Port Hinchinbrook... and other amazing images from HERE
As much as I am craving normality and routine, like many others who have experienced upheavals with our crazy weather of late, I still can't bring myself to post 'pretties' just quite yet. With so much devastation around, not just from the big flood, but now also from the cyclone, everything else has seemed so ... not important.
But life does have to get back to normal.....whatever normal is. Even for dear old Ken.
Ken, giving Mal some building advice
We had great success the day before the cyclone. We got Ken a new hot water system and had it installed, thanks to 'Luke' and his team of volunteer tradesmen, all the way from the central coast of NSW.
Thank you to Adam and Matt, the plumbers who succeeded in installing a 'Queensland' hot water system (they make them differently over the border). After a trip to a plumbing supplies store, following dodgy satellite navigation directions, Adam and Matt, not only succeeded in installing the plumbing, but came back again late in the day, after a desperate call from Ken following the explosion of pipes, that were damaged in the flood, up in 'what was the kitchen'. They also helped 'Mal' (Ken's mate) get some gyprock up over the top balcony so that he could start installing some walls for Ken.
Your generous donations (of over $3000 - thank you, thank you, thank you) have been put to such good use already.... gyprock for Ken's walls, hot water system, plumbing parts and a very affordable electrician, who literally dropped everything for me when I put out the call. Thank you Martin, from Desired Electrical, for not only connecting the hot water system but for 'actioning' (FF, 2010) some 'safe' electrical solutions for Ken, once you caught sight of Ken's rather frightening 'DIY home electrical setups'. Ken followed everyone around giving all the tradies advice.... on plumbing, wiring and building in general. I distracted him for a bit, showing him some cyclone radar pictures on my computer. He's such a character. I think they really enjoyed helping Ken out.
Jane from Life At Number 8 donated a blue rug for Ken. He unravelled it and proudly announced that he will have no need for carpet now. He is going to paint the bare concrete floors blue and put the rug in the middle of the room! Good lord!
It was a pleasure to help you dear Ken and the thought of you finally getting a hot shower that night put a smile on my face when I climbed into bed at the end of the day! We 'did good' folks! Thank you all.
So life goes on. Here at our place, we are still on limited power and will be until the end of February. Someone put a padlock on my airconditioning unit outside! I guess that means we are not allowed to suck power to cool ourselves! I am grateful just to be able to have a hot shower again and not eat dinner (and play 'blackout blackjack') via miners lamps! A new switchboard/box thingy is being installed, out on the street, ABOVE the flood line so that we will fare better next time.
Big son returned from camp, immediately stripped naked in our courtyard and ran to the shower. He had not bathed for 4 days. He said only he and one other boy cleaned their teeth, morning and night (so proud... the nagging is paying off). He had not been dry for 4 days either and his feet were prunes. Most of his old camp clothes were ceremoniously dumped in the bin. I used tongs and almost gagged at the smell.
He reported that they had never seen so many snakes in their lives. One boy accidentally stepped on a Red Belly Black snake and missed an almost fatal bite. There were carpet pythons everywhere... and brown snakes. Why put them in such danger I ask you, why? One boy ended up in hospital with a cracked head. Another suffered a severe wolf spider bite complete with shaking and vomiting. Big son's food rations diminished significantly when a goanna managed to open the zip of his tent, eat all his cornflakes and then sleep off his feast in my son's sleeping bag.
He said the whole week was just hard work and not much fun... the 'making of men' hey! He is so, so grateful to be home and said that he sent loving thoughts to me every night at around 9pm.
I got them son, I got them.
Happy tomorrow.... see you Saturday.
P.S. Something pretty next post - I think. Feels right.