Author and artist Ryn Shell.
I was all dressed up to head out when the rain came with a roar, in sheets, of water. The gutters could not cope, and it was towels to mop up as water ran down one internal wall. No damage done; I heard that all my neighbours had similar internal leaks, as the gutters could not handle the volume of water.
Outside the gutters were swirling in water, which as the gutters filled with leaf, and branch litter washed along the open drain, it blocked them and a flood was rising over the road in front of us. I put the computer on, and they were predicting flash flooding in our area, it was happening in front of me.
The rain settled, but the flood kept rising as water flowed down the drain and banked up where it was blocked. Then I saw a lovely senior woman from a few doors down from me with a leaf rake pulling at the branches and leaves trying to clear the gutters in the rain. I went and started clearing gutters with her for a while; we had a great chat, and then I convinced her to stop and go home, promising I would finish the job tomorrow when it was not raining.
I stopped and had dinner; this is when I am glad I have healthy pre-cooked dinners in the freezer ready to thaw and heat. Four-minute noodles, chicken, and vegetable stew, lovely.
The rain stopped, I returned to the ditch clearing work. After I had piled all the leaf litter and branches on the bank, I carried it over to my beautifully soaked garden and piled leaf litter mulch 200cm deep over my entire front garden. This leaf mulch was high payment for my work that quantity of mulch would have cost me $100. easily and what better quality is there than aged leaf litter. A gardener’s dream and a splendid workout.
The gutters are flowing, and the water is draining away into the nearby lake.
I was so hungry when I finished; I tucked into a big feed of prawns and cheese on dry biscuits for a second dinner.
Australian rural adventures by author and artist Ryn Shell.
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