Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The recent floods made me start thinking about the fact that our cupboards were pretty much bare and it made me pretty uncomfortable. So I've decided to start stockpiling again - just building it up a bit at a time. I have to admit though I purchased a "freezer filler" bulk meat pack - 1/2 cow and 1/2 pig (actually I think it was really a whole pig because I didn't want the 1/2 lamb that was supposed to be there as well). So that wasn't exactly slow :) I picked up a few extra things when I did the grocery shopping - an extra couple of bags of flour, tin of tomatoes etc.

Speaking of shopping, I've started trying to shop monthly - did my first shop last week. It was doing my head in a bit deciding what we needed, but fingers crossed I didn't do too badly. I'll keep my shopping list as a bit of a master list and see how I go.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Just leave me alone..

The hardest part I find about having a child is the lack of alone time. I'm a very solitary person - I need time to myself to be able to function properly. My favourite times are when I'm by myself - many days when I work at home I don't even have the radio or music on - just blissful silence. Even when I'm with close friends or family I need to wander off by myself for a little while to regroup. That's one reason I couldn't do teaching full-time - as much as I love it, it's very draining for me to be around people so much. I prefer my own company, and that of my online friends, as I can choose when I want to be sociable.

Unfortunately I've been 'blessed' with a child who doesn't like to be on his own for any longer than 10 minutes, who needs constant stimulation and loves noise. I have 3 days/week where he's at preschool which is my sanity saver - unfortunately this term I've been so flat out on those 3 days with training, my course or meeting with clients that I haven't had much alone time lately. And I'm really starting to suffer from it.

I'm so hard to explain how I feel to people - I think only people who share my 'affliction' will understand. My grandfather was a bit of a hermit - I think I've inherited it from him :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Traffic chaos

One thing you really don't think about when something like the floods happen is the effect on traffic as people try to get back to "normal", ie off to work etc. At the moment, there is one way through Maitland that remains open - all of the little back roads that I take regularly to avoid the highway are cut due to floodwaters. So the New England H'way is it. A small section of that got closed on Monday night due to water over the road, and is still closed. That means rather than a 2-lane-each-way-80kmh highway, traffic is being diverted through the main CBD - a 60kmh-single-lane-each-way-with-traffic-lights nightmare! Add to that the extra cars on the road due to no trains running, and of course the ever present sight-see-ers coming for a look, and you have gridlock.

It took Pete over 3 hours to get home from work in Newcastle last night (normally a 60min trip) - he left at 3:30ish so he could avoid the rush! More than 2 hours of that was spent travelling between Greenhills and Maitland - a 10 min trip normally.

He's working from home today - I have to go in to Newcastle for an assessment today so I'm leaving early and will see if I can come home early too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flood Photos and life goes on

Here are a couple of photos I took of the Hunter River at Belmore Bridge, Maitland yesterday (Monday) afternoon about 2pm. This was almost 12 hours after the river peaked. The line of trees in the middle of the river (which almost looks like the far side of the river) is where the bank usually is...

These are the water views from our back deck - I haven't seen that much water in the dams and paddocks there in the 7 years we've lived here.

It's good to see the veges continue unabated - we have the first flower on the pea plant, and the bok choy and snow pea seeds have just started to stick their little green heads above the soil!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The levees held!

We woke up to the wonderful news this morning that the river had peaked at 10.7, below the 11.4 predicted which would have seen it spill over the levee banks into Lorn and the CBD. They're still advising people to stay away though. A lot of the water seems to have been diverted into the spillways which means we couldn't go in there even if we wanted to!

Here are some photos (courtesy of the ABC) of the flooding all around the area -

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Living through history - 2007 Maitland Floods

Just after 10pm I heard on ABC Newcastle radio that the water has breached the floodgates at Maitland (Oakhampton). Potentially Lorn and the Maitland CBD will be flooded within the next couple of hours. We're safe where we are but will be cut off for a while. We've filled a couple of 50L drums with water in case the water gets cut off, have enough food for a while, torches, candles, batteries, gas etc.

It started with huge storms for several days since Thursday. By Friday Newcastle was absolutely devastated - the CBD and many other suburbs were under waist-deep water, cars have floated away or been swamped. Looking at the photos is very surreal. Pete was lucky to get home from work since the trains were no longer running. He was lucky to get home when he did - I'd say half an hour after he left the main deluge occurred.

The flooding has come down from Singleton, Branxton, Greta and now it's Maitland's turn. All we can do is sit and wait..

Saturday, June 02, 2007

We have worms :)

Composting ones, that is :)

I picked up some worms this morning from a local LETS lady so our worm farm is back in operation! I also planted some more seeds - snow peas, brown & red onions, spring onions and bok choy. Hopefully in 6 or 7 weeks we'll at least be eating bok choy :) I pulled up the tomato bush last week and stored all of the green tomatoes in the area under the house - hopefully we'll have a few more weeks eating home-grown tomatoes. It's just a shame I have nothing to pick when I go out to the garden atm :( The peas are coming along slowly and the other seeds (lettuce, carrots & herbs) have started to germinate.