Tag Archives: Brisbane

16th of April, 2019 When you wish upon a star

Unable to sleep for a variety of reasons, I decided at 3 am that I would take a walk around the neighbourhood.  I locked the doors and windows before I left home in order keep Miranda safe.

I haven’t seen the streets and highways this quiet for a very long time. With so few streetlights, house lights on and no cars to be heard, it reminded me much more of what it used to be like at this time of the morning when I was a child.

But I did see the odd individuals scurrying around the streets, looking into cars and peoples front yards. They were looking to see if there happened to be anything useful that could be easily acquired.  But there were only a couple of them, and they pretty much ran off the moment I came anywhere near.

The sky was clear and the air was rather crisp. With the lights from the city so dim, I hadn’t seen so many stars in the sky for a long time. It was actually quite beautiful.

I saw a shooting star. It streaked across the sky and landed somewhere to the west. I couldn’t recall the last time I’d seen a shooting star. But then again, I can’t recall the last time I looked up at the sky and saw such a magnificent sky.

A moment later another star shot across the sky, followed by several others.

Then they stopped coming.

I stood there hearing nothing but my heart thumping, and my breath exhaling into the air.

Then they started again. Tens of these shooting stars brushed across the sky to the west, all following roughly along the same path. Moments later I heard, or at least thought I heard a very distant rumble followed by a muffled crackling.

It might have just been the blood rushing through my ears, but then again it may have been something else. Just as quickly as the shooting stars started, they stopped.

I started to have a bit of a night-time panic. The kind where you spook yourself out from stuff that can’t see, and don’t understand. I could feel the adrenalin racing through me, and I had that sudden urge to run.

I didn’t run, but I ended up briskly walking home with a bit of a rush. Despite there being nothing threatening me directly, I suddenly felt safe by just being back in my own home. I even went to the effort of hiding under the covers, without getting out of the clothes I had been wearing first.

I felt like a bit of a Wuss when I got out of bed again this morning, but I am more than certain that what I had been watching wasn’t a show of nature. Not that I’d be able to verify any of this from the news online or on TV.

I decided it was time to start making some preparations in case we had to leave Brisbane in a hurry. Sure, the car is fuelled up and ready to go but we’ve done absolutely nothing to get ready to leave the city at a moments notice.

Some of my mates reckon that I’m over-reacting, and that everything will surely get better soon. However I’m a lot more cynical than they are, despite there being no one I know that believes that the war is likely to spill over into Brisbane.

History has shown us that even some of the greatest cities have been brought down in the past. I can’t see anything that would make Brisbane any different.

I spoke to Miranda this morning, and asked her to pack a couple of bags of clothes and necessities to go. I specifically made sure she had a limit of two bags. One rucksack and one carry bag, Just in case we had to get out without the car.

She’s procrastinating a bit, and has promised that she will do it when she gets home from School tomorrow, but I think she understands the reasons we need to do this. I feel it is a bit tough to insist to a young girl that she can only take a limited amount of stuff with her, especially when we have so much space in such a large Four Wheel Drive car. But she doesn’t seem all that phased by it.

I’ve loaded the Tent into the back of the car, but I’m already scratching my head as to what else I may need. Perhaps I should come back and try again when I’ve got a clearer head. I feel I’m making decisions in the wrong frame of mind.

But after the light show that I saw this morning, I’m adamant that things are slowly going bad. It may be such an odd thing to worry about, but while we seem to be living in a media blackout, it is hard to gauge if my fears are irrational or not.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better about it tomorrow.  We’ll see what the new day brings.

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15th of April, 2019. Every night, every night.

I’m getting rather sleep deprived from the hundreds of planes that fly over my place every night. Ever since Brisbane airport has been opened up for the use of military aircraft, the situation has gotten progressively worse.

Miranda stripped the foldout visitors bed of its mattress the other night, and gaffer taped it against her window. It worked for her, and I’m thinking of trying to find some kind of similar solution for my own bedroom. She is such a clever girl sometimes.

Here in Australia, the media seems to have had a blackout of the events going on locally. The photos published the other day of Burketown have yet to even be acknowledged by our own newspapers and television updates, and the overseas news is still primarily interested in the major fighting in Japan. Even the border conflict in Pakistan doesn’t seem to rate a mention. I guess this is because there are so few American troops involved.

On the other hand, the GLIF (Government’s Lame Internet Filter) seems to have filtered out a lot of the material as well. I hadn’t been able to access the New York Times website in days, until I installed ‘GLIF PWnage Tool’ onto my computer to get around the filter.

