Monkeyboy back to preschool today ... so parents take off to the Gold Coast and see monster movie and enjoy a kid free lunch of kebabs on the beach before racing back to pick up our much loved one. He loves school and this year he'll be going two days a week, giving us the oportunity to have a day a week we can both get stuck into work around the property together, all the stuff thats too nasty or dangerous for a three year old who is always so keen to help, to be anyplace near.
In other news from hicksville, its starting to dry out at last. Must have had three consecutive days without rain last week, the first in a couple of months. So our mudslide driveway is no more and we've started to even out the causeway and fill in the gutted section of road ourselves. The water has dropped considerably and we enjoyed the first drive across it last friday in the paddock basher ute, still a bit rough to put the family car through for now.
My work sites have dried out as well so i've finally been able to get out and make some money, lots has been trashed but am finding mother nature has wiped out big infestations of weeds, leaving an easy job for us to follow up and get on top of large areas quicker then we hoped.
Spent the long weekend sitting on the mower after letting the place go a tad feral over the last few months. Saturday we also put in our bit to help L&A&I&M do the big move out of Murbah and onto a little block up in the hills. Opposite direction out of town from us, but still close by, and now en route to the beach. Nice place and am sure they have finally found something more like what they moved up here for.
BTW: the movie we saw today was I Am Legend
, turned out to be not too bad and well worth seeing, except for all the god and the american flag crap in the final minutes. Main reason that i went though was to hear the vocal talents of Mr Patton at last being put to use creating all the howls and screams of movie nasties, brilliantly done of course. ( monkeyboy's stick-insect ...... less mess then a puppy :)Collapse )
- Music:cicadas & other assorted bugs
Finally we are getting some sunshine in our little corner of the planet, tiny little spurts now and then, yesterday it even shone for a good three hours before again the sky was cloudy and the inevitable rain.
Kind of fucking sick of the wet now, of course knowing full well that we're going to suffer when we finally get some summer sun. For the last six weeks or more it has rained every day except for maybe four or five days. Before the flood two weeks ago everything was already 110% saturated, since then the flat paddocks have stayed like swamps with a few inches of water, deeper in the depressions, the drains from the dams and along the driveway have a continuos slow flow happening and every time we have a shower over 20mm it all just rushes into the creek and brings it up so get landlocked again.
Meanwhile we fight the mould invading our house and everything in it. Outside the high traffic areas are getting a bit sloshy, but nothing compared to the mud along the driveway. The lowest section still has water flowing across it from the neighbours paddock draining and is a big mess, but most of the rest is not much better and the ute struggles to get a grip.
Our causeway is still rooted and uncrossable by anything except a big truck or 4wd, and thats only because a neighbour came over with his tractor and leveled out the rocks. The local council have so far just come out and taken photos of it, imagine though we are far down the list of priorities as mush of this part of the shire was smashed apart that weekend. Biggest was the Rocky Cutting along the road from Tyalgum to Murbah (site for the big dam fiasco btw), this is where the river comes right next to the road and on the night it came up about 15 metres and ripped apart the bank, taking a third of the road with it.
Best flood story was that of a young bull on a farm a few valleys north of ours at Limpinwood. It was swept away in the surging creek, turning up a day later, alive and swimming down near Fingal, just a few km's from the ocean. That's almost 100 km of winding rivers, over or under half a dozen concrete bridges, flooded trees, waterfalls and rock faces.
Have been unable to get out and do regen work of the paid variety due to the wet, but finally did today and the rest of the week looks promising. Many bad dvds and a couple of good books, but some days of stir craziness have been inevitable for all of us, even a monkeyboy can get tired of jumping in puddles, but we at least have the car on the outside and have been able to get out now and then. Visitors though have been scarce, only L&A being keen enough to cross the creek on foot and ride up to the house on the back of the ute.
Needing a bit of a break, we sent the monkeyboy off to stay at grand parents houses (they take turns) over the weekend. Didn't do anything special, except for a day trip to the markets, just enjoyed having AJ to myself for a few days and nights .. and of course the much missed sleeping in past 7am.
We've just had a few eventful days up here in my little bit of hicksville, even making it onto the teevee news show down in the big smoke. So i thought i better get a post up and let you all know how things are.
