Lisa’s Birthday, Rain and Western Power‏

The following words made up an email sent yesterday to friends and family who had tried to contact me for my birthday only to receive no reply.

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Dear All,
 
If you were thinking, “What a rude cow not responding to my sms/email/telephone call” yesterday, please forgive me and the rest of the residents of Thomas Road Glen Forrest, and anyone else you may have been trying to get hold of in the Glen Forrest area in general.
 
On Monday 28th February – HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHEN!!! – I was sitting on the couch reading the book I am due to submit a review for the next day and making notes about the lovely things I would say about it, because it is a lovely book. I looked out the back window and commented to Mum and Kelsie, also on the couch reading and watching telly, that it was looking quiet grey and foreboding out there.
 
Thirty minutes later, or thereabouts, the heavens opened and we had thunder, lightening, rain-rain-rain and wind.
 
About ten minutes into the storm, I suggested to Mum that maybe we should turn off the aircon as it was the reason for many of the homes burning down in Roleystone a couple of weeks earlier.
 
We walked into the kitchen, Mum turned off the aircon, walked away to her room and I remained at the kitchen counter trying to decide if I felt like water or orange juice when a bolt of lightening hit the house pretty much where I was standing.
 
I retracted my head from the ceiling where it had got itself stuck after I jumped ten foot in the air. Mum and I looked at each other and I swear the Twilight Zone theme tune could be heard as we gazed at each other in disbelief.
 
About ten minutes after that, my heart having settled back into its slothful rhythm, the power went out.
 
That was about 5:15pm on Monday. It is now 9:32am on Wednesday and we are still without power. (It would appear that like British Rail, Western Power (WA’s energy/power provider) is unable to cope with wind and rain. Apparently the NT, Qld and Vic power services can cope quiet well with cyclones and floods, but a short, sharp period of nowhere-near-cyclonic wind and rain is too much for Western Power to cope with here. They have no idea when we shall have power again.)
 
We are also without Internet and Telstra-phone as the lightening strike took out those services. And it seemed to affect Mum’s and my mobiles, both Telstra serviced. Occasionally there would be a flurry of missed calls and smses beeping in and I could read them, but service would disappear and no responding was permitted. Telstra have said they may “possibly” fix the problem by today and they graciously informed Mum that we would not be charged the $105 service fee seeing as it was not our fault we had no telephone service.
 
House Guest Kelsie noticed that our little crik (Aussie for creek) was flowing like Amazon, so she, Mum and little Fairy Princess Tully (Kelsie’s daughter) took off to see it. It’s never been that full or flowing ever! Naturally, it had disappeared by the following morning. Not a sign of there having been water in it at all. If we didn’t have the pictures to prove it we would think we were imagining things. (For my foreign readers, this is why Perth is always so blasted dry because our dams, rivers and criks cannot keep water in them.)
 
Reports dribbled in from the outside world about flash floods – although given what’s been happening in Darwin and Qld, I think our using the word “flood” so casually is inappropriate, so I will use “mini-waterfalls” instead – settling in people’s homes and criks and then miraculously disappeared by the morning. A few telephone/power lines went down.
 
So yesterday’s plans for a quiet day at home celebrating my 38th Birthday watching a Marilyn film, drinking champagne and eating the ice-cream birthday cake I ordered for myself – a blog to come on that at some point – were thwarted to some extent.
 
We still got to eat icecream cake and drink champagne because Dad got the generator out for the fridge and freezer.
 
We had to enjoy both pretty quickly as the humidity had full reign in a house without ceiling fans and aircons to chase it away, taking the chill off the champers and melting the icecream cake quicker than the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.
 
Our hot water system, electronic powered, failed us too, but funny enough, there weren’t many complaints about having to take cold showers.
 
This is not to say that things were dreadful.
 
I was awoken from my slumbers by Tully the Fairy Princess in the morning. She was wearing her gorgeous fairy dress and sprinkled me with fairy dust.
 
I had some lovely pressies on the nicely decorated pressie table – pics will appear in the Birthday Blog – and some contributions to my ‘Lisa Wants, No NEEDS, An iPad’ Fund.
 
We all sat curled on the couch reading, except Dad who was busy setting up the generator to keep the freezer going for my icecream cake and the fridge for my pink champagne, and had a few games of Rummikub and then enjoyed an early dinner before the natural lights went out.
 
So it was quite a lovely birthday despite our return to the Middle Ages where candle light and cold showers were the norm!
 
Now we are just laying bets on when we shall be returned to the 21st Century. Hopefully soon! My iPod needs charging! If I have to listen to the twits on the radio in the morning a second day running, I will go mad.
 
So that has been the fun and excitement of the last couple of days in Glen Forrest.
 
Thank you to EVERYONE who sent through smses and tried calling me yesterday. I wasn’t ignoring you. I did stand on the verandah and yell out THANKS, so if you heard it on the wind, it was me. Thanks to EVERYONE who has sent through email messages that I received this morning at work.
 
The electronic light in the office is really hurting my eyes.

P.S. Lesley, the review for the Natalie Zemon Davis book, is on paper to be committed to electronic form. I had to bring the laptop into work to charge it up. It doesn’t look as if it copped it when the house was hit by lightening. I think that bolt was heading for me and my underwire bra! (The Roux review, now a year overdue, is still coming. Tell me the latest date so it can finally go public!)

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