We woke early in the morning to hear the sound of rain hammering down on the roof and the thrashing of the banana palms close to our bedroom window. Through the din of all of that we could hear thunder fighting its way to our eardrums. As the curtains flapped with the wind coming in the open windows we saw flashes of lightning.
I looked at my watch to see that it was 5:05 am, made a quick trip to the bathroom and snuggled back into bed. For the first time in 3 weeks I pulled the sheet and lightweight blanket in close. While I was up, Ruth had opened the flapping curtain and now, fine droplets of moisture found their way to my face when the wind gusted.
Since we had arrived the windows in the bedroom have been permanently open, one of them even having a stick cut from the ‘jungle’ around the house to prop it open at its widest to maintain maximum air flow on the warm nights. The insect screens are taped onto the windows to stop the most determined ‘biters’ from getting us so the only way to stop rain coming in through the insect mesh would be to go outside with a ladder to close the windows. I chose to stay in bed. We can mop the floor later!
When the alarm went at 5:55 am, I checked the thermometer to find that the morning was a ‘cool’ 21 degrees, the coldest temperature we have experienced so far on the island. Actually yesterday morning was about the same and we noticed one family of our school kids arriving with long sleeved clothing which made us smile.
Once it was light enough outside I went to investigate the condition of our driveway. When we arrived 3 weeks ago the driveway was very badly rutted, so much so that riding the quad bike up the last 50 metres to the house needed plenty of muscle power to keep it going in the right direction. To our delight, just over one week ago, Steve Christian had come with a big digger and smoothed it all out for us so that the ride up was more like a highway, albeit a very narrow one. But the rain has spoken once again and Mr Rut is back.
I looked at the driveway in dismay wondering what to do to stop the ruts getting deeper. To help pack down the soil, I decided to ride the quad bike up and down several times as if I was a road construction worker on a compactor. Big mistake! Very quickly the tyres clogged up with claggy soil meaning there was no tread in contact with the rain sodden soil. On the second trip back up the hill the quad bike came to a halt. I felt like a mouse on its wheel in a cage. The wheels were turning but I was going nowhere. Back, back, back down the hill I went until all four wheels were on solid ground. Off I went with a roar of the engine, all four wheels spinning and flicking mud all over the place, slipping and sliding up to the house. Oops, better not park on the concrete, not with all that mud clinging to the underside. Looks like the mud and I will need to become friends.