Monday 31st January 2011
It was raining when I woke this morning. Instead of wearing wet weather gear while I went on my walk I walked around the house under the awnings on three sides. Endlessly, backwards and forwards. I still covered the same distance and time but without the gravel road and various inclines so I did not feel as though I had a satisfying walk.
Last March when Donnis returned from Canada she gave me a battery operated Oral B toothbrush. I have always pooh poohed electric toothbrushes in the past and have never owned one. These battery operated brushes are different in that that they move backwards and forwards quickly rather than rotate as do the electric jobs. I have happily used the battery toothbrush every day since she gave it to me. Today, it died.
The toothbrushes are just like an ordinary toothbrush and are intended to be thrown away when they become worn. No sense replacing a battery on a worn toothbrush. In fact you cannot replace the battery because according to Oral B they are especially made to fit the brush. Either way I am more than happy with the life from that one battery and have bought a new battery brush.
Today I visited the doc and went through a few health issues.
Blood tests reveal cholesterol slightly increased and I am on the verge of diabetes susceptibility. It was suggested I should lose some weight which will also impact on the other issues. I have the name of a dietician in Gympie. In the meantime I will keep a daily food diary.
Left leg is worsening so we have arranged an MRI of my spine on Wednesday, particularly L3, L4 and L5 as the 4&5 have an impact on the leg nerves.
Hiatus Hernia. Will have an ultrasound on Wednesday as well. Results will determine the next course of action.
I have noticed that I feel nauseous in the mornings after I have taken my BP medication and eaten breakfast. It could be the new blood pressure medication so as a trial I will start taking it at night so I can feel nauseous while I am asleep.
The torn cartilage is still uncomfortable when I first wake in the morning and when I go for my walk and do deep breathing.
Cyclone Anthony crossed the coast last night north of Bowen. My neighbours Merewyn and Stan sent photos of what happened at our house. A tree in the yard of our rear neighbour, fell down across the driveway to the garage. Thank goodness it missed the garage. Our tenants had put their car in the garage for safekeeping. Stan and Denis got their chainsaws in action and soon cleared away the rubbish. No time for complacency as the monster cyclone, Yasi, is on its way and expected to cross on Wednesday. I received a text message on the mobile from the State Emergency Centre advising to move by Tuesday if we are in a low lying area. Tidal surge as well as heavy rain is expected.
Gee, the Premier, the Emergency Services and the weather Bureau are all taking this cyclone with a lot of seriousness. All news services are also playing it up. Just like the floods in Brisbane they spelled out all the dangers and asked people to self- evacuate – early. The size of this cyclone is three times that of Anthony and expected to be twice the severity.
The house at Airlie is well above any potential tidal surge and there are no nearby creeks to bother us.
The house in Mackay could be another matter. It is built behind a range of sandhills which are about 5 metres above the mean high tide level. However Reliance Creek is some several klms away but the land is flat all the way to our house. Of course if the tidal surge combines with a high tide then it is possible the drainage and sewerage systems could back up. Can only wait and see.
This evening I went for another walk, this time up and over the hill and started on the downhill side. Again, It was probably the same distance as my regular walk but had up and downhill sections which got my heart rate up and I was perspiring freely by the time I got home.
Tuesday 1st February
After getting my walk up and over the hill and back I felt I had had a reasonable workout.
It sprinkled or rained on and off all day.
I decided some exploring was in order so headed off to have another look at Boreen Point, Elanda Point and Lake Cootharaba. I faithfully followed the signs to Elanda Point but the road ends at a private property and there is no access to the lake until a fee is paid.
It was raining at Boreen Point when I arrived and the scenery was not inviting enough to take a photo. A while later the sun came out when I visited the Appallonian Hotel but decided not to have lunch there.
Appallonian Hotel at Boreen Point.
Next destination was Lake Cootharaba. Again I followed the signs, along a deep sandy track and finally arrived at a private property. Again signs declared access to the lake was via an entry fee and this property looked very feral with dead cars and motorbikes and other household equipment laying g around without a decent burial.
Next stop was Tewantin Marina
Tewantin Marina on a miserable wet day.
where I thought I could book a day trip on the Noosa everglades. It seems the trip leaves from somewhere around Elanda Point? I decided against lunch here as again it had started to rain and as seems to be true of every marina I have visited, food prices are higher than I prefer to pay.
