Tag Archives: Queensland

Aspergerer – Blackout in Queensland

I don’t like to sleep in a completely dark room, for several reasons, and neither does Nemo.

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There were times when I tried to help him feel secure with waking up in a dark room, but with the many other problems we have with even falling asleep, I have long given up on it. It’s no big deal really. We have gotten very low watt night lamps, for both him and me and no one stumbles or gets scared in the dark anymore.

On the day after the tornadoes whipped through regions North of us, we had strong winds here at the coast and on tv they were discussing flood levels. But our lights flickered.

Nemo was in bed, not asleep as usual, so I went to see him to make a blackout emergency plan. I did not want him to freak out and scream the house down. Waking up to his usual “night scares” is bad enough without actual darkness. For both, him and me.

Here is what we did and we will just leave it in place for the future.

On the headboard of his bed, we have a soft toy attached, a musical pullstring thingy we have since he was born. Onto this clown, I hung a strong little LED torch. I told  him to NOT PANIC, but reach for the torch and come and see me, in case I was asleep. We practiced with (not really) closed eyes and giggles.

Literally 5 min later the lights were off (and they would stay off for about 30 hours).

I had gone back to watch the news again, and it took only seconds after everything went out until Nemo shot out of his room and came running to us – clenching his torch.
My husband thought of a battery powered 25 light fairy light thing (they now retail for about $5) from christmas and put it in his room as a nightlight. They use so much less, now, with LED lamps, and will easily go all night, even more. All these gadget cheap torches we picked up left and right? Finally useful.

While darkness is usually an issue even to go to the toilet, we went through the whole blackout situation without any fears or anxiety crisis. I am SO glad this worked.

readerDo you have any measures in place for ‘emergencies’ that could be harder on your child with ASD than for other children?

I certainly will keep this up, and will change some of my own arrangements… Having mostly scented candles to illuminate the house is a bit heavy on the head and a radio without batteries is basically worthless. Happy to say, the blackout only cost me about $ 15 worth of sausages lost from the fridge and a bit of effort to entertain us all without electronic help.

(I know others were not and are not that lucky around us, all the best to them, obviously. )

Adventure in the city: Blogger meet-up!

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I went FAR out of my comfort zone yesterday when I went to Brisbane to assist – gasp! yes, really!! – a blogger meet-up, organized by Melissa from the colourful blog “Suger Coat It with the support from nuffnang, who nicely sponsored yummy pizza & drinks.

Now driving from the Bay into the City has become a rare and exiting excursion for me now and I was thrilled to see that after the floods, Brisbane looks good again, and seeing the City Cat ferries back on the river was a beautiful sight. (It still breaks my heart to think that our old ferry terminal, Sydney Street in New Farm, was destroyed. So many city adventures started right there! Not to mention our fabulous Riverwalk. Gone!)

images (3)Another big thing for me was to go back to the suburbs where I started my Australian life, not only good memories to be honest, but the Kookaburra Cafe was a great choice for a meeting.
I thought to be late, but in reality got the time wrong and so we spend a bit of time in the shops nearby. And some money. Uhm..
I bought a notebook..  of course.

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Tornado obviously loved the ‘Teddy Bear Shop’, I almost fainted when i asked for the price of a small Steiff Panda bear!  Never mind then.

The Blogger meeting will be a little bit a ‘reverse experience’ for me because aside from Melissa, I basically wasn’t reading any of the bloggers present – this will now obviously change! It has to be said that in a way, meeting not only mummy bloggers but also (unknown) ‘anything bloggers’ was one of the points that made me even go to the meeting, so spontaneously (all part of my aggressive socializing behaviour I am displaying lately). I am sure most participants will be blogging about it, photos were taken, ‘business’ cards exchanged, prizes won and the husbands had some beers… It was fun !

Given my chronic ‘webanoia’ and need for privacy, the nametags and the photos were a bit of an issue for me (I saw that coming), but we talked about anonymous blogging too and I think everybody will respect each others wishes.

Maybe I could have mingled a bit more, but I was happy to sit across Madmother who totally hit it off with Tornado and even supplied a band-aid when a microscopic ‘BLEED!’ was risking to make my son’s incredibly sunny and lovely behaviour tilt into a wailing meltdown (note to self : restock superhero band-aid in handbag!).  But he stayed on his best behaviour and is also now convinced that he “won the Bingo” (he was only drawing the numbers, and not actually ours, but he had a lot of fun, so good on him. he’s a winner!).

I think the participants and the limited number made for an interesting and intimate blogger meeting and I am actually considering doing it again! It was a nice social outing for us and I think a success for Melissa. Thank you !

More.. natural disasters. So sad.

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This year continues to be overshadowed by natural disasters of apocalyptic dimensions.. I am starting to find it A LOT in a very short time. Upsetting.

Floods in Queensland and other states of Australia.
Cyclone Yasi, striking Queensland, only shortly after the floods.
Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Japan now with an incredibly powerful Earthquake, that brought destruction and death with a huge Tsunami, Flooding and, as we hear, possible nuclear pollution? (this part is kind of man-made really)

I have to mention the Bushfire in Western Australia too, that destroyed 72 houses, damaging 32 more, but I just read it was caused by accident with the use of a grinder in strong winds and high drought. By a policeman? O_0 Indeed.
Not a natural disaster then, nevertheless, so many families have lost everything.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones, their home, their belongings, maybe their professional existence in all these terrible events.

