On Monday I heard a sound I hadn't heard for months and months...someone using a hose! I know to those of you in the northern hemisphere that may seem a rather peculiar thing to say, so let me explain...
South-East Queensland is in the middle of a very severe drought (as I've commented on in previous posts) and we have Level Four water restrictions. For the householder that means watering the garden every second day, eg because our street number is "evens" we can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only; odd numbers can water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and no-one waters on Mondays. Hoses and sprinklers are banned. It's a great excuse for not washing the car! Those who have rain or bore water are exempt from this but must display a sign saying they use bore or tank water.
So...the sound of a hose being used electrified me into going and investigating what was going on. I poked my nose out the door and here was Fred...watering the garden...with the hose! Shock, horror! "Umm-aaah!" I said, "I'm going to ring the council." Fred threatened to soak me with the hose, then grinned and said with a smug grin, "It's rain water." Of couse, I had forgotten about our tanks brimming full of rainwater.
Oh, the smell of that lovely fresh water! It smelt as if it had just rained and soaked the ground, it was beautiful. So, I went to my garden shed and brought my hose out of retirement and watered my garden. I felt really guilty and had to tell myself very firmly that I was not breaking any council laws and I wouldn't get fined. It's so lovely having that water and I swear the garden looked a lot fresher even just 24 hours later.
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The lack of rain is a real talking point in SE Queensland. North Queensland has had rain, floods and a cyclone, plus a threatened cyclone...which didn't eventuate much to their relief. Crocodiles were swimming in the main street of a town or two, were found in swimming pools and generally where they weren't usually seen. It is very soggy in the north at the moment. As one local wit said, "In the north we get rain for nine months of the year, then we get the wet season!"
Meanwhile those of us who live in our little corner of the world are looking longingly at the remnants of the cyclone that wasn't, willing it to come closer to shore and travel south. If you are interested in looking at the weather in our part of the world, go to the website of the Bureau of Meteorology, here's the link: http://mirror.bom.gov.au. On the satellite picture of Australia, click on Queensland, that will bring you to the page "Queensland Weather and Warnings" and you can click on any one of the items listed on the page.
If you are interested in tracking a cyclone (and if there is one threatening) click on Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map and it will give you the progress of the cyclone, along with updates.
I think most people in our area are always checking that website. It's the main topic of conversation at work, in coffee bars, in the pubs, wherever...it's all about the weather. I really think we need to get a life!