Thursday, 14 July 2011
Attack of the Cyclones: Episode One - A blow to the head
The weather gods, invoked in my previous post, would have had a good laugh at our expense over the past few days. With consent finally granted at the end of a week of perfect weather, the heavens opened the following day, when Dean had arranged the concrete truck for the setting of our house piles. A shame, but not the end of the world, there’s always Monday.
Saturday saw the beginning of a relentless battering from westerly gales, reaching speeds of 130 kilometres and above at times. Bad enough on their own, these incredible gusts also propel sheets of stinging horizontal rain at anything foolish enough to be standing outside. ‘Foolish’, and ‘outside’ are words which we’ll return to shortly.
A large part of the day was spent researching bathroom fittings, and then we returned home for lunch and what could have been a relaxing cosy afternoon in front of the fire, before dinner with friends that night. Unfortunately, an inability to know when to stay put has got us into serious trouble before, and today was to be no exception. In no time at all, we were both ‘foolishly outside’ in the howling tempest; I was collecting branches which had been smashed out of the trees, while Rose tried to secure the frantically flapping tarpaulin covering our wood pile, placing a couple of metal waratah fence posts on top to help hold it down.
Hearing her suddenly shouting for my attention (not an unusual thing in itself, I’m always being bellowed at from the other end of the paddock) I looked up to shout back that I couldn’t hear what she was saying, when I saw from Rose’s body language that something was wrong. As I ran closer I finally saw that her face was literally covered in blood. It seems that a particularly strong gust had suddenly lifted the tarpaulin, throwing one of the waratahs onto her head. Anyone who knows Rose will not be surprised to hear that she was perfectly coherent and adamant that making any kind of fuss was completely unnecessary. After I forced her to let me rinse some of the blood out of her hair and saw the open wound, I had to firmly beg to differ and we were soon heading quickly towards Masterton Hospital.
Admittedly, Accident and Emergency were very busy, but after half an hour of sitting in a cramped waiting room with no-one even coming to look at or clean my wife’s blood soaked head, I was seeing a different kind of red. We took our business to the Masterton Medical clinic instead, and this time I made sure that Rose showed the receptionist her gory injury. The strategy worked and in no time at all 5 stitches were being carefully sewn into a 4cm long cut in her shaved scalp. Being a perfectly straight line the procedure seemed uncomplicated, although the local anaesthetic injections were clearly no picnic.
In just over an hour, we were having that dinner with our friends - Rose terrifying their kids with her stitches while a glass of wine or two worked its soothing magic. We were relaxed and looking forward to a more settled day tomorrow, surely these gales can’t sustain themselves for much longer?