Monday, 14 February 2011

Long Time, No See

It has been almost two months since I have said hello to you all in the world of blogland, and I must say it is very nice to finally find a spare half-hour to sit down and type a quick message to you all.

Yes, I am still here, still visiting all the crochet blogs that I love from time to time (though not as often as I'd like), and will hopefully now have time to post more regularly again for a while.

We are finally back into a semi-normal routine of school and work and me playing taxi-driver for my kids (for swimming lessons, dancing lessons, soccer training, etc etc) and somehow finding time to crochet (and blog!) occasionally.

Over our long, tropical, very wet summer I have enjoyed a relaxing holiday, with lots of visitors coming and going. We spent a lot of January watching the continuous media coverage as flooding spread over huge parts of Queensland (the area underwater was the same as France and Germany combined!). The flash flooding west of Brisbane was terrifying and heart-breaking. We had family evacuated from that area, but all are, thankfully, safe.

We felt devastated to see Brisbane (my home town) experience flooding almost as bad as in 1974. Some of my family had to evacuate their homes, but fortunately they were spared the inundation others experienced. We do have friends in Brissy whose homes went under, and they are still being affected by the disaster, unable to live in their homes. The community spirit during the clean-up was amazing to see and hear about - Queenslanders were at their finest at this time.

Here are some photos from news sites: Brisbane at the peak of the flooding: here and here; and the amazing army of volunteers helping with the clean up: here.

We then experienced the chaos of the whole back-to-school new-school-year - always a busy and exciting time for my kids, and extra-crazy with both my husband and I being school teachers. This year my responsibilities at work were changed unexpectedly just before students returned which has really thrown me in a spin and added to my workload.

AND in the second week back we had school closures as the biggest cyclone to ever hit Australia was heading our way! Our town was originally right in line with the cyclone's predicated path.

Last year we endured cyclone Ului (category 3) and fortunately experienced minimal damage. But this cyclone (Yasi) was a category 5 and much bigger in size as well as speed. We ended up packing up everything that we could and evacuating our home, before the cyclone changed course slightly and headed slightly north of us. In the end our town only experienced minimal rain and winds.

The beautiful seaside village of Mission Beach and the towns of Tully and Cardwell were worst-hit places when cyclone crossed the coast. Many homes have lost their roofs; some houses were completely ripped apart. If it had hit a larger town (like Cairns) head-on, the devastation would have been enormous. But that is little comfort for the families who have lost everything in these smaller towns.

Click here for a gallery of photos showing the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi.

So, like I say, it has been a busy - and unusual - start to the year, but things are starting to fall into a more regular routine once again. Cyclone season isn't over yet, so we always have one eye on the weather reports. Touch wood my beautiful state won't be hit for six again.

Amongst it all, I have found some time for crochet. I have lots to show and share with you all, it's just a matter of finding time to get the pics uploaded and to write about it all. Sounds simple in theory, I know, but when you have kids and you work part-time, very little is simple, at least that's how it seems to go at my place!

Hope you are all well, and look forward to sharing some crochet with you soon,
Happy hooking,
Caz :)

P.S. If you would like to donate to the Brisbane flood appeal, visit this website. There are thousands of people who have lost everything, and every bit you can contribute WILL help!

And donations to support those who have lost their homes from Cyclone Yasi can also be made there.

(This is Queensland's official government website and is a ligit, safe method for donating. If you can give, even if it's only a few dollars, then please do.)