She’s fickle but very welcome

My dear Nanna (DN) is happy it’s been raining at Boggabri. Well, I’m guessing she would be because, when she was alive, she liked to see things done properly.

You know the sort of stuff – cakes made from scratch, loose tea leaves, knitting your own jumpers, wearing a frock on Sundays.

She’d be hating the fact that her plot up at Boggy cemetery hasn’t got a headstone yet.

My DN’s been at Boggabri’s eternal hotel for a couple of years now, having called it quits at the aged of 98 but, until recently, the ground hadn’t sunk far enough for an official marker to be put on top.

This is probably not the sort of thing you want to read about (how much soil settling is required before my DN’s headstone goes on) but it’s a fact of life (and death) that the rain is pretty darn important to every aspect of our existence in the bush.

As it happens, I’m looking forward to finishing off Mary Simpson’s final resting place because it’s not right that a short stake with a bunch of faded red plastic roses is all there is to mark where such a remarkable woman lies … and she gets run over a bit by the boys on the Boggy council mowers, so she’d be glad the town’s had a nice soak.

Also glad is the cropping and grazing fraternity, however, farmers being farmers, not all are happy. One, who I will call ‘Stupid’ (not his real name but pretty darn close), was busy cursing the clouds from sun up to sundown last week.

“Bloody fickle female weather,” he said. “No rain when ya want it, too much when you don’t. Just like a woman.”

Of course I smiled at Mr Stupid, nodded my head and agreed because, although he was trying to be a stupid pig, he was in essence completely right.

The weather (the rain) is a woman.

It’s fickle and we’d all die without a drenching every now and again. Just no getting around the fact that, like us or not, we’re pretty much essential.

The folks at Baan Baa seemed happy enough to get a good three inches recently, enough to fill the dams and, as I drove Mr Wiggle (my ute) west, enough to wash out some recently sown crops.

“Break ya back getting a crop in, pray for rain and get ya bloody crop washed out to buggery,” Mr Stupid said.

Well, it’s tough but that’s a female for you. I suggested Mr Stupid take to the air to sow his crops, which he thought was a stupid idea that no one in their right mind would try. I’m looking forward to seeing those farmers who did aerial sow around Boggabri rear a nice harvest.

I was wishing for it NOT to rain in Tamworth, seeing as the “reno from hell” is yet to get a complete roof and (as far as I’m concerned) the weather is not just a woman but a GODDESS because she scooted the major downpours west.

Still, I was expecting rain, lots of rain to fall directly over the mess in my backyard, I’d even re-named the “reno from Hell” HMAS Bounty and renamed my very talented builder Captain Fletcher Christian. The Bounty certainly looked the part with a couple of boards poking out a window, walk the plank style.

But the Bounty’s ship shape (and in the process of getting a roof) so it’s yo ho, ho and a bottle of rum for the captain and a shiny new headstone for DN thanks to that woman we call the weather.

Five things you didn’t know about:

Senior meteorologist Bureau of Meteorology regional office: Julie Evans.

Julie is a weather expert having studied everything from atmospheric physics at Oxford University to climate change, specialising in heavy rainfall events. She is a member of WISENET (Women in Science Enquiry Network) an organisation which aims to promote women’s participation in science and communication.

Can’t live with: People who don’t stick to the facts when it comes to the weather.

Can’t live without: A wonderful family.

Currently wanting: More women to consider science as a career and more people to take climate change seriously.

Currently reading: Rain gauges and radars.

Count myself lucky because: The weather is always changing.

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