Monday, 1 December 2014

Finding some calm after the storm

It's the first day of December - it's Summer here in Brisbane. (still so, so wrong...!) The purple Jacarandas have all but disappeared and instead we now have the wonderful vibrant Royal Poinciana. They really do look fabulous against the backdrop of the blue Summer sky. 

Royal Poinciana

That blue sky that I quickly snapped on the way home from school drop off this morning was very different last Thursday....

It was about 4.30pm and all of a sudden everything went dark. There was an eerie silence, then the trees outside my office started to sway and within a few minutes the rain started to lash at the windows. Not long after that the hail started. When I say hail I don't mean little pea size balls of ice - I'm talking big! They got as big as golf balls and some people saw some the size of tennis balls! It was the strangest 30 minutes ever.  There was no warning as is usual with Brisbane storms.  We could only stare out of the windows and wonder at the damage that was being caused. Hail that size can make a car looked like it's been sprayed with bullets.  Windows and windscreens were smashed and branches were flying through the air. Water began to pour through the roof of a room and this kicked the evacuation alarms into action. Except no-one really wanted to leave...

Here's a bit of a clip at the start of the storm taken from inside.

Brisbane storm

Thankfully, no one was badly injured and apart from very wet feet and a delay in getting home I was unaffected. Some others weren't quite so lucky and the next morning I was checking in with a neighbour who told me that the roof of the warehouse of her business had blown off and her Summer stock had been damaged. Another work colleague knew someone who had to have stitches in her head due to a large hail stone landing on her. There were also numerous people that I know with trees on cars and damaged property. What destruction in 30 minutes! Mother Nature sure was having a bad day!

As Brisbane was shaken by a storm on Thursday, the whole of Australia (and further afield) was completely moved by the tragic accident and subsequent death of the young cricketer Phillip Hughes. It has dominated conversation this past week. Australians are so passionate about sport and especially cricket. It's very touching to see the cricket bats placed outside homes and buildings in tribute to him. We are not a family of cricketers but I did find the beach bat and as I placed it I had a moment of reflection on the fragility of life. Sibs got an extra long good night cuddle on Thursday.

In tribute to Phillip Hughes

I always need to find something quiet and soothing after an incident or occasion that shakes me a bit. The long bath didn't quite work so I got into my crochet zone over the weekend and managed to finish a baby blanket that will get the boy/girl colour trim added when my cousin decides the time is right to give birth!

comforting crochet

Then to start this week off on a slightly calmer note, I took myself off for 5 minutes just for me. (It was probably closer to 45 minutes, but who's counting?)


This morning I went to re-stock on coffee beans and plonked myself on a comfy sofa with a coffee, some pear and raspberry toast (it's fruit ok!) and got a bit lost with Jane Austen. Funny how you can re-read a book and still absolutely love it.  'Persuasion' is my all time favourite Austen novel. Of course I adore the others, but there is something about 'Persuasion' that intrigues me. Maybe it's the simplicity of the story, maybe it's because it's set in Bath, maybe it's because it's Austen's last novel, written when she was ill? It's all of these things and probably just the fact that it's beautifully written. 

I have introduced my girl to the wonderful world of Austen and we have watched many versions of her books that have been made into films and for TV. Of course, in my opinion to appreciate her true talent then you need to read the books. Sibs started and struggled with Sense & Sensibility (her favourite TV adaptation) so for Christmas last year I found a box set of easy reading Austen novels. 

Each book starts with a brief explanation of the characters, then the novel is presented in a lovely mixture of original and easy to read text. The books end with further notes about the plot; the era and the author and some questions to think about. 

 I bought the box set from Amazon UK and they are published by
Real Reads also have a great selection of classic novels and plays.

on my mantlepiece
Wishing everyone a calm week,

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1 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Wow, what a storm!
    Glad you and yours came
    out of it okay....

    Tried and failed to get
    my own girl hooked on
    Jane Austen, although
    she did suffer through
    many of the movies with
    me, dear that she is! She
    had to read P&P for school
    and as you say, it can be
    a difficult read. Love that
    you found these precious
    easy readers for your daughter!

    xo Suzanne