Wednesday, October 13, 2010

shocks in oz

Not electrical, not traumatic, not even happy ones like a child of ours volunteering to clean up a mess they only partially contributed I mean the tiger, great white, and the bull shock or shark as they say elsewhere. These three are the only shark species known to attack humans. Nonetheless, in Queensland as well as New South Wales, many popular beaches including the one close to our house, a shark net or a drum line offers a modicum of protection for swimmers/surfers/surfboards.  We have a drum line here, which is a large single baited hook suspended from anchored yellow buoys. These are detractors of this practice of course,  as the hooks and nets sometimes also catch dolphins, rays, turtles, and whales.  A few months ago it was decided they will be equipped with "pingers" to alert the whales to stay clear.  Good to know whales understand Ping.

The Commonwealth games are going on in New Delhi at the moment, as they have been every four years since 1930. Originally called the British Empire games, the Aussies are dominating in the medal department. Around 70 countries  participate, and the competitions include many Olympic sports and also games more typically played in commonwealth countries,  like lawn bowls, which is a close cousin to  Bocce ball. We have a lawn bowls club here in Coolum, but I don't see many Olympic types hanging out there. Other records recently noted: In Brisbane, at the local version of Starbucks,  a team of employees trained for months, and last week set a new world record: 5,164 espressos poured in one hour. That's a lotta cuppa!

Random ramblings: we spotted two pairs of yellow tailed black cockatoos on our bike ride home from the gym today....Kmart etc has no need  to wait until after Halloween to start stocking the shelves with Christmas bling (as there is no orange and black closet clutter for sale here)......massive amounts of foam on the beach, due to the recent storms........I'll be sewing my way through October as I just hauled reams of fabric destined to become skirts for Melissa's studio's concert Nov 27.......enjoying frequent but not daily early morning walks......overheard at the post office today: a young mum and her small child, who had began to whine for a bag of plastic dinosaurs: "Now, let's not have a tanti"  and, at this late age in life I can finally do a headstand, but my kids made me promise I wouldn't post a photo.

In other breaking news, a 100% Australian owned business has launched a free software/app called itakeaway. Now it is possible to order and pay for food from a handheld. Have you noticed this word has ceased being an adjective and is now a noun?  Then, courtesy of Google maps you're directed to the participating restaurant. long until the food will be ready for pickup carside via an ATM type machine? I don't like this trend.

Just when we thought summer was here and we started looking longingly at our pool that we haven't been in since the early days of April, we're having ourselves a fierce little deluge. The rains in the last 24 hours have already exceeded the average for the month, and there is more to come. Oh joy. I'm just glad I wasn't one of the 8 thousand or so who paid a significant sum to attend the Caloundra music festival on for this last weekend. The performers were under cover but the fans had themselves a big mudfest.

So onward though the next 7 weeks or so of the final term of school. Melissa will finish her year of high school so she can go back home to middle school....... For reasons unknown to me, Eli finishes the year two weeks earlier than Mel.  He'll be surfing with his mates, waiting for sis to finish up, and we'll start packing our bulging suitcases in preparation for departure.....SIGH.  As of tonight, Tom has worked his airline magic and procured tickets to fly to Bangkok Dec 12.  From there we are still a bit open but for New Years we'll be in Bali, and I suspect we will not be alone. Jan 12 we're flying to to Sydney to reconnoiter with heaps o' stuff we needed for our year here (or thought we needed) but don't need for travel, and assuming all goes well, we'll be stepping off that plane in Arcata January 13 at 3:47 pm!!!
Coolum Beach

Meantime, we're headed off to  'Melbun', also know as Melbourne, for a long weekend. Tom is going to stay a couple of extra days and re-connect with old friends from his sailing days. Shortly thereafter I have signed up for a two week volunteer project in the outback through an organization called I'll be dusting off my cobwebby speech pathology synapses and lending what I can to an early education team who travel to visit both Caucasian and Aboriginal families with young children.  I'm looking forward to the adventure. I'm flying to  east to Charleville from Brisbane November first (a two hour flight) then traveling upwards of 1900 kilometers by car...even in miles that's a loooong way!


  1. It's more interesting to read your news than our newspapers!

  2. Hi Steph;
    I can't believe how fast your year went! We are especially missing you here come halloween, well, especially is relative. We only go a week or two at a time without thinking "Oh damn! Steph and Mel aren't here!!" Your volunteer work sounds great, really interesting. Can't wait to hear about that. I just got back from Ireland for 3 weeks, it was really fun and dare I say-- transformative. Beautiful and such a place of passion, art, history! Got in touch with my Irish soul.
    Enjoy your last weeks, you've really made the most of it-- I'm so impressed with all you've shared with us!

  3. I enjoy reading your blog spot every time! Very interesting and entertaining. Seems like it will be difficult to leave behind many of your Australian lifestyle nuances/benefits! This year sure has just flown by, and it must seem that way to you in many ways! How do Melissa and Eli feel about moving back? I bet Eli will miss the surfing. As far as posting a photo of you standing on your head, why not? The fans want proof! Hope all is well. See you next year!