Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spot the bridge ?!

Kholo Bridge - 2 days later!

And this is pretty much the same view as in the previous photo, but 2 days later! The whole bridge is now 3m under water!!! The main Brisbane water supply - Lake Wivenhoe, is just a few kilometers upstream, and on Tuesday night they opened the floodgates as the dam was overfull! Apparently the gates won't be closed again till Friday night, so not much hope of seeing the bridge again (let alone being able to drive over it!) until sometime late next week I reckon! Luckily the back way out is open now - though instead of a 15 minutes drive into Ipswich, it's now 35 minutes! And the way over the river is now over a weir and I noticed the water was only about 1m below that today!

It's funny - a similar situation happened just 2-3 months ago while I was overseas. Both my neighbour and my housesitters emailed me photos a bit like this, and I remember thinking - thank god I'm not there! Karma!!

I have been enjoying doing yoga with David Swenson - I have his old Primary Series DVD. It really makes me think I must practice at a much slower pace when I'm doing it completely on my own, as I'm breaking out in much more of a sweat than normal! My normal class starts up again next week.

Apart from that life is quiet. The weather is now improving, and I'm sure it's much nicer at the festival now. If only the weather situation had been reversed - nice at the beginning and awful during the end ... Oh well! I managed to spring Jedda from the pet motel (they normally won't let any animals out at all between Christmas and New Year!!) and she is very happy to be home - hardly letting me out of her sight  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rain Everywhere!

Kholo Bridge - under water!
I drove home over this bridge yesterday afternoon. The water was just under the bridge, but the actual road-base on my side had been lifted up badly already. I was only just able to get over it without damaging the car! And this is the view (from my side!) this morning!!

Has been a real drama-filled couple of days! It's funny - people think "Australian Christmas" = "barbecue on the beach in the blazing sun". Well, it hasn't been like that this year. (Not actually sure that I've ever had an Aussie Christmas like that!) It has been raining and raining for most of December. Having committed myself to volunteering at the Woodford music festival, which involves camping, I've been watching the weather with increasing dread! The last time I volunteered at Woodford - 3 years ago, it rained a lot and it was just awful! My tent leaked, mud was everywhere!! And I said I'd never go back ... :)

So on Boxing Day I flew back to Brisbane, collected my car (pre-packed for Woodford camping!) from near the airport and set off for Woodford. In the rain! Once I'd registered I set off to find where my friends had set up their campsite. The internal roads (tracks really!) were just dreadful - worse that I'd ever driven on. I had to drive through these huge pools/puddles of water that I'd never normally dream of driving through. A couple of times the car bottom was scraping along the bottom!!! I was soo freaked out!! Eventually I found it, and Helen helped me set up my tent - again in the rain!! I was wondering how I'd ever be able to drive out again (a week later when the festival finishes).

I then went to the actual Festival site and did the orientation for the Internet Cafe (where I was volunteering). Was reasonably encouraged to see that the road out appeared to be in much better condition than the road in! And then went back to the campsite, sat and drank red wine with Helen and Michelle. Then when I went to bed I discovered some of my bedding had got wet! There was a stream about 2 meters away, and I kept imagining it getting higher and higher with all the rain, and flooding the tents! So somewhere in that night I finally decided that unless I felt better I would to go home the next day! Pack up my tent and everything, get the car out of the campsite into the main carpark and then do my first shift at the Internet Cafe, before leaving. I could always drive back from home to do volunteer shifts. Then I fell asleep!!

Next morning I did all that - though of course there was a bit of reluctance to leave when I was wondering around the Festival site looking for something to have for lunch. There is something very seductive about it, even in the rain! (But that doesn't include camping in the rain at all!!)

