My grainy photo of Townsville taken in December 1988.
My heart is in my mouth as I think of what is about to happen in the next 24 hours in my home state.
I have family there. I have the day off to do work around the house, prepare for school starting next week and loll about with the children, but I am transfixed by the ABC 24 News broadcasts about Cyclone Yasi. The warning messages and advice from the authorities about how to prepare is chilling. It's teaching my children plenty about nature's fury, the scope of preparations for an emergency situation and the importance of taking personal responsibility and following orders. I'm 1800 kilometres away but my thoughts are as close as I was in 1988. This is an extraordinary disaster unfolding in slow-motion.