I wrote about the frogs recently – well they are hard at it again as I write. Alan pointed out that we don’t hear them when it isn’t raining – so you will infer that it is raining, again! The habit of afternoon storms is well entrenched.
The other frequent sound is that of grass cutting machines. The lawn mowers buzz and purr, the whipper snippers have a more guttural sound but someone somewhere within hearing of our house is always cutting their grass. And I must say we often also hear chainsaws. Every self-respecting Aussie male around here has to have a ute, a chainsaw and a shed. Also important is concrete slabs somewhere on the porperty with some sort of roof over it.
That need to keep things neat and clean has been given full opportunity in the Brisbane and Ipswich cleanups. Armies of volunteers have turned up to clean wherever they could find the need. Colleagues who were inundated cannot speak more highly of how wonderful it was to have these good folk turn up and give them a hand to sort our their properties. Of course there are also a couple of horror stories about looting and scumbags and overenthusiastic cleaners throwing out stuff that could have been saved and cleaned and used again. The stiff upper lip is much in evidence as are stories of self-sacrificing time and money contributions. None of it makes it any easier for me to get a grip on the situation. I just feel miserable and sad.
Lismore was a reasonable market – better than any around here but terribly hard work and my feet are so sore by the end I can hardly walk. Takes 12 hours or so to come good and move reaonably freely. The reasonable take makes up for it though. As did us selling much that we had bought at garage sales on the way there on Saturday morning at huge profits!! What we are supposed to do. We did garage sales in the neighbourhood because Alan had been to an auction and not been able to bring all his loot back on the Thursday so we had to collect the balance on Saturday morning. I have to admit my jaw dropped when I saw what was waiting for us… 3 single beds complete with mattresses and linen, a very big and very nice lounge suite, an office desk and chair and a big old TV as well as a pile of tins of paint and tools. We still couldn’t take it all with us so Alan leaves at the crack tomorrow to collect the rest and go to another auction. He is not allowed to spend as much nor buy any more furniture… it is all stacked on the back verandah under Omani mats not improving the ambience.
We have had another piece of something not good. Tamsin, now resident in Cape Town from Dubai was attacked while walking home after being on the mountain. She was on the home stretch in full view of 6 pm traffic. The attacker tried to rape her but she fought him off with her pepper spray and teeth and a nice couple saw this happening and came to her rescue. She took his blunt knife thingy off him and tried to stab him back. She is bruised and grazed but her spirit seems pretty much intact. She was shattered in the immedate aftermath but when I spoke to her several hours into the day she was able to talk sensibly about the steps she is taking to recover. I am proud of her. She slept wrapped in one of her father’s coats holding her crucifix. I can only know that God is close to her. He hears my prayers for their safety and survival.
On the survival issue Mary still does not have a job. It turns out that she is only qualified to teach in the FET band, that is from Year 10 – 12. And there are enough English teachers in that band. Apparently all the provinces are struggling to place their newly-qualified FET teachers. Extraordinary! I wouldn’t want a newly-qualified teacher in my senior classes, but apparently she is not licensed to teach lower down in the school. Who would have imagined this situation? So she is starting to hunt for work in the commercial sector to do with her other skillset, namely IT and web development.
Ruth arrives in 13 sleeps’ time for an Aussie adventure and I can hardly wait. I fantasise about having them all living near me somewhere in Australia, a plane/road/train trip away.