Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brisbane's Behemoth

Call it macabre curiosity but the TV networks were broadcasting too many vociferous messages of doom and gloom for my liking so I clipped the lead to my dog's collar and off we strode to Bartley's Hill on Brisbane's north side to reassure ourselves that the foreboding flood was just another media beat up. The walk was incredibly surreal. There was a pall handing over my suburb...cars silently parked in driveways, homes dimly lit, a distinct lack of children's laughter spilling onto the streets, only the dull pitter patter of constant rain drops falling from the heavens hitting grey cement pavement. Due to the non-stop wet, the pooch had opted to stay indoors these past few days so the walk to the popular scenic vantage point seemed a good idea...for no other reason than to stretch our legs and gain some sort of reassurance and comfot seeing the Brisbane River not breaking its boundary in our little patch although it had already burst its banks in the western suburbs. After being overtaken by a lone, soggy jogger, the pooch and I finally reached our destination which was already occupied by equally curious locals.

The walk had been filled with an ill-fated air of doom and gloom but the site of the city from the top of the hill was even more unsettling. It was pure Hollywood. The sky a murky silver-grey. The river dull, roaring, dangerous and uninviting. The cityscape a Gothem-like creation - eerie and threatening - sadly ill-prepared for the venomous behemoth of distruction yet to strike. It was otherworldly like a scene from Blade Runner with lashings of the blackest Batman movie rolled into one.

Will it be as bad as the 1974 floods? I don't know? I wasn't in Brisbane when it happened...I was a school girl visiting relatives in the UK, oblivious to the havoc reeking throughout our safe city. Tonight is just a taste, they say, of more devastating floods to come. An overpowering wall of water is set swoop down on our city in a day or two. We all hold our breath; our prayers are with those who have lost so much, and for those who are yet to suffer loss.

My wish for 2011 is that this wonderful city survives the worst of it and blossoms in spite of it.

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