An interesting day here.Ã‚Â A cold front is passing over the southern half of the South Island and yet here in Christchurch, it is 27C right now (or for my US friends, that’s 82F).Ã‚Â And it is windy!Ã‚Â We just had a huge gust a few minutes ago.
Here in the apartment, I generally leave the big glass doors open at the front because I like the sound ot the traffic and the wind and it sounded pretty wild.Ã‚Â Sometimes, I leave one of the smaller windows open as well for cross draft but I’d just closed them a few minutes before because doors were threatening to slam.Ã‚Â I think if I’d have had them open during the big gust, I’d have broken some windows as they slammed open or shut.
I went out to lunch today and when I was walking home up Salisbury Street, a fellow crossed the street obviously meaning to speak to me and he asked if I had a cell phone rather urgently.Ã‚Â I looked to see what he was looking at and a house about four doors down from the building where I live was on fire.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â We looked over the fence and the gate but they seemed locked, then we went into the neighbor’s place where they’d just noticed the smoke and she called the fire department.
Meanwhile, I went back and tried the gate a different way and found it was actually open and I went in. Ã‚Â Someone had set a row of Lavender bushes in the front of the house on fire and when we’d first looked, they were a roaring pyre of flames and it was easy to believe that the house itself was going up in flames but in the three minutes or so that had elapsed since then, the bushes were burning out.Ã‚Â The neighbor had a hose and the other fellow dragged it over and sprayed the bushes and then the house was no longer in danger.Ã‚Â About five minutes later, the fire department showed up and then a lady who was house sitting there and it was a bit of pandemonium with her crying and everyone milling about.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I told the firemen what I’d seen of the situation and as no one else seemed to want to talk to me, I came on home.
I’m thinking that if they’d set that fire just as the big wind gusts had come up, they could have really caused some damage to that house and the others around it.