Sunday, 27 January 2013

Day 53: The agony of the X-TC Oswald

Day 53 (27 Jan) There was a band in my youth that took the name XTC. I think it was one of the earliest 'word plays' I came to appreciate in that 'cool and groovy' way of a certain age, once I worked out what it was saying. It was like SMS, before it was invented. 

And so, with ex-TC Oswald running through my twitter timeline, I've had XTC's hit song earworming me all day...luckily, it's not a bad one. But we've all been rather captivated by the ex-tropical cyclone (the ex-TC) Ossie today as we've watched the #bigwet unfold down the eastern seaboard. 

The deck, at 6.12am 
It is Queensland, it is summer, these weather events happen. Trouble is we still bear the scars of the summer of 2010/11 and we'd rather not have another right now, thank you. This one has been accompanied by tornadoes coming down the coast and I'd been listening to the radio reports since about 4am. 

At 6.12am, I was up and on the verandah just getting the remaining 'loose items' tied down. The rain on the verandah only reaches this spot when the wind is quite strong. The lorikeets had started huddling by this stage and there was no sense of the day clearing at all. 

It is Sunday, it's a rainy day and usually you'd like to stay in bed a little longer, but on days like this you have to be alert to all sounds. It is some 39 years since my family moved to Queensland from Sydney and my introduction to this weather was the Australia Day flooding of 1974, it doesn't get easier. 

A bit more rain than I like. 
Twitter has, of course, added a new dimension to the communications around the place. The incredible value of the twitter community, near and far, is highlighted at times like this. Other conversations happen as well but the focus is on help, assistance, warnings and checking on each other. 

Trying to get any work done is punctuated by checking that the branches you hear crashing aren't causing damage to anything, that the downpipes are clearing, that the sirens you hear aren't going to a disaster. At times the wind and rain combine to a point of helplessness and all you can do is stand inside and what it all unfold. The rain today reached a 'record' high point at my place, I've never seen the furniture so drenched. The rain just doesn't 'fall', it comes in at all angles in this weather. 

The Premier Campbell Newman has held a press conference, along with his successor in the Brisbane City Council, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. It didn't carry the gravitas of Anna Bligh's statement two years ago. It is quite interesting to see that people seem to have less confidence in the dam flood gates being opened at this time...the nerves of 2011 have not yet completely healed. And there was too much sensitivity in deflecting possible litigation. 

Dinner was being served,
just, at 6.12pm
Flooding is occurring here in Brisbane as I write. Power is out in places, we are all making due preparations for ... the floods ... again. We try to distract ourselves with the tennis final on down south, but that constant drip above me, within earshot, refuses to reveal itself. I know it is residual rain trying to break the barrier between the tiles and the ceiling. 

By 6.12pm, I'd managed to negotiate power outages and dinner was served. I was in the kitchen but better you see the spice rack rather than the plated menu...a compromise meal, just in case the power goes midway, does not a pretty photo make. 

And although this blog is not endorsed by Brisbane's 612ABC, but has a tangential relationship to the community, I would like to unreservedly offer immeasurable appreciation to everyone involved in putting the information to air, all day and all night--the presenters, the producers, the reporters, everyone. They do it brilliantly. Thanks too to the twitterverse, the emergency service workers, the public transport drivers who maintain essential services. It's a cliche, but the community really does come together. 

There's a line in that XTC song about senses working's probably a more telling line than that group ever imagined. 

Stay safe everyone. (Dammit, another siren just went by...)

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