A friend commented on the academic tone of the previous post and suggested as more interesting an exposé of the extended Blithe family Christmas revels. Although this would serve to reassure him of his own family normalcy, in the interests of continued family harmony, I must decline. Let’s just say that when I read of the Christmas Eve massacre in the United States of an entire family by family members, I felt that on the global scale, the Blithe family was relatively well, blithe. Our only physical memento of the festivities is four perfect sets of toddler teeth marks on the anatomy of our youngest. Let’s just say that toddlers are territorial animals. And there is a certain twitchiness on my part when upcoming family gatherings are mentioned. As I get older I become more persuaded of the concept of “good fences making good neighbours” especially as applied to the extended family.
Meanwhile back at Blithe Hill, relative harmony reigns again, at least as much as a houseful of children on summer holidays allows. So far we have managed not to be blown off our hillside by the sub-cyclonic gales generated by the weather system offshore that has forced the evacuation of campers from Fraser Island, beach closures from the Sunshine to the Gold Coasts and cancellation of the Gold Coast New Year’s Eve fireworks. We had more rain on New Year’s Day than in the entire previous January. Since then, we have had little rain, but a constant southerly gale that makes us feel as if we are sheltering inside a seashell on a particularly rough coast.
Today when I walked down to the relative calm of the road to collect our mail, returning I felt as if I was ascending into the ocean. In the gully I could hear the wind tossing the trees above me but I walked in calm air. As I climbed higher it was a battle against the wind. The now-long grass whipped in a frenzy, trees bent, every leaf alive and our television aerial is attempting to become just that. I’ve had to stash away all the loose toys, tools, the wheelie bins and shift the potted plants to shelter. The wind reminds me that our road was cut in half by cyclonic rains in the late 1800s and never fully repaired. If you don’t hear anything further from me, the rest of the road may have gone and the wind may have relocated us northwards.
Gales and all though, I’m glad to be home.