And, thinking that the Kholo Bridge might be closed, I decided to come home the 'back way'. But I discovered there was a torrent of water over the road that even a big 4-wheel drive wasn't going to attempt, and I certainly wasn't in my little car!! So I decided to check out the Kholo Bridge before giving up and seeing if I could go and stay at my Aunt's place. And luckily it was 'open', although there were 'closed' signs up, but pulled a bit to one side. The water hadn't got over the bridge (like it is in the photo above). But the tarmac on one side was all broken up by the water that had come up there, and it was only because people had made a way through that I could get across it without damaging the car bottom! And now this morning the river has risen again, as evidenced by the photo, so no way anyone is getting over it for a few days now! So it's lucky I did a bit of shopping before I came home!! Marooned for a day or two probably, after which I'll try the back way again!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Terracotta Warriors

I quite forgot to mention yesterday ... When we went to Sydney on Wednesday we went to a quite wonderful exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, titled The First Emperor - China's Entombed Warriors. The exhibition contained various artefacts from the time the terracotta warriors were created (and buried!) plus 8 of the warriors (one of each of the 'types') and two terracotta horses.

Now of course I've heard of these amazing - don't really know what to call them! "Things" doesn't seem right - they felt so real! But anyway, I haven't been to China (yet!) so had never seen them, and had no idea of the impact they have. I think it also helps seeing them really close up. It was a really touching and mesmerizing exhibition - all those 8000 warriors buried since around 200BCE, protecting their emperor. Whose tomb they haven't got to excavate yet - so much other archeology to explore!
Exhibition link

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Bowral

Lazy days down at my Mum's ... As if! Life is not like that with her, although she'd deny that! But lots of fun nonetheless!

Arrived on Sunday afternoon, and within a very short period of time we were off to the local cinema to see a preview showing of The King's Speech. With Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth (plus the lovely Helena Bonham Carter playing the Queen Mum - in earlier days). Totally wonderful film - hope it gets Oscars for its stars!

The next day it was all hands on deck to prepare for a dinner party that Mum had organised for that night! A few dramas but it all worked out and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Since then we've been up to Sydney for the night to have a pre-Christmas dinner with John, Gina and Peter in Peter's new flat. Which has absolutely no furniture in it at the moment - we even had to bring the chairs to sit on! But it was a fun night.

I've managed to find space to do yoga a couple of times too. Did standing one day and today I've done the seated poses (well, most of them!) Now I have to get back to cooking dinner ...:)

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Magic Carpet from Marrakech!

Moroccan carpet at home!

Here's my magical Moroccan carpet in its new home! Although I have to admit that sometimes it doesn't look as tidy as this - Miss Jedda Pussycat seems to think it's her plaything to take running jumps at (or from) and slide around the floor on it ... in fact that it's her very own Magic Carpet!!  ... :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

this and that

I'm a bad blogger ... haven't blogged for ages - can it be 2 weeks?! And I'm afraid it's not that my life has been so full of exciting things I haven't had time to blog! Just the more 'normal' day-to-day stuff, the lead-up to Christmas etc etc.

Just one more week at work and then I stop till the new year. I'm going down to Mum's in NSW on the Sunday (19th). She has lined up some 'entertaining' - giving a dinner party the day after I arrive, and a few other things, including going for an early Christmas dinner in Sydney with the rest of the family - only one nephew left in Sydney now, since Jo and Emma moved to London a month or two ago! But we're all going to be having it at Peter's new flat (or apartment!) which he has just bought, which should be good! His first adventure in the wild world of property-owning!!

Yoga has been good ... until this week! Since I've been back I've been able to practice a lot more during the week (lunchtimes) than before - due entirely to being able to use my boss's office at lunchtime when she goes to the gym, or out to lunch, and her doing this more frequently! But this week I was sick at home on the only day her room was available, and I only managed a few sun salutes. So the only yoga I've managed to do this week is one regular class on Wednesday evening, and then a vinyasa class at the Uni gym at lunchtime today. Does that count? I don't think it does really, but when all else fails, it's better than nothing!

At least there's my normal Saturday afternoon class to look forward to - but this is the last one for the year. I'm hoping that my boss will get to the gym more days next week!!

When I go to Woodford (folk/music festival running from 27th December to 1st January) I'll be taking a yoga mat. They have quite a few different yoga classes,though no Ashtanga ones sadly! They used to say it was because it was considered too hot for an outside camping festival, but I noticed in the programme there was mention of a couple of Bikram classes, so I guess they've changed their minds on that!


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