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23 September 2009 @ 06:04 pm
I can't believe ...  
... that someone planned the apocalypse and forgot to send me a memo!

Sydney this morning: 

(Shamelessly lifted from a Flickr gallery, go here to see the whole set, especially the Bondi one!)

When I put out the green waste bin this morning at ungodly o'clock, I looked up and saw a red glow in the sky. Being well used to this Australian business by now, I sniffed, but there was no tang of burning eucalypt in the air. Nor did it turn out to be the lightspeople at the Sportsground playing silly buggers. By the time I had been to bed and woken up again, the full horror had rolled in and the city was under a thick, gritty cloud.

That, my friends, is the desiccated remains of the topsoil New South Welsh farmers once used to grow things in back in the days when it rained in the bush.

After yesterday's brief coastal rain – the first in months, mind – nature clearly decided to remind we city folk that the drought is going quite well, thanks (I believe we've had a grand total of six months of non-drought in the last 13 years, dam levels are reported on the news of an evening) and so picked up thousands of tonnes of dust and dumped it on the coast.

I have been out walking about in it all day. The last time I was this filthy, I had just been swimming in a mud puddle!

People have been amusing, though. Two girls on the train behind me were chatting:

Girl one: It's just diabolical, cataclysmic, end of days stuff!
Girl two: Did you hear there was an earthquake in Melbourne yesterday?
Girl one: I have a theory that the planet's had enough and wants us to bugger off ...

People in Australia become eco-conscious from a sheer sense of oppression. When your environment constantly wants to burn, flood or boil you, you eventually throw your hands in the air and shriek 'All right! I will recycle!'

Of course, having said that, the green waste collectors did not pick mine up, bastards.

As to the laptop, wholly dead, I am afraid. They think they can retrieve the data, I have bought a new one for $300 more than the price of the replacement part. Let us not speak of it.

beowulfbookofjude on September 23rd, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Fellow Australian-dweller! I read somewhere that it was 75,000 tonnes of dirt on both Brisbane/South East Queensland and Sydney/New South Wales. There was this really amazing photo of the dust storm from a satellite...


From: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26114000-421,00.html.

Scary to wake up to! :S
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
Wow! Thanks for the links! That's just insane. Watching the 7.30 Report, the soil science expert from Griffith said that it was looking as though it was more than 4.5 million tonnes!! At least neither of us is in Broken Hill, which apparently had the worst of it. I wonder if it will make it to Auckland?
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on September 23rd, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)
*looks out window at endless dampness and threatening rain clouds*
My camera case grew several different kinds of mould on it this winter, hanging on my hatrack in my bedroom!
Sometimes it's hard to believe we live in the same country, my love. I'll be impressed if we have bushfires this summer, I think the worst we'll manage is a bushsmoulder.
Alas, poor laptop, I knew it, Brammers!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
*Looks at self and wonders what possessed self to choose Sydney over Launceston*
*Remembers ;-)*

So far this year we have had mould in the kitchen from the month of rain (I think it was May, possibly April), a dead bed of plants from drought and blazing wind, actual fucking locusts, and a plague. I await the rain of blood with detached interest.

As to bushfires: they are doing hazard reduction on the railway verge, it's that bad. :-(

(no subject) - dookadook on September 24th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Robyn: peacetimeasmymeasure on September 23rd, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
I know that's probably a bad thing, but goodness that's a gorgeous view.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:30 am (UTC)
Yes, it was pretty! Shame about the air quality, which was 1500% the level required for 'bad'. *Cough!*

(Edited because I changed the unit of measurement, but not the figure by two decimal places!)

Edited at 2009-09-23 10:31 am (UTC)
Vashtanvashtan on September 23rd, 2009 09:04 am (UTC)
It looks... wow. Gorgeous.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
And yet it tastes agricultural :-(
(no subject) - vashtan on September 23rd, 2009 10:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Agreva: Dark Knight - Headdeskagreva on September 23rd, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
It's horrible here in Brisbane as well, I haven't seen the footage from Sydney but as far as I know it's not quite as bad.

