Saturday, March 6, 2010

An amusingly crap day

What a day! I had one of those 'what can go wrong will go wrong' sort of afternoons, which doesn't sound like the sort of thing I should be writing about here, but I saw the funny side of it and now you can too.

I was planning to drop into the Boroondara Cemetery to take some photos on my way back from an appointment in Kew but mid-way through my appointment, a wild storm hit Melbourne, with torrential rain and hail. (Not very conducive to hypnosis, I can tell you, but my hypnotherapist worked it into his routine.)

When I left the appointment, the rain was only light so I thought I'd go ahead with the cemetery visit, even though I didn't have an umbrella. While I was on the bus, the rain started to pelt down again. But instead of continuing home, I thought, "Oh, it'll pass. She'll be right, mate". 

I jumped off the bus at Kew Junction and when the light changed to green I started to dart across the road in the pouring rain but my thong (aka flip flop), which was slippery with rain, flew off my foot and landed a metre ahead of me on the road. I started to bend down to pick it up but then realised the siren I was only vaguely aware of belonged to the fire truck that would have mowed me down had it not slowed down to avoid me. I backed up and stood there laughing to myself until the truck passed. Kinda not funny, but it was.

Then when I got to the shelter I went to put my thong on, only to realise that it was broken. Dagnammit! So I took my other thong off too and walked barefoot up the street, soaking wet, water dripping off my nose, towards the cemetery. Be damned if I was going to give up on the plan now!

I put my good thong on when I got to the cemetery and tucked the other one under my arm as I started to take photos. It soon began to rain quite heavily again so I had to find somewhere to shelter...but the stone structure I thought would do the job turned out to be some sort of grave/memorial thing with a low fence around it. I resisted the urge to step over the fence and instead stood huddled in a space about 20 cms wide that seemed to be out of the rain.

And then I realised I was busting to pee. Why didn't I go to the toilet I passed on the way in, dammit? I couldn't face walking all the way back there in the rain with only one shoe on (the bitumen was hurty!), especially because my phone battery had died and I didn't know what time it was. I knew the gates shut at 5.00 and it was about 4.15 when I arrived so I didn't want to muck around with backtracking. And I couldn't hold on so I found some bushes, surveyed the graveyard to make sure there were no other loonies around, and did what I had to do.

Out! Get out of my cemetery, you vile creature, before I run you through with my sword!

The rain eased so, mindful of having no phone to call for help if I got locked in the cemetery, I set off to take more photos, ignoring the rumbling of thunder and occasional flashes of lightning. Somehow a storm seemed more appropriate for a cemetery visit than bright sunshine anyway.

Bloody hell, it's hard taking photos when your hands are wet and the light isn't great. I couldn't get a grip on the zoom and it was hard holding the camera steady for long enough to take a shot  (I didn't bring a tripod). I wasn't too keen on using headstones to brace my camera against....though that seems pretty mild in comparison to relieving yourself nearby, I suppose. I also had to try to keep the lens clear of rain drops. After using my only tissue as toilet paper and my lense cloth to wipe my glasses, I was rapidly running out of dry material to use. Thankfully my boobs provided a handy little shelter that kept a portion of my singlet top dry. (Yay for boobs!)

Despite all of this adversity, I was still able to appreciate the awesomeness of the cemetery, albeit quickly. I could have spent hours there. A large portion of it is very old, with graves that are starting to subside and crack. There's loads of elaborate headstones and statuary, some snaked with vines and blotchy with lichen.  I love faded glory.

Not-so-faded doggy glory

As I was wandering around, my other stupid thong broke, so I was completely barefoot. And then I slipped in mud. And then the low battery light on my camera started flashing. And then I couldn't find the exit. And then eventually I found my way back to the front gate and caught a tram home, soaking wet, cold, goosebumpy and footsore. I even had pruny fingers from the rain! 

When I got back to my neighbourhood, it was obvious the storm had been far more violent than in Kew. There were leaves and small branches everywhere, and still a few deposits of hailstones.

It was great to get home and change into dry clothes. 

The photos didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but they're not too bad considering. You can see them here  


Andrew said...

Trams were a disaster today. Consider your self lucky that you managed to get one home. Admiring that nothing stops a blogger getting photos. That is the plan and nothing will stop them.

Wayne said...

I walk through the local cemetery all the time. But it doesn't have the character of Melbourne's and I probably wouldn't be dedicated enough to venture there in a thunder storm. And, you can't get locked in to our cemeteries (as long as you're breathing).

A fun account of an eventful day Jayne.

Jayne said...

Love the pics and your determination in the face of adversity!

Julian said...

I'm laughing, and saying "noooo" to all the things that went wrong at the same time. :) Thank you for sharing! :)

Erin said...

happiness is when you can laugh in the midst of crap. =)

Deidre said...

Sounds like quite the afternoon! I was in Eastern Victoria and there was some huge thunder and lightening but no hail (sad!).

Anonymous said...

What sort of person hangs out at a cemetery ??????? What was the deal there ?

Frisky Librarian said...

Hey Andrew. It was sheer stubbornness. Or stupidity.

Hi Wayne. Thanks. Eventful indeed.

Hi Jayne. I think it was worth it...

Hey Julian. You're welcome.

Hello Erin. So true!

Hi Diedre. We missed out :(

Hey Anonymous. I went to the cemetery to take photos of the old part of the graveyard, not to "hang out". I find the aesthetics of old stone, cast iron, vines, lichen etc very appealing. If you read other comments on this and other more recent posts, I think you will find I'm not the only person who finds cemeteries interesting.

Mount Wren said...

Frisky Librarian I love your lovely blog. Have only just found it and will have to read more. Blessings to you, Faisal.

Flo Buckskin said...

One of my favourite cemeteries is the one of the hilltop in Glasgow. Fascintating. If you ever should find yourself there - definitely check it out.