Apocalypse Now Feels.

You know that expression it’s been a day? Well, actually it’s been a months.

I’d normally consider myself a pretty positive, glass half full type of person. But right now, glass is somewhat empty. It has been for a few months. In November, we lost a family member far too soon, and the pain and grief are still very raw. On Christmas night, our house and the studio were hit by an unprecedented category 2 tornado, followed by a heatwave of 40 degrees celsius / 104 Fahrenheit, and capped off by 3 mahoosive floods in a week. Flood #1 of 3 pictured above. Tornado damage on Boxing Day morning below.

The above photos are the aftermath of the Xmas day tornado. It hit without warning around 8.50pm and sounded like a jet plane descending on our back lawn, followed within seconds by a wall of water. Lightning lit the vicinity from our windows every few seconds and as we huddled under a beam in our sleeping toddlers room for 45 minutes until it passed – we watched whole trees fly through the air each strike. The tree that actually fell through our bathroom roof and window sounded only to me like someone dropping a pint glass – that’s how loud the full force of the storm was. And my child slept through it all, and the rest of the night, for only about the 7th time in his entire life.
After a fitful nights sleep, the morning came to reveal the full extent of the damage. Despite 3 trees landing on it, my studio received only a small crack in the roof tin and support beam – no broken windows and otherwise intact. No damage to contents within. My car was parked outside and despite debris all around her, not a scratch on her. Our chickens were running around loose after a tree fell through the henhouse – luckily none of them were hurt.
The entire power and internet network for about 8 surrounding suburbs were decimated and are having to be entirely rebuilt. We lost power for 12 days, meaning no running water, bathing in buckets or the creek! Luckily Chad and I own a small generator, to power the projector when I create murals – so it powered our fridge and phones for the duration but nothing more. The nights were pitch dark by 7pm and every new clap of thunder or lightning in the heat was re-traumatising. There was no phone or internet signal at all – still isn’t – and I’m working at friends places who have all their services intact. I’ve ordered Elon Musk’s Starlink as Telstra do not anticipate internet or phone services resuming in this area for the foreseeable future. 
We have applied for disaster relief funding but still have not received it. We chainsawed trees, removed the debris and began to repair the damage ourselves – it became clear early on that the cavalry was not coming to help us. The response from the authorities was late, the army arriving 8 days after the event, and an SES worker told us the situation with the tornado was being played down in the news so as not to deter incoming tourists on their way to the Gold Coast for New Years Eve. The area was absolutely decimated. And then we had 3 floods in a row, washing away the road, which was fixed, then washed away again. Access in and out during that time was via 4WD or not at all. For weeks we had felt rather forgotten. But we have friends who have lost their entire homes, cars, livelihoods. We have been lucky. 

The thing that has really kept me going has been the support and kindness of our local community, friends and family. To those friends who lent us generators and esky’s full of ice, who gifted bags of non-perishable food and opened up their homes, airbnbs, offered internet, laundry, air conditioning, baked muffins and danced with our kid, had playdates with our kids, took Beetson and his cousins swimming and out for the day, and baked him a 3rd birthday cake (we celebrated in darkness, marrooned by some of the highest flood waters ever seen here) – it still brings a tear to my eye to think of your kindness. You guys have been the thread I’ve clung onto.

Another positive is that it has been an enforced break from screens and socials for us all, and therefore a time of connection and a (begrudging) reset. I have really enjoyed playing with Beetson and his cousins and occupying him with so much art and craft. We totally missed out on having a holiday, and daily life became harder; boiling water, keeping things cool, fixing all the damage (still ongoing), keeping the kids entertained. But we have a creek on our property to bathe in, plenty of space to explore, and our lifestyle is partially outdoors in normal times. I have found myself less anxious but more tired.

We are beginning to get back to normal, our daycares are open and aside from internet (Starlink is due to arrive this week) we are getting there. I managed a couple of days in the studio to work on my portfolio durning the chaos, and I have a new series to share with you soon, so look out for another more positive post coming soon.

A few people have asked what they can do to help. If you had been thinking of getting a print, purchasing an artwork, or grabbing a product from my website shop – now would be a really great time. I’m adding the link to my In Bloom print series below – now that the power is on I can create and ship prints again.

Thank you for reading this less than sunshine-and-rainbows post! I appreciate your support so much.

Much love,
Sarah x

Shopping Cart

Thanks for Subscribing

Please download your free colouring in page download as thanks for joining the family