Saturday, January 31, 2009

it got worse

remember thursday was hot? unbearably hot, the chooks were drooping and we lost power....

well, it got worse. according to the car and the northcote rsl temperature gauge it was 48 degrees at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon and 10% humidity. it was so hot in melbourne that a house caught fire from the heat coming through a window! the big ferris wheel at docklands and the train tracks melted.

w and i went to the local shopping centre to get in supplies and to take advantage of their air conditioning. except they had turned it down - the government asked everyone to use less power after midday as the power resources were being stretched so the air inside the shops was better than outside but still quite warm.

the longed for 'cool change' came about 5.30 and the temperature dropped to 35 degrees which felt like a blessing. i took e and w to the pool again although they weren't letting anyone in when we arrived as tempers had flared and a group of disengaged yoof had had a stoush in the cafe. the poor bloke on the door saw our mute overheatedness and relented and let families in for nothing!

then the power went off - across the state! apart from 'power shedding' (rolling power cuts with no warning) an important part of the system exploded and cut off the main power cable supplying most of melbourne and some of the bigger country areas. luckily we have gas cooking and hot water but it was a bit scary not knowing what was happening or when things were going to come back on. we ate dinner outside on the trampoline as the house was still gaspingly hot and it was much cooler outside.

as an indicator of the heat and its effects, last night billthdog didn't fancy his dinner. he forced down a grape or two but preferred to lie on the floor panting. toby, with his plushy black coat, is also feeling the heat and is lying on his back on the floor.
i feel a bit self-indulgent complaining of the heat this week when other people have had it much tougher - 10 houses have burnt in the bushfires in gippsland, at least one country town has completely run out of water, adelaideans will have 40+ temperatures for at least another week and something truly, unspeakably dreadful happened on the west gate bridge on thursday.

it has been a bad week but right now we have power, water and gas, we're safe from bushfires and most importantly we have kids to hug (when it gets cooler, of course).

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