I am tired and cranky. The unseasonably cool, rainy and pleasant temperatures of Christmas and the new year have given way to sultry, broiling heat of the kind that makes me fantasise about lying beside a palm-fringed pool being brought drinks by an efficient waiter. The pressing humidity is punctuated by thunderstorms that sweep past bringing blasts of cool air to loiter briefly before the humidity triumphs again. The fans seem to stir the air only enough to allow the hoards of mosquitoes to draft towards their prey (me) more efficiently. All that water lying around has bred mosquitoes of Minnesotan (“Land of Lakes”) proportions and quantity.
On the other hand, the heavy rain that resulted in floods on the coast to the north and south as well as inland between Warwick and the coast, mostly missed us. We had rain but not the spectacular 300mm in 3 hours reported in some locales. There has been localised flash flooding in many places. I suspect that Ipswich City Council is not feeling sheepish any more about the millions spent on the Marburg Detention Basin – an impressive piece of engineering that has until recently looked a bit like Noah’s ark in the paddocks in the valley. It is designed not to dam the flow of Black Snake Creek in times of flood but to “detain” the water, releasing it slowly to politely proceed down a widened and straightened watercourse, to wind its way to the Brisbane River and eventually to Moreton Bay.
The children naturally are tired and cranky too. The last several weeks of having both parents in constant attendance at various festivities has given way to an irate mother pointing out exactly why they can’t have every moment of her attention. This mother, entirely ignoring her New Year’s resolution of increased patience, has demanded that at some points they must entertain themselves. Matters were not helped by ABC replacing children’s television programming over the last week with the Hopman Cup. My partner treacherously did not support my view that there are more children who want to watch afternoon television than tennis fans. I suspect that my long history of disinterest in sports undermines my argument. Instead of television I have had to compete with them for broadband access. Oh the woes of contemporary child raising!
Today, normal programming resumed, an afternoon storm has temporarily dropped the temperature and I am seizing a few moments to write and think. I’ve had a chance to browse some of the online newspapers, had my fix of news and favourite columnists (reading Verlyn Kinkenborg’s description of -5˚F temperatures on his farm made me momentarily cooler) and even read of a new writing package for Macintosh OSX written and programmed by a writer for writers (Scrivener). I look forward to experimenting with it. 2008 may be my year of new software and hopefully, of concrete results from it.