Monday, February 09, 2009

Black Sunday

This is a very sad day for all Australians. At least 84 people have been killed by bushfires in Victoria over the last two days after searing conditions have baked the state dry over the last couple of weeks. Many more are feared dead as the ferocity and speed of the fires swept through towns and out-lying suburbs catching many people unaware and unable to escape. Over 650 homes have been destroyed and many of the fires are still burning out of control.
Australia has suffered terrible bushfires many times in our history but this threatens to be the worst bushfire tragedy ever. There was a welcome cool change in Victoria today but the situation is still perilous and each news report brings further bad news and a rising death toll.

We went over to Bridgetown this afternoon to visit Walter who was in hospital. He fell ill a few days ago, vomiting, dizziness etc and initially the Dr couldn't find a cause but when he took his socks off they realised he had an infection as his foot was badly swollen. He hadn't injured it but they suspect it may have entered via his toenail!
So we went to see him at the hospital, only to find he wasn't there! He had gone home this morning. That was good news and sure enough when we went round to see him at their place he seemed quite bright, certainly much more healthy than he had been for the previous few days.
We were also returning Mum's car which we've had here for a couple of months over Summer while our UK guests were here and the older kids have returned home.
Knowing Walter would ask me if I had checked the oil and water I checked under the bonnet before we left. Sure enough it was a bit low on oil so I topped it up. What a shame I forgot to put the oil cap back on!!!! No major harm done other than a lot of oil spread over the front of the engine and the car!!! Sorry Walter!
The third reason for the visit was to deliver all the scrapbooking gear we bought for Mum at a garage sale a few weeks ago, she was thrilled with it and very happy with the price which was well below retail and all of the items were new and unopened.
Finally, I also took another bundle of American badges with me to add to the USA Map quilt Mum had made some years ago. At Christmas I had added several badges in my attempt to have at least one for each of the 50 states. After today's efforts there are only 5-6 states without their own badges. We're missing Alabama, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Arkansas and New Hampshire as far as I can tell. Mum is headed off to the USA and France on another trip, leaving in March so perhaps she can keep an eye out for badges while she's there. It was good to see them and especially good that Walter was feeling so much better.
Not so good was that Sport Boy felt quite sick on the way home and as is his wont, reminded us of this sad fact every few minutes. Nothing brought much relief until he fell asleep, about 15km from home!!

I've been in a busy and productive phase of late, especially in little jobs outside that involve playing with power tools, aaaarrrr!!!! Having fixed the lizard's tail with wire I put an old jarrah frame around it then added some rusty wire for the finishing touch.
I hung my latest Dashboard beneath one of the windows; it has 16 moving parts or things to play with, making it quite an inter-active piece. And I finally got around to putting up a backboard behind the dart board so that the darts go blunt hitting it rather than going blunt hitting the brickwork. I've begun work on another little project too, a rack for housing all my paint tubes similar to the ones used for display purposes at Bunnings and Jacksons, but made from scrap timber. I even broke out the Triton work bench and the electric plane this arvo, woohoo, aaaarrrr!!!!

10 Stripes.
This is my most recent painting, the one I was working on while sitting at the Esplanade pub last weekend for the Brae Day fundraiser. I'm very happy with it, not least because I painted it on an old canvas I bought at a garage sale for 2 bucks! Hopefully I'll make about a 15,000% profit on it! Or $300! I just checked that figure on a calculator and I think it's right but I really have no idea whether I did the equation correctly! Anyway, what I mean to say is it's for sale for $300! Let me know if you're interested!
As we speak Spurs are playing the old enemy, Arsenal, at White Hart Lane. Glass Dave is recording it for me so I'm resisting the temptation to follow it on the Internet. Although we beat them 5-1 in the Carling Cup last season, Spurs have a lousy league record against the Gooners, having not beaten them in the last 18 attempts!!! Hopefully the return of Robbie Keane from Liverpool and Pascal Chimbonda from Sunderland may inspire a rare victory. I have to avoid the news reports tomorrow morning so I can go round and watch it tomorrow arvo. Come on you Spurs!

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