Sunday, February 27, 2011

new and improved

As if cleaning up after a big cyclone wasn't bad enough, we were at the demolition phase of a bathroom renovation when it struck. Our plumber/reno magician was dealing with disasters and getting ready to visit Canada (an activity I totally support) but in one day he did the deed, minus trims and fiddly bits.Here is a photo for my family who remember well the pine and yellow melamine symphony of what existed before. I went shopping for a more decorative bin and bits, but I failed in the attempt. Later baby. By the way, the walls are flat white coffee, not yellow. It was getting dark by the time I took this shot.

BoaB and I got the medicine cabinet up this arv. It was epic, fraught and my arms hurt. Looks bloody marvelous though.

We had a small ride for coffee this morning. Saturday standard was rained out. I am SO NOT OK to do the time trial next weekend. I will be old and slow and kind of fat but I'll do it anyway. The shame of it all. Ah well, let the racing season commence.

Friday, February 25, 2011

winners are grinners

I have pretty good luck, as evidenced by my sweet husband, best dog ever, great job, etc etc. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I won a couple of prizes at a fund raising trivia night last Sunday. I should have blogged about it sooner, but after a night of hilarity and a LOT of wine I had to get home, pack and get on a flight at 5:50 am. blech! I never even had time to look at what I won!

Now I am back from gorgeous Cairns. It was such a balm to be where it is green and undisturbed. No broken trees and twisted fences, just the most lovely tropical setting.

So what did I win? A bottle of wine (like I need more wine!) but it looks like a good one. And a big prize of a load of beauty "stuff". This is hilarious, because while I probably need it more than most, I am also less likely to actually use it.
  • hair styling. I am over hair styling, I don't want my hair cut OR coloured. Really.
  • Ungents for your hair. I may use some, but there is a lot I will give away. Straightener. Seriously. I have the straightest hair on earth.
  • gift certificate for more of the above. A great gift, although I could use it for 'blue shampoo' if they have that sort of stuff I suppose.
Any way, of all the girls I know I am the least deserving of such a prize. On the other hand, my indifference to girl y things will mean we all win as I glad hand the bits around, so I guess that is a good outcome.

Friday, February 18, 2011

market day


Oh dear, there I am, selling cycling on market day. It is just still shots with voice overs, I am the last one. Gawd I sound like such a Canadian! It was a fun day though, I do it every year and this was the best yet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

returning to nothing

I confess, I am a bad cyclist. All I wanted today was to plug in the ipod and cycle to the dam (18.6 km) in a mental 5 minutes. Sure it takes longer, but if you get in the right zone it takes an instant. I had a sufferfest of wind, but it was a short ride. I arrived at work soaked, elated and relaxed at 34 kms. Life is good. I hope to roll a routine of good rides in March. Enough with the weather already!

Monday, February 14, 2011

getting normal

post cyclone Yasi...

It was trashed...
But we have worked hard and slash is gone, grass is mowed and beds are even getting edged,
I weeded and pruned this weekend, as well as spending half a day raking and hauling at the University to get the place a bit presentable for O-week. I have sore muscles I didn't know I even had.
What the heck am I going to make of this? I can't even train.

I only got to the dam for the first time in nearly two weeks today. It was a bit fraught, but I rely on the kindness of strangers to refrain from killing me, and they haven't let me down. You know, a shoulder check, a bit of eye contact and a genuine grin of gratitude will knit you a cycling kit of mithril.

Theresa has posted a fantastic look at the post Yasi situation. Her photos are fresher than mine. see her flicker photos. I stayed home and freaked over my yard rather than getting out and taking photos. Now, almost two weeks after the event the bikeway is still blocked in places, and roads are still narrowed by vegetation, and life is very slowly looking a bit normal.

It is depressing to cycle past the downed trees and browning slash piles. I am slowly returning to familiar places, but they are forever changed. I have to make a confession. I am a bit like the Rainman. I need for it all to be exactly right. I am rattled by the change to my routine. My hands shake as I confront unfamiliar traffic, and a path blocked, and deep gravel across my path. I am worried about the birds. I smell the decay of flesh along the ride and wonder who I have lost. A precious curlew, a dainty wallaby. It all hurts.

