Bushfires and flooding rains.

Today in the Adelaide Hills
Today in the Adelaide Hills ( Not my photograph. Photographer unknown)

At this moment of writing there are two fires burning out of control but the one causing the most concern is that in the Adelaide Hills. Already much  property has been lost but, thankfully, no lives. There are 100 units and 550 fire fighters together with 8 water bomber aircraft. Some 200 rural firefighters from New South Wales are on their way to South Australia to help our people. Units and firefighters are also being sent from Victoria – which is battling its own fires. At the moment this is not shaping up to be a good fire season. This is now deemed to be the worst fire in the Adelaide Hills for 30 years.  The fire is now burning on a 130 klm

distance between two new houses
distance between two new houses

perimeter  with over 10,800 hectares burnt. By any stretch of the imagination it is a significant fire. Today (Sunday) the temperature has fallen from 44c down to 35c and the wind – at least up here – has died away. It was still a Little bit windy when I took Chienne out for walks last night. The recent reports say that 30 homes have been destroyed and 14 firefighters injured – not seriously- and that almost 600 firefighters are trying to contain this blaze which is now burning on a  200 klm perimeter. The concern is to try and get it under some kind of control before the temperature build up again – which is forecast for tomorrow.

Things are starting to get under control and I now understand about 85% of the fire is within containment lines and the wet weather this weekend should help. Adelaide is dry and I head off to Adelaide on Monday morning.  No meetings – shopping expedition.  I’m looking for a Dalek for my son’s birthday on the 19th. There was one here and I thought I would get it later but when I went back – it had gone. I should be able to get one at the ABC Shop in Adelaide. I will only be away for the day and no more trips until February. Apart from which I am not driving.  Andrew and Trish are going down for a medical appointment so I’ve bummed a lift with them. They drop me off in town, I do what I want to do and get the evening coach home. No stress at all.

On the subject of stress, four of our young people were on their way back from an archeological dig  on the far side of the Peninsula and were only 35 klms from town when they happened to meet up with  a driver who was determined to kill himself.  He ran – at  full speed into them head on.  The driver and the front seat passenger  were killed outright, the two in the back seat were seriously injured – one flown to Adelaide by the RFDS in a very serious condition, the other to the local hospital. The other driver  was also flown to the RAH by the RFDS. He was so badly smashed up it is unlikely he will survive. The funeral of one of the young people was held yesterday, the second is today. And before you ask, yes I knew them. Not one of them was over 24 years of age. The other driver is 36 years of age – he was driving a Nissan Patrol –  I do not know him. As far as we know he is under guard at the Royal Adelaide and if he does survive, ( he is in a coma) charges will be laid against him by the SA Police.  A sad start to the new year for many.

My New System for 2015
My New System for 2015

Something made me think recently about librarians (probably because I like the TV Show) and I was considering our local library and we have no young people there at all. Sad really. Do not know about other places, but our library shows no sign of  decline – always well attended. After days of 43/44/44/42 degree heat everything goes haywire and we are right in the middle of a major rain and thunderstorm. Chienne is, of course, going slightly crazy and I have medicated her. The forecast is for flooding rains in this part of the State. I don’t see it, but you never know.

 

Change is good – or so I am told.

stressMy life has undergone a bit of a change. On 31st. December we  locked up the church and the hall, made our farewell to the Session Clerk and set off home. We had only just finished lunch when we had a telephone call to tell us that the Session Clerk, Mrs. Mashford, had had an accident and was waiting transportation  by the Air Ambulance to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, some 450 klms away, where she would undergo emergency surgery. It seems she had fallen at the back of her house and had broken both legs and injured her back. At least that was what they thought – one was definitely broken but the other one was too badly swollen to tell and x-ray. The Royal Flying Doctor (RFDS) Air Ambulance arrived at 5:20 that evening and she was transported to Adelaide. She was made comfortable and they did the operation the following morning. She has fragmented one ankle and that required the parts to be brought back together, plates inserted and screwed into place. Her back is just badly bruised so no problem there. The other leg is very badly swollen and they still cannot tell but they suspect that it also broken.   So why does that mean changes for me? Simply we are a small church without a minister and the day to day running of the church and the services are undertaken , in turn, by the three elders – Mrs. Mashford, myself and my wife.  My wife is unable to travel so she does not go outside of town. Helen is the Commissioner for the General Assembly and I am the Commissioner for the Presbytery. With Helen out of action, the rotation becomes one service every other week instead of every third week. At a bedside meeting, I was elected as the Commissioner for both Assembly and Presbytery – as allowed for by the Code of Practice. Between that and having to take a service every other week, really adds “interest” to things.

The dogs are still inside but with the installation of the  magnetic flyscreen across the door, we are able to leave the door open and let them wander in and out as they wish without attracting a horde of flies. The little man had no problems and simply head-butted his way through once he saw me walk through it. Chienna was very reluctant to try it so  I had to work with her a few times and let her watch the little man do his thing before she was comfortable enough to push her way through on her own. The magnets ensure that the screen closes – like a door – behind them.

I am finding that more often than not these days, I have to carry the little one for part of our morning walk. He is 12/13  and although he starts off well, full of energy and enthusiasm, he begins to fade after a while. Like the song says – He’s not heavy, he’s my brother. He is one of my associates and if he needs a bit of a rest, well that’s ok, he’s not heavy.