well, every now and then you kind of just assume common sense will kick in when faced with compelling circumstances. this, it transpires, was a most unusual and in retrospect plain wrong assumption to make when it comes to my Dad and his travel plans.
most people when hearing of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Yasi to northern Queensland would have opted to either stay away from the area or move as far away as possible from the projected path of this phenomenon. they wouldn't, you'd have thought, decided to board a plane and get there in time to try and take a photograph or two of a Chocolate Orange next to the cyclone.
those people, ladies and gentlemen, are the ones who do not know my Dad.
yes, that's him heading from New Zealand to a place called Mackay in northern Queensland, a fine looking place but a place not too far away from where they expected Yasi to hit.
needless to say, a good number of us who know him (only too well indeed) and knew of where he had headed were sat watching satellite updates and news reports to hopefully get either no news or news that he was nowhere near where the full force of Yasi hit.
as it turns out, Yasi went quite close to Mackay, but not quite close enough.
so, how is he? if i tell you that the news i got this morning was that he was "complaining because no staff had arrived at the hotel and thus he couldn't have breakfast" then i would trust that answers any and all questions you may have.
i am, however, waiting to see the headline : Cyclone Yasi - everyone stayed inside except one silly bugger (in red shoes) who appeared to be taking pictures of confectionary in front of it.
as for what Cyclone Yasi did whilst leaving my Dad alone, the damage to Queensland's beautiful northern area is substantial and frightening, but thus far the reports indicate no loss of life which is amazing, and full credit to the Queenslanders for heeding the warnings and being prepared.
and on that note, one of the most bewildering accusations against Australia i've ever heard is that the country & people "lack culture". whereas i could go on for quite some time dismissing that rubbish for what it is, let me instead share an amazing picture from yesterday which shows the strong, honest character the people of that fine land have.
nice one! you can try and knock the Aussie spirit and style as much as you like, but you'll never knock 'em out. unless you are the English cricket team, of course.....
mine would be just one of many voices expressing the hope that Queensland recovers from all that it has been bombarded with over the last month. best of luck, and if in need of help, give us a holler.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!