Wow. What a week. And yes I realise for some people the clean up will take an awful lot longer. You could say I've been lucky. Very lucky. So how did it all happen?
Monday: G-man, good friend and colleague gets the news of flash flooding in his home town of Toowoomba. He's completely cut off from his wife and two children and takes comfort in the fact that if he can't get there, at least they and his home are safe. His car, not so lucky, and we watch footage of the street he parked in and the ensuing damage. G-man stays with Mr Man and I for the night, and is in constant contact with his family.
Tuesday: G-man and I head back into the office. Me to work, he to try and source a way home. Its raining hard and consistently. Friends that work in neighbouring buildings start sending messages that they've been evacuated and to leave as soon as I can. My mum rings and insists I go home. G-man can't find a way home. He's still stranded. The big bosses meet repeatedly, and decide to send us all home. A friend in Burpengary messages to advise her brothers house is underwater. G-man and I head back to my northern suburb, stopping to pick him up some clean clothes as stores close around us. Its 2pm. The media are running wild on the story, so we put on a movie and I paint my nails. Inappropriate natural disaster colours, but it kept me distracted.
Wednesday: This is the day the waters peaked. G-man and I spend most of the day glued to the 24 hour flood updates, stunned. We promised ourselves we wouldn't buy in emotionally, as the media here is prone to overplaying scenarios just to make audiences cry. We play some chess to distract us from the media.
In the afternoon we walk up to the 7-11 for an ice-cream, and a walk around my suburb. Everything seems so normal, that after a day watching the rest of the city it seems so strange. Mr Man concedes that maybe we should do another food shop because food shortages are a real possibility with all roads into and out of Brisbane cut.
Thursday: G-man and I do said food shop. One of the guys at the supermarket starts telling me about how little they have, and we do the best we can. No point getting stressed when there's no bananas so Mr Man gets grapes instead. Our supermarket guy points out that's the last box of grapes, and that's it when their gone. We spend the afternoon at the local mall, and G-man picks up some clean clothes. Management from work call all day trying to work out how to get him home. In the evening G-man and I worked out a convoluted flight path for Friday, but, to our amazement, the Toowoomba bus line has worked out a way through, much longer than usual, but it starts Friday afternoon. Amid whoops of excitement we book him on it, knowing within 24hours he'll be back with his family. But at this point, our promise not to get emotionally drawn in is tested. The story of 13 year old Jordan Rice, who drowned after he told rescuers to take his 11 year old little brother Blake first. Blake survived, but before rescuers could return, Jordan and his mum were swept away. This shakes G-man badly, as the father of an 11 year old son, he found it hard to cope with.
Friday: We need to kill time until the bus leaves. I take G-man out to Sandgate to look at the debris washing up on the beach. Its sobering to see, and yet amazing to see the volunteers out at work clearing it all away. By 4pm we have G-man on the bus, and later that evening I get the message that he's home.
Saturday: Everything feels very very normal. Mr Man has worked all week as his workplace was unaffected and none of the roads between there and here were cut. Normal sounds can be heard in neighboring houses and streets. But not that far away, an enormous clean up is commencing.