Have you noticed that we’ve had a bit of rain lately? The weekend, for example, was quite wet.
We wouldn’t go so far to say that the drought has broken. We’re not even sure if you could call it a drought. But we do know we hadn’t had much rain for quite a while.
But then Bob “Minmi Magster” Skelton began reciting his rain poem around the Hunter.
The Magster told us he did so because it was so dry.
“You could smell the sheep shit cooking,” he said.
The Magster’s poem goes like this:
Rain rain fall on down; quench the thirsty land around; fill the dams, the rivers and creeks. Send her down Hughie and send us heaps.
(Who’s Hughie, you ask? He’s the weather god. “Send ‘er down, Hughie!” is an iconic Aussie phrase, calling for rain)
Sorry to interrupt your poem, Bob. Proceed.
It’s been so long since we’ve had rain; things are gettin’ mighty grim; we've got frogs down here on the pension that ain't learnt to croak or swim.
Somethin' else I’m gunna tell ya; I know it sounds a little odd; Without a word of a lie, it’s so dam dry, the trees are chasin' me flamin' dog.
So come on Hughie and lift ya game; get orf ya backside and send some rain; and if ya do I promise you, I won’t bother you again.
Around the same time the Magster began reciting his poem, the Bureau of Meteorology declared that the chances of a wetter-than-average summer for eastern Australia were increasing.
The La Nina weather pattern, the bureau said, was likely to take hold in the Pacific.
Keep performing that poem, Magster. We sure do need some more rain.
All Hail Hughie
For those wondering, it is completely true that the Magster recited his poem on the day of the recent hailstorm in the Hunter.
Which makes us wonder, Magster, what have you been doing to upset Hughie?
Was there some miscommunication? That hailstorm was a bit of an overreaction.
The Magster said it wasn’t the first time his rain poem had provoked a big reaction.
“Remember when the Pasha Bulker ran aground?” he said.
This reminds us of a tale about Newcastle Art Gallery during the hailstorm. A Topics spy noticed buckets on the heads of sculptures outside the gallery.
We hear this was the work of gallery staff doing their utmost to protect the artworks.
Anyhow, our spy ducked inside the gallery to shelter from the hail. He was impressed with the exhibition, titled Painting Memory.
The exhibition revealed the secret stories behind some of the gallery's finest paintings by the likes of Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley and John Olsen.
Seems to us, come rain or shine, Newcastle is a place of poetry and art. And it’s true that every cloud has a silver lining.