Sunday, 26 December 2010

Whatever else the end of the year has in store for residents of south-east Queensland there's one thing for sure: it's going to keep on raining for the forseeable future.This picture shows the Bureau of Meteorology's map of the country for today, and they predict it will continue to rain until Thursday. Friday is New Year's Eve so it might get fine before the end of the year, but going by the current charts that outcome seems doubtful right at the moment. More likely, we'll see continued rain into the beginning of January.

I was driving in the rain today because I decided to get in the car and shoot out into the hinterland to visit Maleny, a small alpine town set in the Blackall Ranges about 45 minutes' drive south west of my home. There was a big traffic jam on the Bruce Highway due to a fatal crash on the road south of Beerwah. I negotiated the heavy traffic off the highway and headed west where I was surprised by the steady stream of traffic advancing in the opposite direction. These were northward-bound cars that had been diverted off the highway by the police to bypass the crash site.

Once you pass Lansborough, you start going up a steep hill into the ranges and the fog sets in. I was a little dismayed by the limited visibility as the fog closed in, especially when the terrain close to the car told me I was driving around the side of a steep incline with precipices on either side of the road. I slowed down well below the speed limit and took it carefully all the way through the upland pastures and up and down a series of small hills that lead you into the township, which is modern, cosy and compact. I had a sandwich and a cup of coffee in a cafe near where I parked then got back in the wet car and headed home.

The streets around my place are largely deserted due to the continued rain that has lashed the landscape for over a week. Picnickers are staying away from the parks and beaches. So I took out a video and plan to spend a quiet evening at home, having eaten some leftovers from Christmas lunch washed down with a glass of inexpensive white wine. It may be wet, but it's still warm and dry inside the house. My thoughts are often occupied by images of homeless people left to cope with Christmas at shelters and in doss-houses. For them, I give a small prayer as I change my bedsheets or place a new towel on the rack in my bathroom. May I always have such small, domestic things to do on rainy summer evenings.

No comments: