Saturday, February 05, 2005

The mighty rain

The day before last, 130mm of rain fell upon Greater Melbourne. This the highest daily total since records began 130 years ago. The weather reached a maximum of 13 degrees celsius, also a record low for February in Melbourne. The city has been inundated by flooding. Thankfully there has been no loss of life, merely several close escapes. The weather reminded me very much of a typical Irish summer day; the rain was not overly heavy, but was certainly continuous for a period of over 24 hours, which is not the norm here.

The creek at the bottom of our road, the Koroit, turned into a raging torrent. At this time of year it is usually passable on foot on many areas. Yesterday it reached a depth of 4.92 metres at the height of the flood. Two eejits decided to try and raft along it & had to be rescued via a human chain over a submerged bridge. The damage inflicted by the river is now evident as the waters have receded. Tangled metal, choked with reeds, is all that remains of the fences along the bank. Uprooted trees and rubbish line its course.

Elsewhere, rivers were turned into roads, an entire beach was washed away at Middle Park and the tennis courts at Kooyong are under several feet of water and look like a swimming pool.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


To anyone with knowledge of Irish townlands:

I was about to email the professor of Irish History at the University of New South Wales with several questions and comments about a book he had written on Irish emigration to Australia. Luckily I checked first to see if he was still working and the old bastard rudely died in 2003.

Anyway, the most important question I had of him was regarding the location of a place called Ballygannah. I need to know its EXACT location. It is somewhere outside Bangor Co. Down, most probably on the east side of said town, twixt there and Donaghadee. A family called Maxwell farm there. My task of you is to find me the location. The EXACT location mark ye. I will pay ye 10 ducats for this knowledge.

The Maxwell's had an ancestor who went to a place called Tambo Crossing in Victoria, Australia and died there. He was a fine socialist and a man of sense. I have read his letters and know this. Just before he got married he coughed up a heap of blood and died on account of his consumption. Tambo Crossing is now deserted and the churchyard where he is buried is overgrown, its place unknown. I intend to travel to Tambo Crossing and erect a memorial to him. I will try and locate the graveyard.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dinner Party

I attended a dinner tonight. It was hosted by a middle aged couple. The lady hostess is an acquaintance of my wife through her university studies.

There was an English gentleman at the party who had a blood clot in his leg. He had been injecting himself with anti-coagulants for the last few weeks in an effort to cure his condition. However, that morning he had performed his daily injection and a nasty wound had developed which had not stopped bleeding all day. He and his wife were rather unconcerned, but also attending the dinner party was a nurse who told him that he really should seek urgent medical attention. The conversation went something like this:

"I think that you really should get that seen to." - Nurse
"Oh well, I have a doctor's appointment on Monday." - Clotman
"No, I think you should get that seen to today." - Nurse
"But this is the first time it has started bleeding." - Clotman
"Yes, but that is a sign that something may be going wrong." - Nurse
"Well I will go to the doctor on Monday." - Clotman
"I think you should go now." - Nurse

The conversation went along in this circular fashion for several minutes. Eventually the nurse phoned his sister, a sister-nurse, for backup, and together they persuaded Clotman to go to the Emergency department at the hospital. He returned later prouncing that everything was Ok and that the triage nurse had told him that bleeding was a common result of anti-coagulant use after a few weeks. Still, I would have gone along earlier. I was glad that the conversation had finished, as discussion of blood makes me queasy. I cut an artery in my wrist when I was seven and have never been the same since.

Other than that, the dinner party was very good. I met some interesting people, the dinner included 4 different types of roast meat and I drank four light beers. I ate an avocado and had fruit salad and chocolate gateau for desert. My daughter greatly enjoyed the outdoor heated pool.