A close shave…

I’ve spent the last couple of days in the Mitchell Library at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney. It’s part of an historical sandstone building with a steel-and-glass annexe, and between the two of them is a courtyard cafe, enclosed by buildings on three and a half sides. Yesterday I went there for a coffee and an early lunch and nearly didn’t come back!There I was, peacefully drinking my latte and eating an early sandwich underneath a large ‘cafe umbrella’ before burying myself in the archives, when there was a huge gust of wind that twisted through the gap between the buildings surrounding the cafe. I wasn’t paying any attention until suddenly all five cafe umbrellas were jerked upwards, their poles dangling, by the wind. The umbrellas lifted vertically out of their bases until they were about ten feet off the ground and then the poles started waving around – and, as the only customer sitting outside in the sunshine, I was underneath! I was cowering in my seat as these bloody great poles waved around me, and then they came crashing down. The umbrella under which I had been sitting descended six inches away from my head, with an almighty BANG as it hit the ground, and I’m very glad it didn’t land on me. I felt a bit shaky after that…

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