Even then it wasn’t worth the effort, as there seems to be absolutely nothing significant about Australia being printed on the overseas sites.

Every night, every single night the planes roar out of the airports around Brisbane. Almost all of them are American strike aircraft. As the American ‘invasion’ of our soil isn’t expected till after ANZAC day, there’s been very little in the way of troop and supply vehicles coming and going.

Mind you when the troops arrive the situation will only get worse at night. I can’t see the American army’s massive troop and supply carriers being any quieter than the planes we already have filling our skies.

The power failures are also increasing in frequency and annoyance. The now too familiar rumble of the earth, followed by the sudden power dropout seems to have become a part of life here in Brisbane. Shops have sold out of the few candles that they had, and Batteries are now attracting an exorbitant premium.

People are even stealing batteries from people’s cars in order to power up inverters in their own homes in an attempt to keep the power on at night.

I’ve kept our car in the garage for weeks now, and I’m only using the motorbike to get about. As such, our car doesn’t appear to have been attacked for its battery as yet.

I’ve kept the car hidden away with a full tank of fuel, which I bought over a month ago. I made sure that we had it ready just in case we needed to make an urgent dash out of Brisbane.

Being that fuel has now hit  $9.50 a litre, the diesel that is sitting in the tank of our 4×4 (160 litres worth) makes our car too large a target to leave out on the street. I’m forever finding my heart racing every time I hear a squeaky garage door open.

I’ve also applied for the government’s Provision 59 assistance package (Provision 65). Although we still have a fair bit of money saved up, the guaranteed food packages and fuel vouchers will be more than welcome while our stores find themselves less and less capable of keeping up with need.

The assistance package is available to any family that has lost their only income source due to the Provision 59 redeployment. We may not be applicable for the package while I technically still have a job, even though I haven’t seen a pay from them in over a month.

But for now, I’m off to find a big chunk of foam in order to try and hush out the noise of the Jets screaming over Brisbane at night.

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9th of April, 2019. Is the ‘Brisbane line’ alive and well?

I went back into the office today, looking for something to do. Since Tess was redeployed I found myself feeling desperately lonely. I had also decided to send Miranda to school during the day, where she I felt would have the support of her friends and teachers.

The office looked like a disaster area, and it wasn’t even Jeremy’s fault. The cleaners had since abandoned ship, but the posties had continued to deliver the onslaught of mail onto my desk.

My desk had now become comically buried. Not just by the mail, but by Louisa’s rubbish that she continued to throw on top. My desk had now become decorated by trashy women’s magazines and used coffee cups.

Louisa had also set up a recliner in our ‘gold class lounge’. She’d even found another bar fridge add to our little setup.

Have to say though, it was nice to have the company about the place. On top of which, Jeremy’s source of homemade beer was just as appreciated.

Sometime a bit after lunch, our whole building started to vibrate. This was followed moments later with a dull hum coming from outside that instantly sent everybody in the office rushing to the windows.

I looked down onto the road, half expecting tanks or trucks to be rolling up the street. But there was nothing. After a moment I saw people rushing out of their buildings and looking straight up.

I couldn’t see what they were looking at from my window, so I ran up the stairs to be balcony on the level above to take a look.

Overhead there were hundreds of planes were circling Brisbane.  I could recognise some B2 Bombers, and even some of the new B5s. F35s and even a couple of the older F22s circled around overhead too. Unfortunately I’m not that much of a plane spotter to be able to identify all of the other aircraft.

This was some very serious and expensive military hardware to simply have hovering over Brisbane, and I would have to say it was clearly intended for display. With hundreds of people below filming the skies with their mobile phones; you can bet that this will translate to thousands of photos on the Internet within hours, if not minutes.

Some of the planes made a beeline out in the direction of Ipswich and were probably landing at Amberley airbase. The rest of the planes headed north of the city; probably back to the American airbase in Malaysia.

I was wondering, if this was for the benefit of us Australians to see, or for some kind of international publicity. Propaganda is a serious tool of war, and if it appeared that the Americans were giving air support to Australia, it might be a major deterrent to any potential attacking or invading force.

On the other hand, is this America’s way of saying they going to support us? Was it a ploy to tell us that we had nothing to fear, despite the recent attack on Burketown? As far as I know, the IAA warships are still in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the government still wants more troops to volunteer to go to war.

Those that know their history may have found this just as alarming as I have, as it somewhat appears that ‘The Brisbane line’ policy from the Second World War was alive and well.

Which also means my wife is on the wrong side of the line.

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