GRUMPY BUM attempts to redeem herself; Anna Bartlett; fire stuff

Well, wasn’t *I* a grumpy bum last post?  Sorry about that, folks. I eventually cancelled my appointments for the day and got back to sleep.

Hey , guess what? I won a little package from the INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL Anna Bartlett of Shiny Happy Art! Just by being on her mailing list!

(photo to be added – camera batteries flat..) – go here to see the very sweet little Tulip Bird Art Tags, she added a peacock art tag to a little pink journal for me, and a wonderful postcard of Toowoomba’s main street!

She’s also the local source for Golden paints (which are out of my price range,*sigh* but one day…) and also writes a cool blog.

Meanwhile, there are fires burning across three states.  Now, that might not sound like much, but look at this:

fire_danger-nov20-800x600

“Disclaimer: This illustration is indicative of areas currently under catastrophic, extreme or severe fire warnings. Please contact your local fire authority for specific warnings for your area.”

Maaan!  Since the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in January this year, Australia has a new fire warning system – not to make light of it, but it goes to ELEVEN. ( Spinal Tap, what a classic movie, eh?!)  Where we used to see “Extreme” as the highest fire warning on the news, radio, and the roadside signs, now we go further – to “Catastrophic” –

“A fire with a rating of “catastrophic” may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving.  The flames will be higher than roof tops. Many people will be injured and thousands of homes and businesses will be destroyed..

Temperature records are being broken – where my brother lives, in Adelaide, they’ve had over a week of temperatures over 40 C – that’s 104 F.  And it’s only November, we’re not even officially into Summer yet. (But don’t get me started on the absurdity of imposing a European concept of Seasons onto a continent which experiences climate in a complete different way…)

Where my parents live (Wagga Wagga, in south west New South Wales) is also in the red part of the map, with similar temperatures.  It’s only 34 degrees ( 93 F) in Toowoomba, allegedly.  Still hot, but not AWFUL.  The fact that the ongoing drought (let’s be real, it’s no longer a drought, it’s climate change) means that water storages are at an all time low (ooh, did anyone else just get a David Bowie earworm?!) doesn’t help …we’ve been under server water restrictions for so long, I doubt we even own a garden hose any more.

Everyone is supposed to have an emergency fire plan ready to activate.  Ours is very simple: If time, grab computer towers. If less time, grab pets. Get in car, GO.  No staying to defend the indefensible for us, thanks very much.  Everything but us and the littles can be replaced.

I was in Canberra during the big fires there in 2003.  Since then I have an absolute terror of bushfires.  Not a rational, sensible fear, “oh dear, we must prepare to evacuate because the fire is nearing” –  just writing about them or watching them on TV can make me panicky. And when I panic I talk a LOT. So if it seems like my blog is fire focused sometimes, you’ll know why.

Ok – time for me to go showe and start collecting my supplies – play group at the scrap book shop tonight from 6:30 to MIDNIGHT – how awesome is THAT?!