I’ve just arrived home from work, and it’s raining here in Sydney.
The weather bureau has been predicting heavy rain for several days. Some areas might get up to two inches of rain which is enough to cause flash flooding.
It’s also enough to cause significant road problems. I know this for a fact.
I remember working on Christmas Day in 1988 when I was based in Bourke.
I did a request show that morning and then hit the road with plans of making it home to Lismore by about midnight.
Unfortunately about thirty minutes the other side of Brewarrina, a massive rain storm appeared, seemingly from nowhere.
It was enough to leave my poor little car bogged up to the axels in the black soil.
And so on Christmas Day I found myself stranded in the middle of nowhere on a road which very few people were driving on.
In the end I walked to a nearby property, pleaded my case to the people living there, and made my home with them for a couple of days until the rain was over, and I was in a position to be dragged out.
Luckily, the people recognised me from the radio, and made me feel very welcome and happy. The spirit of giving and all that, I guess…
Thankfully, that road is now sealed. But there are still loads of those roads around Western NSW where the potential for getting bogged remains.
Many years later, I also found myself working on Christmas Day, though unexpectedly.
It was the year when I had been “dumped” (there’s no polite word for it) just a fortnight before Christmas.
I remember sitting at home with the blinds closed feeling awfully sorry for myself. Self-pity, thy name is James.
Mid-afternoon I got a phone call from my boss who, first of all, wished me a Merry Christmas and then asked if I’d been drinking.
“My goodness”, I thought to myself, “what he does think I am…?”
In the end, his question was rather more straight forward, as he explained he needed me to come into work to cover the bushfires.
As I’d spent the day inside, with the blinds closed, I was completely unaware the sky over Sydney was blood-red.
Within half-an-hour, I was in at work, thankfully distracted from the recent disappointment.
So yeah, for me Christmas Day is increasingly a day that’s associated with working and with severe weather.