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

Ballygannah

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.