"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Things OZ 6

As seen through the window at holtieshouse

My adopted home State Queensland;

These are my own observations rather than what you would read in the tourist pamphlets;

Queensland, (First up, it’s a pity about that name!!) covers a large area, 2nd only to WA, (which is bloody enormous.)

The southern boundary is shared with NSW and is the most densely populated, the climate in this part of Qld. is the start of the sub-tropical zone, this translates to, warmer temperatures, higher humidity, and rainfall predominately in the summer months.

The coastal strip from our famous “Gold Coast” through Brisbane, the State capital, and up to Cairns, holds about 85% of the States population, in about 10% of the land mass.

The further North one travels the more this sub-tropical effect comes into play, during the cooler months, (there really aren’t any cold months) this acts very much in favour of North Queensland, attracting vast numbers of tourists escaping the cold weather.

However during the warmer months people not acclimatized to the heat and humidity find it oppressive.

Basically these opening comments apply to that coastal strip which varies in width from only 20/30 miles up to perhaps 100 miles wide as defined by the Great Dividing Range, to the West of this lies the other 90% of the land mass.

On this Western part of the State things vary a lot, in the South, particularly in the higher regions there is a definite winter season, with occasional snow falls, frosts and freezing temperatures.

Through the more Northern parts of inland Qld. the day time temperatures can be very high, with far less humidity, and very cold nights, this region is cattle country, with many “stations” (read ranches in US) the size of small States, this is also the catchment area for the floods that occasionally fill Lake Eyre.


A little over 100 miles north of Brisbane, on the main coastal highway heading north is my adopted home town of Gympie, during the 1800s Gympie was an incredibly rich gold mining town/area.

So rich in fact that it is credited with saving the fledgling State of Qld. from going bankrupt and being swallowed up by NSW.

Located 35 miles from the coast, and central to many of the areas attractions it is the population centre of the district, approx 16,000 people.

There are two major “Country Music Festivals” in Australia, Tamworth in NSW, and Gympie, and ours is the best!!! It attracts about 25,000 visitors over a three-day weekend every August to a beautiful bush setting in a nearby State forest.

This site has a Camping facility that easily caters for the huge crowds of dedicated Country addicts, alternatively many people travel between Gympie and the Muster site daily. (“Country” bloggers are hereby offered accommodation at holtieshouse)

Other claims to fame is the nearby magnificent Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and a truly spectacular place.

Gympie is located on the Mary River, a normally docile little stream, but with the ability to occasionally rear up and submerge anything that isn’t 80/90 feet above the normal river level, this includes a major part of the main shopping/business centre.

The reason for this severe flooding is the towns location in a huge ampitheatre with a narrow exit through the hills, and a subsequent build up of flood waters, we sort of expect a flood of some sort every 4/6 years and are overdue for one now so who can tell what’s coming.

Well I’m all Ozed out for the moment I hope at least some of you enjoyed the exercise and the rest of you were loyal enough not to desert me.

I will be only to pleased to give you more details, (or my version of same) if anyone would like to know more.

This is a light-hearted, (I think) look at our weather, remember summer starts in December here!!!

Brisbane’s Climate.

August 31st

Just got transferred by my work into our new home in Brisbane! Now this is a city that knows how to live! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! I watched the sunset from a deck-chair on the verandah. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here.

September 13th

Really heating up. Got to 30 today. Not a problem, live in an air-conditioned house, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I’m turning into a sun worshipper.

September 30th

Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today, lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain, no more mowing lawns for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

October 10th

The temperature hasn’t been below 30 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least today it’s kinda windy though. But getting used to heat is taking longer than I expected.

October 15th

Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body, missed 3 days of work, what a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though, got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.

October 20th

I missed kitty (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car for lunch, Kitty had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and stank up the genuine leather upholstery. I told the kids that she ran away. The car now smells like Wiskettes and cat sh**. I learned my lesson though, no more pets in this heat.

October 25th

The wind sucks. It feels like a giant bloody blow dryer, and it’s hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the blink and the AC repairman charged me $200 just to drive over and tell me he needed to order parts.

October 30th

Been sleeping outside by the pool for 3 nights now, Bloody $450,000 house and we can’t even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

November 4th

Its 35 degrees! Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today, it cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 25 degrees, but this bloody humidity makes the house feel like it’s about 30 degrees. Stupid repairman. I hate this stupid place

November 8th

If another wise arse cracks, “Hot enough for you today?” I’m going to strangle him. Bloody heat! By the time I got to work the cars radiator was boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet and I smell like baked cat!

November 9th

Tried to run some messages after work. Wore shorts, sat on the black leather upholstery in the car. I thought my arse was on fire, I lost 2 layers of skin and all the hair from the back of my legs. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried arse and baked cat.

