So back in Auckland – ironically watching the first test between NZ and Australia in Brisbane. If I had thought about it, I should have stayed over the weekend….might even have made it again to Suncorp Stadium to watch the World Cup league final between Australia and NZ 🙂
Still it was almost a relief to leave Brisbane. I enjoyed the city – a great place really – but five weeks in a hotel alone is not really much fun. Also they have had the most amazing storms this week. the first storm struck on Monday evening. The day had dawned with a a beautiful blue sky and the temperature was up about 31 degrees until the early evening. Then it struck. there was warning of course. However the storm raged around the city – thunder, lightning, HUGE hailstones and of course heavy rain and wind. It was a pretty amazing experience to watch from the relative safety of my hotel room.
However out at the Gap (A suburb of Brisbane), there were trees blown over, power and telephone lines cut, roofs blown away and struck by falling trees. I was examining at the GAP the following day. Where I was examining, there was no power and no drinkable water. The road was blocked about a kilometre away from where I was examining and you could not drive up the road. It really was like a war-zone. I almost wished that I had a camera – to put up some shots.
So apart from one candidate, all turned up. I had to finish the examinations before the light was too bad. Being my last day, I also had to complete paperwork to leave with the local rep before leaving. We made it. I walked back to the bus stop…..and on the way, after having clambered over several fallen trees on the path – in collar and tie! – I was hailed by a bus as it went past asking if I wanted to get into the city. I gratefully accepted the offer – especially as there was still rain around and made it back to my hotel to pack for my departure early the following morning. The flight was still a little delayed the next morning, due to the conditions.
Watching the cricket today, they had a smaller but still ominous storm again last night. Some of the "wings" covering the stand at the Gabba (the cricket ground) were torn away – and they were repairing some of those today. In fact at one stage one fell during the game and held up play momentarily. The stand below had no people in it, so nobody was injured.
Makes one appreciate the climate here – so very temperate! While it is a little cool today, they are expecting up to mid twenties over the weekend. I arrived back to luxuriant lush growth – especially my lawn, which I mowed within an hour of arriving home. My camellias have grown at the rear. Here is a shot of one corner of the garden which is looking very colourful at the moment – and a shot of the plant that has gone wild while I was away. Can’t remember what it is – in fact I don’t remember planting it specifically…I think it arrived in a cottage garden seed packet that I put in there a year or so ago 🙂