Monday, December 13, 2010

More Helicopters, A Flood and a night out...

We're still isolated. Sure, the water has gone down enough and you can get out if you really need to but now, we're just waiting for the flood water from further upstream to completely isolate us once more. Basically, we're going to be here for at least a week. If you were to take a look at the graph of the river height, you'd see that it has held at a pretty high level and hasn't moved much at all.

It is a bit of a laugh to hear those who are desperate to get off the island! I'm sure that Ganeida can laugh with me on this!

Some women I know are off to see Bon Jovi in concert this week. In order to make sure they get out, they have arranged to leave their cars at friends who are on high ground and if need be, they'll get a boat over the water. (They could wish for a helicopter ride but I think that the SES won't spring for that!) Others have accomodation booked for the Christmas holidays and want to know that they can get to it as they fear that the cost will not be refunded because they were flooded in.

Meanwhile, food and people are getting moved around by helicopter as the flood continues to stop the normal human and food movement via the roads.

Over the weekend, I decided to take the Chevy for a run and it certainly needed it! One of my stops included the local SES shed where I wanted to ask about the shop deliveries getting through. One of the crew for the helicopter was there and we struck up conversation. Soon enough, he was inviting me down for a good look at the machine which of course, I was willing enough for! It seemed a fair swap anyway, a ride in the Chevy for a look at the helicopter!

After a good look around, some good chat about BK117 helicopters versus Airtractor Ag planes, along with some chat about the Rural Fire Service (which the machine is actually contracted to) the rest of the crew arrived for their afternoon work. I got invited up for a fly but refused, mainly because I was concerned that it would not look good in the eyes of the SES. I still think I've done the right thing, even though the crew want me to go up! I was happy to take photos of the machine as it took off.

Later, when the crew and their machine returned, I was asked to join them for dinner, which was a hilarious and fun evening down at the local pub, where there was an 18th birthday party that Seth was attending. I can assure you, when kids started arriving in fancy dress from another party, the pilots and crew didn't let them get away with it! In many ways, it felt very natural to be around these men and I realised that it was something that I miss. It was an honour and a privilege to have been able to spend some time with them. At this rate, we'll be entertaining helicopter crews for some time yet, that's for sure!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time for no words...

Mark Robert Harlen 24th July, 1962 - 9th December 2006.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The media lies...and the SES incites panic...

So, just a quick one for my readers but if you've heard about the latest in the flood situation here, you're probably wondering if everything is ok.

Everything is ok!

Today we received a message from the SES automated system (but yes, someone had to punch the button) telling us to "prepare for evacuation now". Many people in town believed the order to be to evacuate now! I can see why.

Meanwhile, the order to not evacuate and just prepare for it came a good three or more hours after the first one. Not quite good enough, NSW SES. There were calls to MPs and Ministers made. People will be questioned over this event. There is even talk now of people being demoted.

Whilst it may have been a simple mistake and over did upset a great deal many people...about 1700 to be exact. It had children and teenagers worried unnecessarily and then there are the elderly who were in distress. There is a way to get an evac order or preparation order out...this was not it.

So, meanwhile, we're ok here. The water is not even lapping at the bottom of the levee bank behind my home. Whilst it might go to a 6.9 metre major flood, it has yet to even come up the levee. The water I saw today was moving very fast, which was actually a bit of a surprise. In a way though, it is good to see it is moving fast, as that will mean it is getting away.

The forecast for the incoming weather has us looking to the skies again, however.

If you think of us...think of sending some mozzie repellant...we're going to need it!!

(The helicopter in the above photo belongs to Precision Helicopters and is parked in my neighbours front yard.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It is written...

This is Joe's Hut, up in Coolah Tops. It was a great example of Aussie bush building. Talk about rustic! The men who lived in this shack had to be pretty tough, I reckon!

Well, my first attempt at serious journalism has begun. Today marks the day I sent off my first story with pictures to a magazine. I don't know if it will even get published but just the thought that it might get considered is enough for me for now. In a way, I kind of hope that I get some feed back about my story, at least so as I can know I need to improve on it for next time. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

We spent the last weekend up at Coolah Tops. That is what my story was written about, our trip away with a bunch of like minded camper trailer owners. I probably drove my fellow campers mad with asking them to pull up while I took photos of them doing things but they were generally all pretty good about it. I mean, who doesn't want to see a photo of themselves in a mag!?(Apart from me that is, I'm more than happy being on the other side of the camera and keeping it that way. It's not fame I want, just a good story!)

It was a great weekend, one you'll have to wait to see if it gets published to see what it was like! Sorry!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dusts off the blog...

Well..its still here I see! I'd have thought that blogger might have zapped my account or something, seeing as the blog hasn't been written to in a while. The only thing that reminded me about it was an email notification that someone had recently posted a comment. (in the last few months that is!)

So, here's a shout out to those 4 faithful followers of mine! lol. I guess you might get a notification that I've finally pulled out a finger and wrote here. If not, well, won't you get a surprise when you decide to check in on me!

Anyway, I could use the writing practice I guess, seeing as I've recently signed a contract with a magazine publisher to be a freelance travel writer. Not that that means much, as I'm yet to actually write something for them! I guess what it does mean is that they will accept submissions from me and might pay me for them. If you want to see my articles, you'll have to buy the magazines...I'll tell you when I get one in so as you can rush out and get a copy, as I'll know you'll want to! lol.

I'd start with practising writing 2 thousand words but I think I'll tackle that one for later...for now, I might just use a photo as they say it says a thousand words...and if I put up two, I'll be over my limit...