Saturday, 1 April 2017

Of cyclones, taniwhas, sunflowers and such like

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A section of Mackay

Earlier in the week we were tracking cyclone Debbie off the north Queensland coast of Australia. She was due to make land just north of where my sisters and their families live in Mackay. Once she landed she became a slow moving category 4 storm bordering on category 5. 
Luckily none of our families were in the evacuation zone and had no damage to their homes either. So fortunate. One sister had a tree fall in the yard, missing the house by a few feet and the other only has water lying around. The nurse managed to get to work and did some long shifts while the other was too far out and stayed over with her son for the duration and had cuddles with the little grandkids and the four legged, furry family members. Now it is the people further south who are dealing with floods after the rain in the aftermath of the storm.

I went down the back of my yard a few days ago and saw a lovely bright yellow sunflower in full bloom. Unfortunately it was lying flat on the ground and as my GKB was about to start mowing the lawns I thought it might be wise to cut it and bring it inside. It's amazing how things get accidentally pruned by the lawn mower when you're not looking. Anyway I am enjoying it in my sitting room now :)

What you come across when you are sorting through old photos. This is a picture of my GKB and our best man in the days before I met him. They toured the country as a comedy mime act, The Teen Tones, performing such songs as My boomerang won't come back and Come outside. After we were all married it was a good way of supplementing the wages, doing evening and weekend gigs as well as weddings and 21st's. Eventually we moved towns and as families we lost touch with each other, sadly.

A new mural on a wall in town. A taniwha*. (A water monster of Maori legend).
This is a picture of the taniwha from local legend and I have taken an excerpt from Wikipedia to tell the story.

W.R. Kirk** repeated the later story of a taniwha (water-monster), the "familiar spirit or guardian of Te Rakitaounere (also given as Te Rakitauneke) a famous chief and warrior" who lost his master about the Dunedin hills, slithered down the Silverstream, 'Whaka-ehu', and 'lay down and left a hollow Te Konika o te Matamata' on the site of Mosgiel. The taniwha (named Matamata) wriggled down the Taieri, making its tortuous course, and when he died became the seaboard hills, including Saddle Hill. 
  1. a water monster of Maori legend.
**W.R. Kirk is a local author who wrote a book about the Taieri area - Pulse of the Plain, A History of Mosgiel.

And what am I reading at the moment? To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Why do I do it? The prose is so tedious, so hard to read and enjoy but with just enough of a hook to keep you reading. It was the same last year when I was reading Portrait of a Lady. Same style of writing, nearly one hundred years since these books were written and writing has changed so much. This is supposedly her best book so I don't think I'll be looking for another one. 
Still I have just finished reading Child of the Covenant by Michele Guinness. So interesting, her story of growing up in a traditional Jewish household to her becoming the wife of an Anglican clergyman. I found it quite a fascinating read.

And that is my five 
this week for 


  1. What a gorgeous huge sunflower! So glad you rescued it! Wow, I did not know about the cyclone in Australia. I guess we just don't get much news about weather in other parts of the world here, or I wasn't paying attention. So glad your family is safe. We have hurricanes here in Florida every so often, and have been so blessed that none have done any significant damage to our homes or loved ones. But they are always a big concern when they are approaching. We usually lose power for a day or two, which is an inconvenience when you have a well and electric pump. However, again we are blessed not to have worse issues. Sounds like you are busy reading. I read a lot too, but mostly Christian fiction. I find it relaxing in the evening when the rest of the family watches sports or other stuff on TV. Have a blessed and wonderful day.

  2. Amazing sunflower. I remember the song My Boomerang Won't Come Back! I like the mural. We get hurricanes in my area and I'm a bit nervous about the coming season as it has been the hottest winter we've ever had -- the water temperature is very hot -- UGH! Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Glad your family is safe from the storms. Beautiful sunflower, they are my favorite. I'm anxious for our weather to be warm enough for them to bloom and grow again. Interesting story about the mural. Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Diana, I am glad that you and your family are safe and sound. I can imagine cyclones would be very frightening. Have a lovely weekend!

  5. So glad you escaped that storm!!! We worry about tornados here!!

  6. Glad your family was in the safe zone :) Absolutely love the mural I'd be happy to have that painted on my house!

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Thanks for joining in with Five on Friday

  7. Glad to hear that you and your family were safe, I hope that remains so for a long time!

  8. What a neat old photo to find! I love coming across things like that...thank the Lord for pictures, they take us back to the days we may otherwise forget. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

  9. So glad your family escaped the cyclone. I always feel so bad for those that don't. Mother nature can be unforgiving. I love your sunflower among the dogs :) It is amazing how things get accidentally pruned by the lawnmower. Love the old photo of your GKB and his best man. He must have many wonderful stories of those times. Funny how we can lose touch with people over time. I've always wondered whether Virginia Woolf was worth reading. Good to know, maybe not. The Taniwha looks a bit fierce. Glad he is just a legend! Wishing you a lovely week. xo Karen

  10. Such a wonderful gathering of family from all over! I'm so glad to hear that the cat 4 storm didn't affect your family very much. I've been there and done that in Florida and it is a stressful time. Have a blessed day.


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