The storm has passed.
We had a second night of noisy wind and rain but the house remained relatively unscathed. A gutter came down and the garden isn’t looking the best but, apart from that, everything’s okay.
There’s sand everywhere. Actually, it’s more like a silty mud while it’s still wet. Now I’ve witnessed beach erosion in action. It looks like most of the beach has been deposited on the windowsills and front porch of the house.
Yesterday afternoon, before the storm had reached its crescendo, we ventured outside in a brave and foolhardy manner. We wanted to simply walk a few steps down to the end of the garden, look out over the beach and see how big the waves were getting. The wind was pretty strong but what really made it uncomfortable was all the sand that was being driven through the air at high speed. I should have worn goggles. My eyes felt like they were being sand-blasted.
The only other outdoor activity involved a gas grill on the somewhat sheltered back porch. Rather than descend into complete barbarity, we used the gas grill to heat up a pot of water so that everyone could have a nice cup of tea. To anyone but the denizens of the British Isles, this might seem like strange behaviour. But just because we’re in the colonies, trapped by a tropical storm, that doesn’t mean we can’t remain civilised. Our stiff upper lips sipped on the very nectar of the British Empire. It was jolly refreshing, old bean.
After that, all our activity was of the indoor variety. If I had really thought ahead, I would have tried to get hold of a DVD of Key Largo to watch while Frances battered on the shutters. Instead, as I mentioned previously, I spent my time playing computer games. After I exhausted my batteries doing that, I retreated into books with background music provided by my iPod.
I finished reading Zodiac by Neal Stephenson and then cracked open a collection of alternative history short stories called ReVISIONS. It includes a story by Cory Doctorow that I had previously read in digital form.
A battery operated radio kept us informed of the storm’s progess. The radio station we were listening to was occasionally interrupted by series of beeps that preceded the tornado warnings that automatically cut into regular programming. That was kind of scary.
By this morning, there was still no power. The storm had abated enough for us to start taking down some of the plywood shutters to let in some light. It looked safe to venture outside. Before cabin fever overtook us completely, myself, Jessica and her brother Jeb ventured out in search of hot food and drink.
We found both at the wonderful Cafe Eleven. That’s where I’m sitting now, having a coffee and recharging my iBook’s battery. Unfortunately, they don’t have WiFi. We’ve already done a bit of wardriving trying to find a Starbucks or some other hotspot but with no luck. So I won’t get to post this until power is restored back at the house or a Starbucks opens, whichever comes first.