Living in Brisbane is like living under a permanently dripping tap. Although our cat would be delighted with a permanent water supply, I am convinced that if I stood still I would start to be covered in ghastly black mildew.
I had forgotten just how damp living in sub-tropical Brisbane can be. After three days of almost constant showers we have mould appearing in the strangest of places. You get used to the dark spots appearing along the grouting in the shower but I wasn’t expecting the buttons in the toilet cistern to be jammed because of the light layer of mould. Yick! Actually I was hoping it wasn’t repairable so that I could justify a new toilet cistern but that was not the case. I can never understand why the women who feature in television ads for cleaning agents look so happy. Now every time I go in there I go armed with spray bottles of bleach ready to aim, fire and run for my life before the dank mouldy fingers strangle me and dump me as a symbol of the failed housekeeper that I am.
I don’t mind rainy days; in fact I like them and enjoy watching the clouds roll over the Taylor Range occluding the hillsides.
I took a photo yesterday as the cloud descended turning the landscape into a monochrome of greys. It was a beautiful gentle light. When the sun came out it produced a spectacular contrast of heavy grey cloud against golden light.
I even managed to get into our soggy garden wearing my bright yellow wellies when it was lightly sprinkling, enjoying the slightly cooler air; all the while dreading the anticipated humidity that causes me to have a meltdown. This is when I disappear into the air-conditioning and refuse to come out almost like a whelk in its shell.
I reflect on the description of the rain we used to experience in London; there, we often had ‘sprinkles’ forecast, which is very apt but far more politically correct than the term Australians use of ‘spitting with rain’.
The sound of rain on a corrugated iron roof. Now here I was lying in bed, well after midnight, listening to the constant drumming as we experienced our third consecutive night of torrential downpour. In desperation, I buried my head beneath the pillow, and resorted to earplugs, reminding myself that this was one of the sounds I used to think I missed whilst living in London. This and the intense sticky dampness from a couple of days of constant sub-tropical downpours.
As the rain eased off slightly during the afternoon and needing to stretch our legs, my daughter and I wandered down to the creek at the bottom of the hill, curious to see how high it had risen over night.
A torrent of muddy water was swirling around an enormous pile of debris consisting of uprooted weeds, bamboo, tree branches, enough rubber balls of varying origins to outfit an entire primary school and an enormous number of plastic bottles discarded by lazy drinkers. It was obvious from the amount of water on the local playing field and the pile of debris jammed against the bridges, that it had broken its banks.
Even had I been wearing my wellingtons I wouldn’t have clambered over that debris or walked through the water. We could see lots of lizards crawling across the mountain of balls and bottles but it was the snakes that made us hesitate. My daughter had already seen a brown snake weaving across one of the clearings on the opposite slope so we were very cautious in clambering across the piles of creek silt that had been washed against the trunks of the trees lining the pathway.
I wonder about the wildlife of this creek and whether it survives this mad rushing water. On our walks we often see turtles and carp in the still water beneath the bridge and there are always families of ducks, moorhens and swamphens floating near the banks.
I saw one family of ducks shepherding their 6 ducklings into the bushes on the far side of the flooded playing field so perhaps the birds are safe and will return when the water flows more slowly.