Archive for the ‘Typical Australia’ Category

Dust Storms in Brisbane, another extreme.

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

[ Updated on the 7th of October with pictures after the dust storm ]

Yesterday (23 September)  Brisbane has experienced the worst dust storm in 70 years with visibility dropping to 200 meter (normal is 25 km) . Also Sydney was coloured red as was on the news in The Netherlands. It was a strange experience when de sun was hiding behind red dust coming from the west (Outback). It was a nice cool day but too dusty to stay outside since it was causing problems for eyes and nose.

After the storm everything outside was covered under a thin layer of red dust causing a  lot of clean-up work. We have our own tank/rain water, but for people connected to town water, water restrictions will be relaxed to enable residents and businesses to clean up (from 12.01am (AEST) on Saturday September 26 to 11.59pm (AEST) on October 4). New dust storms are expected in the coming weeks and a new one is already expected for next Saturday.

Road to our house during the dust storm. Road 2 weeks after the dust storm.

Our house in dust storm. Our house two weeks after the dust storm.

Our dusty garden.

Our arrival in Australia was followed by many extremes and records. First we  have experienced extreme storms followed by extreme heavy rainfall covering large areas with water, but also filling up the water reserves in the dams. Recently maximum winter temperature records were broken by an extreme “heat wave” (35 degrees Celsius). And now we have experienced an extreme dust storm. (We are not even mentioning the financial crises as another extreme.) Nevertheless, we are still alive 🙂

Update of last month will follow soon.



Winter in Brisbane

Monday, June 29th, 2009

At the moment it is winter time. During the day it’s around 20 degrees and at night it’s below 10 degrees Celsius. Further from the coast line it can be freezing during the night. This is limiting our explorer instinct. That’s why we kept ourselves busy with just the normal things. This also gave us some time to update our story “Australia through Dutch eyes” (see button “Dutch eyes above)”. Also Nicole has started to update her page (still working on it) and Jan has improved the download time of the website which was terrible as you will have noticed.

Koala in our garden. Koala in our garden. Koala in our garden. Koala in our garden.

butterfly looking like a leaf.We stayed a bit more at home and enjoyed our natural living environment with wildlife often spending time outside. When we saw a nice green butterfly Nicole caught it and put it in her bug catcher. Jan told her that the butterfly would die when she would keep it there. Then suddenly he heard Nicole angry yell to the kookaburra in the garden. Guess what happened. Nicole had let the butterfly go and during her flight to freedom the kookaburra came from a tree and caught it for his meal. Nicole was very upset. 🙂

Frog in Jorick's truck.Spider in the corridor.Frogs keep themselves hidden at the moment. Only so now and then one is showing up, like this one in Jorick’s truck outside. The cold weather is a relief when it comes to insects. These creatures are not very active now, although some big spiders still show up, especially in the house after leaving a door open.

The tennis lessons of Nicole and Jorick continued. Several times the lessons were cancelled because of heavy rain.  Brisbane must be happy with our move to their city. Since we arrived here it has been raining a lot following a long period of drought . When we arrived there were strong water usage restrictions with water reserves around 20%. Now the reserves are approaching 100%.

Jorick having tennis lessons. Jorick having tennis lessons. After the BBQ at home

Other activities are swimming lessons, reading, cooking, playing, computer games, playground, family games and of course going to school and after school care where they love to go to do creative art and to play with other kids.

Some baking. Pine Rivers Park playground.

Some reading. Some reading. Nicole with her cat (on batteries).

On the 26th of June the school holidays have started for Jorick and Nicole. Jan also finished his study semester with two exams of the 27th and both Anita and Jan will take time off from work leaving opportunities for joint activities.  We’ll keep you updated.

In The Netherlands we wish you all very good summer holidays !


Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick.