Jan 19, 2011


Detritus Eloise and I took a walk to Nudgee Beach the other day.

We don't go there that often these days what with the forests we have available to us, and the fact that Matilda tends to perform garden invasions.

But anyway we went there and were confronted with a beach with a tideline that, instead of being characterised by a bit of seaweed and a few mangrove seeds, was a mass of wood and rubbish.

The tide was out and dispersed across the sands were various huge water tanks and quite few boating pontoons which must have been washed down the river from peoples' private marinas.

Jan 15, 2011


Brisbane Floods I won't tarry on the gory details of the floods. Wikipedia can furnish you with those.

I was standing next to a lady here who reckoned some young men had been caught out in this car. Judging by the spoiler.

I thought James Bond had down-traded and then forgot to get the submarine conversion optional extra.

Jan 14, 2011

Wild River

Holman Street Ferry Terminal You'll no doubt have seen on TV the pictures of expensive looking things getting smashed up underneath bridges.

The river was pretty wild when I went down there. You can see how high it is and how fast the water is flowing over this ferry terminal.

On the other side of the river, where those buildings seem to be irresponsibly built underwater, is normally a nice terrace and bike way.

I think at this point in time the river is around 4 metres higher than usual.

A Walk on the Wet Side

Car Park Full I went for a bike ride this morning to have a sticky-beak at the floods.

We're high and dry up here in the hills but down there by the river things are a bit ugly.

The day before the floods struck Nicole and Eloise were here at the Convention Centre, watching Disney Princesses.

Most of South Bank is inaccessible, streets are flooded and when the floods were at their peak South Bank was underwater.

Jan 12, 2011


Brisbane Floodway I gather our little home town is on the news today.

Yesterday Toowoomba got smacked by a rainstorm and was engulfed by a wall of water. The so-called "inland tsunami" swept down the Great Dividing Range taking cars and whole houses with it.

In a couple of days, this deluge, combined with releases from Wivenhoe Dam which is now at 190% of capacity, apparently, with more rain plus a "King Tide" exacerbated by the low pressure, will make its way down to the Brisbane River and to the city itself.

The river is already bursting its banks at several points with private jetties and accompanying boats coming free and floating down the river from the affluent upstream suburbs.

The outlook is for even worse flooding than 1974, an iconic moment in the city's recent history.

Fingers crossed we'll be all right as we are on reasonably high ground, but a walk down to the brook shows just how much water there is making its way across the land to the sea, one way or another.

We went shopping for arts and craft supplies for rainy days. The shop was shut.

Jan 9, 2011


Deluge Taking advantage of the grandparently presence Nicole and I went out on a couple of dog-walking expeditions.

Most memorable perhaps was our little jaunt around Mt Coot-tha where Path Closed signs were in evidence. But then they have been for weeks, ever since the last big rain.

So as it wasn't raining we merrily pressed on down into the valley. Pretty soon it was raining again.

The paths were less paths than rivers really and whilst we weren't actually wading it wasn't far off. As you can see there was entertainment to be had crossing the streams whilst keeping socks dry. Another family we saw there didn't bother with the rock-hopping, they just waded.

Simpson's Falls was as in as full an effect as we have seen it. It was quite something compared to the usual trickle that's in evidence.

As we climbed up the other side of the valley the rain clouds were gathering above us ready to make another release.

Jan 4, 2011

Dampened Spirit of Christmas

Privacy Settings With the rain set in and a permanent fixture and an ear infection rendering me deaf and feeling like one half of my head was deep underwater, things weren't really looking too good.

Not to be discouraged by something as seemingly irrelevant as constant precipitation, Nicole and her Dad were plotting barbecues and menus.

As vast tracts of Queensland disappeared underwater we all spent far too much time in shopping centres, procuring the Xmas necessities.

The Tree duly went up with much delight and the Great White Bearded Lie was spruiked shamelessly.

Eloise wrote a list which read, in order: 1) Violin. 2) Pink Teddy Bear. 3) DS.

"What's a DS?" we asked. Shrug. Not looking too good for the violin either. But the pink teddy was a shoe-in.

Marion and Hannah dropped in and left a present to be opened on the Eve, which turned out to be a special cup and saucer for leaving out stuff for Santa.

Eloise duly left out the cup of milk, a mince pie, several cookies. I'm sure he loved them, ahem.

When Eloise woke up she was to say the least slightly excited. The outsider winner in the stocking turned out to be the Orange, with which she was charmingly delighted.

Other presents were rationed throughout the day as international donors became available on Skype, or not.

