Ex-cyclone Oswald has created havoc all down Australia’s east coast. This video shows just one example of some of the idiots who show no commonsense during dangerous conditions.
After so long without decent rain, the seemingly perpetual heatwave and the horrific bushfires across Australia, the weekend rain was very welcome. I’m not sure how much we got here, but it was great and made a huge difference to the grounds at work (I’m the Head Gardener). More of course is needed, but it was a most welcome start to ending the drought – which hopefully will be the case.
Today is Christmas Day, but this post is not about Christmas Day – other than the fact that the day is actually Christmas Day. It is about the weather we are having on this particular day, that just happens to be Christmas Day.
In recent times the weather here has been very hot and we have been experiencing a drought. Yesterday the temperature was very hot, there was a dry, hot wind blowing and it was very draining. The watercourses around the area were drying up and had very little in the way of water left in them – apart from the main river of course.
Today the temperature is much cooler, with a wonderful cool breeze blowing and it is currently raining. In fact there is a thunderstorm, but not a violent one. It is the type of storm that just seems to slowly roll by with a small amount of lightning and thunder, yet has a lot of steady, soaking rain in it.
This rain is a major blessing and should be enough to allow some colour to return to our lawns (other than brown) and save the various plants under my care at work. Many of our plants have been greatly stressed because of a lack of water, so this truly is a great blessing. Very thankful for the rain.
Today had been quite unpleasant outside. It has been pouring with rain at times, then not. When it hasn’t been it has been blowing a gale and it is also quite cold. It’s bucketing down yet again. So very little has been able to be accomplished outside today. No great outdoors for me on this wet and miserable day.
I have been spending a bit of time, as a consequence of the weather, reading ‘The Bourne Identity,’ by Robert Ludlum. I haven’t read the Bourne series of books before, but have seen the movies many times. I’m a big fan of the Jason Bourne movies. However, having seen the movies it has been difficult to some degree reading the book. The book is very different to the movie, more so than what ‘The Hunt for Red October’ was to the film version. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying the book and will try and work my way through the other nine books (I believe there are now 10 books in the series).
So I’m making good progress through the first book and as I said, enjoying the read. I’m hoping to complete it before the end of the week, which I think I can achieve relatively easily. I’m approaching halfway through now – on the Kindle. I was only 10% through it a couple of days ago, so progress is going very well.
ABOVE: View from Silo Hill
Today was the first day of my annual leave allottment (technically it starts Monday) and so I decided to get out and do something. The Stroud International Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Competition seeemed to be the thing to do today. So I decided I would offer my mother and her husband a seat in the car and head off to Stroud. Turned out only my mother would be coming. Disappointingly the day was wet and miserable – a typical Australian winter’s day I guess. Still, we thought we would go and have a look anyway.
ABOVE: Stroud House
We arrived at Stroud just as the main street was being closed for the parade. So we got our park and headed into the centre of town to gain a reasonable vantage point, with the option of some shelter should the weather turn especially bad. We got our place easy enough. Stroud was fairly packed for the event, but not as much as I thought it may have been – the weather probably kept many away. Still, a pretty good turn out.
So off they went, a whole menagerie of marchers in the big parade. It was an odd bunch, some seemingly out of tune with the country in which they marched and the context of the town. Everyone was having a ball, particularly the kids who seemed to be the targets of the often thrown lollies and sweets that were being hurled from the floats and marching rag tag line of marchers. There were North American Indians, whip crackers, witches and wizards, some rather fat ballerina types (pictured) and many other odd characters. There were also the police (representing 150 years of police work), firemen, SES and other services – even church floats, a debutante ball float, school groups – as it went on and on for some time. There were musical groups, including a couple of groups of Scottish bands and a ukulele group.
ABOVE: The Ballerinas BELOW: Marching Police
ABOVE: Debutante Float
Having attended the march we decided to not stay as the weather was rolling in again. We took a quick trip up to Silo Hill to enjoy the view and headed back to Gloucester.
It seems to be raining all the time here. It isn’t of course, but it does sometimes feel that way. This coming week is supposed to be dry and above average temperatures for winter. So far this winter it has been quite cold (for here) – easily the coldest winter in the five years I’ve been living around here. So it will be great to have warmer weather. It has also been wet – very wet. But it has been that way for the last two years – very wet! It hasn’t actually flooded on a wide scale around here, unlike almost every other place in eastern Australia. Many places have flooded on several occasions in recent times – some almost a dozen times. But not here, thankfully.
Today has been a nice day given the weather in recent weeks, months and even years. There has been no rain. Sure, it’s quite windy, but there’s no rain so the wind is fine. Rather pleasant considering the recent past. This week sounds like it will be a very good week, weather wise anyway.
So where is this place? It is Tea Gardens – the place where I live on the east coast of Australia. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Newcastle in the state of New South Wales. I have developed a Google Map showing the location of Tea Gardens and of the Lions Lookout just out of town. Sadly I can’t embed the map in wordpress, which is a bit disappointing. Click on the link below and it will take you to the map, which you can zoom in and out on, etc. Over time I’ll add a few other icons and things to the map to show other places that will come up in my posts about the area in which I live.
To view the map click below:
Tea Gardens Map
I was going to go for a bit of a bushwalk up to Yaccaba Headland, but given the wind I decided to put it off until next weekend – maybe. Soon anyway. There will be a post about that whenever I get to doing it anyway. Hopefully soon. I’ve plotted Yaccaba Headland on the map linked to above as well.
So instead of the bushwalk, on a day like today, I thought I’d spend a little while out in the Great Outdoors anyway. So up I went to the Lions Lookout just out of Tea Gardens, on the hill overlooking town and snapped a few photos of the view and the park at the lookout.
ABOVE: The view from Lions Lookout
And I’m back (again – I know). For the next couple of days I’ll be posting links to various browser games that I’ve been indulging in (or perhaps, wasting time in). I’m not so much into the shoot-em up type games and/or the SciFi/Fantasy type games that are so popular these days. For some reason I’m not big on all of the Facebook games either – probably because my news feed is full of them (which I block by the way). Anyhow, there will be a few games that I have started to play a bit over the next couple of days.
Land of Destiny is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in Roman Times and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Not only is it necessary to be aware of potential attackers, you also need to contend with the weather (the season changes on a weekly basis and each day the weather can be different). Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that.
The current online world is coming to an end in early July 2011, so a fresh start is just around the corner. I am using the remaining time to learn the game and develop my strategies for the new gaming world when it arrives.
Play the Game at: