26.6.04


This is supposedly grass in a council park. We've had no rain for far too long.

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The two pictures below were taken at lunchtime today. Much of Sydney's winter is like this. What you can't see is the very cold southerly wind that was blowing strongly. It was coming straight off snow further south in the state. Although we have passed the solstice and days are supposedly getting longer, our coldest weather is yet to come as the earth's southern hemisphere tilts further away from the sun.

Sydney almost never gets any snow, I can remember it blowing in the wind only once. The mountains 80 kms west do get some on the higher peaks and other parts of the state get snow. Many Sydneysiders like to boast that we don't get winter. That's not true. It can go down to about zero overnight. I know that is warm by Canadian experience, but I was interested to read a comment the other day by a journalist from Ontario that he had never felt the cold till he came here. Many Sydneysiders refuse to recognise that we do get cold and lots of cold winds and so they do nothing about heating or warm jackets etc.

The photos were taken on the Parramatta River at Abbotsford about 10 minutes from home. This is the start of the Great North Road which was built by convicts in the early 19th century. Bedlam Point was the site of a mental asylum and patients were taken there by boat.

The photos look lovely, but I have omitted the dried brown grass which was in the foreground. We are still in bad drought. Our dams are about 47% full, and the largest of them which supplies Sydney is about 45% full, its lowest level in over twenty years. we have severe water restrictions although some still prefer to see a green lawn. I haven't watered my garden for months. I occasionally put a couple of buckets of water on the lemon tree. The rest has to cope by itself.

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Bedlam Point, Sydney.

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Winter in Sydney

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25.6.04

cold fall, not cold call

A Mormon missionary on the southern highlands of New South Wales has had a close call. He fell 90 metres down a cliff face and survived a nightout in the bush at near freezing temperatures. He suffered some head injuries and wsa winched to safety from the rugged valley by a helicopter and taken to hospital.

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24.6.04

What a week.

In the last week I have had the death and funeral of my sister-in-law. I did a lot of the catering for the lunch afterwards and oversaw the actual serving/cleaning for this. Two of my sons have moved house. Yesterday's move was a mammoth effort which started at 7:00am and finished after midnight. I was exhausted and then received a phone call from third son. Daughter-in-law is 28 weeks pregnant with their third child. Second pregnancy was marred by bloodclots in her lungs, a family problem. She thought she had one yesterday. Could we come out and mind the other two while she went to the hospital for a check? My husband took me and returned home. She has been cleared for the moment and came back. I slept on the lounge in my dirty, smelly moving clothes. I'm fairly achy and worn out today.

She would appreciate prayer for this matter. 28 weeks is an advance on the 23 weeks last time, but is still far too early for the baby to be delivered. She was almost given warfarin for blood thinning last time and may well find herself on it this tims as a precaution as the problem has recurred. This will mean constant monitoring of her pregnancy and will also mean the baby would be born in a major hospital on the other side of Sydney, rather than the small birthing centre nearby.

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22.6.04

good news
Little Sophie*, who was so badly injured in the terrible accident at a childcare centre before Christmas is going home from hospital. She had burns to about 80% of her body and amzing new techniques of skingrafting have been very successful with her. She faces many hours of therapy daily to continue her progress and will need to be fitted with prosthetic feet as both hers were amputated. She also lost some fingers. A pressure suit for the burns will be worn constantly for a very long time yet, and there will be many operations as she grows. She also faces cosmetic surgery in her teens. She left hospital yesterday in a wheelchair, still swathed in bandages but with an amazing smile for all. Doctors and nurses from the hospital formed a guard of honour as she left.

*registration requested, but not yet required to see the article.

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Public backdown

The only Australian Anglican bishop to have publicly backed Australia's involvement in Iraq, Tom Frame, has issued a public backdown. This was republished in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald after being published in the Melbourne Anglican. He is the Anglican bishop to the Australian Defence Forces.

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21.6.04

Anyone in Sydney...
could have told Channel Nine that this would not work. Worried about losing news viewers to another channel, they switched some programmes around and put Eddie McGuire and his "Who wants to be a millionaire" show on just before the news. Now McGuire may be a big thing in Melbourne where he is, I think, president of one of their football clubs. Not only is this football of next to no importance in Sydney, watching him host this game is only marginally quicker and more interesting than watching paint dry. Changing the programme that was originally in that time slot to a different slot has seen viewers desert channel nine in even bigger droves. McGuire is a dead bore and totally uninteresting to watch, even allowing for the mispronunciations when he reads a question which obviously has no meaning to him. Back stage people should at least ensure that he sounds as if he knows what he's talking about, even if he doesn't.

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I feel very "blah" today. I think the tension and stress of the last few weeks has suddenly evaporated now that the funeral is over. We knew the end result, but it was very prolonged. I've been taking some time out to just sit and meditate or pray.

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The funeral of my sister-in-law was on Saturday at the Holy Name Church at Wahroonga. The service was short and there was no music or singing involved. The day was suited to a funeral. It was cold, grey and exceedingly windy and unpleasant. My nephew was fine until the end when the coffin was being placed in the hearse to travel to the crematorium. He became very distressed then, but had recovered by the time we reached his home, not far away. His headmaster and class teacher both attended the funeral. Edward and his friends all wore their Knox school uniforms but changed quickly afterwards. He and my brother will have many adjustments to make in their lives now.

The church was lovely, modern but traditional at the same time. It seems to have an active music ministry and I can imagine the acoustics would be good. The ceilings were very high and there was a large amount of open space.

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