Saturday, January 21, 2006

hot times

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The summer weather continues to be ... interesting.

7:45 on Friday morning I woke up to a thunderstorm in full swing. It was the first time I/'ve ever heard the often-mentioned "rolling thunder"; it started out with a dull rumble then built up to a roar. I saw my sister Pauline the next day and she'd been on the Bowen Bridge during the storm. Yikes! I can think of places I'd rather be during an electrical storm.

About a dozen fires were started around the state by trees that had been hit by lightning.

When we stopped in at Café 73 in Moonah later in the day they said the power had been out twice during the afternoon. Thank the Lord neither problem had affected our part of town.

The storm at least meant that the morning wasn't as hot and sultry as it has been some days this month. However the temperature climbed up and up after lunch till it hit 33ºC [91º F in the old measurements] — quite hot enough for us thank you very much!

Saturday wasn't much better. After we'd been to Julie's house to feed her menagerie, I had perspiration running into my eyes and I spent half my time pivoting to face into any breeze that sprang up. What worries us is that we've been invited to a barbecue by one of our ministers on Sunday afternoon and the forecast temperature is a worrying 36°, followed by rain.

A bushfire crisis is being predicted for Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia.

If this is the last entry for a while, you'll know it's because we're recuperating from sunstroke and/or escaping from fires and floods.

This month the BBC7 website are running a series of H.G. Wells short stories on Saturday afternoons. Last week they started off with the chiller "The Sea Raiders"; next week we'll hear the whimsical "The New Accelerator".

I've been an admirer of Wells' short fiction all my life. Their potential for radio was something I'd always been aware of, and if it wasn't for the collapse of radio drama in this country I might have tried my hand at a script.

I think the first book I ever bought by mail order (back in 1967) was a massive volume of The Complete Short Stories of H.G. Wells, printed on that thin grey paper they used in Britain during World War II.

Back in 1996 I started a one-man campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Wells' death and contacted every major media outlet in the country. Philip Adams and Robyn Williams wrote me nice letters, the Sydney Morning Herald turned my press release into a column, I was interviewed on ABC radio and the State Library of Tasmania staged a display of my H.G. Wells collection.

Something that not many people think about is that nearly all the main themes of popular fiction were foreshadowed by Wells:
  • atomic bombs
  • alien invaders
  • germ warfare
  • time travel
  • mutants
  • genetic engineering
  • moon landings etc etc.

There's more to Herbert George Wells than just The War of the Worlds.

Julie and a friend went off to see an acquaintance who breeds chickens in a big way. She came home with six fancy-looking chooks. Photographs to follow.


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