Don't worry about the people, we are fine. It is everyone else who is wounded. I feel helpless.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

these trees were my friends

This used to be a blog that was mostly about cycling, and now it is about natural disasters. Not my choice. My cycling is on hold because the streets are dangerous. So much fallen vegetation, and the drivers distracted and rattled at the sight of so many fallen trees, piles of slash and fences fallen like dominoes. I ride to work and back every day on a route that is too short, but mostly clear of obstacles. I am in a foreign land.
A much loved and venerable rain tree that shaded a whole intersection near my house. It was lovely and my heart is broken.

One mango has exploded in the force of the wind while others are lightly pruned. Quite strange but very sad. The ubiquitous pile of slash at the curb.
Sigh, a pretty grove of rain trees at the bottom of my street. Still some standing though, so all is not lost.
Removing slash outside my building at work.

It is hard not to feel unsettled by the forced change of routine. Things are returning to normal though. We got power back yesterday. One week seems like a wonder really, when you see all the damage. I am volunteering to help tidy the Uni on Saturday, the heavy lifting was being done today by endless trucks and machines.

At home things are getting better. Gardening is all about control, and we are regaining that.

Monday, February 7, 2011

living with no power

I didn't update the photos as promised. What he said. 'nuf said.

doh. I just dribbled wax on my keyboard.

Last night I was utterly exhausted. I "hit the wall" without getting on my bike. I dragged myself up for a harrowing ride on the main roads to work, since the bikeway is either trashed or under water. I had to actually yell at people, and got every red light, and it sucked and was stressful. I want my routine back. I want my bikeway back.

I got to work and my communications board was fried, as were most of the comms, so no access to files, no internet, no email. Great. I had a pretty productive day reorganising data and making maps with data at hand. The the ride home got me a pinch flat when I hit a small branch, and I fumbled the tube change so badly I was really late getting home. Even the dog was worried.

So still blogging by candlelight. It is too hard to get photos organised in the dark. Anyway, what Boab put up pretty much says it all. Trees are down everywhere. Every street is littered with debris. I am riding to the dam tomorrow, even if I have to pick up my bike and leap over logs. I want normal back.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Ok

I will post pictures later, I am on the wrong laptop right now. I need to get out and take some shots of the neighbourhood. We live in one of Townsville's prettiest, leafiest neighbourhoods, and the destruction to the vegetation is horrific. All those nests and bee holes, so sad.

I was really afraid for my sea eagles, but they were back honking and bellowing the next day, and the curlews are calling at night. Lots of bee eaters in the yard as well.

Our yard is a bit trashed, but now that we have hauled out the worst of the windfall and Scott has done a whip around with the mower it looks surprisingly good. We need the professionals to come in and clear high, damaged limbs on trees, but that could take months. It all looks stable, I don't think anything will come crashing down.

Still no power, but the nice people behind us are on a different grid and have power. We have run an extension lead for the necessities of life, the bar fridge and the internet! We have wonderful neighbours.

Will post photos this evening, just wated you to know we came through it OK.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

waiting it out

Well we are tucked up at our son's, the power is still on (obviously) and we have a big slow cooker of turkey and veg working away towards supper. Gusts up to 75 km/hr now, it looks like it is raining like mad on the radar but it is just a light mist so far.Quality time with the laptops. Scott in correspondence with my sister and brother in law, who are at the office at JCU rather than risking being home if the house looses the roof. We are going to cop about a Cat 3 storm here, they are getting a 4+, the numbers stop at 5 so that is what Innisfail is getting. My son's roomie has had a few calls from his Mom in Innisfail and they are doing OK but very scared.
Rusty is settled in well now. It is so amazingly quiet behind double glazing and with a floor of apartments above, you have to look out the window to realise it is stormy out there. If we were home it would be a lot more wild and he would be very nervous.

We may have to put a pot plant on the deck to encourage natural functions, the elevator is off and there is no way Rusty is going to get up and down 4 flights of stairs to the grass!

A victim of the GFC, the heritage listed hospital sits empty. It was supposed to be swank apartments by now. It whistles when a big wind comes through the empty windows, and I am assured it will sing with strange resonances when things really get going.

So now we wait, fingers crossed we can go home tomorrow.