Friday, 8 February 2013

Tempest Fugit my mother always says, boy is she correct.  Time certainly does fly when you are having fun.  Christmas and New Year came then went in a blur of smiles, beautiful days, hot weather, lots of friends and laughter.  The holidays ended too soon, we were back to the daily commute from the Lockyer Valley to Brisbane.  It takes on average an hour, depending on traffic to get from home to the city.  The time isn’t wasted though, Brett drives, we discuss many topics such as the chicken run, home reno ideas, gardening ideas and of course dinner recipes.  On the drive home the car is filled with talk of our day at work, catching up on news of friends and anything funny or exciting we think the other should know.  Our commute is two hours of time a day that we are enclosed in a small space, which is ideal for music, talking both serious and frivolous.  I hated the commute at first, what a drag I thought.  However as the years have rolled by and we have become ever more comfortable with both conversing together on all topics, and those long contented silences which no longer NEED to be filled, I think I would miss this time together.

This year started off like many others did, moaning about the return to work, days blurring one into another, dreading the arrival of my birthday. As it is the big 30 for me this year we decided to do things a little differently.  We booked a beautiful at Monteville, which is one of my favourite places.  

Casa al Lago ( is overlooking Lake Baroon and surrounded by beautiful countryside.  We booked, then arranged for six of my closest friends to join us for the Australia Day long weekend. The weeks leading up were extremely hot, with big blue skies it looked promising.  However Friday morning broke with news of rain and a lot of it for the region.  We decided to take a chance, a little rain never hurt anyone, might mean no bushwalking, but we can still have fun.  Brett and I drove up Friday afternoon to collect the keys, we were staying on our own Friday night, we wanted to be there early to settle in.  We had plans to explore the town, and maybe take in a few sights as well.  The poor weather quickly put an end to those thoughts, we were happy however to simply be away from home staying in a lovely place.  We arrived unpacked then explored the house.  Made some lunch and settle on the couch for a nap after the long drive from home (2.5hrs approx.) When we awoke the mist had rolled in like a thick foggy curtain.  It was amazing, it had an eerie beauty to it.

We had some wine on the deck, relaxing, watching and listening to the rain.  Waiting for a break so we could explore the lovely gardens, we had planned ahead remembering to pack our gumboots for stomping though mud.   Twice we ran outside with our boots only to have the rain thick and heavy poor from the heavens, giggling we sheltered by the carport where hid while looking at the nearby vegie patch.  Back inside we trudged disappointed with the rain gods for ruining our fun.  More wine was called for, and a little more time.  The rain settled into a drizzle, which was our cue, wine glasses in hand, gumboots on feet we ventured outside into the gardens.  There were many new citrus trees, raspberries, mango, and herbs everywhere.  A grove of enormous Lychee trees, I had no idea they grew to be so large.

We sloshed through the mud,  walked up the side of the hill to find, many ancient lemon trees, some bearing fruit.  These were gnarly, twisted, mostly bare old trees, rows of them.  We walked amongst them for a minute or two looking, and wondering how old they must be.  We made it down the slippery slope to view the property line down the back, as the rain started to get heavier, the mist rolled in through the trees once again.  We were starting to get quite wet, so we turned to take shelter under a rain forest tree with a thick canopy. Holding each other tight, gazing at the soft beauty of the mist, rain enveloping the fruit trees, and flowers.

Brett turned to look at me, smiled.  He said “I’ve been thinking” at which point I thought uh oh, what does he want to build/make/buy now. He smiled, continued on “it’s about time you married me.” I stood there for a moment, I gaped at him, thinking what did he say? “What?’’ I asked him.  “Will you marry me?” he repeated. I giggled in disbelief, then in the rain, under a canopy of leaves we kissed.  The rain was getting stronger, and Brett looked at me and said “You didn’t say yes? Was that a no?” I giggled the word “No....”.   “No?” he said looking at me with a grin.  “YES!! I mean yes”I said smiling uncontrollably.  We stood there for what seemed a lifetime, but must have only been minutes as the rain, wind and mist grew stronger around us. 

We walked back up the hill, went inside to the deck.  Brett appeared with a ‘special’ bottle of wine I had bought a few years ago, and was not so secretly hoarding to drink when he proposed. Grinning, I wondered how did he pack that into the car without me noticing! He had planned this all along!

As Brett poured the wine, I rang Mum to surprise her with our good news, she had the same response as I did “What?!?’’ followed by laughter and joy. Of course once I had spoken with Mum I had to call my Dad and Sisters, all of whom congratulated us.  Once that was over we settled in to the serious business of finishing the wine and having a good night.

Saturday our friends all started arriving, we played pool, ate, drank and were merry as the rain came down in sheets outside, obliterating our chances of seeing the stunning views of the lake.  We celebrated the night away,  it was an awesome Birthday party.  Saturday and Sunday the rain settled in, the weather was wild and soon we were also without power, or running water, however we were still to joyous for this to put too much of a dampener on our fun.  We spent the day playing cards, and pool, and in turn Sunday evening sped by as well.  We cooked pizza on the BBQ which turned out to be amazing, we might even try that again at home one day.  As we were without power our mobile phones died, one by one, we had very little idea about the impending weather woes.  Monday morning bright and early we left to make the trek home, although the weather hadn’t really let up for the last three days we needed to be home.

The roads were carpeted in leaves, sticks and debris, visibility was low.  Slowly and carefully we wound our way down through the mountain, and out onto the Bruce Highway.  The car charger meant we had Brett’s phone working and I started looking at the news.  It seems, we were up in the Blackall Ranges during one of the worst storms it has seen for decades, and many roads were being closed.  South-East Queensland was in the middle of storms caused by the tail end of Ex- Cyclone Oswald. The journey homeward had lots of closed rounds, so we went around the long way.  We arrived safe and sound, let the cats, chickens, and ducks out to roam around the garden, then turned on the Tv.  I could hardly believe what we were watching. Queensland was flooding again!!! We never thought it would happen again.  Just like the first time, we were perfectly safe.  It was heartbreaking to know that Laidley was flooding again and worse than last time.  Tuesday we couldn’t get to work as the roads were flooded or closed. We sat it out, plenty of food this time, after the 2011 floods I have been careful to stay stocked up on canned food and flour, pasta etc.
No damage to our place for two floods in a row, that is pretty good.  Luckily Brett was so adamant that we buy on a hill.  So it seems I will definitely always remember my thirtieth celebrations, Brett proposed and the heavens wept with joy so much it flooded the country :P

The Chickens Helping Brett unclog the drain

Ducks enjoying the flood

Ducks trying to splash me with water :D