After The Rain ….

We just had our second annual ‘100 Year Weather Event’ when the rain starts and forgets to stop and dumps three months worth of rain in a 48 hour period……  Coming down onto ground that is already sodden from a very wet Winter.   Coming down onto reclaimed flat land that lies at the base of the seven hills of Dunedin, land that edges up to the mighty Winter roaring Southern Pacific Ocean.   There’s really nowhere for all this water to go – except up.

So up it went.  Roads closed, properties flooded, families were evacuated and I was in my tiny home, with the blinds down, the lights on, keeping cosy and warm, with the music on and the paint and ink flowing and the kitty and the puppy alternately rocking it out with me or snoozing quietly while I worked.

I was playing with water-colours and something called an ‘Elegant Writer’ a pen that when moved with water bleeds pinks, blues and purples onto the paper.  Here’s my first, second and third attempts

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As you can see, there’s plenty of room for improvement yet.  It’s a fascinating process and I was challenged trying to add just the right amount of water in just the right place to get the pen to move as I wanted it to.  Still, given the outside events maybe me having trouble with directing water inside wasn’t that unexpected………..

It wasn’t until the morning of the second day, after a night listening to the sound of sirens passing in the near or far distance that I thought maybe all wasn’t quite as well as perhaps it should be in my little corner of the world.

So we got up and went out for our morning walk.   We haven’t missed a morning walk yet this winter and Siddy is quite keen that we keep this record up.

We missed two days last year; one during our first annual ‘100 year weather event’ and the other on a morning of severe frost and ice when I really wasn’t prepared to risk finding myself upside down on a pavement again.

Siddy wasn’t terribly impressed with either event.

It’s a bit sad when you see your otherwise keen and happy puppy hanging over the edge of a chair, hanging his head down as far as he can, because really life as a puppy knows it has come to complete and utter stand still.  Personally I’d rather pull on the pink gumboots, envelope myself in my windproof-waterproof jacket, wrap my long crocheted eternity scarf twice around my neck, pull my hat down over my hair and the rain hood of my jacket up over said hat, put Siddy’s raincoat over his thick white fur and his harness over his raincoat, attach his lead to his harness, pull on my gloves, stand erect and – whew – leave the house and meet whatever is waiting for us.

On this particular morning the world seemed quiet.  Except for the sound of the rain pattering on and, in the not-too-far distance, the sound of some kind of mechanism working.  I walked the three houses to the corner and looking further down my street, just past the  slight rise in the road that lifts my end about a metre and a half above the rest of the street I saw a gently moving slough of water making it’s way inexorably along the street and into properties.   Several trucks lined the roadside and the sound I could hear was their portable pumps pumping the water from some of the homes at the posh end of the street.

Siddy and I made our way to the park.  Here I could either practise my skills of  bog treading or walking on water.  Even Siddy was somewhat uncertain of how to procede after his first dash along his usual route abruptly became a tummy high cold bath and an opportunity for him to practise his skill at dog-paddling.  We decided to stick to the path and treat all puddles as potential water traps.

Meandering quietly along, just us and the rain, I became aware that I could hear water running along beneath my feet.  Coming to a storm water drain that was spurting and spouting like a baby whale practising breeching, I could hear the louder sound of water rushing and tumbling through the subterranean drains. Drains that were clearly only just holding their own against the onslaught.

Needless to say that after one perambulation around the outskirts of the park we returned home, somewhat sodden, but none the worse for wear.

Once there, with the dog dried off and our gear hung up to drip dry over the bath I turned my attention to Mr Google and requested information on the weather.  This was when I found out about the state of play.   Due to the widespread flooding, the City Council had run out of road closed signs.  Sixty-eight roads had been closed due to slips or flooding.   The main highway was closed in several places, nothing had been coming in or getting out for several hours.  A civil emergency had been declared.  Homes were being evacuated throughout the low lying parts of the city and surrounding towns and countryside.  A major slip had endangered homes in the hillside suburb of St Clair.

And there we were, one and a half metres above and twenty yards away from, at the worst, chaos and at the best, discomfort and inconvenience.  Sometimes I find myself having the opportunity to experience pure untrammeled gratitude!

