Page 99: Our plans for leaving tamworth Are becoming rubbery.
|When will we leave?|
|Pam had set her 'finish work' date as December 18th. Then
her employer asked her to stay a few more days to run one more payroll.
During a discussion with her boss she offered to go in for the odd day during
January if he was stuck. Why do I feel that won't be the end of it?
Meanwhile, back in Perth our lounge ceiling decided it had hung about for long enough and came crashing down. It brought all the mulched paper ceiling insulation with it, much to the delight of son, Nic, who was sitting beneath it at the time. You can imagine the mess just sheets of Gyprock would make but with all that mulched paper as well . . .
|Home, Sweet Home. Photo by Nic. I don't think he
was in the mood for blowing soap
bubbles so there must have been dust on his camera lens.
|Anyway, whatever Pam does is up to her but the extra money would help put a new ceiling up. And buy a set of new tyres for the Pajero. No pressure, Pam.|
|Just thinking . . .|
|Have you ever noticed how some dogs, before they lie down,
will turn in circles several times before deciding where to flop? Well,
we watch new arrivals in the caravan park drive around and around before
deciding which of twenty available (and very similar) sites they will park
on. If they're staying for an extended period, fine. But frequently they'll
leave the next morning.
Have you ever wondered why the handrail on those moving walkways - the ones that take you to the next level in shopping centres - travels just that little bit faster than the walkway itself? If you don't adjust your grip you are slowly pulled into a forward lean.
Hey, but aren't the walkways clever, the way they grip the supermarket trolley's wheels on the slope? Pity the same brains can't find a way of designing a trolley that will roll straight even when it's fully loaded. Why is it necessary to have all four wheels castoring? Back in W.A. they trialled lightweight plastic trolleys with fixed front wheels and which used only the rear wheels for steering. I found them fabulous, once I'd mastered the technique of swinging the rear end wide on corners. Then they disappeared and I haven't seen anything similar since. C'est la vie.
This Azure Kingfisher sat on the guy rope outside
the caravan door, trapping me inside. I had to resort to
|This little fellow is a male Fairy-wren in his best
mating plumage. Which variety of Fairy-wren?
We weren't able to decide from our bird book. We see quite a lot of these lovely little birds.
|Crested Pigeons are common all over Australia but
we've trained this pair to do tricks.
Okay, birds, on three raise your left feet. One, two, THREE!
|100 Bush Fires in N.S.W. result in helicopter accidents|
With just over a fortnight until Christmas, New South Wales was beset by bush fires. Two helicopters being used to carry water had been involved in accidents and two more were involved in a mid-air incident, all in the space of 24 hours.
By a coincidence, we were showing our good friends Ross and Jan Taylor some of the sights around Tamworth. Ross and Jan had driven all the way from Brisbane to visit us. We'd taken a drive up to Nundle and had stopped on the way to look at the Chaffey Dam when a huge commotion overhead announced the arrival of a water bomber helicopter.
|One of two water bombers which were fighting a forest fire near Nundle. It swooped low over the lake and . . .|
A short note on this helicopter:
Since writing this page I received an
email from my brother Jim who has spent a good many years fighting forest
fires in Canada. He writes: As the snow continues to fall outside,
I was just looking at the pic of the Wildcat 212. This machine was under
contract with the Forest Service at the Rapattack Base in Salmon Arm
for the summer. They have 3 such 212's used for rappel and extraction
(winch visible on starboard side) of fire crews usually into heavy timber
or steep terrain. CAN was based with a crew in Williams Lake for the
latter part of the summer and was used on at least 3 of the fires which
I had reported when flying air patrols. As well as having the belly
tank to dump directly onto fires, it can off load from a hover, via
a hose line, into a 300 gallon bladder that the crew rappel into the
fire with them, giving them a limited water supply for mop up. More
often than not, these crews will restrict themselves to building helipads
to allow other crews in by more conventional means.
|. . . began to fill its water tank. The inlet pipe was so short that the aircraft almost had to sit on the water's surface.|
|In a matter of seconds it had filled its tank and was away back to the fire.|
|No sooner had the Bell 212 departed than a Bell 204 "Super B" arrived (see picture below). This helicopter had a water bag suspended beneath it on a long line.|
this Bell 204 "Super B":
|There was no need for this Bell 204 "Super B" to get near the water surface as . . .|
|. . . its water bag was suspended a long way beneath its belly. It 'dunked' the bag in the lake and pulled it up full.|
|That bit of excitement over, we drove on to Nundle. We arrived to find the Bell 204 (blue helicopter), which had already dumped its water, landing in a paddock opposite the pub to refuel from one of two tankers present. There was also a large red fire tender standing by in case of mishap. This setup had been there for two days. The fire was in the Nundle Forest which was sufficiently distant to render the smoke invisible from the township, the wind fortunately not blowing our way.|
|The View from my brother jim's office Window.|
|Jim has been involved in fire fighting in Canada since - what would it be Jim, about 1968? In those days he was very much at the sharp end of operations but now he's semi retired and carries out air patrol duties from Cessna 172 and 185 aircraft. Where would you go if the fan stopped now, Jim?|
|The Nundle Wollen Mill|
|I've probably described the Woollen Mill in previous pages but this time I took a couple of pictures.|
|Frank Ogden is always happy to run the machinery
for visitors and explain all the different processes.
The photo was taken from a mezzanine floor; we were not allowed to go down close to the moving parts.
|I don't pretend to understand all the processes
involved in taking the raw fleece through to
coloured balls of wool ready to be knitted into garments, but it's all there at Nundle.