Overnight the weather tumbles ten degrees, then slides another six as the day progresses. The Bureau of Meteorology says it is to be the most calamitous flash and riverine flooding Victoria has ever seen. Melburnians told to brace for 'unprecedented' devastation. Lay in provisions, heap up sandbags. In my mind, landrovers in nature documentaries trundling muddily across a gray swirling river, cue hippos. Flights likely grounded, the freeway to the airport might prove impassable. (Only weeks ago, at the height of scorching summer, wide patches of asphalt in grim liquefaction had tarred tyres and slurped at small cars on the same freeway.)

Well, what of it? I've a good eight weeks left on my visa still. Except for the possibility of getting on each other's nerves (-- happens even with the closest of friends, but wouldn't be for a good while --) I can stay on indefinitely in this apartment. I'm happily provisioned with books and there's high-speed wifi readily available. There's no office cubicle or courtroom I'm expected to return to while in my year of fallow, nor social engagements at which I'm obligated to put in my appearance; indeed I might gracefully wriggle out of a few ('unavoidable detention' so seldom being a plausible excuse.) The cash is running low, that's true, but where credit would not meet the occasion Minyin will lend me what I need. All in all: what better? An unexpected extension of a thoroughly pleasurable holiday at barely any additional financial outlay and zero collateral social or professional cost. And perhaps even the sensation of waiting for, and then outwaiting a disaster, suited my present mood. Also: the prospect of being submerged farfetched enough to be a game -- here on the 17th floor we need no ark yet. (30 Nov 2017)

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