It's still disgusting though; my eyes, lungs and throat feel itchy and have a slight burning sensation so I really hope it lifts soon!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:33 am (UTC)
The NSW news says Broken Hill had it worst, then everybody else had it pretty bad, too ;-)

And yes, vile! The back of my throat is so scratchy!
Meredyth: Myrtlemeredyth_13 on September 23rd, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
We'll all be ruin'd, said Hanrahan,
before this day is out


*goes off singing 'It's the end of the world as we know it'*

Yes, yes, Melbourne was wholly devastated by our horrific earth tremors. Families killed, buildings destroyed, dogs and cats, living together ...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Did you actually feel it? The last one that we had I argued with J over it with him insisting it was a train and me frogmarching him out to look for a train.

And when the whole country burns down and we are all loaded onto ships for New Zealand, I will not be surprised in the least, you know!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on September 23rd, 2009 11:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ann: eyetsosh on September 23rd, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
I feel sorry for the ppl with asthma, but it looks so pretty... *is superficial*

It's good they can retrieve the data from your old laptop, so nothing is lost. Except, you know, your money. But on the plus side - shiny new laptop!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, I suppose that is the upside; it has a much better battery life and weighs less ...

It did look pretty, but tasted and smelled pretty bad. I slathered on perfume, but then walked far too far and hard and the results were not pretty. Sigh. (Sends tickles to Merlin!)
It's a Deensedeensey on September 23rd, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
TOTAL LIES ABOUT THE RAIN! We got two intense days of coastal rain three weeks ago, two days after I planted the garden, and one more day of middling rain in the middle.


I make it sound like that's somehow enough.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
Oh honey, you're hallucinating. There were stiff downpours, which lasted for 10 minutes then pissed off ... That's not rain, that's just malevolence. Scrape off an inch of soil and it will be dry as, yet totally buggers pots. Boo, hiss!
(no subject) - deensey on September 23rd, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 23rd, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
I had four different sets of photos e-mailed to me today of Brisbane and Sydney, and that was before noon. I will e-mail them to you if you would like?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
HELLO! I have been meaning to email or ringyou all day, but I bathed and napped instead.

Nah, no need for pix, the reality was bad enough down here. Were you safe driving to work? And that bear is gorgeous! Plus, GOOD GIRL for going to biff!
(no subject) - annes_stuff on September 24th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
Libbylibby_drew on September 23rd, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
that someone planned the apocalypse and forgot to send me a memo!

That was me. Sorry.

Reminds me of all those videos we used to watch in school about the Dust Bowl.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
That's OK, I know that people like to use Aus as a test case since we exist in the future ;-)

Our agricultural sector at the moment should come up with a new income stream doing docudramas about the Dust Bowl years. They need the cash!
Heather: Mordredfaynia on September 23rd, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
If that wasn't so terrifying to think about I'd say that the day-glow orange look is a nice one for the city.

Otherwise. D:!

What kind of laptop?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Looked pretty, tasted bad ;-)

It's another MacbookPro 15", having found the one that is just right I cannot think further. At least the new model has a better battery and is lighter.
(no subject) - faynia on September 23rd, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on September 23rd, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jigglykat: DW: martha WTFjigglykat on September 23rd, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
It looks like you're on Mars or something. Is it at least dying down a bit?

I not-so-frequently get a phone call from my parents just to inform me that it's raining at home (they're in Southern California, I'm in NYC). They're having an awful drought as well, while I'm here, complaining how summer was ruined by all the rainstorms.
rickey_arickey_a on September 23rd, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
woah! iamshadow posted some crazy arse orange world pics yesterday. Freaky. Feels like you expect to look up and see a Dark Mark in the sky.
pingridpingrid on September 23rd, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
OMFG, that is truly scary. It's a good thing global warming isn't real, or it might have been even worse!
m. something-or-otherspacefragments on September 23rd, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
motherfucking whoa. so stealing those for painting refs.
trichinopoly ash: jensen: red scooteraldehyde on September 23rd, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
i've been checking out the pics all day and they're pretty fabu :D we used to get frequent dust and sand storms in kuwait [obviously, hee] so the pics have been bringing back a lot of childhood memories of waking up and wondering why the entire world outside my windows was shades of yellow and orange ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
It was quite thoroughly bonkers! The big difference to me between this and a sandstorm was the fineness of the particles. I am used to being able to feel the grit and knowing to draw a veil or scarf across my face. This was so fine that there was no 'feel', until you had spent a few minutes in it and needed water, and to cough, and suddenly felt your skin was unspeakably grimy.

