This isn’t rain; rain has gaps

IF anyone else tells me we needed it, I’m going to drown them.

That won’t be difficult. Just shoving them out the front door will probably do it.

I always knew this was the problem with Australia – and probably Australians. They don’t know when to stop.
Shane Warne, John Howard, Big Brother …  rain. They just go on and on until you’re heartily sick of them.

Not that this is really rain; not in the real sense of the word. Rain has gaps. I mean, it’s a series of individual drops, possibly falling in rapid succession. What we’ve been having is actually a waterfall – the fact that it’s not running over a cliff edge doesn’t make any difference. It’s a continuous stream of water. Falling. That’s a waterfall.

Not that I mind rain. I used to do a lot of sailing. I’m used to wearing clothes that are damp, and even dripping with excess moisture – but not when I’ve just taken them out of the wardrobe.

Rain seeps in like a disease, turning our curtains green and making the biscuits limp. Before you have time to reach for the drier it’s reached epidemic proportions and the only way to cope is to live in a swimming pool.

It leaks. Yes, yes … water does that, I know. But Townsville rain can leak through plate glass, or steel sheets. It laughs at brick walls and if you show it a hole in the road it will turn it into a crater. But – and this is the clever part – it will still look like a mere puddle. There’s one out towards Bluewater. I’m sure when they pump it dry (by about 2010) they’ll find a couple of utes and possibly a whale.

When I first came to Townsville they told me it was in a rain shadow. They told me this meant that it was in the lee of the mountains, where it didn’t rain so much. If this is true then we should probably be sending search parties out beyond Thuringowa. If they’ve had more rain than us the only survivors will be fish.

I know this is ungrateful. I know there are places in the world where they’d sell their souls for five minutes of what we’ve been going through.

The way I feel at the moment I’d sell my soul to give it to them.

Does this count as whingeing?

I don’t think so. I’m an ex-Pom and I come from a farming background, which means I am doubly qualified to whinge, especially about the weather.

Unlike my ex-countrymen, however, I am not inclined to make conversation about it. Not in Townsville.

In England you can utter banalities like: “Warm, for the time of year …” and support a half-hour debate on the topic. But that’s because London has 580mm of rain a year.

In Townsville we’ve already doubled that and there’s still five months to go.

If you opened a conversation in Townsville at the moment with “Wet, for the time of year …” something would hit you. Something besides rain, if you can imagine that.

Mind you … we really do need it …