The Hailstorm

Reporting a bit laggishly (if there is such a word, but pooh pooh, you guys understand it), I’m going to story about the nasty hailstorm that hit Melbourne 2 weekends ago on Saturday 6th March.

Ron and I were having a lovely lunch at Grossi Florentino (Bourke St) al-fresco of course, when the sky started turning dark. (

We sat outside at one of these tables at Grossi on 80 Bourke St *

Ron was keen on starting the walk back to the apartment (which would take approximately 15 minutes on foot) because it looked like rain. I argued that Melbourne hardly has any long-drawn rains – at most they only last 20 minutes and are usually light showers. So I won that argument and we went next door into the Hill of Content bookshop for a browse.

After 5 minutes, the sky darkened to almost black and the rains came. I was too engrossed with the variety of books they had and only later noticed that the ‘rain’ seemed to be very loud. We went outside where a crowd was gathering (under the shaded front of the shop) where people were snapping away with their cameras. We only then noticed it was a hailstorm and it was reported elsewhere in Melbourne that some chunks of snow was about half the size of golf balls (quite hard when we stepped on it). The storm quickly turned into something of a made typhoon or cyclone and the wind was blowing very hard. Of course, without a moment to lose (kiasu more like it) we also turned on our blackberry cameras and took videos.

Its snowing stones! Melbourne city 80 Bourke St on 6th March 2010

In the years we have seen Melbourne rains, we never seen anything like it. Thank God we weren’t caught walking in it! Shortly after the rains started, the bookshop started flooding at the front display and the sales ladies had to start clearing up the books and mopping the soaking wet carpets.

We continued browsing and bought a baby book called “What to Expect: The first year” (and hoped they wouldn’t chase us out for hovering in the shop for shelter). After 15 minutes a sales woman said to us, “Sorry, we need to close the shop” and Ron and I stepped outside (while we exchanged looks) – at least the rains had receded.

After 2 minutes she same lady came to us and said apologetically “Oh, sorry, did you need shelter? You are more than welcome to stay inside”. Oh so kind! But luckily our friends came to our rescue and picked us up from the bookshop! Not a drip!



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