Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Is Something Different!

Hey there!  I'm welcoming back a monthly tradition of my summary of each month; seeing I stopped it sometime last year.  I didn't feel that last year was all that great to talk about, so I thought it would be best to stop telling you how bad it was going.

So, seeing this is the beginning of a new year, I thought to give this another go.  And this month hasn't been that bad.  It started off with New Year's Eve down at Brunswick Heads.  However, I was down there on my own - without my little blue feathered friend - and so I felt a little lonely.  I got a lot of reading done, a fair bit of writing and photography too.
I caught a bus home with a whole lot of back packers and Aunty Helen picked me up from Springwood Bus Station.  It was a good ride home too.  I was stuffed and found that unwinding was my last priority as Gabe and Kat wanted to spend a little time hanging out at Brunswick Heads too; and they needed me to look after Jay.  So, I transferred my clothes from a suitcase to an overnight bag, locked up the house again and I was on my way

After I got home from Mum and Dad's house and Jay was picked up too, I had time to settle in, collect the mail, pay my bills and do my laundry.  I was in pain though, so off to the chiropractor I went and she asked where I'd been?  On a bus for 2 hours a few days previous... well, she wasn't pleased, and neither was my back.  Well, she straightened me out and I was fighting fit again.
I soon had a good look around my house and found it was an absolute mess!  And I made myself a promise - a vow if you will! - that this year was my last year that I'd live in a hovel of a place; that I'd definitely have it tidy enough to be able to clean it up in 15 minutes for guests to drop by.  And within the first week, I did it!  It's still taking time to work out the bugs in my system, but I'm getting there with the downstairs.  Now, to work on the upstairs rooms... they're the hardest ones of all!

We've had unrest in my local area between two races, which took over the news.  And for most of one week, all we heard most nights were sirens.  It was really unsettling; but soon, the Elders of the two fighting groups came to a solution and one of the groups move away. 

Before long, I had computer problems and it all had to do with Skype.  I wanted to keep up with the times on the net, and as soon as I downloaded Skype, I found it screwed up everything else.  So, I uninstalled it and restarted my computer and the computer went back to normal; well mostly.  It still locks up a little, but that's people on the net and I found a 'Hoodoo Gurus' cd in the cd thing I'd forgotten about... oops!  But it's working a lot better than it did before. 

Then, Tropical Cyclone Oswald hit Cooktown.  This is the time of year for these things; they hit late this year.  However, it turned into a massive rain depression, and a really windy one too.  It brought a lot of destruction with it and - as it traveled down the Eastern Seaboard of Queensland and New South Wales - it dumped rain and wind on the coastal towns causing floods and widespread damage.  Brisbane City flooded again, so did Ipswich and other surrounding areas.  However, we didn't flood as badly as expected; and we were still recovering from the floods 2 years ago and knew what we were in for.  Logan City was hit at well, and we are still recovering too.

Today, I did my fruit and veggie shopping and got stuck at the Big Apple down the road by some heavy showers.  So, I dropped into Rocky's Bakehouse and Cafe for a coffee.  Instead of getting a lovely latte, and I love these things, I found I was served a latte that was on the sour side.  The restaurant must have lost power over hte weekend and the milk might have gone warm and they didn't think of replacing it.  This kind of thing crosses our minds; but probably didn't cross theirs... so when I got my coffee, I found it nice and hot and delicious, but as it cooled off, it tasted like sour cream... not so delicious.  So, I left it and went home.
Otherwise today was spent washing up, painting the base coat on pegs and blogging and surfing the net as well as catching up on a bit of gardening out the back.    Well, there you go, this month in a summary.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.            