At least it wasn't a bushfire!
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on September 23rd, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
That, my friends, is the desiccated remains of the topsoil New South Welsh farmers once used to grow things in back in the days when it rained in the bush.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
It is insanely dry here. Though it rained over last summer and autumn, so at least there's water in the dams, which is more than could be said a year ago!
(no subject) - shyfoxling on September 28th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jaeenchanted_jae on September 24th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
That's scary stuff; stay safe.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
We had another, smaller dust storm yesterday. Gruesome for the lungs, and apocalyptic in colouring (though nowhere near as bad as Wednesday), but the city was actually safer than usual, as everyone was so weirded out by the whole thing that they drove more sensibly and acted more circumspectly.

Which leads me to believe the actual end of the world may be very very polite ;-)
(no subject) - arethinn on September 28th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
absdaxabsdax on September 24th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
WOH! thats ORANGE! kinda freeky! but cool pic none the less!!!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
It was Mars Red earlier in the day, wholly nuts!
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on September 24th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
So scary and beautiful and unreal all at the same time!

Just think of the stories you'll be able to tell your children or other children in the family ;-)

Go out and buy an additional external hadrdrive right now! It's worth the money. I got mine after a similar experience, and at least the most important things are safe.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
The tragic thing is that I own one, but I am horribly slack about scheduling backups. I have now scheduled a weekly backup, and am emailing myself fics as I finish new sections. I CAN be taught!

And the natural disaster story collection I have amassed in Australia may require me to actually have, or adopt, some children ;-)
dookadookdookadook on September 24th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Have been in Canberra the past couple months, but we got it down here as well. I walked to the shops in it and had to wear my bloody ski goggles cause my poor eyes can only take so much dirt. After each 10 min leg of the journey there and back I had to stop and blow my nose to be able to breath through it. My housemate was cruel as she whinged about how dry and dusty her throat was before remembering that she'd brought a bottle of water. After taking a sip and gagging, with the choked comment "Now it's just more muddy", I ended up with the last laugh. Serves her right, I think, we take our water seriously here in Australia. Did you guys get rain during your dust storm? We did, in the late afternoon we had a short downpour that helped clear the dust from the air but that's only cause it literally attached itself to raindrops to fall as orange mud. I've never felt dirtier after standing in the rain.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 27th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Canberra
Oh it would have been so much grittier for you! The air down there seems to have larger particles for some reason, just as the air in Sydney seems greasier.

And no, no rain during or since, so everything is still grimy. Rain of blood does not sound appealling, though give the locusts have been back, I shouldn't be surprised ;-)
LadyDark1 ~ A  Harry and Draco Slash Addict.Period: Musing by the Moonldydark1 on September 26th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Its amazing what mother nature can do.
Frightening, makes the human element
feel so small. Some talk about the
earth changes. Weird weather.
Stay safe and look out for yourself.
The pictures were amazing but scary.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 26th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
We had another, smaller, dust storm today, which I was able to mostly stay out of. A few days of general snottiness followed Wednesday's appalling air, but I'm happily in good health for the most part, so all's well.

On the upside, it's actually reminded everybody of how appalling our climate is. A poll was done on Thursday about how concerned people were for the environment and the figures were well up on the usual.

And it was beautiful. Not the most beautiful sky I have seen in Sydney: that was in 1994 when I was still fresh and there were fires ringing the city. It was wholly apocalyptic, but unimaginably gorgeous.
rubyemerald_1 on September 26th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
Woman who doesn't know about light refraction would be apoplectic by now.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 26th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
I laughed so loudly when I read that, Mr Brammers came out to check I was all right. Your comic timing is GENIUS!