Sydney in July: A cold and wet winter.

Sydney in July: A cold and wet winter.

At the end of June a big weather system formed off the NSW coast. This resulted in severe flooding of the northern coastal plains along the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers and the coastal plains to the south of Sydney. The system dumped between 700mm and a metre of rain in the region, over the weekend of the 1 – 4th July. We had heavy rain in Warriewood, but no flooding.

Offshore low causing heavy onshore rain.

The irony is that we have extremes: Either droughts, resulting in bushfires in summer, or, heavy rain in winter as experienced over the last three years. Climate change is a reality and it is good to see the new government commit to reduced emissions and renewable energy in line with targets adopted in Europe. Also, by offering incentives for the adoption of electric vehicles.

Flooded shores of the Hawkesbury River.

Our EV which we ordered in January, is now due to arrive in August. I have managed to have the bylaws for our estate redrafted by strata solicitors, to allow for solar panel systems to be installed on our roofs. This was approved at a strata meeting on the 7th July. The new bylaw has been submitted for registration by the Lands Department, which should take about a month.

The BYD Atto 3 EV we ordered.

We already have 6 quotes to install a 6.6kW solar panel array on our unit 17, to charge the EV as well as for electrical energy during the day, feeding excess energy back into the grid. We don’t need to buy an expensive $15,000 Tesla 13.5kWh Powerwall 2 home battery, as our new EV will have vehicle to load capability, allowing us to use it’s big 60.4kWh car battery for some of our energy requirements. How good is that – we may even be carbon neutral, as well as not having to pay $2.20/l for petrol, the price recently and bound to go up in the future.

During the rainy period, Annie suddenly had the urge to do furniture restoration. She tackled a large coffee table and bookcase, stripped the Oregon pine of varnish, sanded it endlessly and sealed it with Beeswax. This may be the last.

Working on the bookcase in the garage.

We also had news from our daughters who were having fun travelling abroad. Michelle after the UK, spent time in Amsterdam and then met up with hiking friends Luzi, Lara and Zoe in Hinterthal, Switzerland to do a 4 day hike in the Swiss Alps.

Starting out in the lower valleys, heading for Berghutte at 2000m.

More clothes as she gets higher.

Getting chilly at 3,000m.

Celebrating completion of the 4 day hike at Arthurhaus, after 50km and 2,995m elevation gain.

Karen and Evan in the meantime, got to La Paz in Bolivia after doing volunteer work, then set off for the Uyuni salt flats – at 11,000 sq km, the largest body of white salt in the world.

Karen and Evan.

Karen and friends.

By mid-July 2022, Covid infections were on the rise again in Australia due to two new Covid strains. The government was prepared this time with adequate vaccines in stock, so we checked in with our local chemist where we received our third booster shot.

Warriewood Wetlands.

We are fortunate to have a number of nature trails on our doorstep – 200m down Garden Street, we have the start of the Warriewood Wetlands trails. A number of raised timber walking trails and a huge diversity of birds – apart from the ubiquitous Kookaburras and White Cockatiels, there are also the Bellbird honeyeaters with their unique bell sound.

Irrawong waterfall.

When we go shopping at the Warriewood shopping centre, we walk there and back through the Wetlands walk.  Across the road from us is the start of the Irrawong reserve, with the trail leading up the valley past the waterfall about 500m from our house, to Ingleside further up the valley. Lots of exercise here, keeping the circulation going in winter!

We wrapped the month of July with a B-line bus ride to Wynyard in the city, to visit the Sydney International Boat Show at Darling Harbour. Afterwards, we walked across the city to the NSW Art gallery to view the annual Archibald competition art exhibition. Some of the entries follow below.

The Archibald winner: Blak Douglas inspired by the recent floods.

Peter Garrett by Anh Do.

The big switch to solar power – portrait of inventor and engineer, Dr Saul Griffith.

Hirsute: Self portrait of Peter Hannaford – a three times cancer survivor.

Untitled: Wynne prize for landscape painting.

After the exhibition, we walked back to Wynyard for the bus ride home to Warriewood and a well deserved beer after covering 11 km during the day. The days are getting longer and soon we hope to welcome spring here in Sydney, after a decidedly wet and cold July. Cheers for now!

Dirk & Annie