46.4

That is the temperature it got to in Melbourne today and it’s still 46.  The state is on fire like it was on what came to be known as Ash Wednesday in 1983 when around 70 people died.   The north winds are gale force and a fire burning 500 meters south of my home is being pushed away from us at the moment but that means it is getting into the foothills where there are hundreds of houses and mayb into the Ferntree Gully National Park.

We have packed a couple of changes of clothes and have our photos in boxes, ready to throw into the cars if we need to get out.  The plan is that Raels, Meg and the dogs will go to a frends place.  I’ll stay and watch for ember attack if I need to.  I will do that because I am on the edge of suburbia and whilst we back onto the national park, to the west and just across our road is a heavily built up area.  So if the fire gets to us it will be a major disaster of unprecedented dimensions.

Here are some photos taken from my front veranda and as I write tehe sky is getting darker with smoke.

The first one is looking towards the city and normally we can see the skyscrapers in the city centre 40 kilometers away.  Now the visibility is down to around 5k.

The next two show the smoke in the skies above our house.

The wind is still strong and as hot as any I have ever felt and this is the hottest day of my life in a year where we have already had one stretch with four days in a row over 40C. 

In the city the Plane Trees are dropping their leaves from water stress and if this contnues many of them may well die before the Autumn.  Even in my own back yard in which agapanthus grow as weeds, they too are brown and dying.

I think we’ll be OK but having worked in fire areas as a cop years ago I know how fickle they can be.

46.4

That is the temperature it got to in Melbourne today and it’s still 46.  The state is on fire like it was on what came to be known as Ash Wednesday in 1983 when around 70 people died.   The north winds are gale force and a fire burning 500 meters south of my home is being pushed away from us at the moment but that means it is getting into the foothills where there are hundreds of houses and mayb into the Ferntree Gully National Park.

We have packed a couple of changes of clothes and have our photos in boxes, ready to throw into the cars if we need to get out.  The plan is that Raels, Meg and the dogs will go to a frends place.  I’ll stay and watch for ember attack if I need to.  I will do that because I am on the edge of suburbia and whilst we back onto the national park, to the west and just across our road is a heavily built up area.  So if the fire gets to us it will be a major disaster of unprecedented dimensions.

Here are some photos taken from my front veranda and as I write tehe sky is getting darker with smoke.

The first one is looking towards the city and normally we can see the skyscrapers in the city centre 40 kilometers away.  Now the visibility is down to around 5k.

The next two show the smoke in the skies above our house.

The wind is still strong and as hot as any I have ever felt and this is the hottest day of my life in a year where we have already had one stretch with four days in a row over 40C. 

In the city the Plane Trees are dropping their leaves from water stress and if this contnues many of them may well die before the Autumn.  Even in my own back yard in which agapanthus grow as weeds, they too are brown and dying.

I think we’ll be OK but having worked in fire areas as a cop years ago I know how fickle they can be.

The X Factor

Yesterday a gunman shot three people in the middle of the City of Melbourne during the morning peak hour rush. And once again the x factor took the life of one of those shot. The 43 year old father of three was simply rushing to the aid of a woman in trouble.

We are lucky in Australia that these types of incidents are comparatively rare and that is why there is always such outrage and disgust when these things do happen. What we muct not do is allow fear to prevent us from going about our normal business, to allow beliefs to form that result in a siege mentality. We must focus on the bravery of the two men shot and celebrate that part of the human condition that means we will rush to the aid of people in trouble.

The gunman will be caught. He will be revealed as a career criminal and thug. He will be shown to be callous and cowardly. Anyone who feels the need to beat up women, who resorts to the use of a firearm to prove he is stronger than someone else must by nature be a fool? He has taken the husband from a wife, the father from three children, the son from parents, and the friend from friends. One moment of anger? Or an ongoing testosterone boosted, chest puffing, pathetic attempt to prove manhod?

I have stepped in during situations where altercations have occured, as an ex-copper it is a natural thing to do, and I was speaking to my oldest son last night [who is in the army] and he agreed his training would ensure that he would do the same. These incidents show that ordinary people will react in extraordinary situations to respond and help if they can. I guess the x-factor means that you may never know whether your decision will be a mere ripple in the river of your own life or whether it will have lasting impact upon the lives of many.

The X Factor

Yesterday a gunman shot three people in the middle of the City of Melbourne during the morning peak hour rush. And once again the x factor took the life of one of those shot. The 43 year old father of three was simply rushing to the aid of a woman in trouble.

We are lucky in Australia that these types of incidents are comparatively rare and that is why there is always such outrage and disgust when these things do happen. What we muct not do is allow fear to prevent us from going about our normal business, to allow beliefs to form that result in a siege mentality. We must focus on the bravery of the two men shot and celebrate that part of the human condition that means we will rush to the aid of people in trouble.

The gunman will be caught. He will be revealed as a career criminal and thug. He will be shown to be callous and cowardly. Anyone who feels the need to beat up women, who resorts to the use of a firearm to prove he is stronger than someone else must by nature be a fool? He has taken the husband from a wife, the father from three children, the son from parents, and the friend from friends. One moment of anger? Or an ongoing testosterone boosted, chest puffing, pathetic attempt to prove manhod?

I have stepped in during situations where altercations have occured, as an ex-copper it is a natural thing to do, and I was speaking to my oldest son last night [who is in the army] and he agreed his training would ensure that he would do the same. These incidents show that ordinary people will react in extraordinary situations to respond and help if they can. I guess the x-factor means that you may never know whether your decision will be a mere ripple in the river of your own life or whether it will have lasting impact upon the lives of many.