During November, the Christian College put on their musical, Mary Poppins Junior, which was overall a success and much appreciated by the community. And on the last Saturday in November, I was able to run my student recital for the first time in Australia. The event went really well, and all the parents of the performers went away beaming and talking about how fantastic a night it was - which was brilliant considering it was a 38 degree day, and the church hall we had crowded into seemed to get hotter with each additional breath we took. We did have air conditioning on, but it lost some effectiveness once a hundred people were all inside.
In the meantime, it just gets drier and drier here. We do get a splash of rain from time to time, but it's a millimeter here, or three there. Nothing much to write home about unfortunately. The weather has begun to sizzle again, and this coming week will be a series of 39s and one scorching 41. It's perfect weather for water recreation, but the sad thing is that the Weir isn't looking too good. I nearly cried the last time I saw it - the pontoon was grounded and the boat ramp led straight onto a mud flat with the occasional puddle. Kayaking is not going to work out there, and the sea eagles my husband and I observed nesting further down the Condamine have probably forsaken the area and looked for greener pastures.
It's extraordinary to think we are only four and a half hours from the coast, and it looks like a whole other world. The level of dust is remarkable. Every time there is some decent wind, the sky turns muddy with all the farmers' topsoil. I'm told it's unusually dry this year - and I'm sure at some point it will rain again, as it normally does. But the question is, will we get enough rain to replenish our water systems? There are many areas around us that have run out of water or are getting close to that situation. We are on water restrictions here, and I'm careful to rinse my dishes with the same bit of water from the very first dirty bowl every night. Our air conditioning is an evaporative system, which also uses water. Michael reckons it's okay to use it regularly, but the moment it gets under 35 I try to make do with fans. So my poor man sits there and sweats.
What we really need are some decent storms. Storm season is here, and we have had a couple so far. But we haven't had any that have been truly large or stayed a long time. On Sunday, numerous storm cells packed the skies, and I think Chinchilla felt very excited - until they all blew towards Dalby and left us with a mere sprinkle.
When I lived in New Zealand, I used to think cyclones were a bad thing. Now I know that they are excellent for regions like this. Don't let anyone fool you - a cyclone can be a lifeline in a drought. Come January, I'm hoping we get some good ones powering through upper Queensland and sending the rain further south. It will make many farmers hopeful out here.
So I continue to pray for rain.
In the meantime, with Christmas just around the corner, it's good to focus on cheerful things too. I put up my Christmas tree in November, which I know sounds ridiculous, but it makes one very happy. Besides which, its greener than many plants and grasses about us (yes, I know it's fake)!
Lastly, but certainly not least, it seems I'm to have two books release this year. On February 16th, my fifth book Consort to the Shadows Part One released. And Part Two is on its way, following Christmas!
Stay tuned and keep an eye out for some holiday reading!
And pray for rain for the Western Downs...
Rafen, book one of The Fledgling Account is still $0.99 and could be the adventure you have these summer holidays...