A Word a Week: Wind

©irene waters 2013

©irene waters 2013

Cyclone season was approaching and we decided that we needed to finish the house we were building and put on the verandah. Although the house was never fully completed it was, for the island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, very luxurious. People used to come just to look at it. Many a discussion was held on whether it would survive a cyclone. We were told that we should move to accommodation that had been proven to stand after a strong wind when the next cyclone came. If the house survived we could stay in it for the next one unless it was predicted to be of a higher strength.

We listened but having built the house ourselves we understood how it was tied from the base up and cyclone proofed and we decided we would prefer to take our chances by staying in it. We did concede by staying in the bathroom but we were so uncomfortable Roger eventually went upstairs to sleep and I stayed downstairs in the lounge room. When Cyclone Sarah (a category 3 hurricane) hit, the house survived the wind without any problem but water came in everywhere. The wind blew the water up the louvres and into the house. The spectacle of the rain being forced horizontally through the solid wood front door was something that we had not been expecting.

©irene waters 2013

©irene waters 2013

Although our house survived our storage shed  did not. Neither did the wharf and from that time on supplies came in by dinghy.

©irene waters 2013

©irene waters 2013

©irene waters 2013


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Daily Observations

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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4 Responses to A Word a Week: Wind

  1. Oh My! I can’t imagine living through a cyclone/hurricane! so glad the house made it through too. Does it ever really dry out? is it ever the same again? just curious.


  2. Sherri says:

    Goodness, glad you guys came through that, sounds very frightening.


    • It was. What I hadn’t understood with a cyclone was that it stays for hours. I had always thought that a quick moving wind would come and go quite quickly but this stayed for over 12 hours and just when you thought it was over you were in the eye and then it came back.


  3. Pingback: Wind in the palms on Kenya’s coral shores | Tish Farrell

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