Visiting The Whitsundays

I’ve been away in the tropics. We stayed in Airlie beach then did a bit of Island hopping around the Whitsundays.


Wow, was it hot up there. It was strange actually because the temperature has been hotter here in Newcastle but the sun up there seems to have a real bite. I could feel my skin ageing years by the second so spent a lot of time lurking about in the shade.

When we flew out it was starting to rain here and we later discovered that it had turned into a little cyclone with torrential rain. My daughter sent me a text at 3am that night saying – It’s really windy here, I’ve never been in weather like this before. And I thought – well ok, nice to let me know that in the middle of the night but I wasn’t too worried as she is a bit of a drama queen. Then she sent me another one about an hour later saying – The side fence just blew down into the lane-way, I went out to have a look but I feared for my life so left it. So then I thought, I’d better have a look at the news back home.

It was crazy. So much flooding and damage has occurred in a large area of the region. People have died, washed away in their houses, some in cars or car accidents, towns were isolated and main highways closed due to flooding. So many trees and electricity poles down on houses and cars I can’t believe more people weren’t injured. People here are still without power almost ten days later which must be very inconvenient.

We didn’t have any damage to our house. We bought it just after the last big floods they had here so when we were looking at places you could easily see which ones had suffered water damage so we avoided them.

So I was sitting up there in paradise sipping on cocktails complaining about the heat and it all seemed like another world away. When we arrived home we flew back into another storm which was a bit hairy. It was night-time as well and I don’t like flying at night at the best of times. My husband asked me at one point if all the jolting was the wheels hitting the runway but it was just us buffeting about in the air. I always wonder why people drink on one hour plane flights, like why they can’t just sit there for an hour without alcohol but maybe turbulence is the reason.

Anyway we arrived home and I was sorry I’d complained about the heat because it was freezing here and the first thing we did was drag out the gas heater. I always think I’m going to like winter much more than I actually do.



Everyone was freaking out this week because they told us the weather this weekend was going to be like it was that weekend when the Pasha Bulker came to town. amazing photo here

Well its definitely been wet this week, but not that wet. I'm not worrying this time about the river flooding anyway. Not yet anyway, even though we've had some heavy constant rain. That Pasha weekend was the wettest, heaviest rain I've ever experienced. Constant heavy rain day after day. We kept the radio on all the time because they were going to tell us if the river was going to flood. And why do rivers always peak at such inconvenient times. They never peak at 11am do they, its always 2am. At about midnight Daz and Betty started going for walks to the levy to keep an eye on it. He said it was like a party down there. Everyone just keeping watch. I got sick of waiting and went to bed. I just woke up every now and then and tapped my foot on the floor to make sure there was no water there. Anyway they said the SES would door knock and tell us to get out and we'd put all the important stuff on top of the 10 foot wardrobes.

These are our sportsgrounds. When the water comes over that road and grass it floods into town. They built the big levy after huge floods in the fifties.

They're the same grounds where I take the photos of Lloyd playing AFL

You can see the netball goals in the background behind the guys there. And here they are after the rain.

It's a pretty high levy so you can imagine the rain we had to have to fill that huge bowl of a sports field.


They put out a message to everyone living in the flood zone to get together a bag of their important things. So I grabbed Lulu, Pink Teddy and my favourite book, Teddy Edward Goes to The Seaside. Daz said – I think they meant things more like insurance papers and medicines!

You may remember that Lizzie had her own idea about important things.

I'm usually more worried about getting all the cats together and into baskets and up into the roof of the house or somewhere. That was when we had four cats but now we don't have any so it's not as stressful.

Last time our town was totally isolated. Surrounded by water, no one could get in our out. I started thinking it might be like a Dean Koontz story and the army would move in and we'd all catch some awful virus and people would start dying and then we'd all be put into quarantine. But that didn't happen in the end. About the worst thing that happened for us was that the bakery ran out of bread early on Sunday morning and we could only buy rolls.

But I'm off now to take the opportunity to get some washing done. There seems to be a small break appearing in the clouds.

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Betty sleeps here


But sometimes I like to sleep here


She doesn't usually get to sleep on the lounge but she was drugged and by the time I found her it was too late to move her because she was in la la land.

I have to drug her when there's a storm because she freaks out and acts like an idiot and drives us all mad. Once the fear of the storm gave her enough of an adrenaline burst to get her inside through the cat flap. It was quite a feat.

Trouble with the drugs is that you have to give them to her half an hour before the storm comes, which is tricky, because sometimes you think its going to storm, race out and throw her a morsel of mince with the drug in it, then the storm passes and you're left with this drugged dog lying about the house.

We are in storm season here at the moment. In fact I just had to have $ 7,000 worth of hail damage fixed on my car. There were 280 hail dents on the roof of my little Getz.

Anyway, I decided to cut Betty back from half a tablet to a quarter because I seemed to be tossing them out every day last week and I thought I might kill her if I kept it up. She's no spring chicken anymore.


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storm season

Well storm season has arrived. And it always storms at about 3pm – just when I have to go out and pick people up from school. Betty will spend the next month cowering on the lounge wondering what the hell is going on out there. We lost our roof one year in a wild hail storm. I sat with the kids in the middle room of the house and we had a tin roof at that time so the noise was incredible. Lizzie was only about three then and she entertained us throughout the storm with some wild bashing on the piano. I imagined that was what it was like on the titanic. But with better musicians. I think just about everyone in town got a new roof that year. New cars as well.

Daz missed it as usual. He's missed all the natural disasters we've had. Always out of town working.

So this was the sky yesterday. Time to stock up on candles.







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