NSW Fire Danger Simply Frightening

Tomorrow will see what is being called the worst fire conditions ever in NSW.

Sydney is forecast to hit 43c, with fire conditions listed at the second highest rating of extreme. South of Sydney conditions are listed as catastrophic, there is a state wide fire ban and all National Parks are closed.

For me this is simply frightening. I am fortunate to live in central Sydney and will only have to deal with the extreme heat – and potentially smoke if fires do break out. The hottest day I have ever had previous to this is 41c and I hid inside until the cool wind change hit – unfortunately for tomorrow that isn’t due until 3am.

One can only hope that terrible fires won’t break out.

NSW Fire Danger

God is in the Rain

I awoke this morning to rain outside my apartment window. I have now just arrived at uni quite wet after walking to the bus, and walking from the bus to my office. But I am rejoicing.

It is odd to rejoice about rain, in fact many people curse the rain, but I like rain, it is awesome, particularly after such a long period of little to no rain.

Rain is the bringer of life, it keeps us alive, it keeps animals alive, it keeps plants and trees alive, it keeps the world alive. Rain is so often referred to as being depressing. But I think we should celebrate in the rain, celebrate life, and celebrate how without water falling freely from the sky we wouldn’t be here.

When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a gentle rain. – Proverbs 16:15 NLT

The Parachute Diaries: Monday: Living On A Prayer

I awoke at 6.40am on Monday morning and snoozed until 8am.

Like the previous days I went to the morning meeting but only stayed for the worship. I had planned to listen to the speaker but the sun was intensely hot, I was very tired, and wanted to hang with my mates before they packed up and headed off to other parts of the country.

At the morning service they asked how many people there had been up all night. Apparently the Village had remained packed until 2am and was still going strong at 5am. The best I have done at Parachute is around 3 or 4 in the morning. This year I was a bit more of an oldie and went to bed at 1am each night.

Cool World Vision Artwork. We Are Change!
Cool World Vision Artwork. We Are Change!

While I hung out I packed up my stuff and hauled gear back to my car over a number of trips over a period of about three hours. I had to laugh at my car when I saw it. Sunday afternoon had been very windy and because it has been so hot over the past few weeks the ground was very dry. So my car had become covered in dust. And not a little bit dirty I mean coated absolutely coated in dust, it was no longer black but more like brownish grey.

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Scoring a carpark at Gate One is pretty cool
Scoring a carpark at Gate One is pretty cool
Looking from my car towards the main entrance
Looking from my car towards the main entrance
The main entrance
The main entrance
Looking behind my car... This is still the premo car park
Looking behind my car... This is still the premo car park

Once I had loaded up my car I went back to the Mainstage to see Late 80s Mercedes play the last act of the festival. Like Friday they went off, probably even more so on the hot Monday afternoon. Being the last band on allowed them to go longer than their advertised 30 minutes and in the end they managed to get all the people from backstage dancing on the stage and everyone still around having a great little boogie to Elemeno P, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Evermore, and Bon Jovi covers, which reminded me of how The Lads had closed out Parachute back in 2003.

After Late 80s left the stage the MCs came out for the last time and gave away all their left over CDs and T-Shirts. I managed to score a Casting Crowns live DVD after the case separated in mid-air and I caught part of it and other people handled me the rest of the broken case.

The trip back to Auckland was good, traffic wasn’t that bad.

On the way back I decided to take my time and drive through Hamilton. They have built some new roads to handle the highway traffic with these epic two lane, five road round-a-bouts every so often, which I am sure will confuse everyone as they are not well signed posted and confusing. I almost ended up on the Raglan Road instead of State Highway one after getting into the wrong lane.

Just north of Te Rapa this awesome cloud formed in the sky (see below), I am still trying to find out what it was, but I believe it may be a Horizontal Arc, pretty much a reflection of the sun in very high cloud often seen in advance of a rain storm (it showed the next day).

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Once I hit the Auckland Motorway the traffic became quite heavy and slow going, probably costing me around half an hour of extra time, but overall my trip back to Auckland was still faster than my trip down, takingĀ  around two hours ten minutes.

When I got home the cleaning began, until my washing machine decided to die on the third load, I think it got over hot or something, had to take a whole lot of wet clothes out of it and let them drip dry. Also I discovered I had a sunburnt hand…

It took a lot of V to get this tired face and body back to Auckland
It took a lot of V to get this tired face and body back to Auckland

And for another year Parachute was over, but this is not the last blog, the final one will a summary of thoughts on the weekend.