Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the tale of two days

When I said I wanted rain, I didn't mean the whole year's lot in 4 hours. After a fairly harrowing 2 days of many tales, we are pretty well back to normal.

Many thanks to all the lovely people who have emailed asking how we are. Thank goodness for the i-phone which makes it possible to function and keep in touch. I have tried to email everyone back - if I missed you I do apologise. When I finally got back on line on Monday there were 200 emails to deal with and that was before Tuesday's little thrill of the moment. If you can bear to read it, I shall bore you with all the details.

Monday started out as a usual Monday - I went for my swim and Ian for his walk - we came back and started work. Ross and Jilll (my brother and s-i-l) are on a cruise around Australia and they phoned and Ian arranged to pick them up from the train station at noon. Down Ian went but no Ross and Jill - waited for a second train and then came back as forgot mobile and they might have phoned. Back he went and spent time peering at customers disembarking from Freo train. No luck - no phone calls. So we carried on working away. It was very hot and sultry and we had the air con on - sky started looking black and they had mentioned thunderstorms but then they often do and they never appear. I did get the washing in 'in case'. Then I decided to pop up to Fresh Provisions to get yoghurt for breakfast and sometime to sustain us as we had missed lunch. It was dark when I drove up and everyone had car lights on but not a bother - join in the fun. Got to the shops, left the car windows down and discovered their power was out (all around the area) but still open for business (I think their doors wouldn't close); wandered in and then noticed the heavens had opened up so ran out to the car to close the windows - got drenched to the bone in doing so. Back inside to negotiate my yoghurt with fresh raspberries (no scales working) and something for lunch and a couple of chocolate fish. Mad dash to car as hailstones starting to arrive - no dry place to clean my glasses so drove home with murky view of the world. The path to our door was pretty waterladed so I had to wade through. I do think I missed the drama though as after that the water flooded the street and we have seen pics of cars with water up to the tops of their tyres etc. Nothing like that here at 6 Smith Street.

So we carried on except that the lights kept flicking off and on and Ian decided to pull the plugs on the computers. I spent my time packing foil intro packs watching the rain pelting down and hoping none of our trees would crash - many branches but nothing dramatic. One branch had the cheek to fall in my waterlily. Then Ian could smell a burning smell but we couldn't find anything. While he was doing that I noticed water on the floor in our sunroom - the leaves outside (these are ceiling to floor french windows and doors) were blocking the water from draining so the water had nowhere to go other than creep in under the windows. Not too dramatic and in fact the sunroom looks remarkably cleaner and tidier now. Leaves moved off. With our trees we pay for the privilege and try to clear up leaves all the time. We had, in fact, spent the weekend cleaning up so now we simply have another round. Just as well there is a green collection in a week or two. The only thing which got wet was a piece of left over Romeo which had managed to drop on the floor and was sitting in a gluggy pile. And Ian's little nearly finished garden shed did not move an inch... Plus there was loads of lightening and thunder.

Couldn't post out any mail which had been ready as the Postal sorting centre had been evacuated with floods roaring through so our apologies to people whose mail left a day later. And the people whose mail won't be going out until today - we kinda stopped half way between the invoices. I think Ian did quickly put the 'puter back on to do a back up and then pulled the plug once more.

In the meantime we still hadn't heard from Ross and Jill and we went off to Fremantle to try and find them at the ship. But not an easy task as when we went to shut the front door it wouldn't, and after finally finding an old rusty file, Ian filed away for about an hour. Success and off we set on a relatively speedy trip to Freo considering the traffic, the landslide at Kings Park and the water. Got to the boat and some kind passenger got in touch with them and R and J came down. They had been there all the time in a different spot. So anyway we caught up with them and went off for an eat and drink and took them back before they got locked out.

this is what our fuse box looks like now. It has a cover but that has gone.

Yesterday morning we could still smell smoke and burning and sniffed around the garden to no avail. I went off to get the papers and Ian opened the fuse box and this is what he saw and it was smoking and little sparks..... couldn't turn it off as it was the main switch. So we could have a shower (gas) and drink coffee (gas) and wait for the sparkies to come which they did before too long. Obviously they were very busy. When they arrived they said we were very lucky that the house hadn't caught fire - doesn't that make you feel good!!! After they had finished we were $480 lighter in the pocket but apparently not about to burn down.

this is the offending main switch - you don't think Ian was going to attempt to turn it off....

Whenever the computer goes off I am reluctant to get going for a while but we turned them back on and I started answering some of my emails when there was an almighty BANG and everything went off. So we were actually worse off and we had to wait for them to come back - the supervisor was mystified as to why but now we are reluctant to turn the air con back on. All the fuses had blown. Too scarey by half.

