The shopping trip started off as an expedition to get some gumboots and umbrellas for the bridal party. The hardware stores and other usual sources of such commodities are sold out and diverting any incoming supplies to the flood relief effort. Even so I had some fun and friendly conversations with various shop assistants as I rang around in search of something to keep the girls' feet dry. I've learned that gumboots belong in the "power gardening" section. After checking the availability (or not) of sizes, I was put through to the paint department to consult on ways to turn black rubber boots into something that could be used in a wedding photo. Silver spray paint seemed the obvious answer, but getting it to adhere to the boots was going to be a challenge. Then came the suggestion from Leon at one of the hardware superstores, that he'd seen some cute gumboots at an accessory shop when he was shopping with his girlfriend on Cup Day. I'm sure that sort of tip off is not part of his job description and I was suitably grateful. A few more phone calls and we'd managed to locate the store.
Unfortunately, this family has big feet and I was the only one who found something to fit me. I decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity to wear these on stage at the reception: I may need to hold off on the cute "I Love Rain" brolly I picked up to complete the set, though it does have a very Melbourne black trim. I think I'm the only interstate guest, so maybe I'll get away with it.
By the time we'd tried on the boots and chosen our matching umbrellas, the situation was starting to look more serious. Shops were closing, mobile phone coverage was dropping in and out and we'd received a message that the bride and groom's home was to be evacuated. As it turns out, their place seems to be safe, though other areas in that suburb are on alert. Our focus switched quickly to stocking up on food supplies and getting home while we could.
I haven't turned on the news yet this morning. The constantly repeated images of raging waters, smashed cars and distressed people from the flash flooding in Toowoomba were really hard to take yesterday. It takes so long for real news to come through and filtering out useful information is difficult. I'm going to try to stay up to date today without overloading my coping strategies. Meanwhile there are still plenty of pretty wedding tasks to occupy me. The combination is really strange, but that's the way it is.