Saturday, 26 September 2009

Dust to dust

Quentin Crisp - the author of "The Naked Civil Servant" and the inspiration for the Sting song "An Englishman in New York" never cleaned his New York apartment. He claimed that after the first five years, the dust never got any worse. I am not sure what he would have made of Wednesday, when Sydney awoke to a bright red dawn. Strong winds had picked up thousands of tons of topsoil from South Australia and brought it over 1000km to our doorstep. The dust itself had a high iron concentrate and so was actually red in colour. The large amount of it in the air also refracted the light so that everything was red

It was a day of travel chaos as the ferries were cancelled and planes grounded. Gus' mum was supposed to go to Brisbane - her flight was cancelled as the dust storm had moved on there and so the planes couldn't land.
Gus had gone to sleep on Tuesday night with his contact lens still in - he woke in the middle of the night with a sticky eye, which prompted him to remove his lens. In the morning, he got up, threw back the curtains and panicked that he had somehow damaged his cornea!

The dust changed the look of the city. Our view of the harbour went from this

to this

By early afternoon it had largely settled - leaving a layer of red on every surface. Gus - who as you all know - is Mr Clean - soon set to with the Dyson and a hosepipe to remove every last trace of Martian dirt from our balcony. Sadly, his valiant efforts were in vain, as this morning, the dust was back. Not as dramatic as the other day, but still eerie.

That photo above reminds me of Manchester...on a smoggy winter's day. I am so used to Sydney being about clear blue skies. Let's hope it stays that way.

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