Australia 3: Rain

They talk big in Oz but I have to say when it’s about rain, they’re generally telling the truth. It either doesn’t rain or it rains a lot. Today on Bribie Island (Queensland), we have thunder and lightening as well as torrential rain. Unlike NZ where these events seem to be just passing through, here the light-and-sound show has been going for at least an hour. I’m in a basement room. On an island. I noticed the life jackets in the cupboard where I’m sleeping but only now does it mean something other than they ran out of places in the garage to store them. I’m kidding. But I am pleased this all happened this afternoon because this morning I went off to the mall on a bike. Bribie is a cyclist paradise during the winter weeks. It’s flat and only occasionally does the wind blow, so I was quite happy about biking to the Mall. It took a while to get going. I needed to first find which door the key I was given opened and then find the helmets (for a choice) my grand-daughter had left out for me. That almost defeated me but they were sitting on an outside chair with a high back. I also had to check I had my phone because I’d taken a picture of the combination lock so I’d not have to remember 4 numbers. What I really should’ve been doing was raising the seat and adding air to the tyres. I took off and almost fell off because my knees hadn’t bent that much since I leapt into the boat in February in front of people I wanted to impress. I imagine I looked like one of those clowns that come into the circus ring on the little bikes. The bike itself is beautiful and I love my daughter in law for sharing it with me.It is a faithful copy of an older style women’s bike that you do not have to raise your leg somewhere up near your shoulder to get half of you over to the other side so you can take off. I also discovered one of the best things about the lowered seat was that my feet could touch the ground. If I pointed my toes which I have to admit was not always my first thought. And it’s a lovely powder blue. What more can a woman want? Just a carrier on the back or a basket on the front. I tried to restrict my purchases to one heavy book and a variety of indispensible items from Woolworths, Target and the Discount Chemist but I had to pull out the secret $50 which shows no restraint at all. In the end I bought a bungee cord and a plastic bin and happily biked back home looking like a woman I used to see quite often in Riccarton who collected bottles from gutters and could load a bike up with three sackss and a cardboard box. It was fun to ride somewhere different and to meet other cyclists. I must say I preferred the woman on the electric bike to the man with the bottle of whiskey jacked into the space for the water bottle. Though once again, it does illustrate the ingenuity of Australians. I can see it taking off – once someone works out glass might not be the best material to make the bottle from.

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