My day began routinely enough: shopping, including supplies from Ashburton Meats; and errands, including items for both my father and my sister.
By 10.30am, I was doing the prep for a batch of bolognese sauce, some to be enjoyed with spaghetti, the balance to be incorporated in a dish of lasagne. While the sauce was simmering, I drained a tin of tuna and combined it with some mayonnaise, black pepper, finely chopped celery, sliced spring onion – aka green onion, scallion and god knows what else – and a squeeze of lemon juice. This became the filling for a couple of sections of baguette, aka my lunch.
I decided to simmer the bol sauce for at least an hour and a half; more of that another time. While that ran its course, I got ready to roast a whole chicken – about 1.7kg or 2lbs – using a new recipe; ditto. While the chicken was in the oven, I did a bit of clearing up then began to prepare the ingredients for a couple of carrot cakes; ditto (or is that tritto?).
The cakes came out of the oven at about 3.30pm (subsequent events have warped my memory of times). While they were cooling, I looked in on the weather via the BOM site (Bureau of Meteorology). We had been told to expect 3mm to 8mm of rain, with the chance of afternoon thunderstorms. No rain had fallen in our neighbourhood but the BOM radar did show a narrow band of heavy rain heading our way and the warnings page spoke of possible severe thunderstorms.
Some light rain duly arrived, followed by unduly heavy rain, thunder, lightning, then heavier, let’s say, torrential rain and there I was in our garage placing towels in readiness for overflowing drains and 3cm of water moving across our terrace in a wave towards the gap underneath the back door of the garage.
By the time there was 20mm in the rain gauge, hail had been added to the meteorological mayhem; not just a little bit, in fact, not little at all. Up to 1cm in diameter. By the time the “narrow band” had passed, there were 32mm in the gauge, our garden looked like something out of northern England in January and the crop of silverbeet, which had just begun to prosper after a long winter, had been shredded.
For the sadistic amongst you, here are some photos.