Perth and its environs are having a pretty rocky start to the year. First there were the disastrous Toodyay bushfires and now we have the aftermath of a severe storm that has left thousands of homes without power(158,000 in the first instance, now down to 80,000), flooding, shattered windows, hail destroyed cars, water damaged houses, traffic lights still out more than a day since the storm struck and even a landslip onto a major road leading into the city.
We are fortunate that, miraculously, there are no reports of serious injury and that the weather has been kind since - trying to make up for its tantrum perhaps. There is something eerie about a city in darkness. When I looked out last night at 8:00 p.m. I could not see anything but black. Usually I look out at twinkling lights spread warmly across the hills to the north but the heavy cloud cover cut out all natural light from the moon and stars. The only light came from an infrequent motor vehicle whose driver had decided to ignore the advice to stay home - not that many needed to be told - and the lightning sizzling across the sky.
We sat in the soft glow of an old oil lamp and flickering candles to eat a scratch meal and listened to the radio - and you know, even though we knew the morning would show just how much damage the house had sustained - we could hear water running in the garage - it was kind of nice.