The storm did indeed arrive with heavy rain and thunder all about. I suspect this is a common occurrence here at this time of the year. It was still raining on and off this morning which led us to plan our day based on unreliable weather.
We woke at an even more unseemly hour than yesterday, hearing the first stirrings of our neighbours and their two little yappy Maltese terriers. They had been introduced to us by their owner yesterday afternoon; in retrospect, clearly to endear us to them in readiness for the early disturbance. They were cute, very cute, however if we wanted to be disturbed by dogs, we would have some of our own. Our neighbours were planning to head off promptly this morning, by 8 am if possible, and they were right on schedule. Given the severe disability of Mrs Neighbour, they did well to have their camp packed up and be away and off home to Canberra on time. They had spent three unscheduled months here in Sydney, having abandoned their nomadic winter in the north when summoned with great urgency to the bedside of one of their adult children. Ongoing care is to engage their attention and efforts for some years now, well into their dotage; they are already well into their seventies. Our hearts went with them this morning; alas that was as much as we could offer.
It was half way through the process of their leaving where we were involved in so far as moving our vehicle out of harm’s way, that the power suddenly went off. Chris spent some time fiddling around with alternate electric leads, twiddling with switches and finally inquiring after the telephone number of an electrician. I switched the fridge to gas and finished boiling the water on the gas stove. We wondered how much it would cost to have a Sydney electrician come out on a Saturday and decided that we would go without mains power until Monday. And then, we worked out that the mains switch in the caravan had thrown; up is On and down is Off, contrary to the normal state of affairs. I reverted to the electric kettle to find that it was that which had thrown the switch. The element had gone. Praise be!!! as they say.
In the meantime, when I had poured the boiling water from the new gas kettle into the thermos, the spout opening had broken. This was the second time we had used it! This was one of those mornings when disaster seesaws with joy.
So after breakfast we set off up to Kmart at the Sylvania shopping centre and sought a refund on the gas kettle and purchased a replacement electric one. (The old gas kettle which had been relegated to the cruiser for camping and picnics was retrieved and will go back into service when we are free camping. There is actually nothing wrong with it, we simply coveted the bright shiny new one!)
From there we headed east to Cronulla to the cinema where we bought tickets to “The Sessions”. We were very early so popped into McDonalds for coffee and muffins. What appalling service ! What a rubbish strewn restaurant!!! Ten minus points for the franchise! Lazy inefficient staff all round. The coffee however was excellent; we do enjoy their filter coffee.
We wandered up and down the mall busy with Saturday traffic. The weather had greatly improved, probably because we were carrying umbrellas. Hundreds of young people poured off the train each time it arrived, carrying surf boards and other beach paraphernalia dressed in shorts and sundresses celebrating the sizzling start to summer. The cafes were all full and Cronulla was buzzing.
We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and I found it very moving, funny, poignant and many other things; it is based on a true story. Highly recommended, for sure!
Later we drove around and around, finally finding a car park near Guinnamatta Park where we sat eating our lunch in the sun watching the people on the beach in the hot blazing burning sun and exposed our own legs to sunburn. Eventually wisdom drove us into the shade, but it would take longer to convince those on the beach and in the water below us.
I suggested to Chris we could go find the Sutherland Art Gallery or come back to camp and watch the cricket. Is the Pope a Catholic? The answer was obvious of course, however it gave me opportunity to pull this aging laptop out of its bag and update this.
It was 40 degrees in the caravan when we arrived home. After a cold shower, and sitting here in the gentle breeze, I am now much more comfortable. Chris tells me I should be working on acclimatising to the tropical heat in readiness for our trip to the far north in the new year, however we have to subject ourselves to the New Zealand weather before then.