The water is receding and people are out in force helping clean up the damage and detritus of the flood. The supermarkets are still light on fresh food, it was strange even today seeing isles and isles with nothing in them, and apparently you cannot attain gumboots for love or money, but people are trying to get their lives and livelihoods back to "normal". We were lucky up here on the terrace in Brisbane, we avoided the flood waters, they isolated us for a few days, but never made it up our street. Friends of mine in Ipswich and Toowoomba were not so lucky and lost their houses and cars; but all of my friends and family are safe other than property loss or damage. For that I know we are incredibly lucky. The horror stories about the dead and the missing in the newspapers and on the television are beyond my comprehension. My thoughts go out to those families; this week has been full of tragedies, the gravity of which is still being discovered.
During this week of water, I flew down to Sydney to attend a conference at the Sydney University called, "The Republic of Letters: Literary Communities in Australia". Some of the Brisbane academics were unable to attend, as they couldn't cross the floodwaters, but I was lucky to be able to catch a train to the airport and bypass the flooded roads. It was strange being removed from the unfolding dramas back home and I sought out information via newspapers, as the college accommodation didn't have a working television and I couldn't get the internet to work either.