I may have mentioned the rain here before, non? Yesterday - Christmas Day - was lovely in and around Coffs Harbour: about 28 degrees C, sunny with just a few clouds intervening between my delicate English skin and the UV rays. We went to Arrawarra Beach after a later breakfast (smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Yum), walked the dog, collected shells and had an altogether leisurely day. Things weren't all quite as anticipated as the oven in our rented house gave out half way through cooking the Christmas Duck which was a bit of a pain, but essentially we had a great day.
This was a good thing because today is the day we start packing and moving, and with this in mind we loaded the trailer, hitched up the 4W drive, and sauntered off to our block with the idea we'd start unloading some stuff into the shed. Ho ho ho.
The rain started, the clay turned to mud, the 4W drive couldn't get up the steepest, claggiest slope on the 'goat track' up to our block... the engine started straining, the car started slipping back down the slope, the trailer jackknifed, the car didn't want to stop...
It looks nice in the sunshine... it looks damned nasty when shiny with a lick of rain!
Dearest husband managed to bring the car to a precarious halt, darling daughter got out and sat on her backpack on a safe bit of grass, while I packed stones under the rear wheels of the 4W drive. Luckily husband had packed a 4lb lump hammer which came in useful trying to prise the trailer off the tow-bar... and luckily the connecting mechanism wasn't damaged, despite the dodgy angles and the potential for the metal bits to have bent. The trailer then had to be manhandled as far as possible before we all crossed our fingers and had to let it go, chuntering down the hill under its own steam! And luckily it managed to swing round and front itself into a patch of long grass near the bottom of the slope, leaving enough room on the 'road' for dearest husband to be able to slide the car back down the slope, engage the engine and do a 6-point turn. Then I slid into the driving seat and was directed backwards to meet the trailer and we managed to hitch it all up again and drive home, tails between our legs. So much for unloading in the shed! However, I do think we were very lucky indeed: it could all have been so much worse.
And the moral of the story? Um, not sure if there is one, but it probably goes something along the lines of "don't buy a rural block and expect to be able to get up there in the rain" or perhaps, "there's no point in thinking about doing fancy things in your new house until you've spent several thousand dollars hiring a grader and buying loads of gravel to improve the road"! Merry Christmas, everybody.