Does it Feel Like There’s Something Strange in the Air, or is That Just Me?

February 23, 2010 at 7:51 am (Uncategorized)

I feel like the Ides of March have descended early this year… everything is a little bit peculiar. Take the sewerage situation. I’m starting to wonder if it’s all part of an elaborate Candid Camera skit, or perhaps a Kenny Comes to the Coast TV special.

Graham came back with a final update Friday afternoon – no sign of Elio by this stage, whom I clearly terrified straight to the back of the truck – and when I came to the door, he struggled to compute my swimmers, shorts and towel until he finally said, “I was knocking. Wanted to let you know we’re going around back again. But you were in the shower, were you?”

I looked down at my swimmers-shorts-and-towel ensemble, and there was another long pause while I tried to figure out his logic.

“Um, no,” I said at last. “I don’t shower in swimmers, Graham. I was just over the road having a swim.”

“Oh,” he said, but frankly he did not sound convinced, as though he very much doubted there was a beach there.

Then he reiterated what he’d already told me earlier in the day: engineering types would come. One day. And then they’d decide what to do. Okay. Bye, then. The weekend came and went: nothing. I was just getting ready to put the whole thing down to a case of mistaken mapping on the part of the crap crew when late yesterday there came another knock on the door. There was a new guy standing there with what looked like the council plans of the house and street. Drat, I thought. He too wanted access out the back, so I sent him down the side of the block with my own special brand of mixed blessing. Shortly thereafter, he returned.

“Graham’s marked the spot in the laundry with an ‘X,’” he said.

“He has?”

“A big yellow one.”

“Really?” This was genuinely surprising to me. I’d just been out there earlier and hadn’t seen a thing.

“Yep,” he said. “So the other team is going to come and pull up your laundry floor in the next day or so. Maybe tomorrow, but maybe not. Could be the day after.”

“They’re seriously going to do that?” I almost laughed. “But why don’t they just go in via the manhole? Surely clearing that out is going to be a whole lot easier than tearing apart an entire structure?”

He clearly did not want to get stuck discussing the finer points and was backing away from the door even as I spoke. Up flew his panicked hands of surrender, just like Elio’s. Pacify the crazy lady, must pacify the crazy lady…anyone would think I was a goddamn brown bear.

“I-I don’t know,” he stammered, inching his way backwards towards the main entrance to the block. “T-that’s just what’s on the report. He’s m-made his re-recommendation.”

This entire situation was starting to get annoying.

“Oh, has he? Well, isn’t that nice.”

Graham, you filthy sewer-dwelling traitor. What would Bon Scott say?

“Now the other team will decide what to do. They’ll be in touch.”

And out he ran, as fast as his little legs could carry him. By this time I sort of did feel like pulling off someone’s head, but since then, precisely nothing more has occurred. It’s truly anyone’s guess what’ll happen next.

Then there’s today’s change in the weather. I have this knack – and it’s a pretty nifty trick – of being able to control the weather in reverse. Impressed? Like if I wish for a sunny day, guaranteed it is going to hail small cars. Now, we have some friends shooting over the Tasman from Auckland to spend this weekend with us sans les enfants, so I sent them a little message on Facebook this morning saying, ‘As long as this perfect weather lasts. That’s all. Surely it’s not too much to ask.’

Well. No sooner had I sent this message than darkness fell across the land.

Presently it’s overcast, grey, and about 20 degrees cooler than it was seconds before I clicked SEND, and indeed than it was overnight, which I spent wide awake, right up until I was about to receive confirmation that my 6 am Tuesday walk with my friend T was still on, and then I promptly fell into a deep sleep until precisely 7 am, just as T’s window of opportunity closed. See how well that worked out? Yep. Like a dream. An hour long dream in the only 60 minutes of unbroken sleep I could lay my hands on.

Please, weather gods, please get this nasty aberration out of your system over the next few days so our friends from the land of the long white cloud can have some actual sun and blue skies while they’re here… after all, it’s not their fault, why should they be penalised for my stupidity? I know I shouldn’t have said anything out loud, much less committed my weather wish list to Facebook, but please don’t take it out on them. They weren’t to know I was The Sunshine Saboteur when they befriended me all those years ago – so how about we let this one slide? I’d really be much obliged.

There’s other stuff brewing, I can feel it in this newly humid air, but for now, it’s nearly 7 pm, it’s been a big day, and I’m shattered. Time to hunker in the bunker with my book – let’s reconvene tomorrow, shall we?



  1. Fugitive Pieces said,

    Oh, that’s a wristband in the making – a wristband reading “What Would Bon Scott Say?” (WWBSS?) Shame we couldn’t have a nice round 5000 of ’em manufactured before the AC/DC gigs. The profits would’ve kept us in new books for at least a year. #Great business ideas that come a week too late…
    (Just saw the forecast for the weekend. It was one of those helpful sun-peeping-out-of-raincloud ones. Looks like the weather bureau is following Sydney Water’s lead, and hedging its bets. The “other team”, my arse.)

    • doctordi said,

      I hate those belated business ideas – my fortunes dashed against the upturned hourglass yet again!!!!

      Hmmm. Okay. So for my next trick, I will now attempt NOT to think about the weather *at all* between now and then. Maybe pretending to ignore it will help. Then perhaps the sun will come out demanding I pay it some proper attention. Yes, these crazy thoughts really do go through my mind.

      • Fugitive Pieces said,

        As delusions of grandeur go, I’ve always favoured the pathetic fallacy, myself. “I’m so sad, so so sad…Oh look, the sky is weeping in sympathy!”

  2. Lilian Nattel said,

    Well, you did make me laugh!

  3. Norwichrocks said,

    “…guaranteed it is going to hail small cars.”


    Mmm, I’m hoping we have sunny skies on Sunday for my birthday picnic. So far, the forecast is good BUT…

    • doctordi said,

      Oh yes, of course, your birthday picnic’s this weekend! Well then, that demands sunshine. Optimism renewed!

  4. Norwichrocks said,

    Oh, and I absolutely agree that something strange is in the air. I was supposed to go out last night after work and I was just completely shattered. Had to go home, eat coco pops and just sit (with Wolf Hall). Feels weird again today, too. Vaguely oppressive.

  5. doctordi said,

    Exactly. Vaguely oppressive. Grey skies just do weird things to me. In fact, shifting weather patterns make me fully aware of the animal I am.

  6. doctordi said,

    And just in case there was any doubt about things being weird, my friends’ house got robbed last night. They are not amused.

  7. litlove said,

    When the workmen return, order them to perform a ritual to make the sun shine. That should make for some interesting developments in both plot lines.

  8. Jenny said,

    You are in form and fabulous with this post Di. I want to steal your prose. Especially ‘my own special brand of mixed blessing’. Brilliant. You must stay on edge Di, if this is the result.

  9. doctordi said,

    Oh Jenny, I love it when you love anything I do! You know, I think tension is good for writers. Unrest, disaster, acute stress… where would we be without them?

  10. Pete said,

    I’m also loving the plumber plot-line so long may it continue. (Although as a friend I would wish it ends speedily and efficiently. But not my sewer etc.) Hope you had a good weekend with your long white cloud friends.

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