‘I love a sunburnt country, …of drought and flooding rains.’ Ol’ Dorrie MacKellar was a champion scribbler who certainly knew one thing about Australia, chiefly, how this great country is trying to kill us.
Last week, those parts of our State not battling massive bushfires, were being swamped by a 1 in 100 year flood. Just like the last 1 in 100 year flood we had two years ago.
Here in Gladstone, our long, hot, ground cracking drought was broken by rain of Biblical proportions; which explains the large number of folk wandering around shaking their heads and muttering, “Good God!” Except for us atheists of course.
Thundery Thursday was followed by Flooded Friday then Saturated Saturday. Rivers rose rapidly, and carloads of motorists, ignoring Police advice to stay at home, were out and about gawping at the rising waters. Every flamin’ place I went there were crowds of folk taking snapshots of the floods; and I’ve got photos to prove it!
Sunny Sunday arrived, and Premier Newman, suddenly recalling that there were people living in towns outside of Brisbane, sent a couple of lackeys up by jet to visit us. Sadly they forgot to pack the plane with some essentials, like bread, milk, toilet paper and ice-cream.
Then came Mobile Free Monday, when we woke up and discovered that we had no internet, Wi-Fi, or telephone services. “Where’s Facebook gone?!” cried Long Suffering Wife shaking her i-Thingy. On tele, houses were going downstream, and I was surrounded by frantic, twitchy eyed family members pawing at their useless mobile devices.
Grabbing an old Eye-Book 1.0 (a battery free device made of paper and cardboard), I wandered off into the soggy scrub until things returned to normal. Tactfully avoiding a damp brown snake, I found a seat on an old stump, and brushing off a half-drowned spider, sat down to read Mrs. Mac’s poem, ‘My Country’. That’s when then a huge tree branch crashed to the ground right beside me.
I had to smile; good old Australia, where even the trees will try to kill you.
‘Her beauty and her terror, the wide brown land for me!’