Posts Tagged ‘floods’

Source: flickr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Ever had one of those weekends when you finally get there and just ‘stop’?! Where your week has been just SOOOOOO busy that you haven’t had time to just sit? And you haven’t really noticed if you’ve eaten, or slept? Well, that’s been my week this week.

Starting last Saturday, I woke up sick. As in, the non-stop dry cough kind. Sunday, this became a back-ache so bad I could hardly move, and spent the day flat on my back. This is extremely unusual for me, a person who is often told that she ‘never stops’. I was actually really quite worried, because I knew how huge the coming week was, and I just didn’t know how I’d survive it all if I couldn’t even walk! But God is good, and I was able to stand by Sunday night, and walk again by Monday morning. Thankfully! But the upshot of a day in bed was that I read ‘People of Heaven’ by Beverly Harper, which was rather reminiscent of Bryce Courtenay’s writings about Peekay and Tandia. An interesting story, but I’m not sure whether the author should have included so much history ‘tacked on’ in places, without being directly relevant to the plot. Nevertheless, a good way to spend a day in which you can hardly move.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur of work, podiatry appointments, childcare, swimming lessons, driving, and non-stop rain. On Wednesday afternoon, I pulled Miss 7 out of school early, planning to buy school shoes at Athlete’s Foot, Morayfield… only to discover that their store had closed, and the closest was at Caloundra. So the kids played with my iPhone camera while we waited in line at BUPA, to get some of the huge amounts of money back from the Podiatry appointment. And be yet more disappointed, because our Health Cover didn’t do much covering. And yet again, it was a day of poor health choices food-wise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday was Australia Day. A day of not ‘having’ to go anywhere. When asked that morning, I had told Hubby that I wanted to spend the day hanging pictures, now that I had finally bought myself a Wall Stud Finder. Instead, seeing as the rain had stopped, we took the kids to a crowded Kings Beach Pool, ate a fish-and-chips lunch, then took a lovely long drive. Mr 2 immediately fell asleep, and the girls played with home-made ‘helicopters’ made out of sandals and sunnies. Quite cute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain returned that night, so on Friday morning I changed my plans and spent the day at home. It was splendiferous. Hubby and Miss 7 eventually made it to school, but not before being caught in the parking lot that was the Bruce Highway southbound, at Caboolture. And I caught up on work. Housework. Laundry. Dishes. Hanging those pictures. Filing. Blogging for Bloxham Marketing. Oh – and playing with iBooks Author, now that I’d upgraded to the Lion OS and lamented my touchpad now going backwards.

So. That was my week. Huge. And now I get to stop. Hooray!!!!!

Today marks the end of my week-long posting series. (It was actually meant to finish yesterday, but I kinda piked out last Thursday due to the Queensland floods.) But anyway, this is the seventh ‘Important Word in my life’, inspired both by the the American Dialect Society’s ‘Word of the Year’ and by @fionawb‘s #blog12daysxmas posts. So, to sum up:

Word 1 was ‘integrity’, Word 2 was ‘restless’, and Word 3, ‘blessed’. I realised that ‘history’ should probably be Word number 4, never having previously comprehended the depth of my emotional attachment to the city of my childhood until it was destroyed in the floods. Word 5 ‘organised’ offset the ‘openly emotional’ of Word 6. And today? The final day? I think it would be remiss of me to not include ‘responsibility’. As in, something which I feel weighs heavily on my shoulders.

I think I’ve always been a responsible person. Maybe it comes of being a middle child. Maybe because I was the girl between two boys. But I can’t ever remember a time when I haven’t felt as though ‘goofing off’ was morally irresponsible. Weird, looking back! Once, I led a devotion at Caloundra Christian College, comparing A.A.Milne‘s characters of Tigger and Rabbit. Tigger, the playful one who bounces through life, oblivious to the damage he causes to others, and Rabbit, the grumpy ‘it must be done properly, in an orderly manner’ one. My point was that as teachers, we shouldn’t force our Rabbit ways on our Tigger students if (as happened in the example I gave) the end result is the same. I was speaking from a wealth of experience. I am far more of a Rabbit than a Tigger. It’s funny, cos Tigger is my favourite of the whole cast of characters! (Maybe it’s true – that opposites attract?) Anyway. I’d say that ‘responsibility’ is an apt choice for my seventh and final word important to me. That reflects the person I think myself to be.

Looking over the list, it seems pretty bleugh. But that may just be my perception. As I mentioned previously, for each character trait I tend to see the negative outweigh the positive. But that’s okay. The list is finished now. So let’s move on to something more fun. More interesting. And I’ll try to present six of them. Momentous events in my life. (That way, I’ll cover that ‘cult’ story I mentioned the other day.)

