February 12, 2009

A new term begins

It is the last week of our time without classes and the new students have orientation tomorrow, and lectures begin on Monday. In between all the final spreadsheets, reports, assessment and handout writing and printing, it has been a sombre week with the Victorian fires. So much pain and suffering, loss, grief and anger. It is hard to feel an urge to write about much else really. I have made a point of watching the television news in the mornings because still pictures have not been able to do justice to the scale of the fires, but the aerial views help to put it in perspective. I say helped, but it made emotional viewing and I still really can't imagine the speed and ferocity of the "fireballs".

Meanwhile, thank you to all who left links and comments on my last posts, and to Cottage Rose for her latest pictures.

Today I did get some sent to me that I thought worth sharing.

The first is a 747 taking off from Melbourne airport, a tiny speck against the billowing smoke clouds...

The second is just a wall of flames, but not one you ever want to see or be that close too!

And finally, look at the flames in the clouds of smoke....

Meanwhile, we are all thinking of the people, the survivors, the families and all the the fire fighters.

New Zealand is having some strange weather. The South Island is now cool and damp which is making life more bearable...while the mid North Island is flooded, and my friend in Auckland says it is 32C and 100% humidity which is very hot for Auckland, and incredibly "sticky" weather...

With three children still skiing in Utah, getting lots of fresh powder snow, and the others experiencing the noise and richness of Bangladesh, I am just enjoying the cool weather, the damp rain, and seeing the veges and lawns springing to life around us...

 And check out the newly oiled deck!!!


This week we managed dinner at a new Thai restaurant in town.... loved the chairs!!

And as an early Valentine's day outing we went to see the movie.."He's just not that into you...". We arrived when the lights were already down...to a full cinema, and it was only when it finished we noticed there were only THREE men in the whole theatre.... good on ya!!!
And yes - it was good - and certainly appreciated by the women there.
Looking forward to meeting all the new students tomorrow :) Another year begins....


  1. Hi Fi, What a complete tragedy, I can't get that little koala out of of my mind (on Roses).......On a lighter note, your decking looks fab. Good luck with the new term.
    Love Tracey xxx

  2. what amazing images, did a friend take them...they are really
    something, what they represent is horrible, but its the incongruity of mazing images and the terrible subject matter

  3. It's really terrible what's going on with the fires, and I really appreciate your blog and the updates. I'm in Oklahoma, and there's not that much news about it. We just dealt with a smaller scale tragedy with the tornadoes this week...It's heart-wrenching.
    On a lighter note, the chairs at the Thai restaurant are amazing, and your dogs are adorable!

  4. I love thai food, we were only in Christchurch for a couple nights, we didn`t find any great, great resaurants.

    the deck looks good, your dogs look contented.

    Those images are terrifying, they arrested someone today for starting the Churchill fire which killed 21 people! Just hope the court system delivers the correct justice and that person is locked up for life! Alot of us live in bushfire areas, it has made us rethink our strategy. From now on forget about the house, we will just grab the animals and go. Some are saying with global warming this type of fire could possibly be what we will see more often. I hope not.

  5. Thanks all of you -
    glad to help get the word round the world for you Aubrey.
    Thank you for your great posts Cottage Rose... and there are good restaurants in Christchurch - sorry you missed them!
    Yes, the dogs are contented and they are good company for each other :)
    The deck looks so different - I did post "before" pictures a while ago, although they don't really show it clearly. We are sure we took off about four layers of stuff to get back to lovely original hardwood - looks soooo good.

    Finally, I can understand why people are reluctant to leave their homes, livelihoods and of course their animals, but it certainly looks like grabbing the pets and going is the best option.
    Great that there has been an arrest today - even though nothing is going to bring all those people back.

  6. I must tell you something. I saw your blog quickly when I was still at jakarta. I didn't have time to read but saw these images. And they stay in my thoughts and mind. They are so powerful.

    I cannot express how I feel.

    I only continue to pray.

  7. Oh, and I have left an award for you in my blog. :)

  8. It is heartbreaking to see so many people suffer because of the fires! I also read the rose cottage blog. Very moving. I love your garden. I have to admit that I have a seriously dominant farmer gene and, being stuck in the frozen land of grey-sky Utah, have to wait a couple of months before I can even think of planting!

  9. Thank you Ida and Matt...
    Will check out the award Ida :)

    Matt, I didn't realise you are in Utah. My children are skiing at Park City... seems they have had a lot of grey sky there... and yes, my veges are making me happy - the rain this week has made them grow and flourish,... yum.

    Saz - no - the pictures were emailed to me - and I picked those particular three because they made me finally appreciate the sheer size of the fires.


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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