12.50, Thursday 13 Jan 2011

Dan Hill's firsthand report of the Brisbane flood weaves a personal story with excursions into history and politics. His vignettes are plainly told. A wonderful piece of journalism, easy to read, and something that's brought me closer to these Australian floods (from halfway around the planet) than anything else. Worth devoting your lunch hour to. (And it reminds me of nothing so much as John McPhee's Annals of the Former World, of which you can read an excerpt here, a telling of ancient geology via road-trips and stories.)

Also: a gallery of photos of the Australian flooding. It seems to me not so much a flood as a tiny but universal shift, as if the world declared a new reality where the water table is now here, thank you very much, a new matter of fact.