Friday, December 30, 2016


Tuesday 27th December was a very cold day (yes, I know that it is midsummer here but we are having peculiar weather in southern Australia), with a screaming southerly gale and there were no boats out on the river, sensible skippers opting to wait for a nicer day for a sail.  I was idly looking out the window  -  for those who haven't seen my cover picture on Facebook I have a panoramic view of the Swan River  -  when I saw a yacht under full sail hurtling before the wind up-river from Fremantle.  As I watched and wondered it made no attempt to go around the spit post which marks the channel and grounded itself in the shallow water at the end of the spit  -  a tongue of sand bank which stretches from Point Walter on the South Bank to the middle of Freshwater Bay and which , depending on the tide, is partially exposed.

After watching it for about ten minutes and seeing no rescue boats appearing I tried to phone the yacht club opposite the spit to ask them to send out a launch to give the yacht a tow but could not raise anyone there so I did what I have never done before and called 000 the emergency number.  After asking for the position of the yacht they sent the River Police and Rescue launch.  It came charging down the river from Perth and arrived just as a small launch arrived  and had managed to get a towline onto the yacht.  The whole procession headed down-river in the teeth of the gale so I am glad that the River Rescue Boat escorted them.  I am not sure why they set off in the teeth of the gale but there are public moorings on the river in Fremantle and I assume that is where they went.

While I am complaining about the southerly gales which we have been having we are better off than those States to the east which have had torrential rain, gales and flooding and several people have died.  South Australia has had yet another blackout  -  I think that is four times that the whole state has been without power this summer and Uluru  (Eyre's Rock) had multiple waterfalls streaming off it.

D1 returned to Sydney on Tuesday morning much to the cats dismay as they love her and she is very much a cat person.  They have furballs at the moment despite being brushed twice daily and Parsifal is vomiting.  I have dosed them with Catlax and will give them another dose tonight.  Parsifal likes to chew on the ponytail palm and that invariably makes him vomit and now we have another contender.  When I moved from my house to this apartment with no garden I gave some aspidistras to Himself.  Since they are one of the three shade-loving plants which are not poisonous to cats I have been looking out for some to plant on my balcony but to no avail.  They are so common that the garden shops do not stock them and they have to be ordered in.

Before Christmas I asked Himself if I could have a few plants back and he arrived a couple of days ago with a pot containing my original plants  -  very dry, shaggy and rootbound.  Yesterday I trimmed them, savagely root-pruned them and repotted them.  They are looking good and the root pruning seems to have done them no harm but Parsifal thinks that they are there to be chewed and I suspect that they will have the same effect on him that the ponytail palm does.  I suppose that they save me having to buy Catlax.

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