At the start of February we went down to Tathra on the south coast for a few days and then on to Harrietville in Victoria for a couple of days with the intention of doing some walking, which in fact we did not do as it either rained, threatened rain, or was bright sunny and unpleasantly windy, so much so that we did not even manage to get a swim in.
Then, and it’s a big then, J went into hospital overnight to have a long standing shoulder injury fixed. The surgery went well and she is healing up well but as always these days they discharged her too early, armed only with a bottle of codeine and a phone number to call if anything went wrong.
As a consequence she wasn’t too bright the first few days but she is now well on the mend, although confined to the house as she can’t drive and has a special sling to support her arm at an angle out of the body which makes using the bus near impossible.
We also of course had the farce of trying to co-ordinate Medicare, our private health fund, the surgeon’s bill (prompt) the anaethetist’s (still waiting) the hospital (god alone knows). As a consequnce the credit card is looking distinctly well used while we wait for the various refunds and credits to come through…
Still on with the story…
The weekend before last rain fell in near biblical proportions, on the Saturday we had 83mm, or around five and half inches in the old money and almost the same on the Sunday and the preceding Friday.
All the rivers were flooding, the creek that runs through the university, which is normally a placid stream tured into a raging torrent, and it was impossible to go anywhere. Roads were closed, bridges were under water, treese were down and so on.
As a result J was a bit stir crazy so this weekend, which was a long weekend, we left the cat to look after the house – he has his own cat door – and went down to Bermagui on the coast for a couple of days. (The cat was also stir crazy during the deluge – at one point he went and stole a sheet of paper from the waste paper bin in the study, ripped a corner off and started batting it about like a mouse – not quite tool use but close)
It should have been a two and a half hour drive, which with a lunch stop half way at Nimmitabel – a little village at the top of the escarpment – should have been easy for J to sit through with the sling, the worst thing being having to keep her arm rigid all the time without moving anything.
Unfortunately when we got to Nimmitabel we found that the road down Brown Mountain, from the top of the escarpment to the coast – a drop of around a thousand metres was washed out. However the road from Bombala to Wyndham was still open, but it meant at least an extra hour.
After a council of war over lunch we decided to press on. The road was in reasonable order, there had obviously been some trees down and a couple of minor landslips but the road was open, and actually quite a pleasant drive even if we did end up driving back up the coast through Tathra.
Bermagui was pleasant. Dinner out at an Italian restaurant above the fishing co-op both nights – due to the storms there was no fresh fish or oysters – and walks along the beach.
Rather than stay in a motel we stayed in a cottage in the bush at the edge of town surrounded by parrots and bellbirds. Like most holiday cottages it came with a visitor’s book, which included the comment ‘It’s not easy to stay a virgin here … ‘
(J was not up to more than a few gentle walks but it did her good to get out in the sea air after being cooped up at home)
The sea was still discoloured with washouts from farmer’s fields with long plumes of topsoil out to sea, and soil was even deposited on top of the sand on the beaches along with lots of logs and branches from trees that had washed down in the rain and ended up on the beach.
Bermagui hosts an annual sculpture by the sea exhibition, which we’d cleverly timed our trip to coincide with, and even though the park was distinctly wet there was a fine set of nice modern bits of sculpture to admire including what looked like a set of leek heads just done with a mig welder and fencewire.
Driving back basically meant a return trip through Wyndham and Bombala, including a loo stop in the swimming pool – literally – in Bombala. For some reason the local council provided a big parking area beside the river and the swimming pool, but didn’t build any toilets, which means that you have to go and use the loos in the swimming pool.
After that it was home to a waiting cat and a glass of wine before falling asleep while watching Stephen Fry on tv.