Friday, June 03, 2005


A weekend or two ago a friend and I became caught in a storm after eating an early tea in Northbridge. Sheet lightening lit the sky to the East as we hustled between shop overhangs along James St. The thunder followed us down William St as we headed for the station.

One thunder clap felt so close I hurt my neck pulling my head in and I almost ended up in the arms of a guy selling copies of the West. There's very little gutter along William St and after watching a piece of paper and a small block of wood float by I could soon watch the water flood over the kerb whenever a car passed. We listened to a group of women squeal and giggle as they crossed from a carpark. Turned out we knew the giggler, who'd trodden in a puddle in her haste.

My friend and I decided to catch taxis home rather than public transport. The trouble with thunder storms is that you don't like to ring people during them to say 'please, please come and pick me up from the station' because you might have a nasty thunderstorm accident on the phone. So to the taxi rank - just as soon as we could cross to the train station where we knew there to be one.

Despite startling at every flash of lightening, I enjoyed the show. With no harsh sunlight, lots of ambient lighting from restaurants, and the amber streetlights reflecting off the wet streets, I could see more comfortably than I ever can.

The rain eased and we dashed as fast as people who can't see much can across Roe and up into the station. I spotted a Hotham Valley train at Platform 6 and noted that a mystery bus service known as the 606 was replacing the Freo train.

We wandered about contemplating this until I spotted the 606 stand at the taxi rank and the thunder storm passed. So my friend waited to check that the mysterious 606 did exist and I boarded a semi-articulated bus with foggy windows.

Walking home I could see that the train line across the road was floodlit and I could even see through the fence at a man in brown pants and an orange vest working on the line. The air was warm and still and I could hear metal hitting metal.

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