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Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Close Shave, The Scandinavian Connection and Autumn Cancelled Until Further Notice

Before and after photos of my daughter, Toni Bale, after she had her head shaved for the Leukaemia Foundation "World's Greatest Shave" and raised over $2,000 for it.  Her goal was $1,200 so it was a great effort on her part. 

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At the beginning of March, my blogger friends from Norway, Anna and Tor Aabo, visited New Zealand and Australia for a month.  The day after they arrived on the Gold Coast was one of the hottest we'd had all summer...from what I can remember it was 36C.  However, they sensibly rested at home, spending most of their time in the pool.  The next day, I took them shopping (above left).  The right hand photo was taken at The Spit a couple of days later.  It was lovely to finally meet friends whom I'd known through blogging and Facebook for 10 years or so.  Even though this was the first time we'd met in person, there was no awkwardness and we chatted away easily like the old friends we are.  They were here for 11 days and during that time we went here and there, including going to visit my daughter (top) to see her 3 week old Dalmatian puppies (14 babies!) and to have a much appreciated swim in the pool.

After their whirlwind trip through New Zealand and hectic schedule here, I think Tor and Anna went home for a brief rest before they were off again to another part of the world.

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Surfers Paradise reflected in the still morning waters of the Broadwater.

Autumn didn't start until May.  Before then, however, we had a couple of late cyclone alerts, one of which didn't eventuate but the other, about four weeks ago, brought such a deluge in a few hours that roads were flooded, houses inundated and sadly, five people killed.  It hit at night although it had rained on and off during the day, the wind came up and the rain pelted down (why does it seem to happen at night?)  I was watching tv and had to turn the volume up over the noise of wind and rain.  Lying in bed later on, I couldn't believe the noise the wind was making.  It wasn't howling as it usually does but roaring.  It sounded like the engines of a plane and I started to feel a little bit anxious.  The cats were restless and jumpy, and being on the first floor in an exposed position didn't help either.

The next morning was unbelievable.  I awoke to clear blue skies, bright sun and the water was like a mirror it was so still.  It wasn't until I visited the library and shopping village and saw all the debris everywhere that I realised just how fierce the wind had been.

It wasn't a cyclone according to the Bureau of Meteorology but a "severe weather event". Call it what they will, it was bloody frightening...mostly due to the awful roaring of the wind.  I'd never heard anything like it.  I've found in cyclones the wind is inclined to scream like a million souls in torment rather than roar its fury.

Now, two thirds of the way through May, apparently we're in an El Nino phase, with no chance of any decent rain for who knows how long.  Queensland has been 80% drought declared and the poor farmers out west are really struggling to survive.  Here, on the coast, we've had some rain over the last few days but unfortunately, it doesn't make it over the Great Divide to provide relief in the Outback.

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I signed up to learn Italian a few weeks ago through U3A (University of the 3rd Age).  I was going to classes almost 18 months ago, unfortunately our tutor, Lucio, had to give up teaching due to ill health.  We now have another tutor, Astrid, who is an excellent teacher.

Yesterday took me right back to my school days (a loooong time ago!) when we were conjugating verbs, only in Italian instead of English. Trying to figure out the gender of items confused me greatly, however, it's all in the ending of a word.  If it ends in 'o' it's masculine; if it ends in 'a' it's feminine.  Plurals are different again but it's gradually coming together in my brain...I think the grey matter is having a new lease on life!  Buonissima!  

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On that note, I shall finish this and hope you have enjoyed reading it seeing as it's been quite some time since I last posted.  Ciao!