We’ve had a bit of rain this week in Ballarat. And when I say rain, I mean rain. Buckets of it. I’m not sure of the exact millimetre measurement but it has been raining for days.

We’ve been very lucky because there is a factory on our street that got completely flooded. There’s been massive amounts of water on the roads - turning the Kinda and School pick up into a water park amusement ride.

I’m alway super cautious when it comes to wet weather. The town I grew up in was the Hutt Valley. As the name suggests, it was a valley that had been formed by hundreds of thousands of years of water erosion. The Hutt River runs right through the middle and every couple of years there would be massive flooding.

I remember one year in particular when I was about 15 years old. The school has sent us home early to avoid getting caught in flood waters and instead of going straight home, my friend and I went to the river for a look. It was wild. The width of the river was 5 times its normal size. The park land and car parks that lined the river had been entirely consumed by the brown rushing water.

Being silly teenagers, we thought it would be fun to try and jump out to a nearly fully submerged picnic table about a metre out from the rising waters edge. A ridiculous idea that only the stupidly of youth would think a reasonable one. My friend jumped first, then me. We both landed on the rocky table, the water lapping over the top of our shoe shoes and instantly realised how dangerous this plan was.

Standing in the Hutt River, surrounded by rushing flood waters, was probably up there in the top 5 ‘most foolish things I’ve ever done’ category. We’re lucky that we managed to safely jump back to the shore. I remember arriving home, completely soaked to the bone and feeling like I’d dodged a bullet. That was a little too risky, even for my rebellious teenage self.

That experience has given me a healthy dose of fear and respect for flooding. It's interesting living in Australia (well, Ballarat in particular), an environment that is more familiar with droughts than flooding. I overheard a few Mums at the school saying they were going to take the kids to Lal Lal Falls after school to see all the water. Flooding is still novel enough that people are drawn to it rather than away.

A bit like earthquakes in Australia. I remember years ago when I was working in South Melbourne. There was an earthquake and I immediately jumped under my desk, as we’d done hundreds of times during earthquakes in Wellington. All of my Australian colleagues were standing up, looking around.

‘Wow, what's happening? Is this an earthquake? Wow, cool!’ 
‘Yes - god damn it, it's an earthquake! Get under your desk or into a doorway now!’ 

The rain has stopped for the time being - there are even some small patches of blue sky peeping through. I hope the worst of it is over for now. As I dropped the kids off this morning I saw Frank eyeing up the overflowing creek by Alice's Kinda. 

‘Can I get out of the car mum and have a look?’ 
‘Absolutely not.’

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ALL ABOUT RISO | olivia and pindot | risograph
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20 Square Blocks: Going for it.
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Black Mono: Font of the week by Zetafonts

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