A cup of tea by my side, I lay in a warm bed relaxed, warm watching the billions of drops lashing at the windows in front of me. The winds are fierce and gales of up to 50km are bending the bamboos so low I fear they might be uprooted.
Branches are falling everywhere and a mighty casurina branch just fell on the chicken coop. Then, Peter says I should go and cut it off. I look at him, “you are joking I respond with a tinge of anger and bewilderment in that rain and wind? ” I don’t mind he says, then I ignore him and continue knitting. He did not go out in the end. Commonsense prevailed. But he did go out to make sure that the tremendous amount of water that was rushing down the drive did not cause too many ruts. So in the rain he went, digging along it to ensure that if followed the path intended and cleaned all the bamboos leaves clogging it. All that in lashing rain…The chooks were fed and made secure. Yes, Peter, love the water!
The rain comes in an incline of 45 o steady, very steady. In fact it has not stopped for the last 72 h. I do mean non stop. No respite, not for one second.
The valley and the mountain across are shrouded in a blanket of white cloud. Opaque and impenetrable. The sound on the roof can be at times quite heavy. It resonates on the tin roof and is deafening.
Birds are away, not a peep, where are they all? I am sure they are hidden somewhere, wet and bedraggled. Then, little cheeky butcher birds, the resident pet ones that I feed regularly…oh by the way they have have brought in 2 new babies. They chirp incessantly on the veranda. The four of them take turn to beg for food. In that storm that has been lashing out they come and perch on the veranda and just sit there dry and safe, a nice refuge. They do not want to move. They are not scared. They do not even want any food, just safe and protected from the water. They are wet very wet. So, they all comfortably standing, I look at the baby ones, they are just starting to take their own food, they are not sure what to do yet. Should they go on the ground to pick the little piece of beef that I just thrown, not sure of that one…waiting for mum or dad to feed them might not happen, so he just dives on the floor and chirping like mad looks at the meat…keeps looking not sure what to do. In the meantime, mum or dad, still perched on the balustrade watch and do not move, not a movement. Still stridently tweeting, he still hesitate looking at the piece not knowing how to proceed, but hunger gets to him and he hops closer and closer and still noisily is sitting 20 cm away. What should I do with this tempting morsel? Another couple of seconds staring at it, then finally it is not happening, nobody is going to hand it to him, so he precipitously pounce on it and flies away. He has made his first step in feeding himself under the watchful eye of mum who did move an inch, but just watched totally unconcerned or so it seemed.
The bamboos are now at a 90o angle and being lashed by the rain. It is coming down and down and down. The valley is totally under water which is gushing, transporting with it branches and debris. The 2 causeways along our road have broken their banks and water floods the road. Dangerous, as one does not see the dead trunks or other debris that are stuck in the middle of the bridge. One can get stuck quite easily.
Yesterday , as I was on voluntary roster duty at the local Nimbin Artists Gallery, (see our Facebook page) it was touch and go…will I close early? No, I’ll hang in there for a while. Then, Peter rings me and says that the bridge might overflow any moment and I might be stuck. I was still not decided. So, I waited for a a little while longer. Rain still pouring down in tons in the village also. A few hours later, another phone call, Peter was desperate, “Gigi. it is touch and go…” “ok said I.” It was 14.30h. Come and pick me up. I closed the gallery and we headed back home.
The water tanks are overflowing, the creek is over our little causeway is closing our drive, the cows are stuck on one side and they are not going across it….it is running fast. I suspect the calves will not attempt to cross, they might get stuck. But so far, the animals are safe but the drive is for the time being difficult to navigate just at the causeway. If the rain eases for a while it should be fine. But according to the latest forecast not in the immediate. Another 3 days of torrential lashing out of rain . The cows are very clever, they came up right to the top away from the flood down the property.
Well, as long as we are safe it is a good time to catch up on the little jobs around the house and a little more knitting and listening to a couple of audiobooks at the same time.
I was interrupted as we had more than 25h of power cut. Dinner by candle lights of course, plus heaps of candles everywhere. No water, not hot water, no shower…yes, we do smell a little. Heaps of frozen food might be perished in the freezer. Have not checked yet. Of course no internet, no phone. How weird to be cut off from everyone. but it was nice very nice as we relearned some basic ways of just being. Then, something happened the huge clump of bamboo by the entrance of the main gate decided to keel over and it did. CRASH! across the portal down the drive. and we could not get out. easy, peter said, let ‘s get the chainsaw and hack it down in pieces. There were about 40 branches. That was under torrential rains. The winds and rain were so strong that we seriously hesitated…but the chainsaw decided also to give up. It just would not start, so drove back up in the heavy rain and wind. I thought the mobile could be used and rang a friend who was not able to make it. He was also under water and could not get out of his drive. Tomorrow will do. There was nothing that could be done right now.
Next day, still no electricity for the whole morning. We managed to get a neighbour with a chain saw and he debited the 40 clumps in a wink of an eye. Peter and I managed to lift the heavy pieces from across the fence and the gate. Free at last. Now we could at least get out of the house. The sun was shining but the humidity was intolerable. AT least dry for a while before the next phase of rain. Not today tho. The bridge down the road were also flooded with huge and massive trunks on the road. We could not lift any of that. No way ! But some gentle soul did it for us and for all the dwellers on our street.
The worse affected part of the country is 200 km north of where we are. Some parts of Queensland have been declared catastrophe areas. So many people in troubles with the rains, the fires, the tornadoes, these elements of nature are totally unforgiving.