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Madness

It's been absolute madness today... really it has.  Despite being very humid in the early hours of this morning, and the heat getting worse as the day continued, I found shopping difficult from the start.  There was no mail; which was a good thing, as I really didn't want anymore bills right now.
But once at the bus stop on Park Road, found it absolutely reeked of something dead!  I looked around and couldn't find a dead animal (as sometimes that's what it is after the rain) so put it down to somebody's wheelie bin which was on the nose.
Once the bus arrived - strangely on time - we didn't get far.  This is good because I was in no hurry to get anywhere today.  Today, people were in a hurry to get everywhere - well, not me.
The roads were blocked in every direction because Paradise Road flooded over the weekend, forcing people to find other ways to get where they need to be.  Buses were less on the road, cab drivers were more and there were more people driving too which made it harder for people who didn't drive to get places.
So, I skipped the Life Line store, went to Woolworths and picked up my Witacker's chocolate and got out of there as quickly as possible.  Then, I raced over to Logan Central Plaza, paid off a vinyl and ordered something in and then I was off to the chemist to pick up a prescription.  My last port of call was Coles.
This place wasn't easy.  I couldn't leave my blue trolley at the entrance, I had to be diligent with my list and I ended up crossing off 4 things I had already gotten last time.  Anyway, I looked at the checkouts that were open (only 4 of them) and used the self-serving ones.  The one I used had played up on me every time I changed bags on it; and played up more when I put my freezer bag down to put my cold stuff in it.  Anyway, I managed to get a cab within minutes of calling one, and it took a long time to get home.
Tomorrow I have to go and get my fruit and veggies.  I did forget to buy cashews, but that's okay, I have enough for a day or so.  And I have to go to Garden City on Friday to pick up some things anyway.  So, hopefully, things will have gotten better by then - everywhere. 
So, how was your first day or so out after the storms here in Queensland?  With all the heat and humidity, I found it exhausting.  But I'm hoping it gets better soon.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm/cool and remember, I'm always here.      

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tropical Cyclonic Weather

It's been a 3 days now and the weather hasn't gotten any better.  Roads are flooded, and whole communities are cut off.  The Brisbane River is flooding again - a mere 2 years after our last major flood - but it's not going to be anywhere as bad as the 2011 floods.  People are urged not to go out anywhere unless it's absolutely necessary and to stay at home and keep off the roads with their cars.  

I haven't been anywhere - except to get the newspaper yesterday and to have lunch at my parent's house on Saturday for Australia Day.  Otherwise, yesterday, I stayed inside and did some things online and edited a book.  Then, last night, I heard the storm get worse.  
I really do hate it when storms like these get really bad; especially at night.  When it's during the day, I'm not so worried as you can see what's happening and it's less stressful.  But at night, when it's dark, that's when it gets scary.  Noises seem louder and the wind seems to sound freakier and it just grates on my nerves.  Quite often I can't sleep all that great and so I find myself tossing and turning and waking the next morning from a really bad night's sleep and nightmares.  This happened when the floods were around too.

Last night, friends of mine had electricity at Thorneside.  This morning, though, they didn't.  They contacted me through a text and I almost invited them over to stay with me; but thought better of it as it's not safe on the roads.  So, I texted that I survived the night with electicity still going and hoping it still would. 
However, my Aunt from Mansfield lost power last night and her television blew up and they spent the night digging trenches and building up their driveway so the water didn't get down to their house (which is built lower than the road).  When I wrote late last night that I still had power but had my waterproof torch next to me just waiting for it to go off, I didn't think anything of it.  But this morning, I saw a horrible comment on Facebook from her which smacked of sarcasm and lack of sleep.  She had been up since 5:30am without power, water or gas and she tried to make me feel horrible.  So, I snapped back at her about how terrified storms like these make me... the darkness, the wind and the fear; and yet, she forgets that she's got people around her to talk to whereas I don't.  I haven't heard back from her yet.  But then, I don't think I will.

Fear and lack of sleep can make people do really unusual things; and say strange things too - especially on Facebook.  I'm usually very careful about what I say on there, but if somebody insults me and there's weather like this around, I'm not backwards in coming forwards; particularly if we're all in it together.  Yes, I haven't lost power or gas or water... but I am scared.  I don't like these storms as I don't sleep well and when I don't sleep well, I feel horrible and sick due to the lack of sleep.

The only thing I wish is for this to clear up and the sun to come out again.  Yes, we needed the rain, but cyclonic rain is different.  It's more depressing.  It keeps us inside and it's more damaging due to the winds.  My only hope is that my friends - as well as anyone else out there - is keeping safe.  I have noticed no birds are around and I haven't seen any lizards around either.  So, to my friends who are out there and and caught in this weather, keep safe.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm/cool and remember, I'm always here.     

