Christmas day aftermath

Blustered and bruised

Christmas Day in Wellington dawned in stunning style – warm, calm and sunny. Weather of the kind we hadn’t experienced for weeks!

There’s no doubt that weather affects our spirits – in this case, lifting them to an all time high. Able to sit outside in the sunshine, sunglasses on, other glasses in hand, sharing food, sharing laughs, sharing gifts and sharing love. It was a magnificent day, undoubtedly one of the best I’ve enjoyed for years.

By Boxing Day, clouds had formed with a breeze growing in strength as each hour passed. Still, we sat outside with friends, drinks in hand and grimacing with the falling temperatures. Cardigans and sweaters came out, shoulders hunched with the cold. Eventually we agreed that we would be far more comfortable inside. Sigh.

On the following day, the wind had gathered momentum – only a fraction short of a howling gale.The clouds had turned from white to grey threatening rain. Really bad weather loomed. I went out side only twice gathering my body together as I raced against the wind to the safe haven of my car.

Throughout the night gales buffeted our house, windows shaking in their elderly frames and wind whistling through the trees. Petals stripped off branches, outdoor chairs hurled backwards and tiny birds struggling to stay on course. So it has been for over 12 hours and will continue to be until tomorrow when we are promised another fine day.

The clean-up will begin.

Five or so years ago we were visiting Hoi An in Viet Nam and found ourselves in the middle of a cyclone. The power was out and we were sequestered inside our dark hotel room for 24 hours. While the wind raged outside, water poured down the inside walls and came in through the closed windows. At meal times a guide would come to our room and escort us safely to the dining room. It was terrifying for us, not so for the locals for whom it was a regular occurance.

We arose next day to a fine day, sunny and warm. The ground was still damp and littered with leaves, branches and other debris – there was total devastation at every angle. We took a long walk and what struck us was the speed at which the clean-up had begun. Everywhere we looked there were people loading trucks with fallen branches, streets being swept with long branch-type brooms and doors being opened to let the fresh air in.

By the end of the day, apart from bent road signs, there was little evidence of the previous day’s event.

I can’t imagine that our clean-up tomorrow will be anywhere near as efficient as the one we saw in Hoi An.

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