It started raining about 45 minutes ago. A winsome, windless, garden-moistening fall of rain of the kind that nobody objects to.
But these sprinklings are the outer petticoats of an overdressed battleaxe whom the meteorologists have named Gita.
Gita goes in for a hippie colour scheme.
Gita was a cyclone, officially speaking, as she tore through several Pacific island states in recent days. Since then the old cow has lost a bit of polish, a few outer layers of couture, a bit of her previous puff and force, as she traipses across the Pacific in the general direction of me.
Or, more accurately, in the general direction of central New Zealand and the bit just to the south of that.
Left: Gita’s predicted path two days ago — heading straight to Paddock World. Right: Monday’s computer-modelled-but-still-could-change route, veering south but still leaving us under Gita’s skirts.
She’s now a mere category 2 subtropical cyclone, down several notches of awfulness from a few days ago, but still expected to bring widespread severe weather to New Zealand.
The warnings have rung out: bring indoors your outdoor furniture; fasten all unfastened things; batten down the hatches, if you have any hatches and know what a batten is.
And here I sit in a 3.5-tonne unshackled tiny house on wheels, wondering how it’ll perform in the strongest winds it’s ever been hit by.
Here’s my prediction: the house will do fine. It will not blow away. We will not look outside on Wednesday to see a strange new landscape and a witch’s lifeless feet poking out from under the greywater valve.
But being inside the house could be quite dramatic. The strongest winds so far during our five months in the house have caused considerable creaks and bumps, so I’m expecting Gita to give us a good rattling as she flounces past tomorrow.
In a way, I’m looking forward to it. Coincidentally, Tom has arranged to work from home tomorrow, so we’ll both be here, sheltering from the storm and singing Vera Lynn songs.
I just hope Gita spares my garden.
Hey, it seems to be raining harder.
Maps by Weathermap.co.nz and The Weather Company