Yesterday the sun shone and the temperature warmed up.  While myself and my immediate neighbours had all come through unharmed, three houses around us had men working on their roofs – I assume fixing leaks.  There’s that flash of gratitude again!  The empty house opposite had plumbers working inside it for most of the afternoon.   The sound of the council trucks clearing roadside gutters, ditches and drains rumbled around us for much of the day.

The sun shone again today for most of the time, but they tell us more rain is coming tonight.

I looked up from my blog post reading this morning and saw this, if there’s a sliver of sunshine to be had……O in sun Jul 25

Orlando King will have it, thank you!

O 2 in sun July 25

And they say there’s no show without Punch – or in this case, Siddy……

O&S July25

Making the most of it – as always!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

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83 thoughts on “After The Rain ….

  1. Oh, thank goodness! I was hoping I didn’t have many posts to catch up on your blog. Pauline, this was such a sweet picture I got in my mind, you and your two cute buddies all cozy inside, while the rain came down in buckets. 🌧⛈💧🌊
    I loved your two floral paintings but the young dark haired woman was my favorite. 🙂 xo 💖

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    • Hi Robin – I sure am glad the rain is over and signs of spring are in the air! 🙂 Thank you for your thoughts on the pen sketches, the face is preferred by me too – the others were definitely experiments – trying to understand how the pen worked was quite a challenge for me!

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  2. I think the paintings are gorgeous. If this is what happens on rainy days, it can keep rainin’. Except not much fun for the walks with the dog. I hope there’s some sunshine ahead.

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  3. I wonder if our raining spring and summer weather left us and came to you? If so, sorry about that! We’ve had about three or four days of sun now and it’s such a good feeling after months of rain. I like the paintings!

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    • Thank you Cynthia, we had such a wet summer this past season and the water table was already high when winter arrived and the big wet started – it’s the new way for us I think. My area used to have high sunshine hours and rain fell mostly at night which was very nice and convenient and mainly in Spring and later Autumn – now it seems to be any old time. I’ve just checked you out and saw I was no longer following you, which wasn’t by my design so I guess a glitch in the system. Again! Fixed!

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  4. Oh wow, I’m no stranger to flooding events. That does sound quite scary, though. I’m hoping it dries up soon so that you aren’t threatened by floods! The art is beautiful and the tool sounds like a magic pen. My dog also gets really bummed out when he can’t go for his walk. I rarely cancel on him, but there are times when I get home too late or maybe don’t feel well. I love the photo of Orlando finding that glimmer of sun, and then Siddy also hedging in for the moment. Take great care 😀

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    • Texas and floods are two things I have never put together Lana – but I guess it happens there too 🙂 Obviously I have a picture in my head of a huge, dry, deserty kind of state – you know ranches, haciendas and steer interspersed by a few gigantic cities, none with rivers! Can you can tell this is a part of the world I have never investigated or visited? It’s raining again, but a couple of dry days helped lower water levels……

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      • Oh Pauline, ha ha. Yes, I know the stereotypes. We’ve got lots of rivers, although my part of the state went through a drought for five years, then we had a huge deluge of rain, and it filled up the lakes in less than two weeks! We have an ocean too, ha ha. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that things turn out well for you and the water levels continue to go down!

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  5. Wow! That’s a lot of devastation. That will take a long time to sort out. On a more frivolous note – Hicks would have loved that walk! The pencils sound and look marvellous. Look forward to watching your progress with them 🙂

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  6. I had seen some tweets about your weather. Goodness, I’m so glad you’re dry and that the sun has come back. With luck the waters will recede… Glad you and Siddy got out, though and back safely.

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    • The rain was forecast to be back yesterday, but it held off while we had a lovely life commemoration for a friend who passed and then started sometime during the night again…… I’m hoping it will just turn the bog to marsh (or is that the other way round or even the same thing?) Siddy has his day at puppy daycare and grooming today so maybe I can get away with not walking if it’s too bad…… Though I have top say this big wet is becoming a tad tedious!

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  7. That was an intriguing narrative – it had me on the edge of my seat. I was waiting for the part where you got swept away down the street, but so glad that didn’t happen. The weather this year has been punishing all over the world, so crazy. Glad you are safe and I hope you are able to resume your walks without further interruption.

