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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)
libby_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.