Sunday, November 27, 2005
This last week's been a pretty unhappy one (if you don't know why yet, then you don't need to know, okay?) but things are starting to turn around now.
Yesterday Jimbo and I went to Ian and Son's place for the auction of their house. Jimbo wrangled Flynn off to the pool and Norbet the deaf, thick dog was quietly removed to a less exciting location than a yard full of potential bidders. It was not quite the first auction I've been to, but it was the first when I had any interest in the outcome. Must say it was very nerve wracking at times. For a long while it looked as it the bids weren't even going to make the reserve, and then it looked as if it was just going to sit at a miserable couple of grand over that mark. But a (presumed) combination of bid craziness and approaching rain accelarated events, and in the end they got comfortably more than they had hoped for.
Not ones to waste any time, they immediately put in an offer on their preferred new house. The vendors were at the auction, and I think they may have accepted on the spot, but then perhaps they went away to think about it. Not sure about that part. I was busy making cups of tea in an effort to be of some use.
Ian and Son were over the moon, of course. They've been looking for a few months now, and all their plans have fallen into place quite nicely. The new place will be similar to the current one, but with a couple of extra rooms. Needs work, though nothing too major. But they know it's the right one, because Flynn picked out his room when they first inspected it.
The auction wrapped up a bit hastily as the rain got closer. It hit just as we were all about to drive off. Jimbo and I headed out to the highway (the quick way home), and got a couple of hundred yards before we realised that things were getting a bit silly. First came the rain, a torrential swirling wall of water that intermittently reduced visibility to "uh oh". Then came the hail. And not just a little bit of hail either - it was if anything heavier and more impenetrable than the rainfall had been. Louder though, blattering deafeningly as it was on the pristine paintwork of our new Mazda. We picked our way home through the increasingly bizarre chaos of pounding hail, fallen trees, numerous cars sheltering under potential fallen trees, banks of hail, little white rivers threatening to cut the road and people driving inexpicably close to one another despite the obvious hazard of not being able to get a grip on the road surface (rant about the stupidity of drivers failing spectacularly rto adapt when even momentarily taken out of their comfort zone deleted).
It lasted basically the time it took us to crawl home (most of the trip at about 40 kph and with hazard lights on) and probably dumped the entire month's worth of Canberra rainfall in that time (most of it in frozen form). Some of the streets we passed were about five minutes away from flooding. Reminded me an awful lot of Townsville, especially when we passed a couple of kids in wetsuits come into the street with boogie boards.
The car seems to be fine though. The hail was fierce, but the stones were small, so perhaps there was no real hard done. I'll have a closer look when the light gets better.
Has anybody else been watching the gymnastics?
4 smartarse remarks
Fiona went to Melbourne on Thursday to watch the gymnastics world championships with her brother Niall. They saw the last world championships held in Australia, which were held in Brisbane in 1994. Watching gymnastics is Fi's only real concession to a nerdy hobby, which she hardly ever indulges. Thankfully, she understands that I find gymnastics a little bit entertaining, but not four-days-of-sitting-in-a-stadium-cheering-and-clapping entertaining. So I get to stay home and play on the computer (not cricket though - it's still raining, and the pitch was more than likely ruined if the hail got to it) instead.
Yes, I watched the woman's gymnastix on Friday nite, but as the media here focused on the Japanese girls, instead of seeing the Aussie girl presented with her bronze, I got an interview with the also-ran who came 19th.
As as addition to your hail story, on the TV the other night there was a show about dangerous foreign countries. Amongst the spiders and snakes of Australia, the wary tourist was also warned about the dangers of hail. They show showed hail as big as bricks for the audience to wow over.
Death from above!
I'm jealous - I want hail. Anything's better than the heat even another "night of Noah" as our '98 floods were called, would be nice. A brown, dusty landscape is how Townsville's weather is normally remembered = "Brownsville". Apart from the occasional flooding rain we're just living from drought to flaming drought.
Hail is the best fun you can have in a new car with an unblemished paint job.
Mind you, I have never seen a hailstone as big as a brick (presumably they were like that for the sydney storm a few years ago that trashed every second roof in the city?). I would probably find them less amusing in my skull was caved in by a ball of slush falling from somewhere just below orbit.
Our 'Firefly' DVDs finally arrived, as recommended by Unca Dave, and the first two episodes are way nifty. It is just somebody's 'Star Wars RPG' campaign, isn't it, with a few names changed to avoid copyright restrictions?
(I know they were aiming for a retro-Space Opera look, but it was disconcerting that the opening battle scene looked less technologically advanced than the 'When September Ends' video- such is the steady march of shiny military hardware, I s'pose.)