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
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……
Orlando King will have it, thank you!
And they say there’s no show without Punch – or in this case, Siddy……
Making the most of it – as always!
Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!