November 10th

The weather report might as well be a bloody recording. Hot and sunny, Hot and sunny, Hot and sunny. It’s been too hot to do anything for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t it ever rain in this damn place? Water restrictions will be next, so my $2,000 worth of palms just might dry up and blow into the bloody pool. Even the palms can’t live in this heat.

November 14th

Welcome to HELL. Temperature got to 38 degrees today. Now the air-conditioner’s gone in my car. The repairman came to fix and said, “Hot enough for you today?” My wife had to spend the $2,500 house payment to bail my arse out of jail for assaulting the repairman. Bloody Brisbane. What kind of sick demented idiot would want to live here?

December 1st

WHAT?? Just heard on the TV that this is the first day of SUMMER! They have to be kidding!!

Just wait till it rains, (for a week straight,)

5 or 6 inches but at least it doesn’t get cold!!


kenju said...

Keep it up, Peter, I like to read what you have to say about Australia. Nothing like getting it straight from the horses' mouth - as we say over here - instead of the travel brochures, which may not tell the whole truth.

Peter said...

Hi Judy, your comment about "straight from the horses mouth" is very apt today as the first Tuesday in November is when Australia's greatest horse race is held.
This is the Melbourne Cup, Melbourne is the capital city in the State of Victoria, (they were named after Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria, very imaginative!!) anyway, I was born in Vic. and spent about 40 years there so I have deep roots there.
All that aside, the whole nation stops to listen to or watch this horse race, there is a public holiday in Vic. It is a truly BIG DEAL.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Now you got me confused. Are you in Gympie or Brisbane now? Oh, I'm a great country fan. Remind us of your big even next June.

bornfool said...

I love the descriptions. Thanks for stopping by my site. Your diary of the heat cracked me up.

Ivy the Goober said...

poor kitty. :(

Peter said...

Hi all, Hoss, I live in Gympie the diary was written about Brisbane, Try to keep up will you.
Hi ????? , if you throw a cat from a moving car, does it become kitty litter, I really like cats, I just don't think I could eat a whole one. boom boom.

bubba said...

Just back away slowly from the cat and noone will get hurt. SLowly.

Cliff Morrow said...

My cat tried crossing the road.
Being slow was smashed like a toad.
He laid there for days, in the traffic and gazed,
But now flies like a frisbee if throwed.

Hey Peter, is the Melbourne cup where Harrison made his 'pile'.

Peter said...

Sad to say Cliff as far as I have been able to find out, Pardon was very much a "bush horse" who Banjo worked into a couple of poems, "Pardon the son of Reprieve" and "The Man from Snowy River" in the poem he was very likely refering to the Melbourne Cup but with a fair bit of poetic license.
There is also conjecture about "The Mans" identity, best case there seems that he was a compilation of many great horsemen in the "High Country" and he purposefully avoided singling any one out.
I would imagine you to be one of a VERY select band of Americans who know "The Man" so well, where did your interest in and knowledge of Banjo come from?

Merle said...

Hi Peter - I am awaiting to see
what is next on Holties House.

It was a great race today with a third Melbourne Cup to Makybe Diva
and nice that they retired her at the top of her career. The jockey went a bit overboard. I must admit I cried as I was so pleased.

Cliff Morrow said...

My brother is a veterinarian and cowboy poet. He has the poem committed to memory and infact can 'wow' a crowd with it. He does mostly his own work but always puts in a few classics to give the crowd a taste of the beginnings of cowboy poetry. Besides his own, I've heard him do Cremation of Sam Mcgee and this one http://personal.uncc.edu/jvanoate/K9/poem1.htm that always has a curious effect. Some roll on the floor and a few of the elite always seem a bit put off.

Peter said...

Thanks Cliff, we'll have to compare a few notes on "cowboy poetry" we call it "Bush Poetry" here and it has enjoyed a real resurgence over the last 10 years or so,
Most of our country music festivals for example have a Bush Poets section, often a breakfast to set the day up right
I will be posting a few examples over the next week or so, stay tuned.

Marcus said...

I cacked myself reading the Brisbane Heat diary.
Funny thing about links in posts, at home they don't work but at work they do!(The Carson and John Deere ones)
My site has gone cock-eyed again, something doesn't fit but I'm not sure what.
You asked about saving a permanent post link, sorry, I haven't sussed that out yet but I've seen it on a couple of sites. Try Blogger Help, I've found them useful a couple of times.

Like Cliff I used to think Pardon was a real horse but research showed that not to be true, bit of a shame really.

I was thinking you could do a few more From the Window posts, Aussie icons and legends, Big Aussie things (Bananas, yabbies, stubbies etc)

You were stretching credibility talking about the Gympie Muster, suggesting that either of them are good!!!:)