Fire, Famine, Floods, Plague of Frogs – What’s Next?
Monday morning and I’m seriously considering changing my email name from frogrockr to frogslayer!
When I left Toothbrush 3 behind last Wednesday I had this weird feeling I’d never see it again. Therefore, and especially after last night, I am very glad to be here.
First of all… It wasn’t my usual White Car I had to drive. Green Car and I pulled up next to the White 100 series Landcruiser ready for me to swap gear into and go… and it was our friend DAFFY from the other day.
Shown on site this morning.
I was pleased to see Daffy was clean and had enough fuel (it’s still a sore point… and yes, I’m tired of bad car karma). Comments were made as to the state of his tyres and the lack of tread on the rear. I transferred the gear over very carefully. Purple Bag. Laptop One. Laptop Two. Bluebag. Washing which could do with another stint in the dryer. Hard Hat. Brown Backpack. We’re set.
I have electronic means of doing business, I have clothes, I have books, I have… Crochet. We be set.
If you remember from last night, I was worried about the storm?
Daffy and I rolled out of the Boss’s compound about 1800… We barrelled along merrily in the falling darkness until a few big splats of rain spoilt the sunset view and then…with a mighty CRACK..! Lighting lit up the Adelaide River Flood plain.
It was Schpooky.
This was one of those huge lightning storms that people take photos of. One moment it was blackblackblack and the next: cracking purple and silver. To make matters more interesting – the road was wet… and reflective. So I went from moments of pitch darkness lit only by Daffy’s headlights to blinded by sheet lightning.
The downside, and this will haunt me for a while, was the rain was bringing out the frogs. I could see them hopping across the road or towards me. I tried to swerve and miss them but I’m pretty sure I’ve committed amphibicide all the way along the Arnhem highway.
You know how ancient tribes believed that those you slew in your previous life would be your servants in the afterlife? I’m all set. I’ll have this army of very splatted frogs to serve me.
We (me and Daffy – we didn’t ask the frogs) took a vote and decided to stop at Bark Hut for a Pepsi and something to munch on. Good plan.
I walked into Bark Hut to find some very empty refrigerators and a note saying the Stores Truck hadn’t made it so there was *No Pepsi* ARGH… My options were Blue Powerade, something called Portello which I’m not a big fan of, and .. water. I went for the Powerade. Even though it was Blue and I hate that one. I also went for plain crisps (not being much else choice) and then was hailed by some of the guys who work at TB3 but for another company.
They gave me the terrific news that as they had left site tonight there was a) a bushfire on the road and b) Flooding. Not in the same place.
Daffy and I kept rolling, though the night is darker now and the wind grows crueller.
To make matters more amusing as the rain pelted down, the lightning strikes got closer until one bolt hit about a hundred metres ahead and a little off to the side. Didn’t half make me jump.
The really Bad news was now Daffy developed a very definite judder. Above 90kmph, he was not a happy Landcruiser. And he was making a slight whine when I hit the accelerator. Temps and gauges were all ok… but the noises and the judders were wrong.
And the frogs kept getting splatted. Don’t frogs have ears??? Can’t they hear a whining roaring diesel engine coming towards them?
Then things became even less funny. The frogs may have thought so but I didn’t.
I found the flooding.
The rule here in the Territory is “if you can’t walk through it, you don’t drive through it”.
I considered the road ahead which I could see was somewhat awash.
I considered two other things.
Firstly, I was wearing flipflops; hardly the best footwear to go paddling in.
Secondly, there is a reason why we have a river network with crossings labelled West Alligator,South Alligator, and East Alligator.
And the fact the first explorers didn’t stick around long enough to work out whether they are crocodiles or alligators.
Ok… I’m sitting near East Alligator Crossing. There’s water over the road and I *know* there’s at least one LARGE Schnappy who lives here.
Daffy… Old Friend, Old Pal… We’re going to keep going and I’m not getting out of the car. If we get swamped… well… that’ll be Dethpiccable.
We made our way through the slosh… Frogs deceasing in our wake.
We were making headway at a whole 45kmph as opposed to the speed limit of 130.
I was beginning to ponder whether that was how many frogs I had to get before the next sign post.
The rain eased… the lightning seemed to be behind us and despite grumbles, I asked for 120kmph. Still the odd judder but no more whining. Thank you to whichever small god was paying attention. Probably a Froggy one..
Ok… nearly home… watching for the lights of downtown Jabiru. When I say downtown, I mean- well- the service station. There’s no traffic lights in Jabiru, it’s very small. We’re nearly home. I’m going to put my washing back in the dryer so it’s crispy dry when I get up in the morning. And I can go peacefully to sleep.
(at this point you’re remembering the mention of the bushfire aren’t you?)
I came round the bend and spluttered.
There’s a raging fire which stretches on a front of about 6km down the left hand side of the road. YERWHAT?????
Of first concern was the Camp which is located in the bush. Surrounded by bush. Flammable bush.
Turning on the UHF radio, I listened to the Emergency Services people talking. Yes, it was burning but moving away from the camp. Away from the Camp, towards the Mine. Yeeps.
A brief chat with the On scene commander and the camp WAS safe and we were allowed through.
Time taken from home to Camp: 4 hours, 36 minutes. Consumed: 1 Powerade, 1 packets of Smiths Original Crisps. Dead: Half a Million Frogs.
On the subject of crochet – does anyone else feel sad when they finish a piece of work? I like my chocolate and coffee shawl. I really have enjoyed working that yarn (from yarntreehouse on eBay) and there’s enough left to make an afghan with a bit of plain cream yarn as well. I’m pleased with the almost-finished product but… I feel sort of sad. Because it is finished. It seems odd but there it is.
I am very glad you all approve of it. It all just fell together so easily and the bead was right *there* and worked in no problems. The fixings for the earrings have been found and I just have to put those together and finish the thread booties and send that second package to Mother_figure.
This week I have the thread for the booties, the resurrected filet and of course: The Gown. Standby for the photos!!Will answer all comments tomorrow!!!