Like many of the population, Mrs P and I were kept busy last Friday afternoon preparing for the arrival of Cyclone Lusi.

We are of the better-to-be-safe-than-sorry brigade, so the time after work and before darkness descended was spent shifting the various items of everyday life that can turn into dangerous flying missiles when pushed by a bit of wind.

Pot plants were shifted to safety under the house, as were my collection of just-in-case-I-need-it bits of wood from out the back and the garden furniture, the latter of which needed some disassembly because we sort of built the deck around it.

I was of the opinion that having battened down the hatches outside - why people say that I don't know. I've never battened down a hatch in my life. Why don't we say we lashed the barbecue to the deck rails? - I figured we were done.


Thus happy with the arrangements, I settled down to check once more that in spite of having something like 479 TV channels these days there is still nothing on.

Exactly the same as it was when we had three channels.

Anyway. Mrs P had other ideas. The house, she said, needed vacuuming and we needed batteries for the torch.

I could understand the batteries. It goes without saying, possibly like a lot of other people, we have a drawer full of torches. And no batteries for any of them. Okay, so I'll give her that one. But vacuuming? It's normally a Saturday job and certainly not a high priority when a cyclone is bearing down on you.

But Mrs P was adamant. Should some disaster befall our neighbourhood and people needed shelter, we would be first in the queue to offer it, she said, and therefore the house needed to be tidy.

I shrugged, sensing this was like one of those occasions when your mum demanded to know if you had clean underpants on just in case you got run over by a bus.

"And what would we feed all these people?" I scoffed, as I pulled the vacuum cleaner from its hiding place.

Beaming, Mrs P flung open the pantry to reveal a well-stocked larder of healthy goodies, including rather a lot of tinned lentils. I stifled a groan.


A while back, I'd been keen to show my beloved I was more than just a pretty face and had made a popular Indian dish, the main ingredient of which was lentils.

It had gone down a treat and, full of my own importance (and presumably a bit of wine), I'd offered to make it again.

Keen to see me follow up on that promise, Mrs P had bought a few tins. Then the emergency warning started coming out. So she went and bought a few more - just in case the entire street and civil defence emergency personnel needed a bite to eat.

I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised by the efficiency and just-in-case preparedness of my beloved.

Since the firm of Page and Page Ltd has been registered with the marriages office, we have always been on a state of high alert for all kinds of emergencies. Medical ones in particular are well covered.

Our first-aid kit is a visual symphony. We've got everything.

In fact, if the Russians decided they'd had enough of invading the Ukraine and switched their focus to Rotorua and I cut my finger while grappling at the Hemo Gorge border post with a commando named Sergei, Mrs P would produce the correct dressing in a flash and I'd be able to continue defending our liberty.

But I digress. So, there we were. All set for impending disaster but adamant if nature was going to take us down we would be at least be going down with a clean carpet and bellyful of lentils.

With that in mind, we hit the sack and listened as the storm grew.

Luckily, the youngsters up the road had their usual noisy departure for the bright lights of the CBD around midnight, so that kept us interested (and awake) for a while until morning came round and we discovered we'd made it without a scratch.

All a bit of a fizzer, really. But at least I know what I'll be doing this weekend.

There's all those pot plants and that seven-piece garden furniture set to reassemble and put back on the deck.

Then I'll be doing the vacuuming and making something interesting for tea with 14 tins of lentils.