So… til tomorrow, dear readers – stay safe and well!

I’m the reason my parents moved to Australia. My older brother had been born in a hospital in New Guinea, four years earlier, and I guess they didn’t want a repeat experience. So when they discovered that I was on the way, they relocated to Australia – to Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane, to be precise. Dad found employment as a lecturer in Literacy and Language Development at Mt Gravatt Teachers College, (later to become Griffith University,) and I arrived on the seventh of June, 1974. Six months before the floods devastated the city.

I spent the first nineteen years of my life in that house on Padstow Road, just up the hill from Logan Road, and opposite Multicap Meadows. It got busy during that time, so much so that the B-doubles letting off their airbrakes as they drove past my window lulled me to sleep during my final years there, while I finished Senior at Redeemer Lutheran College in Rochedale and started my B.Ed at Griffith.

I was fortunate to have a bus stop not 100 metres away. With the help of a year-long, go anywhere at any time’ student bus pass, I did the ‘teenage rebellion’ thing and used it lots, spending the majority of my time passing through Garden City on my way into town, to meet friends and hang out, catch a movie, window shop. When at Uni I would bus to my part-time job/s in town, spend time reading novels while sunbaking at South Bank, or (later still) try winning money at the casino. In fact, I was so comfortable travelling by bus, I didn’t get my license until I was 20 – and that, a motorbike license. I then found an even greater sense of freedom on my blue Suzuki GSX250, travelling to UQ at St Lucia to study French in the evenings, during my 4th year of Uni – and the back way, past the Rocklea Markets, became quite a speedway at the almost-10pm mark!

And now to my apology. My prior two posts were… well… more non-events than events. Due to my incredulity at the floods devastating Brisbane again. Quoting my younger brother, who emailed me from London this morning, “I knew those streets. Now they’re gone.” Perhaps this post will go part-way toward an explanation. And that brings me to what I had not realised about myself, but have now…

My important word for today: history. My past, to be specific. I guess what ‘they say’, IS actually true. Your past DOES make you the person you are. So as I stop, and remember, and grieve for what may never be again, I shall also remember  that if my history IS that important to me, then today, right now, and every moment to come, will also be a part of my ‘history’ one day. So I should make the most of it. How about you?

Til tomorrow, dear readers…

I’m sorry, dear readers, but my emotions are too raw to write today.

Keep safe.

Ceridwyn

Well, today spells the last of the bird gifts. Some interpretations of the meaning behind the song state that each gift represented something special for each month. Meaning that the swans would have been a gift for the seventh month. July. (Although I’ve also heard that October used to be year’s end, just a few hundred years ago, so maybe the seventh month for the ‘true love’ and his ‘singer’ wasn’t the same as the seventh month for us? I wonder…)

Anyway, why swans? Unlike the partridge, the hens, the ‘rings’ (pheasants) and the geese, they’re probably not edible – well, they’re not known for it, are they?! So maybe, like the turtle doves, they were included for aesthetic reasons, instead. (Their swimming abilities, methinks?! Hehe!) And I never quite decided why those Colly birds were included on Day 4, did I? Oh well… Swans, for me, remind me of that Fairy Tale “The Ugly Duckling”. I loved that story. The duckling had so much to be bitter about, but wasn’t. Something to aspire to!

Interestingly enough, that was one of the DVD’s I played for my kids in our long drive home, late last night. (Yes, we’re no longer flooded in – yay! As of yesterday, 4am, we were still on the “island” of 1770 / Agnes Waters, but by 6 had sneakily crossed over to Miriam Vale, by midday were doing a reccy of Gin Gin, and by 4pm had made it through Gin Gin and headed home. Twas a very late night, but SO worth the huge drive just to get to dry clothes and mud-free sheets!)

But back to the song. It looks like tomorrow’s on to the people. Maybe the ‘singer’ told the ‘true love’ that she’d had enough of birds?! But that, I guess, is a ponder for another time.

See you tomorrow, folks!

So now it’s geese. Bigger birds, this time. And laying ones. (Hmmm… was that ‘Goose that laid the golden egg’ fable was around when this song was first created, by any chance?) But that brings us to six days of birds, with one more to go. Interesting, really. And I wonder if this song is the first example of when birds were associated with Christmas?

Never had geese. My only experience with them was a couple of years back, when my next-door neighbour had a small flock of them, half a dozen or so, visit her back verandah and swimming pool area. Being in her mid-60’s, she was powerless to drive them away. So there they stayed, all afternoon, apparently making the most horrendous noises, until their owner came home from work that evening, realised they were missing, and collected them. She didn’t mind too much – but wasn’t particularly impressed when she realised their deposits had stained her concrete. “They must do acid poos!” she kept on saying. We both just laughed.

