The Art of Mañana
Mañana – what a great word to describe the slow torture I have been through for the past few months waiting for Klady to help me write about my adventures. Every time I’ve come up with a new idea, her answer has been mañana.
Personally, I think it’s an excuse.
Hey Klady – how about I tell our friends about travelling to the Tarkine wilderness and floating down the river to Pieman Heads? Mañana. Or what about the huge echnidna that climbed onto our jetski; or squidding with friends; travelling to remote Lake Pedder or chasing the Aurora Australis? Mañana, mañana.
'Mañana' has by now shifted in the past. OK, I’ll make this blog topical and talk about the weather.
While the Australian mainland is suffering from terrible rain and floods (my heart goes out to you all and I have huge sympathy with everyone), here at World’s End we have not enjoyed any rainfall at all for more than three months except for a less than exciting 0.5mm!
Living on rainwater tanks has taught us to be very frugal with our water usage: showers are 3 minutes MAX; no watering of garden flowers – only fruits and vegetables; the windows remain coated with dust and sea spray and the cars stay dusty from the dirt roads.
But luckily so far thanks to our 40,000 litre water tank, we have been fortunate in not needing to buy water until soon, hopefully, some decent rain arrives.
Here in southern Tasmania, total fire bans have been in place for the past four months, the dryness and lack of humidity has meant that all the surrounding land is incredibly brown and tinder dry should any spark land on it.
And so it did one night. This is Australia: always “fire or flood”.
Just as we were going to bed, Klady was pulling down the bedroom blinds when she noticed huge flames leaping outside the backyard and while this is Crown – or government – water side land, many of us take the responsibility to both care for it as well as the native animals that live there.
I saw from my high viewing platform on the verandah that the flames were rising higher and higher and approaching a huge gum tree, and if this caught alight, it would have led to a major bushfire threatening all the houses and land here at World’s End.
Dressed ‘elegantly’ in her summer PJs, Klady rushed outside grabbing a long hose and started wetting around the tree, trying to stop the fire jumping up the tree trunk. Meanwhile, SirD grabbed another hose and started watering the grounds where the fire could spread.
Then Klady noticed her part-time neighbour, AA, standing there enjoying the fiery spectacle (as background info: every night when the AA family use their shack, their fire pit and a wood BBQ are lit, even when it is raining).
Hey, can you help us fight the fire? There are little animals living in that bracken and undergrowth and they need to escape, Klady shouted.
“Hi Klady, would you like a beer,” AA replied.
No I don’t want a beer. I’d like you to help fight the fire. Get a hose and call the fire brigade, she replied.
“Hey Klady. Can you call the Brigade? I really don’t want to. Do you want a glass of red wine? AA replied.
For **** sake I’m fighting this bloody fire. I don’t want a glass of wine. I need you to do something. Call the fire brigade. We have to stop it spreading, Klady screeched.
“Yeah. OK,” came the grudging reply.
Finally the fire brigade was duly contacted and while waiting for their arrival, the neighbourly conversation continued.
How did this **** fire start? There’s a total fire ban, Klady politely shouted above the noise of the flames.
“Don’t’ know,” AA replied. “I can’t imagine how this happened. I was just out there enjoying my fire pit and BBQ in night air and I guess it was a case of spontaneous ‘combination’.
Do you want a nectarine?”
You mean ‘combustion’, and the rest of Klady’s response was totally unrepeatable to a polite audience.
And how was I occupied all this time?
Until the fire brigade arrived, I loudly supervised from the deck, alerting the neighbourhood and all the local dogs to this unfolding drama. Finally when the professionals arrived with their huge portable water trucks, Klady, SirD and I went to bed leaving AA to try and explain how the bushfire had ‘spontaneously’ started.
The good outcome is that this adventure gave me the opportunity to convince Klady that I needed her assistance telling you about this event and that’s how I successfully rid her of her dreaded mañana.