Sunday, June 10, 2007



So just as I was thinking there was a little equilibrium, that the sun shone all over the world and was, if not equally shared in terms of time, benign and happy in its sharing of warmth and light,
I woke on Friday to a noisome deluge, the incessant rain alien not only in its volume, but its persistence. I have a tin roof, I sat up, listening to the noise and puzzling at the lack of wake up call the sun usually provides. Helicopters buzzed above: a sure sign something is lost.

A bit of rain is good, but there was something about this particular deluge I wasn’t liking.
Having hunted for my wet fishspawn in a torrent, photographing all the while, I now find my camera is not working.
The sea put on a 17 meter swell, and dark-green gales roared in, throwing the beach out of its boundaries and into the streets , as if to erase the traces of human habitation.
Further north from here, the highway collapsed and took with it an entire family. Tankers kicked over, all power lost. More rain in 3 days than in about 3 years, I would reckon.

Having no power made me realise the fragility of this dainty web of interconnectedness. How dependent we are on electricity, and how very real the lack of it can be.
It also made me realise how much I like hot showers and refrigerated food. And lights to read by.

Half damp, I sat today and watched the wild sea, having battled with it earlier. I have seaweed in my hair and a crust of salty rime all over me,
Now here I sit with my feet frozen, reading “The True History of the Kelly Gang”, by Peter Carey.
The book is soft and pages rough cut, it flops in my hand as I read, mesmerised, the freakish surf just visible over the cover.

The surf has put on an entertaining show. Round here, everybody rushed down to "Dead Man's", just off Fairy Bower, to watch the lunatics catch the huge waves, including this guy.
I had myself an exhilarating encounter. I can't help myself: days like these tell me just how hopelessly I am addicted to salt water.


13 comments:

Princess Banter said...

I love the way you write, you know. The way your ideas unfold and how you articulate them. Beautiful. I share mostly the same sentiments as you. Thought-provoker you are ;)

jane said...

I was going to call you and get you to describe the sea. I'll look at the aftermath tomorrow at Bondi. I keep thinking of the family driving into that abyss. Truly a freak event. Unimaginable terror. I sometimes wonder if swimming well could save one from such a raging torrent. I'd like to think it would, but somehow doubt it. So fast, so sudden, so unexpected. You trust the road to be ahead. Sometimes it isn't. Did you really go out in those waves? The ones that grounded that coal carrier? Fiona...you crazy.

fifi said...

Miss j,
I dont think swimming would have had much to do with that awful event, bound as they were in lclothes, shoes and god knows what else.
yeah, mad, shtoopid, well, not entirely shtoopid tho I did get a good pounding and funnily enough am enjoying the stiffness.
Princess, that is nice to know!

meggie said...

I, too, love your writing. I would not have wanted to be in the sea in it's wild fury though.
The sun is peeping among lighter clouds here this morning. Perhaps the rain has stopped.

Isabelle said...

I heard on the news all about Australia (well, a bit of it) and its flooding. Wow. We don't really do weather here in Scotland. It's usually coolish - sometimes a bit warmer, sometimes a bit cooler - and if it's not gently raining then it will be in a day or two, after a bit of sunshine.

Hope you've warmed up a bit.

Steph said...

How scary has the weather been! Worst storms in 30 years they're saying, and it's a wonder more lives weren't lost.

Great pics.

meli said...

Wow, I'm glad you're okay. We were in a flood once, in Austria. They closed the bridges on either side of our village, and we were trapped without power for three days. Several roads got washed away, and some houses near the river almost caved in. And some people were washed into the river and drowned. There was also bad flooding in Germany and Switzerland. It's strange how quickly things can get out of control.

it's the little things... said...

oh i love your images. i find such peace over here at strange fruit. thank you!

Arcturus said...

Wow, those are some cool images. Did you take those images of the surf?

I found some online news articles about the storms hitting Australia. I found the Australian Gov't Bureau of Meteorology's satellite page with this colo(u)r infrared loop.

So such powerful storms are rare in your part of Australia?

fifi said...

Meggie: Hope you weathered the storm.
thanks for that, I'm glad you like it! :-)
Isabelle: The thing is, you wait so long for it to rain that when it does, and this happens, it seems so hurtful. I miss the prospect of gentle rain, it just doesn't happen anymore. I remember the weather in Edinburgh as cold indeed, and yes, soft rain. And how nice everyone looked in their winter wear, and I looked a shivering idiot.
Sun is back out, power back on...life returns to normal, for me, anyway.
Steph: scary, yeah, you bet! thanks for stopping by...
Meli: I was in an avalanche in austria, you just made me remeber that! scary!
Little: Hi! That's nice of you to say, funny I was so agitated when I wrote it!
Arc: Yes, I check the BOM site every day. I love the weather loops but usually there isn't much happening. You can tell if its snowing elsewhere though.
Now, just between you and I, I STOLE those pics, I stole them from the SMH. In a strange twist, the person who took them was standing right next to my children, and in a stranger twist, I used to hang out with his sister. So, I've nicked his photos. All cameras are broken here, so I've resorted to thievery. (the top pic is a painting of mine)
This storm was very nasty and unexpected. It just seems to go from one extreme to another. Today is picture perfect, sparkling and shiny and blue.

Shruti said...

Hi fish,

Hmm, lovely writing..
And the weather described is Awasome...

Take care

Leann said...

awesome pictures.rain on a tin roof is what i like to hear.I lived in a home with tin roof.rain storms were great.but now I hardly ever hear the rain.I live in a 7th floor apartment with 8 floors.so I no longer hear the rain on the roof.
sorry to hear about the rain coming so much so fast.I heard about the road being taken out but not the family going with it.
hope all is better there now.
God bless.

KAYLEE said...

Hi!I love this post especially the photo and your blog:D