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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Storm und Drang

You know that trees can kill people right? I met a lady the other day who claimed she was almost killed by a coconut. Was not sure that I believed her as she'd lived most of her life in England where I'm pretty sure coconut palms do not grow, unless they are really vicious at those village fairs over there playing coconut shy. But then she was alive to tell me this so obviously survived. I wondered if she'd reported this health and safety hazard to the Head Gardener, of whatever garden she was in, because we must all now do this for work once a month with our Health and Safety meetings and go through all the hazards and risks, to isolate, minimise or eliminate them as much as possible.

We need to identify hazards and look over the Hazard Register, assess risks with a Risk Assessment Form, keep Special Data Sheets of all hazardous chemicals, report Accidents and Incidents, make sure we are wearing our Personal Protective Equipment, and ensure with each tool we are following Safe Operating Procedure, and before we even start work that we are fully inducted on Health and Safety at each site.

The storm last night made it hazardous to do any gardening at all for our oldies garden group, and the power went out, which meant they could not even have a cup of tea today until the cafe owners boiled water on their gas barbecue. My garden arch had fallen over the driveway this morning and the neighbours had their tree fallen onto their roof, my friend picked up 368 cabbage tree leaves, the Woodsiders also had no power because a tree had fallen over their power line, and those 190 km/hr winds decimated our bedding displays. We fixed up some dangerously leaning standard roses and restaked feijoa trees, picking up broken branches and palm fronds and compost wheely bins that had fallen over and spilled their contents. Maybe God was just stirring things up just a tad. Yesterday we were warned with thunder and lightening bolts that made my boss scream, and driving rain, but last night I just slept right through it. My workmate had to go home to notify his landlord about four broken windows, and there was a smashed clock at the Waitakere Gardens, but otherwise, it was rather tame. At least our garden wasn't totally killed by frost.

I don't think anything could faze me about Auckland weather now we've had four seasons in one day. and apart from the odd earthquake, volcano and tsunami risks our team ventured forth gardening as usual while everyone cheered and admired us for our bravery.