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    • Yes, you are correct – crazy, mad but nothing to do with a global changing climate of course….. It’s raining again so after a two day respite we are back to the wet. The price of rowboats must be escalating! 🙂

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  8. Lovely narration, I could almost feel myself enduring the rain and then that patch of sunlight. 💕 You do have a way with words as well as other creative talents. Sounds like you are making the most of a wet winter, Pauline!

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    • Hi there Jan – did you hear me thinking about you? I was wondering if should make contact as I haven’t seen or heard anything from you in so long. I know you might just be out and about enjoying the summer weather and going on little camping excursions …. Any way lovely to hear from you and just letting you know you’ve been missed xo

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  9. How perfect to tie the correlation between the water control inside to the water outside where there is no control.:) Loved the flower pictures. They feel good. I know just what you are talking about with being on the high and dry side when the house directly across the street from me lost the yard behind it. They are still waiting for the legal process to end so they can move the house off the lot. There may never be on there again. I’ll have a permanent view of the trees. Count my blessings everyday that I didn’t have to pack up everything and move it somewhere else. No guarantees in life. I almost didn’t see Orlando in that first shot of the sunshine but the second shot of both sweet fellows was priceless. The only thing that ever slowed us down on our walks when I had Schatzie was the lightning. We got caught out in it a time or two and then we both learned to fly not letting our paws touch the ground. Flooding can be very dangerous as many know here. Glad it all ended well for you and congrats on not missing a day. You are a good dog mum. Hope the flooding is done for another hundred years now.

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    • Hello Marlene! Now that would be scary ……… I don’t think I’ve ever been caught in lightening – the first hint of a thunder storm and I’m an inside gal! 🙂 I remember when you told us about the house opposite. I’m always amazed at how close we can be to disaster and yet somehow, something protects us. And even when we are the ones who bear the brunt there is always an opportunity for improvement on some level. And you get a nice view!

      You wouldn’t be the only one who missed that the glowing ball of light was Orlando – it looked like that to me too and I was here. It’s a fab picture isn’t it. I do hope things are going well for you xo

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      • Life is excellent. Thank you for asking, Pauline. As for the house across the street, my son says it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Meaning that the woman that lived there was an angry, bitter soul that found fault in everything and everyone. We are both delighted that she lives up the street from me and no longer directly across. Funny how those things happen to that kind of person. Everything was fine on either side of her. No, I didn’t put a curse on her. 🙂 Lets hope Orlando keeps finding the light. And of course, Siddy will always be close by. Stay dry and safe.

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  10. Lovely, positive and Earl had better never see this post. Only 2 days AWOL from walking? He would be positively enraged as Steve and I have had quite a few days this year without the stoic “W.A.L.K.” (must be spelled and even then we think he is starting to get it…) SO glad you live on the upside part of the hill Ms Pauline and that everything is AOK in your neck of the woods 🙂

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      • The spinning is going great. I still have thin whisps and lumpy bits in my yarn but I am assured that one day I will lust after my “ability” to do them 😉 I have a tonne of fleece now to start mucking around with and want to spin a lot of homespun to make clothing out of. Polish away Ms Pauline, you deserve it. I am guessing that if you had to walk a most excited Earl who can haul 80kg Steve around like a red headed step child you might be doing paper-rock-scissors to take him out into the wet as well 😉 Seriously though, Earl bows to your dedication. You are apparently a “good ma” and get a solid Earl lick for your efforts.

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        • I never got past the ‘whispy and lumpy’ stage, I love that you will be making your own clothing ❤ I have enough trouble hanging onto young Sid when he decides to take off to say hello to someone he knows or thinks he ought to know…. He's like some cartoon dog I recall seeing somewhere who is towing a sled and goes fast by bounding ahead in a series of frantic leaps……. in this case it's me, arm pulled in-extremis at right angle, flying along behind him……. I would never be able to handle Earl 😀