No – my experiences are with ducks. As a kids, Dad brought home two of the cutest little ducklings for us one day. These two soft and fluffy creatures were quickly joined by another two (seriously – who could resist that softness?!) and we kids had fun making dams for our ducklings in the backyard. Another one joined them, and then two drakes, so we ended up with seven large white ducks within just a few months. Which was wonderful fun. Well, up until the drakes (Donald and Bilbo, from our interests at the time: Disney and Tolkien) learned how to nip at our ankles – and then, nip at any other part of our bodies they could reach. Hoo boy – then we were in for it! We quickly built a pen for them. And when they got out, there was a lot of squawking trying to get them back in! (From both two-legged species, let me tell you!) Still… they are some good memories. (Glad I’ve decided to bring my kids up with hens, though. Much safer than ducks!)

Well, I guess geese provide good meals. Both in eggs and in meat. And seven of them! For the next five days?!! That’s a lot of geese. A lot of noise. And a lot of acid poo!

Til tomorrow, folks!

(Oh, and if you’re interested, we’ve been able to re-supply with more fuel this morning, and milk too. Yay! Hopefully enough for another few days, at least…)

So what’s with all these birds? According to the ever trustworthy Wikipedia, “The fifth day’s gift of gold rings refers not to jewellry but to ring-necked birds such as the ring-necked pheasant; or to “five goldspinks” – a goldspink being an old name for a Goldfinch.” The entry then goes on to say “When these errors are corrected, the pattern of the first seven gifts all being birds is restored.” So again, I ask you – what’s with all these birds? Hmmm…?

So yes, that was a bit of news for me. I had always thought that the ‘golden rings’ were just that. Gold rings. So finding out this next bit of trivia didn’t surprise me in the slightest:

The ‘Christmas Price Index’…

“Since 1984, the cumulative costs of the items mentioned in the song have been used as a tongue-in-cheek economic indicator. This custom began with and is maintained by PNC Bank. Two pricing charts are created, referred to as the Christmas Price Index and The True Cost of Christmas. The former is an index of the current costs of one set of each of the gifts given by the True Love to the singer of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The latter is the cumulative cost of all the gifts with the repetitions listed in the song. The people mentioned in the song are hired, not purchased. The total costs of all goods and services for the 2010 Christmas Price Index is $23,439. The original 1984 cost was $12,623.10.”

In 2009, this article was written: “Making one’s true love happy will cost a whopping $87,403 this year… according to the latest cost analysis of the items in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

That’s the grand total for the single partridge in a pear tree to the 12 drummers drumming, purchased repeatedly as the song suggests, according to the annual “Christmas Price Index” compiled by PNC Wealth Management.

Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investment for PNC Wealth Management… has been calculating the cost of Christmas since 1984. And the reason for the increase in 2009? He writes, “The main driver behind the higher cost is that the price of gold has increased 43 percent, bringing the five gold rings up $150 to $500.” Ha! I was not alone in my misconceptions then!

Still, for the gift to be 5 more birds – I guess the singer must be fond of eating bird meat?! I must confess – all birds, to me, taste like chicken. Hehe!

See you tomorrow, folks! (P.S. The rain seems to be stopping. The Laundromats all have queues out the doors, the bread’s all gone, and the local servo’s run out of petrol, but there’s hope that maybe we’ll get to something other than longlife milk yet!!!)

 

I guess blackbirds must be good for something. I wonder why the ‘true love’ wanted to give the singer four of them though?

(I should probably state upfront that whenever I think of blackbirds, I think of crows. And I don’t like crows. I mean – who does? When I lived in Brisbane and studied for my B.Ed. at Griffith, there were simply hundreds of the creatures at the MtGravatt campus. They were more obvious in the late afternoons, when the student population had decreased for the day, picking scraps out of the rubbish bins and making a horrible mess. Large creatures they were, too. But apparently I’m wrong. Crows aren’t blackbirds.)

Instead, blackbirds are, again, birds used for food – just as the partridges and hens were. The ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ nursery rhyme confirmed this. They’re quite a bit smaller than the crows I mistook them for though – which I guess is why you’d need 24 of them in a pie! They also form strong pairing relationships, so they fit in with the ‘devoted love’ theme of the song. Aww.

So back to my original question. Why four? Because you’d need that many for a reliable meal? Maybe so. Food is something at the forefront of my mind at the moment. Not just because it’s Christmas, but because I find myself for the first time, flooded in, and in a situation where we have a limited food supply for the foreseeable future. So for those of you believe in it, I’d love a few prayers sent heavenwards, to stop this rain so we can get some more food!!!

Anyway, best go. Nappies need changing and breakfast needs giving. Have a lovely day, everyone! Til tomorrow and its five gold “rings”!