Six p.m. and all is strangely quiet — very, very quiet. The power failed at about four thirty and we thought it was just the building, or maybe the campus… then a cow-orker heard from his kids that there was no power at Oakleigh, then from others that the effects were more widespread. A forty degree day, all the air-conditioners in Melbourne thundering away and then bushfires damaged the main interstate transmission lines and it all went dark.

Left work at half-past five and slid past the traffic jam in Clayton road, literally sliding in the melted tar, all sticky and slippery. Every second motorist in the jam was illegally on the phone to their loved ones. Then half-way up North road my lack of hubris bit me on the bum as I ran over a nail and had it go blunt-end-first through my back tire. Changing a tube in 40+ °C heat at the side of a busy road is no fun.

Home at six and it is silent, 40 °C outside, 30 °C inside. All the clocks are off, all the whirrs and whines and motors are silent.