Monday 29th October
If it’s Monday I must be in Guyra.
Sheesh! I thought I had left all the cold weather back in Mt.Beauty.
In case I have not mentioned this before, I am in Guyra, northern NSW to housesit until February 2013.
After spending a cold morning huddled inside WWWGO, too cold to get out of my jammies and properly dressed I eventually went outside about 10am. The sun was making a few short entrances through the grey clouds. Hugh and I talked meteorology until my knowledge ran out and he continued with my education. After lunch Shabari needed a chiropractic appointment in Armidale and I drove her. By the time we returned, the midday warmth had been replaced by the mid afternoon chill wind.
The house I will start sitting duties in on Saturday was built somewhere around 1912 and had seen additions built on several times over the last 100 years. It was believed to be a haunted house, way back in 1921. See http://weirdaustralia.com/2011/10/22/poltergeist-rocks-town-the-stone-throwing-ghost-of-guyra/
Hmmm! I am sleeping here, alone, for at least the next 4 weeks until Donnis returns. The current owners and their dog are quite comfortable and have had no weird experiences.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Quiet days just doin nuthin. Bonding with the dog Toto.
Went grocery shopping in Armidale. Nice town umm err city.
Friday 2nd November.
There was thunder, lightning and a few brief showers overnight.
Decided to get the mower working. The air filter was badly gunked up with dirt. It’s a wonder any air was getting into the carby at all. I washed the filter in straight fuel then re-oiled and re-installed and the mower now works fine. After mowing for 30 minutes or so my hands began to feel itchy and then tingled. It was then I noticed the left hand in particular was swollen so badly that when I made a fist I could not see my knuckles. In fact the skin was so tight I could not make a proper fist. The skin around the wedding ring was puffed and the muscle around the heel of the thumb was fat and tingling. Oops. The petrol is toxic! I quickly washed my hands and then washed them again. Two hours later the swelling had gone down a little and the tingling subsided. After lunch I washed my hands again and can see the swelling is still there but the left hand still looks pudgy. I will not be using petrol to wash something again. If I do I will be wearing heavy duty gloves.
During the day the smoke and smell from the bushfires way to the south east of Armidale drifted across the hills.
Tonight I had dinner with the Taylor Tribe, friends from when they first arrived in Oz from the US of A in the early 90’s. By bedtime the temperature had dropped even more and I snuggled into my doona cocoon and watched half a movie. Half a movie because somewhere I fell asleep. Oh well, I had seen the movie before.
Saturday 3rd November.
Woke to a cold and overcast day and I could smell wood smoke from far away. Cold? You betcha. In the morning I dressed in long johns and jeans, long sleeve tshirt a long sleeve cycle shirt and my warm jacket. I topped off the ensemble with my tuke pulled down over my ears. Yes it was cold. The creeping, gets into your bones type of cold. Outside a miserable wind was blowing straight across the hills from the south. Being one of the highest points around, we are fully exposed to winds from any direction.
I drove Hugh n Shabari to the airport then back to the old farmhouse. I spent an hour cutting the grass.
Sunday 4th November.
Dear reader. At this point I must apologise there have been no places visited this week. Next week, weather willing, I will get out and about and learn more of the history of the New England area.
The local farmers have commented how they have gone through a dry year and would love some real rain. Before Hugh and Shabari left I told them their worries are over as I have now landed in town and real rain follows me.
I cut grass for an hour this morning but at this rate, an hour a day I should have the grass looking nice by this time next week. I have not used a lawn mower since about March 2010 and then, like now, my back protests and an hour is about all I can manage.
The clouds have been building up yesterday and again today but they are thicker and darker clouds and thunder rumbled across the valley in the afternoon. Teasingly big fat raindrops fell then drifted off again.
Guyra is well known for Lamb and Potato’s and the annual Lamb and Potato festival is held here in February each year. Both are still grown here but now the town is well known for truss tomato’s grown in a glass house covering 10 hectares. See http://www.blushtomatoes.com.au/assets/downloads/blush-HorticultureToday-Aut07.pd
I also recall Guyra in 1960 when a young boy was lost for four days and huge search parties scoured the hills. He was found alive and a ballad was written about the saga, Little Boy Lost remains in my mind today. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyra,_New_South_Wales