It’s not any regular day that you have the wonderful thought “If I don’t start eating my way through the fridge right now then all my food will need to be chucked – and wouldn’t that be a waste?!
So it was the other day – the fridge was packed to the brim with champagne, cheese, fresh produce and seafood – we were expecting a friend from Sydney to stay over for the Australia Day long weekend. Any excuse to celebrate really, especially with the main focus being everything that we planned on slurping and shoving in our mouth.
But Brisbane just happened to be on cyclone alert. Tropical Cyclone Oswald to be precise. After two days of torrential tropical rain the skies showed no sign of easing up. We’d planned on being outside in the sunshine but quickly opted for a ‘let’s stay close to home it’s really shit out there’ attitude.
It rained some more.
No matter, we had plenty of catching up to do and the bubbles were flowing. An offensive sing along followed on the front verandah (pretty sure we won’t be invited over by the new neighbours any time soon) combined with a general ‘can’t do much about it’ atmosphere left us feeling smug with our revised indoor plan. The words, “Surely it can’t rain like this ALL weekend” were muttered.
Then the rain REALLY started to belt down, animals started to take shelter under the eaves and the palm trees started to sway to the beat of an uptempo salsa. We kept looking outside as the sky rapidly turned an eerie shade of white.
We passed another night checking the weather while another friend drove from Byron Bay to join the gathering. Luckily she bought more booze. Then the rain came at us sideways, soaking all the hard to reach places around the house and creating a feeling of ikky dankness. Of mouldy sweatiness that combines so easily and not so wonderfully in high humidity.
Then the power went out and we realised that perhaps we should have been a little more prepared. Without a gas connection we couldn’t cook and our thoughts moved quickly to the bounty in the fridge. Emergency ice and a small esky were plucked from somewhere and we decided to rescue the essentials. The rest we had to eat!
Luckily the Ipod was well charged, ensuring we had several hours left if we wanted to get our dance on. We cranked the tunes, drank more bubbles and got in to the ‘stuck at home without any contact’ spirit of it all. Eventually all of our phones ran out of charge and we surrendered to the sublime feeling of not being contactable. Well I did anyway, my girlfriends, both with families at home, not so much.
Of course consuming all of the cheese was the most pressing food item on the survive a cyclone list; swiftly followed by a makeshift (never seen before or hopefully ever again) bacon and tofu fry up! Good job Andres remembered we have a small portable gas stove in our campervan. German sausages were declared the next most perishable item, closely followed by fresh squid, and so it went on. We even saved the great at room temperature red wine until last and sipped knowing that at least we weren’t being wasteful.
Our mothers would be proud!
In no way is this meant to be disrespectful to the thousands of people that have lost their homes or loved ones in the flood crisis. We only lost power for two days while others remain powerless, isolated and fast running out of drinking water.