Hmmm. Cooroy is on my way home, they have the cheapest fuel around and there is an award winning café with reasonable prices. I had a lentil burger with chips and a cup of tea. On reflection a Big Mac may have been a wiser move. I do not think I will eat there again. The lentil patty was very curry hot and loaded with salt. Their pies are around the $6 mark, about $2 dearer than the next worst price I have encountered. They probably did not win the award based on their lentil burgers!
Late in the afternoon I noticed movement on the gravel driveway next to WWWGO. Wow. It is a Tawny Frogmouth Owl. Probably the same one who crashed into the fly screen the other night. I started taking photo but crept closer until I was no more than two metres away.
The Tawny Frog Mouth from 2 metres. Note the leaf in his beak. If you magnify the photo you can see WWWGO reflected in his eyes.
He then flew onto an arbour archway where I took more photo’s.
Tawny Frog Mouth on the flower bower.
Heavy rain began to fall as I prepared for bed.
Wednesday 2nd February.
It rained during the night.
When I woke I could smell damp and mustiness. Although I checked all around WWWGO I could not find anything obviously damp. The sheets however felt limp. Same thing in the house. It just smells, damp. My Kanagroo leather brimmed hat feels damp but I cannot see any obvious signs. Simply the humidity is high once more and all forms of material are absorbing the dampness. Last week I left an absorbent paper towel, doubled over, with a quantity of rock salt. It has remained relatively dry. This morning there is a puddle of absorbed salt water on the towel.
Sitting at the table I watched as four Kangaroos came onto the grass behind WWWGO and grazed. On the other side of WWWGO a Scrub Turkey strutted around.
The news this morning is mostly about Cyclone Yasi. It developed into a category 5 overnight and is expected to hit below Cairns around 10 pm tonight. All official warnings are now including phrases such as ”life threatening” into their messages. Hardened locals who have been through cyclones in the past are now evacuating.
During the day I could smell something dead and decaying just outside the dining room door. I could not find anything on the veranda or in the gardens. Sitting at the table I could hear a noise outside but dismissed it for a few minutes believing it was the wind blowing the tarpaulins I put on the awnings to give a little extra protection from the rain. I looked up and there at the screen door was a metre and a half, very fat, very sharp clawed and sharp toothed goanna. He was scratching at the door. As I grabbed the camera he took off along the veranda wall with me in hot pursuit. Boy! Can those guys get up a head of steam. He was too quick, I did not have any shoes on my feet and I have no photos.
I spent the night watching the coverage of cyclone YASI.
Thursday 3rd February.
No kangaroos, tawny frog mouths, snakes, goannas, geese, scrub turkeys or centipedes to greet me this morning. Instead there was a rabbit on the driveway.
Woke to reasonably good news that the cyclone was not as devastating as expected. Daughter Shelley text me from Townsville to say she had a sleepless night, the roof leaked in many places, power was off from 10pm and was still off, two trees fell across the drive way and two trees had fallen across power lines outside.
Lots of devastation to Mission Beach, Tully, Tully Heads, Hull Heads, Cardwell and Port Hinchinbrook. By now I suppose everybody has seen the photos of at least 70 boats stacked together against the houses and units and Port Hinchinbrook. A friend, Mary-Beth H (Mary Beth was my chiropractor for many years) who lives at Port Hinchinbrook, told me she has 70 boats sitting on her front deck.
The day goes by slowly when you have no planned activities. In the morning I had an appointment with the acupuncturist to relieve the numb muscle in the left leg. I also collected the MRI on my back results and the results of the ultrasound on the hiatus hernia. Yep, the MRI confirmed the back problem, mentioning L3,L4 and L5 and that a disc was bulging to my left.
The ultrasound confirmed the location of the “small” hernia.
I guess in both cases I will discuss and know the next step when I see the doc.
In the meantime I have elected to run with acupuncture in the hope it may give me some relief as the leg muscles feel progressively weaker and the numbness more…ummm…numb.
So I found myself explaining my situation to the man with the magic needles then I was on a table having needles inserted along the spine, in the left leg and in my head and left to lie on my stomach for 20 minutes. I felt no different on leaving. He explained it could take several visits to take effect. Hmmm. Sounds like standard acupuncture talk to me. Oh he said, “do you take any of the following supplements?” Hmmm I thought. Here it comes, the sale of his products which will help the repair process. I assured him my wife Donnis has a whole apothecary of supplements she encourages me to take so that is exactly what I will start doing.
He also warned me against sitting for long periods.
By tonight my leg was “tired”, uncomfortable and some pain. Oh, did I forget to mention numb? Worse, my back was painful and required some Panadol but an hour later there was no relief but I managed to fall asleep.
