And the rain my drink. Han Suyin.


Annette and I were planning to visit my brother up north  for this week-end but she  pointed out that the weather predictions were dire, The advice was to limit all driving to the essentials only. Pictures of flooding roads are already on the news even before the bulk of torrential downpours have even started. Red lights are flashing and the latest on the news now use words like ‘calamitous and dire’. Not at all encouraging especially considering giving up on a romantic week-end catching up on love and family. Still, the car being swept up into a raging torrent would not be anyone’s idea of romance or re-kindling family ties.


Some residents are now advised to leave or risk having to be evacuated from rooftops if the predicted flooding  eventuates over the next few days. It is often one thing or the other in Australia. I copy a famous poem by Dorothea Mackellar.

My Country – I love a sunburnt country

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

Dorothea Mackellar

The above photo is our first house that we lived in between 1968-1973 and like all the places we lived in, very unique and beautiful. It looked out over the harbour towards the famous Sydney Harbour bridge. The bank manager giving us a mortgage thought we were mad; ‘it’s nothing but a shed’, he said. 


26 Responses to “And the rain my drink. Han Suyin.”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Hurrmph!…dry as an Arab’s fart out here in the Mallee, Gerard…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    No rain here Gerard, we are too far west. But it’s cold and blowing, quite like a winter’s day. I’m not ready for it as I much prefer the warmth.
    Your first house is charming. This morning I was reading online an historical history of the Leichhardt Council area (as it was then) and feeling a bit nostalgic.
    I’m sorry you missed out on your trip, but better to be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, our first house was charming and the setting superb. Leichhardt council was linked to all sorts of dodgy dealings in the past.
      The entire shire that I live in now has been taken over by a caretaker and is under investigation for allegedly unusual practices.
      Just as well we did not go on our trip. Lots of people being evacuated from low lying areas.


  3. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Dear Gez.

    We hates our melanoma.
    We loves our pot of tea.
    And we sits beneath a gum tree
    It’s a wide brimmed hat for me 😊

    The only thing worse for romance
    Than a soaking wet arse
    Is a cold soaking wet arse … don’t go there!

    And the perfect antidote to inclemency
    Is a gentle open fire, a glass of a decent red or a single malt
    Some cheese and crackers
    And a pal who takes out a clean hankie
    Sidles up close and says
    “I think you might have something in your eye”

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Great poem, Trouserzoff. Practicing on the outdoor dunny?

      ‘And here I sat
      broken hearted,
      spent my penny
      and only farted.’

      A poem from beyond the black stump.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        I always thought that was written for the dunnies down at Manly Wharf, when I was a boy. Of course, boys could piss for free at the standupperies!

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        We had those cast iron male toilets standupperies in Holland where males would go for a leak. Females apparently at that time did not go to toilets. Some of those toilets are now preserved for eternity and have become national monuments in Holland.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I think it looks like a lovely house! And what a wonderful descriptive poem!
    So sorry to hear about your canceled trip…but better to be safe! Hope you two can take that trip very soon! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PATS and RUBS to Milo! 🙂 Will he get to go on the trip with you?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. We have re-booked the trip to my brother and wife for the 10th of April. Just as well we did not go. Areas are now called ‘disaster areas’ and people are being evacuated because of flooding.
      Yes, our first house was one of the best. We lived there between 1969-1973 after we left and lived in The Netherlands with our three children.
      The house is now under National Trust protection and a unique example of early domestic architecture. We bought it for $12.000.-! And the bank manager thought we were foolish because it was an old house!
      Hugs to you and Cooper too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. leggypeggy Says:

    Hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. auntyuta Says:

    So far, Gerard, there has not been any rain here in Benalla since I arrived here. I think, we are now going to have a good weekend, while Sydney is supposed to get a real lot of rain from now on. So don’t get washed away where ever you and Annette are going to be over the weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Uta. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This stood the test of time through the millennia and still holds true even for those in the octogenarian age. We are seeing each other again this Tuesday. It can’t come soon enough!

    It is credited to have been uttered by the Roman Poet Sextus. He knew a thing about love, requited or otherwise.

    Nice that you are able to spend time in Benalla far away from flooding rains. Enjoy yourself in the sun, Uta.

    Liked by 1 person

    • auntyuta Says:

      I did have a good Sunday despite a bit of rain. But today I miss the sun. Probably no sun for the next few days. How is Milo coping with the wet weather? Millie does not like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The rain makes both of us rather relaxed. I need to take him for a walk but he doesn’t like it so I am not pushing it.
        I decided yesterday to try and make a French onion soup. Not all that easy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • auntyuta Says:

      The last time I had a delicious French onion soup was in a restaurant in Berlin. Myself, I would not know, how to cook this soup, Gerard. Anyway, do enjoy your cooking, If you have some left over, Annette might like to try some tomorrow! Definitely good to have food like this in this kind of wet weather! When we had this lovely onion soup in Berlin, it was snowing outside, very romantic! 🙂
      We just had some lunch. My son cooked a vegie curry with rice. Very good tasting indeed, In the curry were three different vegies from his garden as well as chickpeas and carrots, I reckon chickpeas always taste good in a well spiced curry together with all the vegies, 🙂
      Martin just asked me whether I want to watch a movie. 🙂
      It’s bad for dogs when they can’t go for their usual walks. Today, I won’t go out for a walk either.
      Have a great time tomorrow! Love, Uta 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, a good onion soup is not all that easy to make. I might write a blog about it.
        Annette will not come here while the west of Sydney is being flooded. The rain is still heavy and relentless.
        I have onion soup, a dozen rock oysters and a bottle of French champagne at the ready when she will come here during a spell in the weather.
        Good that your son made a nice curry. Living on my own I do take care with my foods and diet. It’s easy to skimp meals and live of snacking. Fortunately I am not keen on sweets or crunchy snacks.
        Have a nice time with your family, Uta

        Liked by 1 person

  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Do be careful on your travels and I am glad to see you that you have someone for companionship. Loved the poem in you post and the others in the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the weather is really turning serious with Sydney’s largest dam, the Warragamba dam threatening to flow over, which if it does will cause flooding in residential areas.
      Yes, that poem is well known and some feel it ought ti be art of our anthem which still makes references to a foreign country and foreign queen.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    The Warragamba dam will spill over this afternoon.

    All access to the dam is closed now


  10. rangewriter Says:

    Ah shed? Well, I guess compared to the palace that a bank manager presumes to live in. Sheesh. The house on the hill looks delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

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