough, sometimes interacting in classes with College students and other times having English Classes with Australian Group Coordinator, Joann.  Their days were certainly busy.

Still, we managed to do quite a bit with Kaori despite her busy school days and our hectic working week.  We cooked at home each night and after the meal, I would sneak into my office to make sure that I had written down the recipe.  We had things like barbequed Sausages and Rissoles, and served with mashed potato and honeyed carrots, we had Winter Whiting served with a Seafood Mornay sauce and salad, Coconut Poached Chicken, Broccoli and Almond Soup. We even cooked some Kangaroo that Kaori struggled to swallow – I think the visual picture of something sweet and furry jumping around was too much for her!

And while the week days were busy, we managed a couple of trips to show her the beautiful Wide Bay Burnett region:

  • Hervey Bay where we managed to get some beautiful sunset photos,
  • a dash to Woodgate where we got up close and quite personal with the local kangaroos who were hopping about nibbling the grass on local front lawns
  • A day tour into the South Burnett to show Kaori the wide open spaces under a big sky that so typifies Australia – something that is a complete contrast to the mountainous region of Japan near Nara where she comes from.  Turns out this was a really great day – we journeyed via Miva and the Dickabram Bridge where we looked down over the Mary River and spied an endangered Mary River Turtle fishing below us (how lucky was that, most Australians will never see one).  Then we continued via Kilkivan, Goomeri, Murgon and Wondai.  We could see the Gordonbrook Dam from high up at the Mt Wooroolin Lookout, so we called in there too on the way home.

We had a dinner party with friends Susan and John who are about to embark on a 7 week tour in Europe after they were thwarted earlier in the year with the Icelandic volcanic eruption.

And they spent at day at Tin Can Bay feeding the wild dolphins followed by a trek down and then back up the sand blow at Rainbow Beach.

Another planned trip out to Helen and Jeff’s sugar farm to watch them harvesting was canned due to rain – we had more than 100mls in the 24 hours and the unsealed road was a little wet!

The Sayonara Party was a hoot – how much those 14 students had come out of their shells!  Ah yes, kids all around the globe are pretty much the same and when you throw them together, they usually find some way to communicate with each other.

On her last night with us, Kaori cooked a traditional family meal.  She was amazed at our large stove – at home she works with a cooktop that has three small burners and a small microwave.  We had delicious Okonomiyaki – Japanese Omelete and Shogayaki – Ginger and Pork with rice.  The food was exquisite and enjoyed heartily by us all – bless her, she had even planned on Michael’s constant second helping and made a second omelete for him! (shared with Harry who sat patiently by the table, salivating!!)

So the visit was at an end.  The day dawned wet and miserable and Kaori told us she felt just like the rain.  Lots of hugs, kisses and tears at the bus terminal on Wednesday morning.  She asked whether she could visit next year with her daughter – of course I don’t need to tell you all that the answer is yes.

It was a big week for a couple of other reasons too – finally my order of Francois Peyrot Pear Cognac arrived.  At $69 per bottle, it compares favourably with the €43 we paid for it in Italy.  Opened the bottle the day it arrived and shared some with Kaori who seemed very surprised that I drink spirits and whisky (ah, but so strong).

And finally, Ina has arrived from China to start her new life in Australia with husband John.  We will have them over for dinner some time next week – I have really enjoyed ‘speaking’ with her by email and feel that already I know her well!

So, I’m off to check on the chicken stock I am cooking up for Mushroom and Leek Risotto tonight.

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This is a beautiful time of the year here in Maryborough.  The weather has cleared and we seem to (thankfully) have seen the last of the rain for the moment.  This means that the nights and mornings are cooler and more importantly, not as humid.  The birds seem to love the autumn as well – you would hardly believe the cacophony that they raise at dawn and dusk.

And when the air is cool and the clouds have left for the sea, the night sky is so clear. Even though we live right in town, because the football grounds are across the road from us, there is less lighting around us and so the stars shine brightly.  It is one of the things that couchsurfers often comment on.  Michael has an incredible knowledge of the night sky and can spend hours pointing out all sorts of interesting things.

Our neighbours Frank and Mary are home again.  They have spent much of the last six months visiting their girls and their families.  Frank says its nice to be home and that they won’t be going anywhere for a little while.  We and they are despairing of our yards at the moment.  We both have had lawn grub through the lawn and it is all but dead, allowing a plethora of weeds to flourish.  Michael tried unsuccessfully to get some Weed’n’Feed yesterday so I guess we are not the only ones with the problem.

Well, as the day wore on, the temperature rose.  At Hervey Bay it was warm and humid, just begging for another storm (that never arrived).  Vicki says that she heard on the ABC radio that there is a 75% chance of a wetter than normal winter  <groan> great, just great . . . NOT.  We had a crazy day at the pawn shop today after the long weekend and I am sure that the weather didn’t help.

On the Funding Power side, I am picking up a few new clients, so that is nice.  Helps me to validate my decision and it is nice to know that my name is somewhat out there. 

My fantastic mother-in-law is 88 tomorrow.  She has her younger sister and her husband visiting at the moment, but will be up in a few weeks for a visit.  Still living in her own home and gets out to meet her friends almost daily!  What an inspiration!

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