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          • Earl, in full “interest” is a sight to behold! He can almost pull Steve over so sometimes it’s a matter of “hold onto your hat and run!” and I am not very good at running 😉 I just picked up two more spinning wheels, some carders, a comb and tonnes of bobbins off Gumtree for cheap. They need a little TLC but at $35 each, and one of them is a traveler upright, I think I got a bargain. Steve is doing the TLC and pretty soon they will be loved and in operation again. I wanted the traveler for when I go to spinning classes/guild as it’s easier to get in and out of the car and takes up less room. I also got a stack more fleece and some delicious hand spun, hand dyed yarn from a lovely lady who is moving away from Tassie soon for my birthday (Steve was MOST generous this year 🙂 ). I will have to work out something delicious to make with it AND I am entering the world of knitting! I am doing mitre squares at the moment but want to make Stevie-boy a jumper out of hand spun and will mix wool and alpaca methinks to make sure it doesn’t weigh a tonne. I am in love with crafts at the moment 🙂 ❤

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              • I had almost an entire blog post typed up the other day in a notepad and hit some kind of (frigging) shortcut collective of keys and wiped the lot. I didn’t notice immediately as I type quite quickly and my reflexes are not instant so by the time I had stopped my fingers from tapping I wasn’t able to hit “Cntl Z” and get it back. I decided that it was a sign that I wasn’t meant to type up a blog post that day ;). I will be doing a post about “everything” and even have a song called “It’s been a while” as my intro ;). It will be veggie season soon so how could I not post? I am so excited about all of the crafts etc. I am taking up it will inevitably spill over into posting again. It’s a habit thang to be honest.

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  11. I’m happy you and yours are safe. Weather can be so scary at times! I like that you braved it to walk to the park. That part felt like a meditation to me. Maybe it was the patience, perseverance, and will. Maybe it was meandering in the rain. I don’t know, but I felt like I was right there with you both walking, mindfully. The paintings with the new technique are fascinating–I look forward to seeing more. And the slivers of sunshine at the end? They made me smile. Animals tend to do that 🙂

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    • I am glad you could accompany us on our morning walk Cheryl. Having this puppy in my life has been like finding the missing link in the puzzle of mindfulness. He, of course, demonstrates it and lives in it every moment and when we take our morning walks that is what we do together. Be and breathe and observe and enjoy. So happy to share it with you 🙂

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  12. Stay safe with your little guys. It’s lucky you are on a bit of a hill. It’s amazing how much damage water can do. Here’s hoping the next days are sunny. The pictures are fantastic. I am intrigued by the pen and how it works.

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    • That pen is really intriguing! I tried moving the ink in some of my other water based pens and all they do is blur around in shades of black and grey and no colours . But this one, the black ink is clearly made by mixing certain colours together and their process enables the colours to disperse separately again which in itself is so unusual and does my head in if I think about it for too long 🙂 I guess it’s a physics thing I don’t understand.

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  13. Wow, it sounds like you’ve had a LOT of water coming down and on the ground! I thought a dog would love the mud! Maybe Siddy knows that white fur will get too dirty haha. I love the look that that pen creates!

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  14. I’m pleased your weather has improved. The daisy pictures are perfectly composed and the face is very lovely.

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  15. Oh, my! This is exquisite!! Thank you so much for this delight! what a way for me to start the day! I am so glad I met you through our friend Cynthia and her passing….I am still grieving, but this beauty today reminds me to listen to her today, something I haven’t done in several months.

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    • Hello Julie, thanks for your message. I recently received some little mementos of our mutual friend which included a small flower bulb for a white tulip called ‘Cynthia’ which I will plant in a pot as soon as the rain stops to sit at my front door.

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  16. I’m so pleased you were okay in your weather event. What a lot of rain. I was wondering how close you might have been to that low-lying airport you mentioned in a comment on one of my posts. You mentioned rain again tonight. I hope it doesn’t fall in the same quantities. I’d rather just see the watercolours on your paintings. What fun pens those are and interesting effects they give to your work. The daisies are beautiful and the young lady looks very contented. As does Orlando in the little ray of sunshine – just like your blog – spreading sunshine in the world. Thank you.

