Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flood time again!

This Australia Day finds John and myself marooned by floodwaters, the Wilson River having risen nearly 10 metres in 48 hours and broken its banks, flooding the valley (well it would). Mind you, I'm not complaining: here we are, marooned on a subtropical hill in paradise, the village store only a minute down the road and a bit further on the Eltham pub with the floodwaters slipping quietly just under the bridge. We might nip down for a beer and to listen to some local music later. Here are some photos:

BOM river heights data for the Wilson River shows the rapid rise in water. How many m3 I wonder?

Large camphor laurel trees standing in their own reflections down near Boatharbour Rd

A view of Eltham village heights from the valley on Eltham Rd

John brings the Hilux to a halt upon hitting some low floodwaters

Looking on the railway bridge and the valley from Johnston Road

This is where you can hire a tractor. But not today.

A row of pecan trees fetlock deep in the water

Eltham and Booyong valleys, where a small river can suddenly become very big ...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holiday visitors: dear friends

You can't make new old friends. Good old friends, are infinitely precious. Kate and I have been friends for about 35 years ... Many precious shared memories! Kate and her husband Graham and the two younger children dropped by for a visit (Kate's oldest, Maddie, is best friends with Tess). As of old, we sat till late on the deck, talking, laughing, and playing music. Kate did much lovely singing, Graham played guitar (he's a fantastic player, and in open tuning at that!) as well as woodwind; and I played anything I could get my hands on (ranging from my 18th century flute, through tin whistle, recorder, clarinet, to guitar). We went through as many O'Carolan's tunes as we could remember: lovely! It was one of the nicest musical evenings I had for a long long time.

Sadly they could only stay a short time but it's a lovely thought to know that there WILL be a next time!

Here's hoping we see each other soon again Kate!!

Holiday activities

As our John was on call all holidays (he occasionally takes on the temporary role of airport manager for Lismore regional airport) we couldn't go far away, or go camping, which we all would have enjoyed. But our days were pleasantly filled in and around home nonetheless. On many days John would have to inspect the airport and the runway to check for damage or incidents (a fence down and an ensuing cow on the runway would play havoc with Rex's Saab turboprop, I can tell you).

Some days I would accompany John, just for companionship. And it's interesting. I particularly enjoy spotting wildlife (all wildlife sightings have to be recorded). If I can I take photos, of course! Here's an example:

Who's that hiding in the hedge? (click for bigger)

It's me!!

Building update

Trevor our friend and builder had committed himself to getting the deck on before Christmas "so you and your folks can have Christmas lunch on the deck". Bad weather prior to the holidays made it seem unlikely, as there was much to be done. But the Thursday before Christmas Trevor turned up with a broad smile and a veritable gang of carpenters he had drummed up: five experienced woodworkers and a couple of young apprentices, who all worked like Trojans for us. It lifted the spirits to see these craftsmen working fluidly, good music playing on their portable sound system, and watching the deck come to life.

And sure enough, the deck was laid and we had a lovely Christmas lunch on the back deck, overlooking the valleys and hills of our Northern Rivers home.

Here's a photo of Tess doing some gentle calisthenics on the deck :-D. The wood is spotted gum, by the way: a native Australian hardwood.

Today (Thursday 12 January) two of the lads have returned from their holidays. Robbie and Slim have just started working on putting up the verandah roof structure. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Brief intermission

An unplanned hiatus in the blogging due to ongoing computer / internet connection problems ... coupled with malware afflictions as well. As the university was closed during the Christmas break, I couldn't access our IT support desk, and the whole situation tried my patience (very frustrating when everything freezes time and again). Despite our IT guys' best efforts this past week, attempts at repair failed, and it all culminated in the crumbling demise of my sturdy SCU laptop which had been serving me so well these past years  :'-(

I'm working with a small loan laptop for now. I'll try and catch up in a few posts.