Jan 12, 2011


The sun came out this morning.

Cruel, this weather is. Cruel, to lift the fog and drizzle that has hung over the city and give its residents full clarity of vision, just as the floodwaters reach their peak. Look. You must look. You must see.

Except my street is empty. It looks normal. Quiet, with a slight breeze whipping leaves along the gutters. Sunlight glinting off the bitumen. A butcher bird just chirped.

But then the roar of choppers flying overhead breaks the trance. This is a mere bubble of normality.

There is a low level hum in my head, matched by a strange feeling in my stomach.

The images are all incredible, unbelievable. But certain images shake me. The sight of the Drift Cafe sinking into the muddy brown waters, tilting forwards as it strains against its moorings, as if it's dropped its head onto its chest, resigned to its fate. Let the doors open, the owner was told. Let the waters swallow it down, before they rip it away.

My job this week is to just keep updating, interviewing, recording, cutting, editing, writing, updating, updating. It's the honourable, valuable side of the media, the role to inform and educate. And yet I feel impotent. It doesn't feel like nearly enough. All I can do is watch.

But everyone is helping. Emergency authorities, residents, friends, families, strangers. The sun is shining on them too now. But then, their good work was already well lit, even during the heaviest rains.


  1. I think everyone feels impotent in the face of devastation.

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  3. I'm from SA and finding it hard to believe the images that keep playing on the Tv. My heart goes out to everyone affected up there.

  4. In such a devastating time its great to see Australians band together. However i can't stop feeling that theres got to be more that we can do.

  5. Not much I can offer from Tasmania. Kids and I went through the house today, filled six fucknormous bags with clothes, books, bedding, household goods. They'll go down to the salvos or whoever is collecting tomorrow. Already dropped some cash on the appeals.

    Doesn't feel like enough.

    If there's anything I can help with from down here, let me know.

  6. I've been following your blog from California (USA) and I am so sorry. We don't get much news about the flooding, but i located your guy's news paper (online) and was reading about it. My prayers are with you guys.

  7. Nat, it's the curse of the honourable journalist I guess. Not wanting to get involved, knowing that your cog as part of this big wheel is to report and inform... but then as a human the urge almost takes over to want to intervene. Mate - your expertise right now is doing wonders for a massive amount of faceless people out in radioland, moreso than ever right now as electricity cuts mean the net and telly are down.

    Can you tell that, pervertedly, I'm just slightly envious?

  8. Wishing Australians the best in the face of a monster challenge.

  9. I too am on the other side of the world from you in Vancouver, but we are following your news very closely. Hoping there is some way we can be helping soon.

  10. Australians is a beautiful country in my mind.