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    • Hi Norah 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment – I’m a twenty minute drive from the airport, which is built on the edge of the Taieiri Plain most of which lies below sea level and which floods at the drop of a hat – or a few too many raindrops….. People and farm animals were evacuated this time. I live on a flat reclaimed area of land that was built up by the mostly Chinese market gardeners who settled here after the gold rush era. As the market gardeners dispersed the land was bought by the then city fathers and divided into small plots, houses were built and homes provided for the workers who came to man the factories and serve the wealthy on the hills. Parts of this area have been identified as unsustainable as sea levels rise and will eventually be abandoned to their fate. It’s a fascinating history that I have only just recently begun to research. It isn’t commonly known as far as I can ascertain,

      It has rained a little overnight, but as far as I can tell (it’s still dark outside) not a lot and isn’t raining right now so maybe we might be finished …… 🙂

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      • Phew! I hope the rain is finished for now.
        Thanks for sharing the history of your area, Pauline. How fascinating. It’s sad to think that the land will be reclaimed by the sea, but then the one constant with our living world is change. Last night I saw something on TV about the Greenland ice melt and the consequent rise in sea levels. It is sad to think that we humans have accelerated some of these changes that will impact our fellow travellers on this planet. Change is natural and constant, but not all of the changes we are experiencing are natural. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live somewhere I had to contemplate my land being swallowed by the sea.

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  17. It’s been a sodden (sodding?) time lately, but glad you’ve have come through okay. When the first patch of sunlight appeared on Sunday I grabbed it like Orlando!

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    • Did you get off as lightly as I did? A Christchurch friend left a message on my facebook page saying her husband took 8 hours to make the journey from here to there, with police assistance and they literally closed the roads behind him. Whew!! I’m not sure our islands will float long enough for the rising sea levels to inundate us, we will probably sink from the weight of water long before …… 🙂

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  18. hello, i’m so happy to have met you and your merry band of friends. you remind me a lot of myself in a lot of ways and i love your transformation to a simpler, more peaceful life. thanks for following my blog, i really enjoy yours – best, beth

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  19. That water pen technique is really interesting. I can imagine the scope it brings. As for the rain, I was glancing at my journal last night – they usually take a year to fill and this one started mid August last year. When I reached October it was just rain and more rain. I’d forgotten apart form one day when Mylo mistook a puddle for a ditch and disappeared briefly only to emerge on the far back with that sort of ‘move on, nothing to see here’ expression of embarrassment. Bravely done with The Sidster. Awesome Twosome defies the gods…

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    • Ha! Poor Mylo! It’s slightly mad isn’t it – not to miss a day going walkies…. A friend said to me a few weeks backs, just after our bout of hail and sleet and snow, that she looked out her window and saw (and I quote) ‘some mad woman in pink gumboots with a white and black dog struggling through the whiteout.’ I was quite offended. We weren’t struggling, we were having a whale of a time 😀 Remember me telling you about my old aunt on a ship in a storm hanging onto the railings and crying out delightedly ‘Oh, the elements, the elements!’ I get it from her 🙂

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  20. I was on pins and needles, Pauline. And now I’ve gone and looked at a few photos. Living in such an arid place, it’s hard for me to imagine so much rain all at once. Good grief: a month’s worth of rain in a day, on already sodden ground. Good for you for getting out with Siddy but I don’t imagine he relished that shockingly cold puddle bath. Brrrr. I’m glad you are okay and that your tiny home is safe, warm and dry. To think you were happily painting away inside without a care in the world.

    As for your new paintings, what a fabulous new technique. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I really like the background in your first piece. I hope you’ll be able to show me a couple of your techniques when I visit next year. I’m glad Orlando found a sunny patch, and I see Siddy followed soon after. I hope they’ve left a bit of sun streaming in for you. xo

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    • Danella told me the wind and rain were pummeling her place, but I am protected when the storm winds blow in and miss the worst of the noise – I thought it was just persistent light rain and a particularly dreary day 🙂 Orlando. like all cats, will find the tiniest sliver of sunlight and park himself right in it. He looked like a glowing angelic figure when I first looked up and saw him. I’d love to have a couple of workshops while you are here – wouldn’t that be fun? Something to talk about next Skype perhaps…… although I’ve got a list a mile long already! 🙂 xoxo

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  21. I’m glad you were just high enough and just far enough away from the ‘Posh’ bit to escape the floods or any damage.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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