Thursday, February 26, 2009

-17C in Nordakota

Can you believe it. Spring ain't sprung at our prairie house, that's for sure! I just checked WeatherUnderground on the conditions in Nordakota and what to my wondering eyes did appear - but Christmas weather. Snow expected later this afternoon with a wind chill down to -27 C.

Now, I'm not sure how cold that is in Amerispeak, maybe close to 0 or less, but baby it's cold in any configuration.

Whilst here I sit with a fan cooling my shoulders in balmy Queensland, one more hot sultry day in the southern hemisphere. Seems neither weather pattern has chosen to recognize the change of seasons - Spring in the north; Autumn in the south.

Global warming is spelled COLD, really cold along the Canadian border.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

some Presidents are real! :)

Ok, click on the title of this entry and hear President Obama reading the audio version of his book Dreams From My Father.

If you're my friend, I suspect you'll laugh!

btw - if the kids are in the room, send em out to play for a bit - but not by the pool!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kookaburra Serenade

I have just read a little piece from the co-author of Kookaburra Serenade, the manuscript that along with Lorraine I'm trying to pedal to a publisher. In these notes she chronicles a meeting between the two of us in 2007 as we began writing together. I found her style evocative and so asked permission to share it with you. It would be helpful if you would post comments on your reaction or assessment. Here goes:

Its been a long time. Three months. During that time I have been alternately abandoning the bush, leaving my husband, moving back to the UK, finishing this memoir in tragic solitude or letting my hair dye grow out, performing dutiful wifely duties, and writing off this memoir as a futile attempt to rejoin my life somewhere around 1972 when I first sold out to domestic security over personal aspiration.

Parts of these conflicting scenarios glow and fade, drift and flicker in my memory as I press my foot to the gas on the road to Brisbane. Last night I decided. Decided what? Decided that I almost certainly should or shouldnt carry on. Decided that it didn't matter what I decided; we would look at each other and just know if we were still authors.

Dollar twenty, two forty, three sixty – stacking coins into the parking meter – four eighty, has to be a comfortable expanse of time, wide enough not to see the edges. Scanning the tables, timing down to the wire as always, virtually late, virtually on time, surely she will be there. No. I've made it first. Pick a table. Move to another to avoid feeble spits of rain. Sun mostly shining hotly through the shade umbrella over our circular table outside the Great Court Cafe.

Bustling along the sandstone court comes a bluster of silver grey and pink. Smiles and greetings flurry out in advance. Dorothy sets her briefcase down alongside a stack of papers and we reach for emphatic hugs. We trade bullet point news. There is no formality. Somehow we are neck deep in a relationsip only a few meetings old. Sometimes I feel we forgot something, like a shared childhood or a formal introduction.

“So you are going for DeFacto?”

“Yes. Most definitely, from my side anyway. I suggested it and he clutched like a drowning man.”

“Not very complementary”

“Well the way Im feeling it suits me. Theres been a bit of distancing, we're both backing off some”

I wondered what it could take for these lovers to trust each other enough for that ultimate commitment. Giving of hearts is more final than giving of title. What was left but the admission of it, the closing of the door behind the bolted horse. OK. You have my heart and I'm not taking it back.

Conversation turned practical. I tried out my reservations but they didn't float. Our story had already started, our best option was commitment put it where it is, keep writing. We agree to go online twice weekly and write together. Its time to shake it down, from glorious imaginings to pragmatic effort. Word by word our shuttle weaving back and forth to create the fabric of our tale. A book like a marriage, a whole life of tiny observations shared.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Paradise

Every now and again, I sit back, take a deep breath, and gaze out into the fig tree wilderness that is our back garden.

PARADISE.

It has been raining most of the morning.
Green has taken on a deep relaxed glow.

On my computer Godwana Land plays - deep resonating diggeridoo with orchestral highlights
The music, the green of the WET and my awareness that three is no place on the planet where I would rather be at the moment increases my sense of well being.

Just thot I'd let you know.

May your Saturday afternoon be as lively and relaxed all at the same time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crocs - and don't mean the plastic shoes ;)

Ok, so funny stories come out of devastation on occasion. Here is one. I want to remind the Americans that a meter is just a little over a yard long. Actually, a meter is a yard + 3 inches. So some of these crocodiles are biguns!

Can you imagine having the fellows stop by for afternoon tea?

Crocodiles washed down suburban streets by north Queensland floods

Floods have washed crocodiles down local streets in towns from Karumba and Normanton in the Gulf to Townsville and Cairns on the east coast.

At least four crocs ranging from babies to about 2m have been seen around Townsville.

At Floraville, a Gulf station near Burketown which has had a record 1000mm of rain this wet season, the flooded Leichhardt River has brought crocs right to the homestead, prompting owner Ernie Camp to shut the gate near the house to keep them out.

His wife Kylie said: "We have heard them more than seen them. Ernie saw something floating out of a shed and he was going to retrieve it until he heard a big bark. He decided to retreat."

While the sight of crocs is making some people nervous, an expert says the floods will kill thousands of the animals.

University of Queensland scientist Craig Franklin said smaller crocs could not hold on against raging flood waters and were often washed out of streams into built-up areas.

Large crocodiles were generally strong enough to maintain their territory.

Carpentaria Shire Council chief executive Mark Kelleher said yesterday two crocs from 2m to 3.5m had been seen swimming around Normanton, prompting him to have warning signs erected.

"In a place like this you've got to learn to live with crocs. People say if you go for a walk always take your dog so the croc will hopefully go for it instead of you," Mr Kelleher said.

Dr Franklin said the floods would drown nests, killing many eggs and hatchlings.

"The simple advice for people is keep your distance," he said. "Everything depends on education. Even a small croc can give a nasty bite."

Dr Franklin said Queensland had few crocodiles when compared with the Northern Territory and trying to shoot them out was wrong and pointless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fire and Rain

Amazing how fast the world provides a new disaster. Notice I didn't blame manunkind for this one, even though in some way I am sure we are responsible.

The last news indicates that the Victorian government thinks there will be at least 200 lives lost in the conflagration of fire that has criss-crossed their state in the past few days.

And so here we are at the cross roads. Floods in the north and wildfires in the south. If I were a practicing born-again, I might expect the END soon.

However, I'm not and I am impressed with the generosity of spirit and empathy that Australians feel for their fellows. The out pouring of goods, services, money, and blood on behalf of those who are homeless and injured is astonishing.

It is a good country, a good and hot and very wet country!

As for those of us here in BrisVegas; we have clouds today, maybe a shower tonight, temps near 35 C (92 F), but we are safe from flooding and probably from fires after all the rain that has fallen.

Every plant in my garden is in bloom, a psychedelic display of the fecundity of this natural environment.

And I? My only complaint is that even lifting my pinkie finger makes my forehead shed sweat. Books and a good fan are my retreat from the humidity. All is well.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rain, Rain and more rain..

I want to give those of you who have never visited Queensland, Australia, an idea of how large an area it is. Americans - imagine three Texases. Brits - think on five Britains/ And now, take a look at an article from today's Brisbane Courier Mail.


Queensland, the great sodden land, where floods bring despair



'MORE than 60 per cent of Queensland is covered by floodwaters and more devastation is expected as two lows threaten to develop into cyclones. The amount of rain that fell around Ingham in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday was almost half of what fell in Brisbane all of last year.'

Ah, that would be kinda like having two Texas or three Britain uder water?

Oh, and just to give you a glimpse of what that means to wild life. I just learned that kangaroos can swim. Lucky them! Otherwise thousands would have drowned.

Just thot you might like to know!! (Oh, click on the title of this entry to see the stranded roos)