heatwave of the century…

… and I missed it all.

Somehow I managed to leave Melbourne before it got above 25C, and landed again about an hour after the cool change.

I say cool change: it went from 44.4C at 4.30pm, to 32.2C at 6.30pm. Not exactly cool, but welcome relief. Putting this into context, about 27 people died in South Australia over the week due to the heat, and an area of Victoria about the size of Manhattan was ablaze, reducing 23 homes to rubble.

About five minutes before the taxi dropped me home, the power went off. So even though it was a balmy 30C outside our house was still somewhere around 44C. Minutes passed and we decided to walk down to Footscray for dinner. Most places were shut down as the power cut hit most of the western suburbs. Some drunk guys sat outside a pizza place yelling abuse at passing motorists. The traffic lights were out, so cars were doing what Annette would call shopping trolley manoeuvres at every junction. Happily our local place was open, serving only dumplings. We sat mopping our brows and ate two plates of dumplings, one seafood and one pork.

As we strolled home the lights came back on. The pizza place guy heaved a sigh of relief and ushered his staff back to work from their seat on the pavement with mobile phones stuck to ears. We opened all the doors at home and waited for the coolness to pervade. It took all night.

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