Cyclone City

Since Sunday night, the weather has been ridiculous. First, it was colder than it has been. Then, gale force winds, non-stop driving rain*, floods, and we woke up this morning to great thunder claps, crazy lightning, and hail. It even SNOWED in a few places. The traffic has been extra shitty, the streets are filled with tree debris, and the bins are filled with inside out umbrellas. It’s looking a bit demilitarized around here.

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Cyclone carnage.

Last night, I met with Joel’s mom quickly to get some paperwork for my visa (hooray! everything is done!), and she gave me some chicken soup and bakery fresh bread. We layered up in sweats and blankets and ate, and I don’t know when we’ve ever been happier. If there’s something better than a hot shower when you’re wet and cold and tired, it’s a hot bowl of delicious mom-made-soup and fresh bread after said hot shower.

dragon-armor
We also watched Dracula Untold, which starred a Jimmy McNulty lookalike as Dracula. It was hard not to make Dracula/Wire jokes throughout. Also, it’s a good Dracula re-tooling… mostly because it has the whole Tragedy of Darth Vadar story line and a Jimmy McNulty lookalike. And an awesome impaling scene. Just check it out. It’s fun.

I sat in bed listening to the storm this morning, and asked Joel if it would be crazy for me to call out of work because I was afraid of being struck by something from the sky–electric or icy or whatever. With the Idiot Girl week I’ve been having, I was concerned that the steel toes in Docs would be conductors. But they’re the only shoes I can wear that won’t leave my feet soaked. They also make me over 6 feet tall and apparently climbing stairs in them makes my calves so sore I can barely walk. /champion. And when Joel said I shouldn’t take my umbrella because that would be the conductor, I nearly cried.

But, being the peach he is, Joel fed me coffee, wrapped me in an extra rain coat, and shoo’d me out the door. And once I got on the street, the weather lightened up. I even saw blue skies briefly when I got to work.

IMG_3600The rain came back just in time for me to be sent home with a migraine (joy), and around 3 today, the rain pretty much stopped, it’s started again, but thankfully without the wind and storms. From what I’ve heard, this kind of weather is an Australian winter thing, and it doesn’t usually happen this hard core–unlike summer in the North, where cyclones seem to happen every two weeks.

I’m thankful for an apartment whose windows don’t leak, and for a space heater that warms our room in about 10 minutes. Also, is there anything like that firey smell of the first heating session of the year? Ha, I’m just really excited about all things cold weather right now. Did I tell you I wore socks *and* slipper boots *and* a long sleeved shirt with a jumper over it *and* sweat pants *and* sat under a blanket next to Joel and it was amazing? I don’t like how the cold weather doesn’t dry our towels all the way, but I’m really elated to not be leaving sweat trails everywhere.

We are supposed to have sunny skies tomorrow, so fingers crossed. I love rain, but even I’m over it at this point.

(See: socks not drying out all the way in cold air)

*or as my coworkers said, “it’s absolutely pissing rain.” I heart Australia.

Summer Mornings

Summer doesn’t officially start for another 10 days, but it sure as hell feels like its already here.

Filter added to convey heat wave
Filter added to adequately convey heat.

While I don’t like summer, I love summer mornings. When it’s bright and warm, but not hot. When you feel like things would be perfect if it could just stay like this forever, but you know damn well in 4 hours the humidity will be so high that it’ll be too hot to sit next to someone on the couch because the body heat is ridiculous so you lay on the floor in front of your oscillating fan and even considering venturing out of the apartment will drench you in a pool of your own sweat and leave you wondering when death will come with its sweet release.

But, the mornings are nice.

Thankfully, it’s been a cool spring, and it’s only been this hot a couple of times, including today. The weather report said it would be 93*F/34*C by 3 PM, but at 8:15, it was beautiful. So I decided to walk down the road to get a coffee before things got crazy. And it was as I hoped, a nice summer morning.  Bright blue sky, white pillow clouds, and a low set sun. Warm, not hot. Bus stops with occasional students and Friday commuters. Scent of flowers and rising humidity. Everything just felt warm and still.

And I was instantly hit with a wave of nostalgia, the same wave of nostalgia I get with every sunny summer morning. Of every last week of school. Of early mornings at horse shows. Of bleary eyed walks to 8 AM class during summer sessions. Of waiting with baited breath for mom to get home so she could take us to the pool. Of letting the dogs out first thing in the morning. Of hazy Maryland mornings when I couldn’t wait to get outside and play. Of happy hour drinks under a shaded patio. Of every shitty, humid 4th of July party, ever.

As I walked down the road, sweat glistening* on my face, awash in summer nostalgia, I thought, I don’t hate summer. A lot of good things have happened during the summer months. And maybe I’m just letting my hatred for high temperatures cloud the happy memories I do have. Perhaps my year of 2 summers will re-program my attitude. I waited for my coffee with dare I say it–summer optimism? I took pictures all the way home, thinking how lovely today would be, no matter how hot it got.

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Hello, gorgeous.

I was only gone for about 20 minutes, and it didn’t feel any hotter than when I left. But when I walked back into our apartment, it was like walking into a humidity filled Tupperware container resembling an apartment. I opened all the windows and realized my optimism was a tad premature. And lacked air conditioning

If you need me, I’ll be parked in front of the fan, wishing for winter.

50 Shades of Sydney (or, hey it was foggy this morning)

It was a damp, grey, murky morning when we woke up.

Such fog
Such fog

And since we were up and dressed extra early to hit the grocery store for breakfast (guess who went to the store three times this week and forgot eggs, bread, and milk each time? I need to start making a list), we decided to take a short walk down to the park to get pictures of the fog.

