The First Flood

The first flood!

First it spitter spattered, and then it poured . . . and poured . . . and poured! Monday night saw me hauling the water pump out of the path of the rising tide by car light as the deluge continued (amazing how much strength the fear of flood pumps to muscles more accustomed to mouse than manpower . . . )

By Tuesday I was completely marooned. Funny, I had always dreamed of living on an island, and now I do! The water came up somewhere between 9 and 10 feet overnight. We had about 6 inches of rain over three days across a wide catchment area and most of it ended up in my river! Even Angle Creek was a raging torrent so the only way out or in was to be winched across on the Flying Fox. I braved it on Wednesday when the water was much lower and Ged delivered necessary supplies from the supermarket and the mail (!) but other than that it was just me and the radio, a few paintbrushes, two cans of gloss and a helluva lot of woodwork!

I have been forced over to Radio National as I can’t seem to get the ABC here. I was very resistant at first but the quality, intelligence and relevance of the programmes have won my heart! Very often they are consumed with debate about complex spiritual or philosophical tussles and I love it! My other great love is Classic FM. We are so lucky here to have advertisement free Classical music which isn’t trying to explore the nether reaches of the Classical genre (Radio 3!) but is a good mix of all the greats with avant garde noise only occasionally!

I have also been re-reading Daddy’s book. I am ashamed to admit that ten years ago I had lent my personalised copy to an Aussie Army friend, who disappeared to Darwin with it, never to be seen or heard from again. So I have tracked down a copy courtesy of my trusty friend Google and have been taking advantage of the grey and gloomy skies to meander through his Tour. With the benefit of age, and one would hope a little wisdom, it sheds light not only on the man and his integrity, but the stress my parents were under through that halcyon summer of 1976, and how very alike father and daughter really are!

It seems that only the dates and the places and the people have changed, the conflicts continue somewhere, somehow, somewhy . . .

Last week when I was out and about in Wauchope and scanning the charity shops for a costume to wear to a ‘gangsters and molls’ 40th next weekend, I found a lovely pair of wing back chairs with matching sofa for $80 so I snapped them up and hustled them into Port and the upholsterer. Hopefully by Christmas I will have them home (will I have a home by then??)

Saturday saw Ged and myself barrow loading river rocks onto the end of the causeway to fill in the gouge left by the raging torrent, so he could get in (having recovered from this foul flu that has been doing the rounds, and killing more than it cured. . . ). Then we took his ‘n’ hers chainsaws over to ‘the other side’ so I could have a supervised lesson and we could cut some much needed firewood. Man, it’s heavy!! Then we sourced the spring that I was convinced was feeding my beautiful dam so that was very exciting and I now have plans for further dams in that area. Between George and Ged and their ongoing education of the female city slicker, I will become a farmer yet!

Sunday has been a full on day of activity as the linen cupboard was finished off with beading and its newly painted doors returned to it. The final touches making the pantry perfect, the new front door cut down to size ready for my painting and a huge number of tobacco trees and lantana pulled out of the Angle Creek Bridge area. Ged has taken the week off work to put some serious effort into making a difference here and at least I know that whatever I pay him is money well spent as he is even more of a perfectionist than any of the Mortons!

And I am the one exhorting less bloody perfection and more bloody speed!

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