It seems that Brisbane is pulling out the stops for us!
Driving home from dropping Lydia at choir yesterday, I noticed the clouds building up. "Oh good, looks like we might be getting some rain," I thought.
Hmm. According to the weather bureau, it was the worst storm in a decade. According to people I know who have grown up in Brisbane, it was the worst storm they have ever seen. Juliette and I were at home so we couldn't see much - most of the windows have bobbly glass and there is an enormous poinciana tree outside the other windows which block the view to anywhere else. It wasn't till the hail started bouncing off the back deck that we realised that this was no ordinary storm and then I was thrown into a quandary: our car that we need to sell in the next few days was sitting out in it all, but I wasn't sure I was game to drive it to the local car park.
Miraculously, the car came away unscathed, Rupert was home ten minutes afterwards and we were able to pick Lydia up from choir and drop me off for a rehearsal in the city...but once on the roads, we were able to appreciate the full extent of the damage. Throughout Toowong and Bardon, the roads were strewn with branches and trees, step ladders, a roof. Windows smashed, cars dented, no power, of course in these areas. Driving out towards the Western suburbs, it seems that the damage was not as bad, but then Rupert had to drop me with some friends to drive back into the city for a rehearsal - which was interesting to say the least.
First rehearsal with choir and soloists, last rehearsal before concert on Saturday at St John's Cathedral. Programme to include Beethoven Mass, Magic Flute overture, Something Beautiful but Heart Rending, by Brahms, Something a bit Weird but Possibly Beautiful by Berlioz. The leader of the orchestra, the great Chen, had not been able to get in, due to lack of trains, we were down three first violins, a viola, first trumpet, oboes, Bass soloist, several choir members. There was a leak in the roof at the back of Cathedral and water poured down all evening, the sound echoing and magnifying off the stone walls, whilst an alarm sounded in F flat, double sharp diminished minor all throughout. It was hot, humid, there was glass all over the toilet floors where the windows had been Hailed, I had to lead the orchestra and had left my shoulder rest at home, so was not playing my best. (that's my excuse anyway). I take my hat off to Kevin Power, the conductor, who, instead of screaming and throwing a fit, managed to remain calm, if sweaty and slightly manic, throughout. Can't wait till Saturday!
Got home to find that we still have no power, and of course, no candles or torches as all that sort of stuff is on the plane to England. What would we do without iPods, eh? Though of course, they are now all
run out of batteries, and we can't recharge, so guess where I'm headed
now? We only have electric cooking facilities in our rental, so no coffee....but, thank God, gas powered water heating!! Incredibly grateful that our windows remained intact, unlike very many of my friends, some of whom have had every window in their house broken. Just wishing I hadn't bought a whole lot of fridgeable groceries, yesterday morning...
Oh Brisbane, will miss you so much!