Bluebottle invasion

About a month ago we had an invasion of bluebottles on one of the beaches.

bluebottles

They were thick like this over the whole beach, I’ve never seen this many clumped together before and I certainly didn’t venture on to the beach without my shoes on.

bluebottles2

They were swept in during storms and the thought of being out swimming in the water with them all brushing past made me shudder, don’t want to think about how many stings you could have endured. Probably enough to send you into shock.

It’s the tentacle that stings you and they can be metres in length and they have little barbed hooks on them so once they wrap around something they dig in and release a poison that hurts like hell I believe. I’ve never been caught by one and this sight has really put me off going in the water this summer.

They’re pretty things though – prehistoric looking. You can see the long tentacles here, they don’t even need to be attached to the body to latch on either, they can just float around on their own. Ouch.

bluebottles3Council had to clean them up in the end with tractors as they were getting a bit rank.

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Australiana

I was born and raised in Australia so I’m well aware that we don’t like to waste time or breath on unnecessary syllables but this ad in the local paper made me laugh.

You can’t get much more Australian than this – ANZAC day at the Bero Bowlo, which is the Beresfield Bowling Club.

bero

 

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?

Funny you should mention it. I was trying not to think about travelling today as I’m getting on that cruise ship tomorrow. A great big heavy ship, with lots of people on it, floating about out on the seas – in the dark. Not permanently dark obviously but it departs at night so we’ll be straight into night-time.

I don’t like being on boats; I like the idea of being on one until I’m actually on it and out in the middle of a large body of water. It’s the large body of water that I’m really afraid of so I should be grateful that I’m in the boat.

But you can’t let your fears mess with your mind and I really do expect it to be a lot of fun and at least this way I’ll know if it’s a sailor’s life for me.

When our kids were small and we travelled I used to map it all out and have a plan because kids like to have a plan; they need snacks and a spare set of clothes and activity books and drinks – but now that we travel mostly without them we wing it more.

This cruise ship came into our harbour a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty impressive. Maybe not for the passengers though as they don’t pull into a nice terminal, they pull in at our coal terminal, which I myself think would be more interesting.

Here it is coming around the lighthouse past dog beach (which is the beach where you can take dogs). It looks like it’s floating by in about 6 inches of water – it’s always amazing to stand there and watch them go by, you feel as if you could just about reach out and touch them.

Bon Voyage!! (There doesn’t appear to be a lot of life boats does there)

cruising

feeling the heat

I used to love summer; I couldn’t get enough of it. If someone told me when I was 20 that when I was 50 I’d like winter better I would have scoffed at the suggestion.

But winters are getting milder here and summers are definitely getting hotter every year. Just last week Adelaide was the hottest city on the planet; that just seems like crazy talk and the poor tennis players at the Australian Open were running around for hours in Melbourne in 50 degree heat (celsius).

7.30am here as I write this and it’s already stifling and clammy. Well I’m clammy, the atmosphere is stifling.

The best place to be on a hot summers day is in at the harbour where it can be 10 degrees cooler than it is here at home and only a 10 minute drive away. Or an 8 minute bus trip if you plan on whiling away the afternoon at a bar that serves cold wine and a good view.

That’s what I did on Friday afternoon with a good friend of mine. I love our old working harbour, you can sit there for hours watching the comings and goings. I’ve turned into one of those weird old people who enjoy going in and watching the coal ships come in. You always know when one’s coming or going because a helicopter goes up first and takes the pilot out and he’s lowered onto the ship then soon after you see the little tugs heading out; they always look so happy about their job.

School holidays end here soon and I’ll be able to head back to the pool. I usually try to avoid it when it’s swarming with kids.

Honeysuckle-January-2014

Newcastle-Harbour-2014

Newcastle-harbour-January-2014

sleepless in spring

So last night I dreamt that some people were injecting me with a sedative so they could take me away and kill me. The only thing that saved me was Chicken Little who (in real life) was on the end of my bed and howled in her sleep and woke me up scaring the crap out of me.

She does this little Hound of the Baskervilles thing where she’s sound asleep but then puts her head up to the sky and does a long howl. She does it when she hears an ambulance or police siren in her sleep, must think it’s the pack calling her.

Anyway this whole sleeping thing is becoming exhausting.

In other news yesterday they arrested an 11-year-old boy who started that fire that was near me. So that gives you hope for the future of mankind doesn’t it.

I had my first swim of spring on Sunday; it was a beautiful day. I could’ve had it any time over the past month really as the weatherman told me last night that by the end of October we would have had 20 days over 30 degrees here (which is ridiculous) but most of them have been incredibly windy and not pleasant beach going days at all.

I don’t usually go to this beach but I was walking past and it looked nice. This is Bar Beach and it’s over the other side of the hill from where I usually hang but I’ve extended my walking route to 6.3kms so I go to it before I turn around and come back over the hill. It does get busy here but a lot of the people you see here are there involved with Nippers which is an activities programme run by the Surf Life Saving Clubs of NSW on Sunday mornings. All the beaches are packed with kids doing sporty water/beach things so I usually go to the ocean baths then instead.

bar-beach

I might go for a swim today before the wind picks up again tomorrow – I need something to clear my fuddled sleep deprived brain.

Parking

Parking around where I live sucks – finding it first and then the amount you have to pay for it. Council is always banging on about us supporting and reviving the town centre which has gradually died over the past few years, mainly due to the development of two large malls in the suburbs. But why would you pay $8.00 for 2 hours parking in town when you can get 3 hours free at the mall.

parking

And believe me they employ some pretty nasty parking officers as well. Most people I know have a story about a smart arse parking officer booking them even though they see the car owner running back to the car only a couple of minutes over the time limit.