Window On Time

In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003.  With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious.  It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster.  In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk.  Here are the sanitised details of that event —

On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs ….  Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation.  There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.Read more

Respect

Australia burns and Friday song day.

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.  Regular readers may have noticed that I skipped my Friday song day last week.  With Australia burning, I just didn’t have the heart for it.  I feel much the same this week, but, you know, it’s like falling off a horse …. Read more

In The Firing Line

Australia burning — Dear Readers, one of my favourite poets and all round nice person, Frank Prem, is currently writing a series of poems on the bushfire crisis that is underway in Australia.  Frank is the author of Devil In The Wind, a collection of poems about the personal accounts of those who experienced and survived the horrendous Black Saturday bushfires that swept across Victoria (Australia) in 2009.  That book was published last year.  Needless to say, I won’t be reading it until the smoke has cleared.

For those of you who may not know, Frank lives in an area that is currently sandwiched between two enormous out-of-control bushfires.  This brings a poignancy and emotion to his poems that will touch any reader.  These poems are laments for what is, what was, what could have been.  Frank writes for all of us who are caught up in this situation.  Check out his poems on his website at https://frankprem.wordpress.com/blog/ .

I want to share with you a couple of photos that my husband took in Namadgi National Park a couple of days before Christmas. Read more

New Beginnings

Australia burning —  I wonder whether those thousands of people that are sheltering on isolated east coast beaches, overwhelmed by acrid smoke — in towns where supplies are running low and where some unprincipled grocers charge exorbitant amounts for a few basic supplies — are contemplating jumping on small, overcrowded boats and sailing across treacherous waters to New Zealand?  I wonder whether these prospective boat people — call them climate refugees, if you will — might beg the New Zealand government grant them asylum and a new beginning?  I wonder how New Zealanders might react to such requests?  I wonder ….

I wonder how far-fetched this actually sounds?

 

Gone Batty

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

I don’t know whether the bushfire smoke is getting to me, or whether I’m just going a bit batty, or maybe both.  Either way, I sure don’t feel well.  Depending on the way the wind is blowing, my True Love and I will nip outside for a breath of fetid air.  On one of our brief walks, we saw a tiny colony of flying foxes (fruit bats) with what looked like several babies clinging to them.  Flying foxes have been having a tough time of it over the last few years.  They have been dying in their thousands from heat stress during increasingly frequent heatwaves.  I can relate.  I think I might drop off my perch too if I don’t get air-conditioning.  Seriously though, it is a real problem. Read more

Christmas Time In The City

A little Aussie satirical poem because, well, life vapes and then you die.  This is not the happiest poem so you may want to skip it.

It’s Christmas Time In the City

no joy no joy no
air no air no air none

kirribilli smokin’
white men jokin’

it’s Christmas time in the city

make haste to land of the smoke-free

blow smoke up ya
are we having fun yet?

not me not me not
happy mo-mo

no joy no joy no
air no air no air no

Christmas barbie in the city

Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen.  It happens when you’re starved of oxygen.  I will resume my normal calm programming as soon as we can breathe again.  Maybe in a few months time.  Or maybe when we meet our Paris emission target through accounting loophole.  Not happy mo-mo.

Regards.
Tracy

Australia.  Perfect one day.  Bushfires the next.

How Deep?

It is time for my Friday song post.  Where did the week go?  I’m relaxed and comfortable (in-joke, a little Aussie humour) at the seaside.  However, at the back of my mind, there is still this ominous foreboding that we are in too deep.  It’s a feeling that Australian singer-songwriter, Richard Clapton, writes so well about in his song, Deep Water.  So I thought it should be my Friday pick. Read more