Monday, August 07, 2006

High Winds and Hot Air

Got up at around 1.30 last night to jam a big cardboard box against the back door, which the unusually high wind was causing to thump non-stop in its frame.

Grumbled a lot because it was the first time in days I'd even got to 1.30am without one of the family waking me. Realised no other bugger was awake to hear me and went back to bed.

At the same time, about 100 miles south, the main part of the storm that was rattling my windows was ripping apart houses in Australind. By the time it was done, the tornado had reached more than 150 mph and done about $10m worth of damage. (That's about four million quid to you northerners).

Australia gets some pretty extreme weather. Bananas still cost a fortune after Tropical Cyclone Larry flattened 90 per cent of Queensland's plantations earlier this year. The worst I've sat through was a hailstorm back in 1999, in which fist-sized hailstones did about $150 billion of damage. I'd managed to get my wife away from watching at the windows about ten seconds before the whole lot got blasted in ...

On a day-to-day basis, the climate here can be just plain confusing. I've lived in Australia for a smidge over nine years and even now I'll find myself wearing too many clothes in 36 degree heat because when I left the house it was tipping it down and blowing a gale. Similarly, if I step out in T-shirt and shorts and there's a distinct possibility I'll be drenched or frozen by lunchtime.

Naturally, none of the rain falls in the dam catchment areas, however, which is why there's all that talk about sewage recycling ...

The upshot of today's wacky weather was that I spent most of the time indoors, hiring a new nanny, talking to the features editor of the Sunday paper about my latest assignment and chatting to my old friend James in Adelaide, who's working on some very exciting new movies and doing a far better job of escaping Sydney life than I am. Welcome to the blog, mate.

Did find time to pop out on an errand for my wife, though, buying a talking Dalek bottle opener as a present for one of her colleagues. I already own one, and my son loves it - the sole reason I have so many open beer bottles in my recycling.

No, really.


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