Friday 4th February
Woke to a thick fog down in the valley. Also woke with a painful back. Left leg muscle is still numb and the other muscles are following suit.
Hmmm. Was it the acupuncture or did I sit for too long?
I went for my walk and watched as the fog crept further up the hill to the house. As well, the air was still. So as I walked I could hear cars on the road a klm or more in the valley below. I could also hear trains clickety clacking along the line which runs parallel to the road. The fog now shut off any views of the surrounding hills and Mount Cooran had disappeared. When I was a kid my parents always told me that a thick fog heralds a fine sunny day will follow.
The Currawongs, Torresian Crows, Whipbirds and the booming Pheasant are all calling to each other.
Let me share a thought with you. Each morning I see how green and lush the steep hillsides are. They are, for the most part covered in long waving grass. The remainder appears to be virgin forest not cleared. Originally all this area was covered in thick wood of very tall and straight trees. Then the timber cutters moved in and cleared most of the trees. Then the dairy farmers moved in, planted the lush pasture grass and ran fat dairy cattle. That too disappeared and the pastures were divided up into smaller lots and sold to hobby farmers. You know what a hobby farmer is. He earns big money doing something else but has a desire to move to a country retreat. No cows or sheep. Maybe a horse or two. Maybe a billy goat for the rubbish. Maybe a couple of chooks for fresh eggs. Instead of fat cattle eating the grass for him he buys an expensive tractor with a slasher/mower attachment and spends his time cutting that long lush grass and allowing the cut grass to stay on the ground as mulch which in turn adds more nutrients and seed to ensure he has plenty of grass to cut. It is not even baled up and given to or sold to real farmers in the area. That is a hobby farmer. He cuts the grass on his twenty or thirty acres. I have watched one local HF doing just that over the last two months. The neighbour on the hill above is a coal miner somewhere near Emerald. He packs up the family, takes them to Emerald, close to 1,000 klms from here, for his 10 day or 14 day shift, then returns here at the end of his shift so he can cut the grass. No wonder the farm is up for sale. It would be good dairy pasture or banana plantation. At the moment it produces grass which is cut and left to promote the growth of more grass.
The day was hot n sunny. Humid too.
I travelled into Noosa and tried my luck at the National Park. For the first time since my arrival in December I was able to get a parking spot. Probably because the wind was blowing onshore and the surf was little more than chop.
Looking back to Noosa Beach from Noosa National Park.
Historical Markers at the entrance to Noosa National Park.
With the humidity and the north wind it was just an uncomfortable day at the beach. I guess that is why there were far fewer people on the beach than usual.
The rocky Noosa National Park coastline is thickly populated with Pandanus.
However I persevered and took a walk along the coastal trail to a place called Boiling Pot then headed back to the car-park before driving on to Noosa Junction. I have been promising myself a movie. Donnis has been urging me to see The kings Speech with Geoffery Rush but I wanted action. I also wanted 3D. I chose Sanctum an Australian made and acted attempt at cashing in on 3D and James Camerons name on the credits. James Cameron is the man responsible for Titanic and Avatar. He just loves one word names for his movies. The script was barely acceptable, the acting was acceptable – with help – and the 3D was acceptable in places. Maybe I should have seen True Grit instead. In fact I will…next week.
The day was rounded off by dinner with a couple we met on Christmas Day, Peter n Maggie who live on several acres on the Traveston Road about 2 Klms from where I am camped. Dinner was good, the company good but with all the sitting I had done today my back was in constant pain and a headache had decided to kick in. I headed home about 10.30, took a couple of Panadene Forte and got into bed. Thankfully the tablets kicked in quickly and I got 6 hours straight through sleep.
Saturday 5th February.
Woke with back pain, my sleeping companion.
Did my usual walk. Up the hill, down the other side, up the other side, down this side. Good thing about the walking is that it is not painful. In fact when I had a severe bad back situation many years ago I could not walk. A shuffle was about as good as I could manage. After I got back to being able to walk and the pain controllable, my chiropractor – Mary Beth- told me walking was good. Lots of walking.
It was a delightful bright sunny, hot n humid day.
Why not put on my new board-shorts, rashie, a good hat and walk along Noosa Beach, perhaps even splash around in the surf? So I did. I walked all the way from Noosa River mouth to the rocks at the southern end of the beach and back again. Then a bit of a splash around in chest deep water. I walked back to the car and took a lovely fresh water shower near the car-park and somehow managed to get changed in the car. It was a bit of an effort and my big toe was stuck in my ear for awhile but I still felt good.
