Saturday, August 2, 2008

Keep Me In The Dark

Last night the Illawarra region had a 'Severe Weather Warning (Locally Damaging Winds) with cold, strong southwesterly winds 20/25 knots, increasing to 30/40 knots during the afternoon, Sea: Up to 4.0 m Swell.'

By 8.30pm we had lost power and although it came back on around 11pm it was gone again by midnight, and this time the blackout lasted at least 6 hours.

Normally blackouts don't bother me but the sound of the wind howling through the trees really unnerved me so I had candles lit throughout the lounge, dining and kitchen - I would have had them in every room but it's probably not smart to leave burning candles unattended so I settled for having them in rooms that I was occupying.

I decided to watch a DVD during the blackout but of course the battery on my portable DVD player was flat so I had to settle for reading a book by candlelight, how very old fashioned of me! I was gasping for a cup of tea when I remembered that my Mum bought me a portable gas cooker a few years ago, after we'd had a blackout lasting more than 36 hours, so I dusted it off and to my amazement it still worked so I was able to have a hot drink after all!

Besides the noise of the wind - and things being blown around and knocked over - my other major issue was the drop in temperature as no power = no heater or electric blanket!

I knew the gale-force winds were going to stick around for a while so I decided to go to bed. As soon as I blew out all the candles I realised I had forgotten to take my medication, which I take every night before going to bed. I had used all the matches lighting the candles so I felt around for the tablets as they were laid out on the kitchen bench. As I swallowed each tablet I counted them off in my head; one = blood pressure, two = aspirin, three = vitamin D, four.... what's number four? That's when I realised I had just swallowed the cats antibiotic!

I debated phoning the vet to ask whether I should be worried but decided against it as there are two vets, known to my friends and I as 'cute vet' and 'old vet', and I'm pretty sure 'cute vet' already thinks I'm an idiot so there's no need to reinforce that opinion and if 'old vet' doesn't think I'm an idiot then I don't want to do anything to change his mind! As it happens I survived the night so in the end there's been no harm done, except to Ella who missed out on her tablet!

I'm pleased to say that despite the strength of the wind my house remained intact, although a side gate was blown over and is now broken and a passion fruit vine was damaged. This morning several trucks arrived in the street and promptly started cutting down damaged branches and trees, especially those that are near power lines. Hopefully though, it will be a while before we have another blackout or storm!

The wind is still strong enough to make my palm trees sway in the breeze!

Trimming the trees

Where there's boiling water, there's a cup of tea!

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