However the Grandparents produced a DS, which provoked amazement. And the violin was at least partially fulfilled as a full-sized keyboard was revealed.

And so the day went, opening presents, eating food, nipping next door, dripping antibiotics into my ear, walking dogs, eating food, Skyping folks, etc. etc.

The barbecue out back was utilised with a cardboard box used as a rain-shelter. We ate outside in reluctant defiance of the elements.

No TV. Well... maybe a little.

Christmas spirit dampened bu undefeated.

Jan 2, 2011

Swum Out, Rain In

Dwarf Tossing I don't know if it was the diving or the excessive use of the swimming facilities generally, but when we arrived back in rainy Brisbane (it rained all the way from Bundaberg, heralding the recent floods) my ear started to get a little sore and this soon developed into quite a painful ear infection with which I have been labouring ever since.

But I must say it was nice to have a pool and we spent many fun-filled hours there, mostly playing daft five-year old games and throwing children around.

We had a but of a storm on our last night in Agnes Water, the lightning illuminating the whole bay. And with that the rain across Queensland set in.

Our House Frog

Froggy This little chappy provided us with literally hours of evening entertainment.

He'd pop out onto the deck at around 8 o'clock and hang around.

There were these stupid creatures, later identifed as cicadas. They were kind of beetly flies that we about as big as this chap was (around four inches long maybe).

They'd fly onto our balcony, attracted by the light, or by some kind of deathwish, and land in front of this guy.

He'd sort of sit there for a while, umming and ahhing about it, before deciding... OK.... then leaping into action, jumping on the cicada and swallowing it whole with just the wings poking out of its mouth, doing a strange contortion to ingest the beasty, then returning to his gently consideration of the world for a few minutes until another of these idiots landed in front of him.

After he'd eaten a couple this cicada landed in front of him but he just wasn't interested. After a while the cicada got desperate, took off and landed on this back. It crawled onto his head, whereupon he took some sort of umbrage and swatted it away,

We found a monster poo in the morning. Cicada-sized, in fact.

Lady Musgrave Island

Pass the Sickbag Our one adventure was to take a boat over to the Great Barrier Reef to see... it.

The boat trip was quite long, of the order of 90 minutes or so, and Eloise did barf, allowing us to try out their nifty sickbags. Interestingly all the barfers were young girl-children. Maybe that's not actually interesting though.

Anyhow we arrived after a while to find a beautifully azure lagoon in the middle of the ocean, a circle of smooth water a couple of miles wide with a little island on one side, walled by coral coming almost up to the surface of the water.

The boat found a little channel through the wall and soon we were toddling over the smooth water which was something of a relief for those with no sea-legs.

The boat docked at a pontoon and in no time we were snorkelling and looking at all the little fishies and the corals and all that. Which was rather nice. Eloise after initial terror overcame her fears and was delighted by the spectacularly colourful wildlife and by the very act of snorkelling. Anne, after initial terror, remained reasonably terrified and was unable sufficiently engage her faculties to see anything. However she did manage to get out there, which was an achievement.

Later in the day Nicole and I sent scuba diving, even though it's been years and years and we didn't really have a clue what we were doing. However the dive wasn't deep and we got on fine. Actually it was really good fun. I'd forgotten how heavy those tanks are though.

Agnes Water

Agnes Water We were up pretty early the next day and off with the larks as there had been no rain in the night and hopes were high that we would get through.

An indeed the previously flooded crossing was as dry as a bell and as clean as a bone and through we cruised and up to Agnes Water to find our house complete with swimming pool which we were soon in.

And so began a few days of swimming in the pool, walking on the beach, swimming in the sea, and eating squanderous amounts of food.

And frog watching.

Miriam Vale

Miriam Vale Motel We were stuck in Miriam Vale for another day and night, punctuated by a trip up to Gladstone to a nice beach where we went for a walk.

We took a trip up the road in the morning of the first day to find the road still flooded, though much less than previously, and 4 wheel drives were getting through. But the road was still but further up.

With accommodation all taken in "The Vale" a lot of people were just camping out on the road by the flood and having barbies and so on whilst the water receded.

Later on we went up again to find the first flood had gone leaving no trace whatsoever. We drove hopefully up the road but our hopes were shattered several km later when we found the proverbial second flood was still 80cm over the road and though the heavy people were getting through we stood no chance.

There were those who were talking about more rain to come so we were on the edges of the seats we weren't sitting on as we slept, listening for the rain and hoping that we'd get through the next day.