There had been non stop rain since before NYE, but then Friday night at about 11pm it started to bucket down and by 2am we'd had about 200mm of rain. I sat here on the computer and could here this massive roaring sound but was unable to venture outside because the sky was flashing lighning bolts and i knew the house was safe (and i wanted to go to bed).
In the morning we had no power, a nightmare start to the day for a tragic coffee addict, even more so when i realised we had no gas for the bbq and i'd have to light a fire. But a bigger thing, the distant roar, made me forget these troubles and hike down the driveway with monkeyboy perched up on my shoulders. What we saw was fences down, logs, debris and even big boulders washed up onto the paddock, trees knocked over and my causeway looking more like a 4wd obstacle course. The water was still deep and fast but had dropped considerably overnight, the signs of where it had been put the level at about 15 to 20 ft above the causeway.
By far it was the biggest flood we've seen since being here and the old farmer next door told me today he'd only seen something higher once in his lifetime. The creek has been redesigned and we're looking forward to enjoying cleaned out swimming holes and the post-flood addiction of finding crystals and fossils in the turned over rocks and gravel. Not so fun will be repairing fences and waiting for a bulldozer to be sent out to clear the causeway so we can drive beyond the front gate (we have our little car parked in the neighbours shed and can drive our ute to the front gate, then hike half a km up to our car ..but its a fkin pain in the ass to do).
Saturday the water was to high to cross all day and we had no power until that night, so not just coffee but breakfast and dinner ended up being cooked on an open fire. The worst thing was we had no idea what was happening outside of our place (forgot to make sure the radio had batteries), until that is the phone started to ring. It began before 9am and continued all day and night as all these friends and family from around the country phoned to say they'd heard about it on the news and wnated to know what was happening, so did i. Brilliant though to have long overdue chats with the likes of mr ahem and ms roxy.
Power was restored just as dusk fell, great timing and i quickly switched on the tv to see the last bit of abc news. Two minutes later we had a power surge and the tv wnet "pop" and hasn't worked since ...arggghhhhhh i think is the bets way to sum it up, but the internets came to my rescue, although at a slow dial-up pace, and i finally got to see parts of Murbah under water and all the rest. The tale of the 700 doofers stuck on an island was a funny one, said to be "quite content and happy" to stay put for now.
Sunday arvo i was able to get out and see Tyalgum, the water came up through the pub and lapped the front door of a few houses, piles of mud and debris washed up into piles at the side of the road by the firies. The shop was a buzz with people with tales to tell as we sat around, one friend of our still looking for his horse that was last seen in a paddock next the creek (they are downstream from us about 2km). The road to town is said to be a mess and am looking forward to escaping my valley in a few days and checking it out. Has been about ten days since i've been anyplace further then the village, going a bit stircrazy, but if you have a choice of place to be stranded this one is not too bad. For now we have just been resupplied with food by AJ's parents who love the adventure of coming out at times like this ... they also brought us a little tv that i was able to pop up on my shoulder and carry across the water.
Heres a few photos i took on Saturday ...then the camera said "card full" and i couldn't upload them onto anything until we had some power ... D'oh !! Plan to get down there tomorrow and do some more ...maybe do another post in a few days. the fence along our driveway... monkeyboy at our front gate .... our creek causeway ... the pile of rocks across the way is the road ...
One big reason why we're glad no big doofy thing was planned for NYE this year. Took the photos on NYE at about 3pm, checked on things again about 5:30pm and it was about a foot and a half deeper.
What did suck though was that L&A couldn't get through to have a much needed catch-up and see in the new year ... so unfair. Still had an enjoyable evening with MsA and the monkeyboy and a new years day relaxing on the verandah. Finally the waters went down low enough for me to wade across today and pick up some much needed supplies of milk, chocolate and tobacco. More wet is due over the next few days and there's some subtropical cyclone thing possibly forming off the Queensland coast so we could be landlocked for the next week or so, also means no work but i do have a shit load of stuff to do around this place that i've been neglecting.
Hope everyone had a good NYE whatever they got up to and please send some of that summer heat up north (and east from da rox) so we can enjoy all this water in the creek.
