This column appeared in last Mondays’ Observer. Owing to the fact that I was on holidays, and the horrendous fact that internet connection was priced at $1 a minute, I figured I’d have a computer free week… it was nice 🙂
Well, what a difference a year can make. Exactly one year ago if I was to have sung “Rain, rain go away!” in a public gathering I would have either been thrown into a padded cell, or slapped about a bit. Possibly both.
It’s raining again, the grass is lush and green, and my gutters are overflowing; possibly because the tennis ball I hit onto the roof last year has jammed in one of the down pipes.
This time last year Awoonga Dam levels were so low, that you needed a cut lunch and waterbag just to back your boat down the ramp.
This time last year, starving kangaroos were wearing ‘Please Shoot Me!’ signs around their necks, and I went from wondering, ‘When will it rain?’ to, ‘Will it ever rain?’ Now I’m wondering, ‘When will it stop raining?’, and am probably a week away from asking, ‘Will it ever stop raining?’ Meanwhile, the roo’s are using machetes to get through the long grass.
This time last year, walking the family pooches was a daily adventure as we encountered dust storms, thirsty snakes, fires, and most terrifying of all, falling tree branches. On one memorable occasion, an entire gum tree fell over just as I passed it, frightening me so much that I’ll never need laxatives again.
This year the trees are still dropping branches because they’re waterlogged now. Honestly, Australian trees are deadlier than snakes, crocs, spiders and sharks combined, and they’re patiently watching you…
This time last year, our washing took a full five minutes to dry under Gladstone’s baking sun. This year, in order to buy a clothes dryer, you have to put your name on the bottom of a very long list, and hope that it arrives before Christmas. Or, you could pay a small fortune to get one delivered to your door tomorrow by a couple of shady characters; organised crime having discovered that this money spinner is much more lucrative than drug trafficking.
And twelve months ago, a Brisbane Water Board employee was anonymously going about his business, watching his job drying up as dam levels plummeted like a stunned duck. But this year, Mr. Dan Spiller, the chief ‘Dam Spiller’, is praying that the torrential rains will stop falling, and that the sniggering media will leave him alone.
He’s not the only one.