Earlier in the day since I had spent most of my day packaging slushies and wool tops - I decided I had better take them to the warehouse something I had quite reluctant to do since I know the landlord does minimal maintenance and there have been problems in the past. I very tentatively opened the door but all I found was a small puddle of water. However the other 3 tenants did not fare so well at all as they had all been flooded and for Nigel the roof had fallen in - all of his stock of clothes was ruined and the landlord does not have insurance. I felt very sorry for them but very grateful we had been spared. The thought of cleaning it up is worse than what damage there might be.

But that's not all - Grant phoned and asked if we could take his hire car back as the girl staying in his house had not done so. Plus he had received a phone call (he is in Singapore) from the storage company where he has his and Bruce and Kazuko's worldly possessions stored, to say there had been flooding. I think that is appalling as it surely is a maintenance issue. Anyway off we went and there were lots of others arriving to check their stuff. Water flowing out of lots of units but not Grant's - his lucky day. Only then did I feel safe sending Bruce an email to tell him.

On the strength of 2 days drama we popped home, had a shower and took ourselves to Cantina with a bottle of Elderton's 2000 Command Shiraz to enjoy with a lovely meal.

Today around here it looks like any other day - hot, sunny and humid. And there are an awful lot of people far worse off than us. I went for my swim, Ian for his walk and we are doing what we usually do - working away. Holey Moleys I am very sorry but I have 2 to post - please hang in.

I didn't get to take photos of all the excitement but Jaslyn has sent me 3 from her back garden - much more hail than we got and a back garden all in green.


Virginia said...

Oh Dale!

Weren't you SO lucky!! You could've so easily been flooded AND electrocuted - either before or after you had your whole computer system fried!! We had a decent storm pass through today - the rain was incredible and the garden looks slightly the worse for wear, but it was nothing at all in comparison with your experience...

I'm sure people will be grateful you are back up and running so quickly.

Penny said...

I have been enthralled with your adventures.
As John said, glad we havent got it.
Glad th house didnt burn dowm. looking forward to the next adventures of
Dale and Ian!! Glad you managed a decent meal and bottle of wine.You must come our way one day and enliven our dull lives!!

Doreen G said...

You may get offers to make a movie out of this story Dale.
The old case of anything that can go wrong did go wrong.
Bigger than Ben Hur eh.

Ro Bruhn said...

Glad you survived Dale, the images on TV looked horrendous. We had the hail storm the week before and lost all of our sky lights, we also have large holes in the roof so the whole thing is covered in tarps. Mother nature really knows how to challenge us sometimes.

Viv Estill said...

Glad to hear you're both safe and survived without too much lost. What a nightmare!Take care.

Robin Mac said...

Wow Dale, you are set to challenge us for the scariest weather!! So glad you didn't burn down. You deserved the meal and the good wine. Cheers, Robin
PS Have you been game to turn on the air con yet?

Anonymous said...

WOW, that's a narrow escape. It was really fortunate that you two and your beautiful house+studio got away from burning. And our stuff was safe which is also a relief. My mum and dad were watching news and heard of it and after that mum rang me quite sometime wanting to ask me if you are ok. However there is one bad thing - Grant's new girl is not as good as last one!

Thimble Fingers said...

I was thinking about you both, as I heard Highgate had got flooded. Glad to hear you escaped the worst of it, but shocked about the meter box ... what happened? Did water get into it? I hope you go out and buy a lotto ticket this week.
Wasn't the storm horrendous and hard to believe for little old Perth, and then today, its like nothing happened. Weird !

Sandy said...

That's more excitement than you needed. Glad your house didn't burn and that you are OK.

Dorothy said...

What challenges many people have had thrown at them as a result of the Perth storms, I know several who have personally suffered damage, my heart goes out to all in this position. One bright spot for WA is that many farmers who were battling to cart water for their stock and their homes now have some respite. Dorothy

Julie said...

Several lucky escapes for you all Dale. I'm glad you found the fault before your fusebox went up!

Heather said...

You must be shattered after those two days of drama. Your photos of the lightning are very dramatic and quite scary. We don't get storms as bad as that here, thank goodness. Glad your property (and you) are safe, and your brother and sister-in-law of course. Hope life returns to normal for you and your electrics get sorted so the computers don't play up again.

M Dawson said...

When I heard about Perth I told my Paul Ooh that's where Dale Rollerson lives!! I hope sshe's OK. He was convinced perth was in the middle of the Indian ocean by now so I'm glad you are OK.



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