” There are years life is like honey, other years are like hell!”

Today,...weather.... related to sport/ soaring and our soaring mates .
I was very much impressed with the devastating conditions one of our soaring mates is dealing with cause of the terrible drought in the Southern part of Queensland in Australia.Sharing what Bruce Taylor and his wife Anita and a lot of other farmers are getting trough is my tribute to them , to show we feel with them.We are mates in good and in bad times. I know it is not much, but thumps up for them and for ALL other people in the world who suffer from the heat or cold, the rain or snow.

First the weather here in Europe. At this stage parts of Europe suffer from heavy snow as in Austria and the N of Italy, where more than a meter snow fell in 36 hours and cut towns off from the world. People have to stay in their house [Tirol] as avalanches are a big threat .
Never in the last 100 years the snow and rain have been so heavy!
The alternative marathon on ice moved from Holland to Austria to be skated over the Weissensee as we have have more or less spring times here instead of winter.
This marathon was cancelled yesterday as well,  as they could not get rid of the 1.5 m. snow covering the ice.
200 Dutch skaters were also stuck in their hotel due to the snow and could not go home.Thousand's of holiday makers as well.
Other spots as in France and Italy [Pisa]but also parts of the UK suffer from high water and strong wind and for that reason....flooding.

Looking at the USA ,it was and  it is , as I read, not good either, the cold has reached spots where it normally is not cold at all. Places were they did not know about cold, ice and snow were colder, icier and had more snow than they were used to/could handle.

Art,  you all know him from WGC's as steward,  or at the scales or scrutiny department, hoped to escape from minus 37 in Canada by going on a holiday to Texas and he was stuck for 3 days in a hotel as due to frost he could go nowhere.
" Beautiful white sand on the Gulf at Orange Beach, Alabama? Not bloody likely! It's snow! And we are stuck here for the third day as there are closed roads and bridges."

Z art

To remain optimistic; At least not as cold as in Canada,....AND a view on palm trees!

That's the COLD, the HEAT can be even more devastating. The S. of Queensland in Australia suffers from severe drought and specially the farmers have a terrible time.One of our mates and for a long time already participant on WGC's, Bruce Taylor spoke out his frustration and with his permission I can share his worries and from those who suffer as well.

For those who have never lived in Australia it is very difficult to understand the  consequences of this hot weather for farmers.We are full of joy with the great lift the heat produces for gliding and we should, but farmers can go broke on a long drought .They really can endure also physical and mental health problems.
I do realize that when I write about the soaring-pleasure.
I met farmers who had , with tears in their eyes, to give away  not sell, their 1000 sheep,as they could not feed them anymore, due to lack of food/water from the drought. To still give them a bit of a life they even contributed financially [ whilst that situation was bad too] to bring the sheep to another farm, where circumstances were better.So money on top of, that's the concerning heart of a good farmer.
A farmers life can be fantastic but also very hard/tough . There are years that life is like honey, other years are like hell and you can't change it; nature can be beautiful but also unforgiving.Their job combines sometimes the very  best and sometimes the worst circumstances.
The next picture is NOT to shock you, but to show the reality of a drought. It makes me sad!

Z drought

this is a photo from Beck Smiths property in the S/Western corner of QLD
And shared by Joe Grace and many others.

Here is the story from Bruce;
 The post from Joe Grace/Beck Smith holds many truths; the financial side of drought is a tough one to endure. But for many farmers, the psychological and emotional stress is the real challenge.
A drought is there every day when you walk out the door, it lives in the faces of all your animals, and it lives in the dust that gets up your nose and in your eyes. Drought events are difficult to explain to those who have not had to survive one, as pictures and words often don’t convey the depth of frustration and suffering.
How do you explain what you have to do to a weak or sick animal that drops off the back of the mob; or the frustration of having animals so hungry that they actually run under the wheels of the vehicle that feeds them; or the constant battle with finding water and keeping it running to every animal on the farm; or the heartache when the feed and water really does run out, and you have to sell stock that have been bred for generations; or the burden of finding anyone to actually buy (or simply take) these animals, as half of the continent is drought stricken and everybody else is in the same predicament.
For many farmers, there is great value in simple recognition, more than financial assistance. Australian farms provide our food, our fibre, and an enormous part of our heritage and culture, and many people have forgotten this; some never even knew it to begin with.
The media is besotted with “breaking news”, and we see so little of the heartbreaking news that is right here on our doorstep". 

They were hoping for some rain from a cyclone but it passed by more Northerly then where Bruce and Anita live.
Bruce was grateful for all reactions and support and mentioned:
" I know that all jobs have their good and bad times, and generally farming has been good to us, so I do not want to appear to be complaining too much. It is the frustration of attitudes and priorities that makes me want to speak out."

Normally our rain is spread through the whole year, with a peak through this mid-summer period from the cyclone activity. Plenty of cyclone activity, but nothing here in the south."

Z empty pond   Z dry field

Z dry river 2   z dry river

A dry pond, dry acres, dry riverbeds!!!
courtesy Bruce Taylor.

So when I write about awesome gliding weather with temperatures in the low 40thies as this week in the South of Australia [Victoria and  NSW] and certainly for the time of the year,  long flights, I do know the other site of the story as well.
Just to let you know AND to support our soaring friends Anita and Bruce and their farmer-mates!!!!!!


Bruce and Anita in 2011 in Uvalde.Lovely people!

For all other soaring news and some stats about South Africa, news on the WGC in Finland in June/July , about the Calif Caproni and brand new training gliders for Australia from Schleicher and DG, you can go to www.soaring.eu for last weeks updates!

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Since before the word “blog” was created, Ritz wrote about her experiences every day after flying at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Australia, where she helped run a successful business from 1996 to 2005. Her first blogs on soaring.eu date from June 2006, and she has been blogging ever since, joining Soaring Café in January 2011. She says her experience as columnist for Gliding International and blogger for Soaring Café has enriched her world more than she can say and that her soaring friends keep her young and ”going”.

Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.

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  1 comment for “” There are years life is like honey, other years are like hell!”

  1. Glenn Holden
    February 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks Ritz! Seems everyone is dealing with extremes this year.

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