Saturday, July 19, 2008

Storm Weather

We have just had about a month of severe weather. I don't know if it is to do with global warming but the storms have been vicious. Gales, thunder, lightning, hail. We had intended to go away for a week while Pisces was on holiday but that all crashed - literally - when the first of the three major storms hit. The house we were to stay at - one street in from the beach at Palm Beach in Rockingham - is surrounded by enormous peppermint trees, one of the staple plantings in the older settled parts of Western Australian beach areas. Why they are called peppermint trees I've never been able to fathom since they, as far as I can tell, have neither the scent or leaf of peppermint but they thrive in the harsh beachside conditions. The largest, fortunately on the back fence line, split and dropped a huge branch smashing the fence. They were lucky. Many houses lost roofs, cars were wrecked by falling trees and the damage bill was exacerbated by the next storm coming through before repairs could be completed.
At such short notice and with the school holidays starting we couldn't find anywhere else to stay where we could take our dog.
As it happened it was hardly the weather for a holiday anyway because another cold front blasted its way in a few days later compounding everyone's misery. Add in the power shortages and days where the minimum temperatures have been 1 and 2 degrees Celsius and this has not been a pleasant winter so far. We're not used to this in the sunny West.

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