I'm sitting here writing this on ye olde clunker after what seems to be a be a malfunction on the beasty pc. Only just worked out it wasn't the usual net being down in hicksville day after day that was stopping me connecting, a common occurance here lately. So this is the first time i've been online for over a week, and what a week it has been.
It all started last Friday with AJ and i planning to have a kid free day and give our selves some "us time". Then mum phoned to say my long suffering and dying grandfather was doing just that after bursting an artery in off his asbestos destroyed lung. So we dropped of kid as planned then headed for the hospital. Was a very traumatic morning, with most of the family making it in time to say goodbye, even though he was out cold on the morphine and unable to see us.
We then had my aunties two youngest (6&14) come and stay for the weekend so their mum could be with Nan ...the 14 year old hardly seen as all she wanted to do was jack into myspace and chat on msn the whole time (the last time my modem worked properly ??)
Funeral was on Wednesday, i wasn't all that close to him but was honoured as his oldest grandson to help carry the casket but left the talking to others in the family who knew him better. Was also strangely proud of mt family who have been quiet good at being completely fucked up and fueding off and on for the last few decades. We are the functional disfunctional family, the peace is kept by avoidance of too many of us together at once. However now we have rallied to support my Nan, put aside our petty differences and ignoring the things about each other that gives us the shits. I do hope though that we continue to keep out of each others business and not get too friendly and relying on each other as that usually ends up bad pretty quick.
The rest of the week was loads of regen work as we scramble to finish off these sites before the end of year. Had a bit of a hike up Mt Springbrook last Monday, enjoying a shower under this amazing 150m waterfall on a stinky hot summers day, will post some pics when i have the pc back online. Sunday we did the Uki markets to finish off the few xmas bits we needed (just doing kids this year ...but fuk there's lots of them now), after which we went to see monkeyboys kindy-gym/circus school end of year show.
His class just had about five minutes at the start to show off their skills at hanging from the trapese bar, running along a beam and threw a tunnel. Then we sat through all the older kids performances and got our first taste of the chaos that is backstage at these sorts of events, with about 150 kids trying to get dressed up, paint faces and do last minute practice of spinning hoops and cartwheels.
Xmas plans are going to be us staying over at AJ's parents place and doing all the tinsel drenched traditional stuff, not thinking they will like me switching off the carols on tv to see the southpark special that night? The we do lunch with all my family at Nans place, followed by my sister and her family coming back to the farm to stay a few nights.
AJ and i will do a little something to celebrate the solstice tomorrow night, and monkeyboy will get a few of his presents then as well. He's noticing all the festive stuff for the first time this year, especially the dodgy fatman in the red suit who gives him cool things ...except the one at the mall who just asked what he wanted, posed for a photo and then wouldn't give him the present, even when he hung around waiting for it (he asked for a duck ... sending his grandmother on a shopping spree to find as many duck things she could)
NYE will be the Little Bit Of A Back To The Land this year with just a few friends, a bit of music, fire, food, fun and sampling of summers best little surprises we have been finding all over the paddocks this year ... mmmmmm psychodelicious.
If i don't do another entry til then ... happy whatever you celebrate to anyone who has read my drivel this year, hope you all survive it well and enjoy it all.
A big congrats to P&A for the new baby ... can someone in sincity please give them both a big kiss and buy the new dad a beer from us ? thanks :)
- Music:clunk/squelch/jitter/clunk/clunk/grind/clunk/squelch .....
Have just enjoyed my first day of normal vision after being struck in the eye by a thistle on Thursday. I was working at a new site, being paid to help a 20 acre young tree planting succeed in the battle against the grass and weed. It's a great high profile location and will give me and another bloke regular work for the next two or three years.
Anyway back to the "when weeds bite back" ... the day was a shit hot and humid, i was spraying so wearing head to toe protection gear, but as happens my sunglasses kept fogging up so i put them in my pocket and kept working. To knock out thistles that are over 7 ft tall i have to push them over with my boot and spray the underside of the leaves at the base. Anyway one of them must of caught on a tree branch and flicked back at my face, all i remember was thinking i had blinked in time and how lucky i was no spines where stuck in the eye-ball. Thought nothing of it, my eye just feeling a bit bruised.
