Ice cream that’s been in a freezer with no power for 24 hours is like eating a vanilla-flavoured cloud from heaven.
That’s one of the lessons the farmer and I have been taught by storms. With wet, windy and wild weather upon us, here’s some more:
How to watch Coronation St during a power outage and a storm: Take wine to your solar and wind-powered neighbours’ home and drive through a raging river (this from a Coro St addict).
Have taps lower than your water tank: Ours produced more than a healthy dribble throughout the power cut.
Make sure roof water goes into the water tank – the farmer’s repair to the spouting achieved this, terminating our water fall, however frogs will have to relocate during the next drought.
Have a stash of firewood: Another achievement by the trusty farmer.
I’m more useful than four border collie bitches even when plodding through sludge – especially when the dogs take off after the main group of bulls and ignore the stragglers.
Don’t wait for a day to wrap your freezer in blankets: Everything survived, but it was touch and go.
You may make unlikely discoveries: The farmer lunged inside shouting, “Taa daa!” while waving the purple chook bin lid lost months ago when it flew off his truck.
Check access roads asap: Using his chainsaw and tractor, the farmer was tackling a massive tree that had fallen across the road near home when the saviour metre reader arrived. Had the farmer waited, the ambulance would have had to back track – somehow… if it couldn’t turn around, reversing four windy kilometres would have been tedious indeed.
Stay inside during storms because trees are heavy: A large fallen branch impaled in the ground looked as if it had been punched in with a post rammer.
Don’t use your tractor bucket to hold down the cowshed roof: A nearby farmer realised too late that oil will leak out of the hydraulics and cause the bucket to drop and seriously dent the roof.
Have a spare gas canister for your cooker, plus matches and candles: By the time some people got to town they’d all been sold.
Know how to find your torch in the dark: This lesson came compliments of the farmer’s aunt who fell over while searching.
Check on your neighbours asap: Daniel the saviour meter reader found Rex’s aunt and carted her to hospital via the above-mentioned ambulance. Luckily he was a St John volunteer.
And two final delights: Go into town to make phone calls because the power and phone are sure to be out for many more days – this will cause both to click into action shortly after you arrive home.
Thank the amazing power and phone people, the Daniels out there, and everyone – including the farmer – who cleared the roads of debris and fallen trees.