Cyclone Yasi – I’m so scared for them…

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It’ all over the news I am quite overwhelmed by this new,  announced spectacle of nature’s fury *.
I know, it does not mean anything. There is no one to blame. At least there are warnings and evacuations nowadays… But it’s just so damn scary and upsetting to watch, even if we are, again, in a safe zone. (Awesome is up in Rocky, but for the time being it seems to be just out of reach there. )

*)Tropical cyclone Yasi is currently approaching the coasts of Northern Queensland, now classed as a force 5, translating to winds up to almost 300 km/h. It’s a forecasted second natural disaster of gigantic proportions  in the space of only a few weeks. Queensland, still battered by the impact of the January floods (covering  a region as big as Texas) is, again, waiting to see how an unstoppable force of nature will bring destruction, more flooding and, most likely, death.  Just like in 1974, a flood and a tropical cyclone, are hitting this part of Australia, only  at the time, the land and the people had  11 months to recover between the two events. Let’s keep our hopes up that Yasi will end up having much less impact than the predictions, evacuations and warnings announce.. Queensland is brave but it does not need to prove it yet again!

Queensland, Australia down under.

fintastique070700163 When the first floods hit Queensland at the beginning of what would be a very rainy summer, we watched the pictures of inundated homes and evacuated people and while we were feeling sorry for them, and there were first victims, we still felt this detachment you have when you know that a natural disaster can not hit you, and that it’s all very far away.

The regions concerned then had been struck by floods at the end of last summer, in March 2010. Now again! It was terrible. But yes, still so far away.
Summer went on, and we were disappointed that it rained almost everyday during the Christmas holidays. More regions were flooded.
MrAwesome was scheduled to travel for work in exactly those regions by mid-January,  they changed plans and I was just glad he was not stuck there.

Then happened the Toowoomba Flash Flood.
Those pictures went around the world.

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Why Toowoomba was once known as "Garden City"

We sat – shocked – in front of our TV and understood that the rain had swooped down the main road of Toowoomba in what was called an “inland tsunami” by many. The stories of the people surprised and lost in the powerful flash flood were incredible.
It was then that it became clear that something big was happening and it was on it’s way to the Brisbane catchment area.
Ipswich and Brisbane were bracing for what was predicted to be a higher flood level than the floods of January 1974.

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Before the Big Wet 2010/2011 : A monument in New Farm, Brisbane, commemorating the level of 1974.

 

A man saving a joey in Ipswich

The floods reached Ipswich and we held our breath. The pictures and stories of concerned areas were shown in loops on TV and became unsupportable.

 

Emergency services, evacuations, individual efforts of people frantically but systematically worked day and night knowing that Australia’s 3rd biggest City was on the way of this incredible amount of water moving towards the coast.

Over the last 2 days, Brisbane river swell and started to unstoppably leak over into the lower suburbs, gaining incredible speed, taking with it boots and pontoons, carrying debris and  tons and tons of washed up brown mud.

The peak level was reached in the early hours of January 13th and Brisbane, today, wakes up with thousands of flooded homes, businesses, infrastructure and parkland. While the peak of 1974 seems to not have reached, the destruction in a region that has seen so much development in the last 40 years would be far greater than back then.
We are all under shock.

I’m not born here and the flood from 1974 was a historic event I had only vaguely heard about. We live in a safe zone, near the coast, but in a different catchment area, and shielded by the Moreton Bay Islands from winds or water that could come from the ocean. I feel incredibly lucky, that my husband chose this area when he came to live in Queensland as he could have moved anywhere. We are not directly concerned (although my husband can’t work right now), but the impact of this flood can’t be estimated in cost and consequences as yet. We will all be feeling it.

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3/4 of the surface of Queensland covered by flood waters.

Even if the true dimensions of the damage are yet to emerge once the water starts to recede, it can already be said that the work by the different emergency service, the authorities in charge, the army, non-governmental and charitable organisations all over has helped make this disaster less deadly than it could have been. They are everywhere and and information is available. Individuals have shown great efforts to assist those that needed help to evacuate and we all know that Queensland and Australia as a whole will stand and show solidarity with the devastated regions and cities.
Because we have to.

75 % of Queensland are declared natural disaster zone. Already at the change of the year the flooded area was of a zone comparable with the surface of both Germany and France together. That was BEFORE the Brisbane catchment was concerned. Yesterday they were saying that the area concerned represents FOUR times what was under water after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005.

My heart is breaking when I think of the lives lost, destroyed homes, years of work annihilated, cattle, pets and wildlife perished, memories, artwork, gardens  disappeared under brown muddy water. It will take months to clean, years to recover. For all of us.

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Photo : My son is running ahead as we walk down our beloved Riverwalk from New Farm to the Brisbane CBD in 2008. This solid 850 m pontoon construction came lose in the night and went down the Brisbane River…

Queensland, Brisbane, my home in Australia, my friend, I am so sad today and I promise you I will be here for you to help you through these dark times and get back on your feet and shine with a new life.
Because that’s what you have done for me in the past.

Links:
– wiki on the 2010-2011 Queensland Floods
DONATE HERE
– Sign up to HELP HERE


too.much.rain. (poor Queensland!)

queensland floodOn a sidenote, I am feeling with the people in regions of Queensland concerned by the floods following to our incredibly rainy holidays. And there is more coming !
While we only regretted to be a bit more housebound than expected, and I secretly felt lucky not to have too much heat (yet), to hear that the flooded territory now covers a surface bigger than Germany and France together literally blew my mind!
My husband was meant to travel for his job through these regions but I guess he won’t be for a while..  I don’t pray but I hope that things calm down soon and people can feel safe and start cleaning up again.

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a flooded suburb of Rockhampton

I really hope that they will get all the help they need!

Toad

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Snapshot : Cane Toad hating me for no reason as – while I find them incredibly yucky and am shocked about the explosion of population of this introduced pest in Queensland – Dude, I just saved your life as the Dogthing would have STOMPED it to death out of pure joy.
A
nd i just can’t kill them.
Look at it. He’s not to blame.. You’ll be fine at the neighbour’s, buddy..