Saturday 15th October – Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival
I was nineteen when I began my journal, and I’ve now been keeping it, pretty consistently, for over eleven and a half years. I came across some of the old code from the first version of my journal today, and it got me thinking…
It’s quite a coincidence that I found out the Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival was on this weekend—on Friday, in order to avoid doing some other things that were much more important, I decided I’d add a new journal entry to my journal. I noticed that I’d not added any entries for the entire month of June, 2009, so I had a quick look… and came across the photos I’d taken at the 2009 Tamborine Mountain Scarecrow Festival, and decided to edit them and put up a journal entry about it. Then, after I’d done that, I did a quick search online to see if they’d held a scarecrow festival this year—assuming it would have been back in June if they had—and found that it was on this very weekend.
We drove through the torrential rain, barely able to see, as lightning struck things all around us and the odd hail bounced noisily off the car. We considered, for a fleeting moment, stopping at one of the lookouts we were driving past—with a stunning view over where, before the storm, the Gold Coast had been—but as one got hit by lightning as we were driving past it, we decided it was best to make like our ancestors did in caveman days, and attempt to survive by taking shelter. We pulled off the road and attempted to hide under a group of trees—along with two other cars—until there was a lull in the storm, and then rushed, peering through the wind-driven rain—no doubt furiously angry because it wasn’t hail—smashing into the ineffective windscreen wipers, slowly onwards, racing against the hail and falling trees we felt sure were only moments behind… until we found a small, closed service station with just enough room to squeeze our car in, though not enough room for me to then get out.
After managing to get out the other side of the car, we watched the amazing storm as it battered everything around us, hail bouncing along happily and the wind shrieking around, knocking over scarecrows with gay abandon, interspersed with the occasional lightning to remind us that we were but very tiny, and almost certainly going to die; the eerily layered clouds rushing disturbingly fast overhead left little doubt that something very large was behind them, and that our flimsy service station was not going to be enough to hide.
After snoozing in the back of my car for an hour, while Bronwen read her Kindle, the storm abated and we continued on our way, looking at a few more now-battered scarecrows and buying some celebratory hot chips, which we ate in the botanic gardens. Then, as dusk gathered, we drove home.
The morning started off normally—I even checked the weather warnings to make sure there weren’t any large storms trying to kill us all. Bronwen and I drove to Tamborine Mountain, through slightly cloudy—but otherwise quite fine—weather. We spent a good few hours driving around the “Scarecrow Trail” looking at, and taking photos of, the numerous scarecrows they’d set up for their Scarecrow Festival. I ate some corn chips and bought a bottle of Creaming Soda. Unlike the last time I came here for a scarecrow festival, back in 2009, the weather seemed quite nice… and then, rather suddenly, it became as dark as dusk and the sky was rent by lightning.