Next morning was a completely different situation. I woke up unable to open my left eye, the white bits now more blood red then after a big night sharing bongs with a freak brother. Had a very busy day ahead of me, so all i could do was pop a chamomille tea bag on my eye and let a trick i discovered in the old party days try and do some magic.
All it really allowed me to do was eventually open my eye and not wince too much at the pain the bright sunshine was thumping into my head, even with sunglasses on. Spent the rest of the day running around town, in pain most of the time and being told by everyone i knew, that getting the hospital to check things out might be a good idea. I completely agreed, but had to get everything finished and drop the monkeyboy off home before i was going anywhere.
So i eventually got my ass to the local Murbah hospital, had them drop nice numbing drugs into my eyeball and then after some added dye and a probe under the uv lights, i was told my eyeball looked like a scratched up old record. A couple of nights under an eyepatch and some wonder drops and all should be ok, which apart from a dull throb when i look too long at the computer screen, it now is.
Driving home was fun, as was everything else after i lost two thirds of my scope and most of my depth perception. Stopped off at L&A's on the way back and saw on going back to the car, i had parked about two metres from the kerb.
Apart from all the above it's been a manic week, a big catering job at the regional art gallery and finishing off with the Grand Opening of Tyalgum Preschool yesterday. The new building has been finished for the last six months and is now monkeyboy's school, but the official opening had to be delayed while we finished off the final touches. Was a great day, with all the new and old residents there and AJ and i feeling more a part od this community then ever before. Plus the monkey boy had his first ever live performance in front of and audience larger then us and some friends ....and he shined (of course) ..will post the pics soon.
The only other news to report is i have signed up to the facebook thingy if any of you want to seek me out in there.
How nice is the feeling, to hear some UN official on the news speaking fondly of our decision to sign the Kyoto protocol. Has been a long time since i've heard any show of respect that hasn't involved selling us out to some war or dodgy trade deal.
Brilliant to see this new government showing it's taking the environment and climate change seriously with this first act of ratifying Kyoto. Heading off to Bali with a handful of main ministers is much more impressive then the days of some unwanted sap sent to plead "nup can't do it" along with the yanks. Kind of looks like these guys want to be key players in how the world sorts this shit out.
Still feels very strange, like it didn't happen ... like recovering from some heavy bad acid, only able to heal from it and make the mind adjust to an alternative world returning a little bit at a time.
Happy 3rd Birthday to my monkeyboy today !!!!
AJ's sister has also just had her baby girl born tonight @ 9:34pm ... going to make it easy for us to remember the date :)
Still ecstatic from the weekends result and had to pinch myself the next morning ... i can't believe that i'm not sitting here thinking how i can't believe he won again.
Had a party for monkeyboy on Sunday with the usual suspects and some of his school friends. Loads of fun, with the day ending as it often does with wines on the verandah at sunset with L&A and J&R, will post some funny pics later.
Today we all went to the beach for a swim and ate fish'n'chips in the park, then home to watch his choice of movie ... he almost grabbed the Bratz before i could say "hey look a dinosaur" on the cover of Meet The Robinsons (why do boys this age suddenly become obsessed with ancient reptiles?).
Back into baking cakes tonight, cooked up a couple of dozen cupcakes for a little party at J's preschool tomorrow. Have an even bigger catering job next week after scoring a big x-mas party brunch at the Tweed regional Art Gallery. None of it was planned, but i seem to have stumbled upon some money to be made with my chefing skills again ...quite handy at this time of year when its alot more appealing then summer in the scrub doing bush regen.
One more sleep til the dumb monkeys of this country decide to vote for (to quote South Park) .."a douch-bag or a shit-sandwich" ...however i think our country has had just about all the shit it can handle and hope enough of the dumb monkeys also now feel this evil c*nt has to finally go.
Its looking so possible now that we are approaching the end at last if seeing the media pack, turn on him like a sick old dog, is any sort of sign. Never felt this confident that things would turn against our Dear Leader, trying to not get too hopeful because alas my fellow voters have been so easily fooled in the past.
We've been taken through a nasty period for our society these last eleven years, fear has been ingrained into us as our assets and morals have been sold off. The light at the end of the tunnel is for the first time visible, but this feeling of dread won't be gone until the bastard is buried at the crossroads with a stake through his black heart.