Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Road Is Long...

River sludge gets everywhere. You think you've cleaned up and then a slightly warped cupboard has to get ripped up and underneath there it is greeting you again. After a while it gets a bit demoralising.

Yesterday's mammoth volunteer effort in West End meant people like Stefan just walked into my flat, rolled their sleeves up and got on with it.


His wife, Hunnybun with the blue wig, kept us all laughing and that's Steve with the high pressure hose who put in many hours at our place.


Jo is a neighbour and a friend. She and her husband, like many other parents in the area, found friends to babysit and got stuck in helping wherever they could despite not being victims themselves.


The rural fire brigade came in with their huge hoses and blasted everyone's houses. You have to get that mud out before it dries and starts spreading mould, rot and disease. Once all the mud is out and the place is clean, you have to go over it again with bleach to kill all the bacteria. For me, after the bleach stage, vinegar to dry out the concrete rendering. My place will have to be dried, re-rendered, repainted, new electrical fittings, new kitchen, new wardrobes and new skirting boards (which we have already bought but my fella was still getting around to - luckily we hoisted them up to the upstairs landing).

So much to do but still so much to be thankful for. Friends in Fairfield and Rocklea have lost everything with the floodwaters up to the roof. I haven't been down there yet but everyone says it's like a warzone. The folks in the Lockyer Valley who had the "inland tsunami" terrorise them causing death and destruction... Just when you start to feel a bit sorry for yourself you realise there is someone worse off than you. At least we have found things to laugh about...

And the story that made me laugh so much yesterday was a friend who was cleaning a lifetime of photos - some rather private -  for another friend down in Fairfield. If they weren't close before, they definitely are now!

And so to the long task ahead...


With the kindness of friends and strangers we can't go wrong. 

If you know Brisbane at all, I urge you to check out this aerial shot taken at the peak. That's it for tonight I'm absolutely exhausted!

Thanks to Damian and Marilyn for letting me use their home as an internet cafe xx

12 comments:

Brissiemum2 said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing these photos with us. I've been lurking on your blog for sometime now. It's amazing how total devastation like this can make us actually decide to post, decide to talk to people that we don't know etc etc.

Let us know if there is anything that you need (and I'm sure that I'm not alone here in saying that I genuinely mean that!).

My husband's work at Rocklea went underwater. They have been in doing the same sort of cleaning but thankfully will be operational from tomorrow.

Joanna said...

Oh Cara, is that the passionfruit that you so proudly showed us last week? It may be a little thing, but it made me feel even worse for you. It is so heartwarming to see that people are getting so much help. Thank you again for showing us the steps in your recovery, and more good wishes coming your way that you and the others affected by the flood will all recover.

bitingmidge said...

"After a while it gets a bit demoralising"!

We can't imagine!

Once again an amazing effort to keep the blog rolling, you are creating a fantastic record of what is going on.
I truly hope that you can get some semblance of order back in a reasonable time frame.

Ann said...

Another wonderful post. Thank you so much for keeping the rest of us in touch with what is really happening on the ground.

little hat said...

Cara, sorry to see you (and your passionfruit vine) went under. The community response has been truly remarkable. We were lucky in Doris Street - my neighbours got water throught their ground floor but only 10cm. We were above the line.
Can I use send some of your photos to relatives in the UK to help them get a picture of the local impact?
All the best. steve capelin

Julie said...

I think that muddy passionfruit is so sadly symbolic, and I loved your story about the photo cleaning pals.

Any idea what was the upshot of the folks who had the eviction order pinned on their door?

As Pierre said, it is beyond imagining ...

Owen said...

Hi Cara,
It's been a little while, but I couldn't help thinking about you in light of all the news about Brisbane of late. Thanks so much for keeping your blog going and showing us directly what's going on, better than any news story I've seen so far. Real people, real problems, real spirit pulling a community together to dig out and clean up. But what a horror all that mud must be, I cannot imagine.

My daughter who was out in Brisbane a while back has been keeping in touch with her exchange family, they were lucky, apparently their house is on higher ground and didn't flood. But just a few blocks from them it was under water.

Hang in there...

cara said...

Good news! (for me) that's not the passionfruit it's my friend's lime tree! My passionfruit was growing high. I lost the fruit in the picture from last week but looking at it today there are new fruits growing above the waterline and new flowers there too. We have had a few discussions about if they would be safe to eat - they look fine. Any thoughts? We might cut one open and give it to the people who are arguing they'll be fine.

Julie, I spoke to the tenant yesterday and he told me he has lost $10,000 worth of stuff due to being told by the council to evacuate without delay and is now staying at a friend's place in New Farm. Uninsured like so many.

Little Hat, I was wondering about you. I always thought you lived in Ryan Street which was hit badly as you know. So glad you made it. through!

Mozette said...

Being out at Logan, we can only imagine what it's been like for you in the inner city area. However, we have had food shortages in the shopping centres; but that's about it.
Now, the finer weather's here, let's hope it doesn't rain for a good while yet and we get a chance to get Brisbane back on track again.
Keep your chin up and thinking of you all who are still cleaning up from it all.

Mrs BC said...

OMG!! That man is not in the rural fire service, that is my husband, Mr BC! He & our daughter went in on Salvation Saturday to help with the clean up.
Hope everything is getting better for you xx
Mrs BC
xx

cara said...

HA! That is hilarious! I could have sworn he turned up to help fire hose out the flat... or maybe it was the garden he helped water...

Mrs BC said...

Oh no, so you DO remember him taking a leak in the garden then? How embarassment!

Related Posts with Thumbnails