Yeeeeeeeharrr! I did feel good.
Tonight I drove to Cooran, 2 klms from the top of my hill, for an Acoustic Night. Entry was $4. Refreshments were sugarless and flourless organic cakes and cookies along with chai tea sweetened with local honey – if you are inclined towards sweet things. If you did not want chai tea you could opt for camomile tea or green tea – all tea bag dunking style.
What is an Acoustic Night I hear you ask??
Exactly, that is what I said and frankly after attending my first Acoustic Night my only question is…what is an Acoustic Night??? (sort of a karaoke without the screen or background music)
Good thing I wore my Wintermoon Festival tshirt and baggy Vietnamese Fishermans pants, so I almost fit right in. I did have to kick off my quality leather sandals and walk around barefoot. That way I was mistaken for one of the artists, several times.
It seems an Acoustic Night is one where people who have a talent AND even for those who do not have a talent, can put their name on a blackboard and get up on stage and perform. They get things such as power for amplifiers, amplifiers, a sound man to mix, a light man to light (actually he is the same man) and an MC to hold the night together and introduce the acts. Generally it was an enjoyable and interesting evening with some people being nervous on their first public performance. Others were clearly polished. Most of the music and lyrics were written by the performers. A couple of acts stood out. A Maori man and an Oz woman played guitar and sang duet. They were very good. Another was a young woman with stage presentation who sang as part of a trio with her dad and younger sister, then performed alone, sang and played guitar, a song she had written and tonight was its first public performance. No nerves from this woman as she clearly knows she has a good voice. All artists are limited to no more than three songs or pieces of poetry. Different instruments were a harp, mandolin, ukulele. bongo drums, didgeridoo, violin and lots of guitars. Basically I enjoyed or endured the acts until shortly before 11pm a bunch of teenagers without much talent between them and even less idea of organisation or stage presentation decided to inflict some tuneless noise, complete with screaming and swearing on their audience. Lots of squealing from their girlfriends but the audience like me was too stunned to applaud. The blackboard only had two performances to complete the night but the names seemed to belong to the screaming guys on stage. A quick mental calculation meant there could be at least another 8 pieces to be presented by these guys and it would be midnight or later before it was all over. I used the opportunity of other people heading to the exit to follow them.
Sigh! I fell into bed and slept the sleep of the tired.
Sunday 6th February.
I planned to leave early and get to Noosa about 7am for a walk along the beach. Well, a little after 8am was not bad.
Midway through my walk along the beach the heavens opened with driven torrential rain. The rain was colder than the sea and it felt like tiny cold needles slamming against my body. Ooooh but it was refreshing. At the end of my long walk I dove into the ocean and caught several waves. Wow. I have not body surfed in I do not know how long. Half a lifetime perhaps?
A quick rinse down under the outdoor showers, changed in the…change sheds and back to the car and off to somewhere to have a late breakfast. Gee but I was feeling fresh and invigorated and NO pain. I opened the drivers side door on the car and
My seat is covered in water!
So is the dashboard!
Water has pooled on the floor in front and in the back as well!
It is not wet. It is soaked.
The door trim has filled with water in the pull handle and map pocket!
WTF! WTF! WTF!
Some water is dripping from the light fitting. I sort of expected that might happen. But that cannot account for the amount of water over such a large area of the driving compartment. The passenger seat is dry. The back seats are dry. Only the drivers side is wet. The moonroof was closed. The windows were fully wound up. I checked the roof lining and internal seals. All dry. Not even damp.
If I had left the window down this is the damage I could have expected. If I had left the door open this is what I would have expected.
Hmmm! Could I have left the door open and a good Samaritan was walking past during the storm, noticed the door was open and closed it? Possible.
Thinking back over the events, I came back from the beach to get my towel, a change of clothes and a bucket from the cargo area. Using the remote opener the sound was not its normal “THUNK”. Almost as if the doors were not locked. After getting the stuff I used the remote again but nothing happened. So I used it again, this time there was a loud thunk as I watched the door locks retract.
Later when I used the remote, the doors would not lock.
Hmmm! Either because the electrics are wet OR as now seems likely the remote battery is dead and did not close the doors when I left the car at the beach. This could tie in with the Hmmm above.
Maybe, just maybe, I have left my door partly open and the remote did not lock the door and a good Samaritan was in the area.
Tomorrow I will get a new battery for the remote and a spare key to hide somewhere.
The afternoon was hot and HUMID. Running perspiration just while sitting.
Tomorrow I will again try to find somebody who can do door seals.