Eye of the storm

It felt very end of days watching the news last night.

So much misery, tragedy and natural disaster.

And I got caught in the middle of one of the biggest news stories of the day.

I was already feeling a bit slammed after giving myself mild heatstroke while driving around in my sweatbox Renault for hours. Its engine is so small that the air-conditioning can’t cope on really hot days. My phone literally overheated in it last summer and shut down.

I was sweltering as I drove the youngest to work, picked up some urgent stuff from the chemist, collected the youngest from work again, went to her friend’s house to get their surfboards, then dropped them to Freshwater Beach. I was winding my way through Allambie Heights when the mother of all storms appeared out of nowhere.

It was freaking torrential for 15 minutes, then back to sunny and sweltering again. I was heading down the Wakehurst Parkway towards DD’s when every car coming in the opposite direction started flashing me. Weird.

And then I saw why, lots of massive trees had crashed onto both sides of the road. (Pics from someone’s dash cam after the worst of the debris had been cleared to the sides.)

I turned around to find an alternative route and belatedly realised that something akin to a mini tornado had just ripped through the Northern Beaches.

And the youngest had been on her surfboard in the middle of it.

I frantically rang her and she assured me she was OK, though mildly fazed by the fact that her board had been swept up into the air in the wind.

As I drove through Dee Why and Narrabeen I was stunned by the devastation – cars smashed to smithereens, trees down, roofs and awnings gone, power lines down, flooded roads, traffic lights on the blink and ambulances and fire engines everywhere.

It’s just awful that someone lost their life and very lucky no one died under one of the falling trees on the Wakehurst Parkway.

Around 25,000 houses lost power.

It was an ugly end to a disappointing weekend.

There were heavy hearts in our family as our second Christmas in a row was cancelled due to COVID.

We were meant to be heading to the Hunter Valley for two nights together as an extended family, then attending a Christmas party in Newcastle.

Everything was scratched from the calendar.

I am vibrating with stress about whether I will be flying out of Sydney on Christmas Day.

COVID-19 is literally everywhere around me. There was panic on Friday when the Year 12 formal at the local high school became a superspreader event – currently at least 29 of the girls have COVID.

On Saturday, DD dropped over to build me a side gate for Christmas – bless him – and I ducked off to get rapid COVID tests for the youngest and I.

Negative.

At least for now.

The kids and I need to get those expensive COVID tests on Thursday that are required for travel. Until then we will play Russian Roulette every time we leave the house.

Hope you are staying safe and well.

Song of the day: AC/DC “Thunderstruck”

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