Pioneer Woman


“Leaves drip.  Leeches lurk.  Boots squelch.  Carrying water.  A figure appears from the mist-shrouded undergrowth of the rainforest on the far side of the water.  The house is barely visible.”

The privations of living in a timber-getter’s camp in the 1880’s?  No.  Yesterday afternoon in our backyard.  2013.

I have been offline since early on Sunday morning.  Like most of the rest of the coastal areas of Queensland we have suffered from some wild weather from an ex tropical cyclone (hurricane).  We lost power for 58 hours and with no power we have no water.  We only have tank water which is delivered to the house by pump.

We have gas hotplates and a wood heater so cooking was not an issue.  Keeping food cold was becoming a problem.

There are no photos for this post, because just like my ancestors of 100 years ago, I was far too busy just managing to keep us fed and enough water for the very basic necessities.

Generally, I felt as though we managed very well, although that would have changed rapidly if I had to factor in washing by hand.  No thanks.  We were reasonably well prepared, however, there are some things that I feel that I could have done better.  More about that another day.  For now, I am looking forward to sleeping in fresh sheets.  The sheets were due to be changed on the weekend but I delayed doing it as I did not want any more washing piling up in the laundry while the power was off.

This has been a timely reminder of all of the things that we take for granted as well as what we can do without.

12 thoughts on “Pioneer Woman

  1. Glad to hear you’re okay. Do you have much of a problem with leeches? Just thinking of how they were used (and still are today) in medicine.

    • The leeches are not too bad except when it is very wet and you get right up the back under the overhanging trees. It is not my preferred activity but needs must when water is required.

      I know of their medicinal uses but do not have any real experience in that field.

      Thank you for you thoughts.

  2. I have been thinking of you over the past few days Fairy and hoping that all was well. It’s been heartbreaking to see the floods once again and such devastation. We were extremely fortunate here and didn’t lose power, I don’t think we would have been prepared to lose power for 58 hours:( I cannot believe how humid it is at present, everything feels “wet”. According to advice on the TV “should a tornado hit go directly underneath your bed”, the only problem at our house is all our beds have “stuff” underneath them! I really do think the past few days have shown us how unprepared we were should things have taken a turn for the worse. So pleased to hear you all is well.

    • “under the bed”! That would be a challenge as the base of ours is only an inch or two off the floor.

      I did have a plan, though. I will be writing in more detail (hopefully tonight) about what we did and what our plans were for the worst-case scenario.

    • Things are quickly returning to normal now that we have power. Other areas are not so lucky – they have lots of cleaning up ahead, once the floodwaters recede.

    • In our parts of the UK we have been very lucky. We’ve only had some localised flooding where some roads were impassable but other part of the country have had some bad floods. More recently they have had a lot of snow on top of the sodden ground and had a faily quick thaw. We didn’t have any snow. Still getting rain showers though.
      How are the chickens?

      • It is amazing how varied things can be within a small distance. Australia is huge by comparison and we have floods and fires on the same day in different areas! Crazy…..

  3. How did those Pioneer Women manage !
    We had such wild weather here in Brisbane over the weekend, our block of units got off lightly with just the front wall blown down, just a small one holding the bank of letter boxes. I really feel for those poor souls up in Bundaberg.

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