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Long Weekend of Rain

It's the Australia Day Long Weekend and it seems that none of us here in Brisbane or Queensland are having a lovely time of it.  Since Thursday, it's been raining almost non-stop and although I'm happy the rain has finally arrived, it never fails to amaze me how incredibly bored I get in so short-a time when it does arrive.

Our gardens were dying and dried out and it was so very dry around here.  However once Tropical Cyclone Oswald hit Cooktown, we knew we were in for some rain as it turned into a depression.  
I'm kind of enjoying the cooler weather but it's the mess I have to deal with tooI have to do the laundry; which means getting out the clothes horse.  This takes up space as I have to move some handbags onto the lounge.  Most of the downstairs has to be closed up as the rain gets in all the time and I'm feeling a little closed in.  But that's not too bad seeing I've got the internet to fiddle with.  And if that goes out (as it's been known to do) I can always edit and write some of my books and poetry. 

I do have other things to do around the house to keep me busy as well.  But once they're done, I'll be bored again and end up just reading or watching 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' dvds... yep, my usual go-to shows when it rains like this; as I always knows the storyline; and there's no surprises.  There's always the shopping list to finish up, or the hand-washing to get done... or the office to clean up... or... well... just anything to keep me from getting bored from looking at the rain.  I guess you guys know what I mean.
So, what do you do when the weather has kept you indoors?  When it doesn't allow you to head out to the movies or to a friend's house?  Is it the internet you jump on?  Or do you curl up with a cup of tea or coffee and a good book or movie?  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Aussie Occa Out the Window

I just read that Dick Smith's commercial for his Aussie products has been banned because of some politically incorrectness that the fun police pulled a face at.  
Now, I was born in this country and is as Australian as the next Aussie, but was that advert so bad?  We use a play on words in our language which goes back to our English/UK heritage; it's called Rhyming Slang. The people in the UK used it first and it came here and we started using it, and it's not so bad once you get used to it.  But nobody uses it much anymore; and when the young generation hears it, they mistake as something horrible and rude when it's not.
There's even an Australian Slang Dictionary which has been published for all of you who think we're mal-adjusted misfits who don't know our way out of a paper bag without a compass and torch.  And that dictionary is getting bigger and bigger each time it's published mainly because of how many people have their own sayings and how many families have their own little ways of talking and communicating.  My Dad even got a word in that dictionary and it's still there; along with a meaning.

Dick Smith isn't a bad person.  He's as Australian as meat pies, Holden cars and Kangaroos (which by the way are not friendly cuddly animals) and he's one of our original and first people here in Australia who opened and maintained his own businesses of Dick Smith Electronics - which is still going with gusto!  Along with Dick Smith, there's Laurie Laurence who opened his first swimming school out at Springwood in Logan City where my brother and I learned to swim (him better than me) in the early 1980's.  This was way, way before Laurie became the big and famous swimming coach everyone knows today and does all those adverts about learn the 5 and surviveYep, he was teaching children as young as 3 to swim when I was a kid... so what he's teaching now isn't new or controversial.
There are other great Aussies who have made it big and yet, when one of them decides to make an advert where he stars in it - for the first time in years - and uses our good old Aussie Occa language from times gone by - as a selling point, everyone is up in arms about how rude and horrible it sounds.  At least he didn't use the usual rude and horrible words getting around the schools and streets right now.  Dick Smith used the words that Australians like myself grew up with as a kid.  And as for those who didn't like the people in the advert saying 'I like Dick.'... excuse me, but that's his name, not something else they're describing (and yes, I'm telling you lot out there of the 'fun police' to get your minds out of the gutter).  

To say I'm disgusted about how this Australian Icon has been treated is dreadful.  It's time we looked at our language here in Australia and began teaching people around us exactly how we speak; instead of hiding our true selves acting so Americanised and proper.  We're Aussies.  Our country was once a prison camp by the English and seeing where we have come from, I'd say, we should be damned proud of our accomplishments and the people who are making us proud.  This includes our language too; by not losing it but teaching every generation around us about it.