The heat is pretty consistent. Last week on Wednesday, it was forty-two degrees. I survived the day, but my work printer - for music teaching - did not. Unfortunately, the studio that I normally teach in climbed to about forty-five degrees before I moved from the dining room to there and flicked on the air con to begin teaching. By this time, it was already too late for my printer. The fronts of the cartridges had melted within, and all the printer wanted to do was repeatedly groan and flash its version of hazard lights at me. So that was frustrating. This Wednesday, it's going to hit forty again, and I will be keeping my printer somewhere other than that studio.
Over the past weekend, my fifth book released. I'm looking forward to when it arrives in the post and I get to hold it and put it on the shelf with my others. We've also put Rafen, book one, on sale for a dollar. So if you want a cheap read, it's there, and it's no more expensive than throwing a coin at a street musician.
Other things happened on the weekend too. It was Chinchilla's famous Melon Festival - their twenty-fifth anniversary too! Thankfully it was only thirty-four degrees outside, so it wasn't a bad day to walk through town and watch the parade. Numerous floats came down the packed streets - and I mean packed: it was like Brisbane CBD for a day. A lot of tourists came to see it. The floats were decorated with... you guessed it, melons. But they were also festooned with green, red, and pink decorations. People dressed up and had a ball. A whole fleet of vintage cars drove down the street. And hundreds of market stalls sold all kinds of things (not just melon-related either).
The day contained a number of events, some of which we glimpsed, and others of which we gave a miss because we had to drive to Dalby to get some help with our printer. You would be amazed how many things you can do with a watermelon. For instance, the Mad Dash for Cash - a race in which the competitors charge down the main street and back, clutching a large watermelon each. When we watched this, someone dropped their melon by mistake, and it smashed on the asphalt. They were sadly disqualified. There's also Melon Bungy...??? And Melon Skiing, which is famous. We got to watch the set up process for the Melon Ski. Helpers spread a long tarp down on the field and slosh huge buckets of overripe melon all over it. Sometimes someone just runs out of nowhere and hurls a water melon at the track, where it smashes and dies in a spray of red flesh. I managed to get a picture of the warning signs around the area. Notice the emphasis on "there will be injuries". Everyone falls over in this event. It's kind of to be expected when you stick your feet in watermelons and then get pulled top speed down a tarp with more deceased watermelons smeared all over it.
The night before the weekend, they also had the watermelon Weigh In. We didn't witness this competition, but I've heard the watermelon this year was the biggest ever: 100.5 kilograms. How you grow a watermelon that big, I shall never know. Steroids? And do you eat it afterwards? Or smash it on a tarp? Your guess is as good as mine.
Later in the afternoon, we headed an hour down the road to Dalby (a town of 15,000 people instead of the 6,000 we have here) and got some help at Harvey Norman. We probably had some ulterior motives for getting out of Chinchilla. Unfortunately, the water mains broke down partway through the morning that day, so the entire town was without water. Imagine 10,000 extra people all needing to go to the toilet when the water mains are broken down. Additionally, just washing your hands or getting a drink becomes a problem. I had luckily put some water in the fridge earlier in the day, so we had that when we came home for a bit. But other than that, it's a bit hard to know what to do when so much of your life requires water and there is none. So Dalby was a good option until the water came back.
The man at Harvey Norman removed our damaged cartridges from the printer, and now we're waiting on new ones. Excitingly, on the way there I saw a twister of red loam soil in a nearby field. These occur quite often in the dry conditions, apparently. I was mesmerized.
In the meantime, I've gained a few more music students and hopefully sold a few books over the weekend. Things are slowly coming together for us here - my husband's medicare card arrived and the woman who rang me from medicare finally believes I'm an Australian citizen (long story which I'll tell maybe next time). So my medicare card should be coming soon. And on the weekend, we relax at the Weir. We've found a branch of the waterway that the motorboats don't go down as much. There, the pelicans, cormorants, and kangaroos gather, and we enjoy a leisurely paddle, watching them.
Until next time!