Fog Quest 2014!

Apparently, this is Mel Gibson's favorite bar when he's in Sydney. The actual Mel Gibson. I'm going to stop in there one day to check out all the shrines dedicated to Braveheart. And maybe hear a psychotic rant or two.
Apparently, this is Mel Gibson’s favorite bar when he’s in Sydney. The actual Mel Gibson. I’m going to stop in there one day to check out all the shrines dedicated to Braveheart. And maybe hear a psychotic rant or two (whatever happened to Mel Gibson, anyway?).

We decided to go past the park, and headed down to Mort Bay. I love Mort Bay. It’s not very exciting compared to other water areas of Sydney, but it holds some good memories for me. When I first came to Sydney in 2012 to visit my friend, Odie, he and Joel took me to Mort Bay with a couple of $5 bottles of wine and we just carried on. Nothing terribly crazy happened, but it was the night that I first got to know Joel, and I got a chance to re-bond with one of my best friends.  Just one of those nights where everyone drinks a bit too much and everyone dies from laughing. It’s one of my most treasured memories.

Two of my favorite filthy animals.
2012: Two of my favorite filthy animals.

It was nice to walk down there again and feel the good feelings. Even if the weather was getting super humid. (i.e. I was slowly becoming a ball of sweat)

The only other people out were excited dog walkers.
The grounds of Mort Bay. The only other people out were excited dog walkers.
Magpie! These birds will attack you if they think you're threatening their nest. I give everyone I see a wide berth.
Magpie! These birds will attack you if they think you’re threatening their nest. I give everyone I see a wide berth.
We watched a ferry come in
We watched a ferry come in. We were tempted to hop on the ferry because seriously–how cool would riding a ferry be in the fog? But, lack of foresight (buying tickets) stopped us. Next time, foggy day.
This scene is just begging for brisk, cold weather and for me to be wearing a Shetland sweater as my exposed fingers numbed around the camera. Alas, it was very humid and the camera was slipping out of my sweaty paws.
This scene is just begging for brisk, cold weather and for me to be wearing a Shetland sweater as my exposed fingers numb around the camera. Alas, it was very humid and the camera was slipping out of my sweaty paws.
Some fancy pants live here.
Some fancy pants live here.
Hello Ferry! *toot toot*
Hello Ferry! *toot toot*
so still. and a little spooky.
It was so still and quiet. So perfect.
walking down to the Colgate Building
We continued walking, down to the Colgate Building
Ahh!
Ahh!
ahhhhhh!!
Ahhhhhh!!
I want to live near a flower wall.
I want to live near a flower wall.
This building was converted from a historic factory into Far Too Expensive Apartments. sigh.
This building was converted from a historic factory into Far Too Expensive Apartments. sigh.

I dressed for a short walk, which meant flip flops. And now the bottoms of my feet are blistered. Awesome. But, the blisters were worth it. By 10 AM this morning, Joel and I had a) gone on an adventure, b) finished the grocery shopping, c) did our exercise, d) made and eaten a pancake breakfast, and e) gathered a blog post for me. Since then, we did dishes and made left over tacos and did dishes again. And now I’m blogging. And I might get up to make brownies. PRODUCTIVITY. FAT AND PRODUCTIVITY.

Oh, speaking of fat and productivity–I know where I’ll be on Friday night.

I feel like I'd be betraying my Kentucky/Ohio ancestry by not going to a meat raffle.
I feel like I’d be betraying my Kentucky/Ohio ancestry by not going to a meat raffle.

On that note, time for brownies.

Storm days!

This past week, Sydney had some ridiculous thunderstorms.

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Thanks to a perfect storm (heh) of weather conditions, our region went through a cavalcade of weather fun–gale force winds, hail, floods, and even snow in parts of the Blue Mountains. It was intense. They Sydney Morning Herald called it a once in a century event, and the news coverage reminded me of the 2012 Derecho that hit parts of the states. Like the Derecho, the super storm caused massive power outages, property damages and flooded subway trains.

Source

Fortunately for us, though, Balmain wasn’t hit too hard. In fact, we watched the storm roll in on Monday night (amidst my own anxiety attack storm), and we had a good time. When I was younger, thunderstorms would turn me into a frightened puppy. I assumed every storm would turn into a tornado and kill me–the natural assumption for someone who has never been in a tornado. But I was raised by parents who grew up in Tornado Alley. And I did watch Twister a million times when I was 12. At some point though, I fell in love with thunderstorms. I get excited when the wind picks up, when I see thunder heads and when the temperature drops. That smell of impending rain, right? So good.

The storm rolls in...
The storm rolls in…

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The clouds get darker...
The clouds get darker…

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The winds picked up and the rain started, so I retreated inside.
The winds picked up and the rain started, so I retreated inside.
First rain drops!
First rain drops!
Joel catches lightening
Joel catches lightening
He caught it!
He caught it!
poor balcony furniture..
poor balcony furniture.. at this point, we were pressed up against the glass like little kids.
So dark
So dark.
And suddenly, it cleared up. And the clouds gave way to a lovely colored sky. I couldn't do the sky justice with my camera. It was entirely bright orange, and beautiful.
And suddenly, it cleared up. And the clouds gave way to a lovely colored sky. I couldn’t do the sky justice with my camera. It was entirely bright orange, and beautiful.

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Ahhhh :)
Ahhhh 🙂

Such good storm.

Added bonus: the storms gave us super cool temps, and I got to pretend like it was October in Virginia for a bit. Thanks, storm!