Saturday, 3 January 2015

We have our first major

bushfire of the season. There have been other fires - smaller fires which, while still bad, have not been as disastrous. As I write this though at least five homes have been destroyed and the Country Fire Service has been warning there may be more. I hope not but I know the reality is that there almost certainly will be others. Certainly the smell of "wet smoke" (smoke from a water-bombed fire) is strong even here.
We are about 20kms from the fire area - and more than that from the actual fire. There is a vast swathe of suburbia between us and the fire area. To be on the other side of the city now would mean not going outside at all. To be closer to the fire area than that would be frightening.
I keep an orange "emergency" bag packed. It contains very little - nothing more than a change of underwear, socks, my passport (for purposes of official identification), something made by the Senior Cat, and a copy of "The Four Quartets" by TS Eliot. I could, I think, replace almost any other book or object I own but I could not replace this one. It was written by hand. There is one illustration for each section. It was made by a friend, now long deceased. The love and care which went into that book is something that still astounds me.
Some people laugh at the idea of my "emergency bag" and what it contains and tell me "If you're going to do that Cat, pack a proper bag."
But I know what is important to me. I hope there would be time to grab the little black box which is the back up for my computer. I hope there would be time to grab a few more things. If there isn't then - too bad. But I want my passport and something the Senior Cat made me and the book. I want to be able to be me - and have those gestures of love.


Anonymous said...

I like the contents of your bag!

Jan said...

I hope all is well with you, although the ABC showed pictures of destruction. I remember listening to aa RFS ember in the Ash Wenesday fires as he described ti the the world what he saw and felt as his own house burnt.

Some of my family live in a fie prone area northwest of Sydney. Some are RFS captains and members. MY niece was drenched three times on the roof of her mother's house by Elvis the helicopter. I am amazed when i read the warnings about fire danger, clothing etc that some who stay to protect their place wear singlets, shorts and thongs. I have fought small fires and even they were intensely hot.

I love your bag of things dear to you and irreplaceable. I think I would be adding a couple of bottles of water to it.

catdownunder said...

All is well with us - we're on the eastern side of the city rather than the north. If fire ever gets into the hills behind us it could sweep down the gullies and come extremely close - and the property losses would be far greater still. But, it's bad - still not under control and the wind is rising still more.