I mentioned in the previous post we’ve been having storms here in Perth, but really the word ‘storm’ doesn’t do it justice. It’s been more like a series of typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes all rolled up into one. Most days it’s wet and windy, and there isn’t a long enough break between the rain to even take the dog to the park. I did try yesterday, but I had to flatten myself around a tree trunk as soon as I got there, and then wait for the horizontal rain to give up and go away.
The stupid thing was I had looked at both my raincoat and umbrella on the way out the door, and decided, that with the sun shining directly above the house and the nearest dangerous looking cloud out on the horizon, I’d go without. Apparently a rain cloud can cover ground a lot faster than I can.
So this is my 3rd winter in Perth, and without wanting to sound like a whinging Pom, they are definitely getting worse. I don’t know whether it’s global warming that’s causing weather patterns to shift around, but the climate and seasons are refusing to stick to the guidelines. Australian summers are getting hotter and drier, winters are getting windier and wetter, and the Gods of Thunder and Lightening are definitely way out of control.
The first of the big storms came a few weeks ago. A Monday to be precise, the day that my son’s tonsils were due to go under the chopping block. Instead, I was staggering around the house losing my breakfast to gastric flu, my daughter was in bed, busy retching into a bucket and emitting a series of very dramatic moans and groans, and my husband had just flown to Sydney on business.
Setting off to collect my son from nursery, I lowered myself carefully into the car (fast movements are not nausea’s best friend) and went to open the garage door. It went up half way. It came back down again. I pushed the button again. It went up a quarter of the way. It came back down again. Now of course common sense should have told me not to push my luck for a third time. But I did. It was cold, wet, dark and blowing a gale. There wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to walk to the nursery to collect him.
So I pushed the button. Once again it went up half way – and then stopped. This would have been bad enough on its own, but of course I’m not that lucky. A massive gust of wind then swept up the driveway catching the garage door on the way, it snapped it off the rollers and then buckled it in half. The twisted hunk of metal than dropped back down – to within an inch of the cars roof, with me in it.
Now I don’t want to come across as a useless, blubbering woman who falls apart in times of trouble, but this really was the very last straw in an incredibly long day involving a high temperature and a toilet bowl. I did attempt to use my very limited strength to push the door back up to an upright position, but unsurprisingly, the door had other ideas. So with the metal rippling away in the wind next to me, I called a friend and sobbed out my tale of woe.
Lucky for me she saved the day, collecting stranded son and sending round further reinforcements, in the form of her husband who helped me to tether the door up with ropes. That night I laid in bed listening to it banging away and imaging how much damage it would potentially cause if it broke free and took off the roof of the house across the road.
3 weeks on and the storms have returned to try and finish off the garage door, which is still roped up and wedged shut with ladders. Trees in the garden are bending like blades of grass and rubbish bins are flying up and down the street like tumbleweed. I feel like Dorothy, minus the safety blanket of a pair of sparkly red shoes.
So the other night my husband came in from work and shut the door. An hour later the wind picked up and blew it back open again. Every other door in the house slammed shut, the roof hatch disappeared up into the eaves and all of the AC covers in the ceilings went with them. Trying to shut the front door again was the tricky bit. With a cyclone now picking up pace by the door mat, the front of the house had turned into something of a wind tunnel, and we couldn’t get the hall door open to get out there. I half expected the front of the house to take off into the night sky, leaving us hanging onto a door handle below.
The two off us finally pushed the door open and slammed the front door shut, but not before the length of the hallway was covered in hailstones and the coats on the hall stand had all had a wash.
“And that is why I always lock the door when I shut it” I said.
With no sign of this bad weather letting up anytime soon, you have to wonder whether Mother Nature has a real axe to grind with this part of the world. Perhaps she’s ticked off with some Aussie half wit calling her a Sheila, or maybe she’s just having a shocking case of PMT. Either way, until we lower the excess on our insurance I wish she’d air some of her grievances elsewhere and give our badly built house a break.