101 things about me

Friday, 27 February 2009

My first album...

You too can create your first album. Let me know if you do - I'd love to see what you come up with. If you would like to join the fun this is all you have to do...

1. Go to "wikipedia" Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2. Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5. TAG the friends you want to join in (or do what I did and leave it up to whoever wants to join in).

Monday, 23 February 2009

Sunday, 22 February 2009

National day of mourning...

Today we will pause to reflect on the tragedy and loss of Black Saturday, February 7th 2009, the worst bushfires in Australian history.

Today at 11am EST, Australians will pay their respects. Thousands are expected to join each other in Melbourne, and many more across Australia, to mourn the lives of those lost in the tragedy.

This photo was taken in Marysville in 2007. This small town, with a population of around 500, has been almost totally destroyed by the fires, with enormous loss of life and property.

The flower is a warratah and is native to Australia.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Getting accustomed to being on my own again...

I am house sitting. A good friend has gone traveling for 10 weeks and was happy to oblige when I offered to house sit in her absence. What a beautiful gift she has given me. Her home is a retreat in the city and I love it.

We met during my arts course last year and she has become a wonderful friend. Her home is much like her... beautiful, artistic, peaceful, welcoming and warmly embracing. It has large windows which welcome lots of light. The top level has a great vista overlooking the rooftops and allows for uninterrupted views of the hot air balloons that can be seen most mornings floating across the city. Downstairs there is a paved courtyard that is bordered by elevated garden beds and is shaded by a big leafy tree.

Tonight is a warm Melbourne evening and the breeze is whispering in the leaves outside. I ate in the courtyard which was lovely and which I will try to do so as much as I can while I am here. My own flat only has a communal garden and so this is an absolute treat.

It is night four on my own and I am feeling far more relaxed now. The first couple of nights I felt slightly unsettled at being on my own again and getting accustomed to being in a new space.

In early January, I was craving total escape. Considered throwing in my job, renting my flat and escaping up the coast to a small seaside town where I could hide from the world. Knowing I wasn't in any state to make any major decisions, I decided to postpone anything too serious for the next 6 months. And so, this next 10 weeks has become my salvation. It will allow me time to think. Time to breathe. Time.

Being alone again is a strange sensation. Mal and I broke up in September last year, and whilst we are no longer together, we are still good friends and he is still living in my flat. He has been especially amazing over the last six months or more... listened to my greatest fears and comforted me in moments of despair and tears (of which there have been many). He has been there to pick up the pieces and saved my sanity on a number of occasions. And for that I will be forever grateful.

BUT (and he knows this is the way of my world) I do like my own space. I like my own company and I have lots to keep me occupied. My house sitting stint comes at just the right time. And so, for the next ten weeks, I am on my own. And loving it.

Monday, 16 February 2009

A long road to recovery...

So an update, because I have been quiet of late... and people have been contacting me to see if I am OK.

So, firstly. Yes. I am.

Thank you for your thoughts and emails. I am truly grateful for all your good wishes.

In regard to the Victorian bush fires, I live in Richmond, Melbourne and whilst I have been feeling the effects of the heat and the smell of bush smoke drifting into the city, I am safe. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for many of my fellow Victorians... so so many have lost everything. There have been nearly 2000 homes lost and lives forever altered. The death toll is absolutely heartbreaking, and as numbers continue to increase, it is of a scale too terrible to comprehend.

I have good friends who have been under threat of ember attack for the last week now, though I am happy to report the level of urgency has declined in the last couple of days and they are now able to leave the house. Roads have re-opened locally so they are able to get to their nearest town. It has been a terrifying time and we have all been feeling helpless. All that we have been able to do is check on them every day and hope that the winds blow in the right direction and do not put them in harms way.

I visited them just 2 weeks before the fires and they warmly welcomed me into their home and I got the local's view of the nearby hills and towns. They live just at the base of the Blue Range which is still burning. At this stage, the only hope of extinguishing the flames is rain. Yes rain. In an area parched due to drought, rain is their only hope, unless the fires burn themselves out of fuel. So it is by no means over. Our hope is this easing of the hot weather has given them more time to re forge containment lines and that there is no more loss.

Family and friends have lost friends in the tragedy, and many more know people who have lost their homes. Victoria and Australia is in mourning... the photos of scarred land, razed homes and destroyed townships has meant we have not escaped. Everyone is feeling the loss to some extent. Ours is merely the surface of the grief.

For those who have survived, they will never escape the memories or the terrors of that day. They have lost family and friends, property, pets, and their livelihoods. I do not pretend to understand what they are going through right now, their grief, their anger, their distress and overwhelming sorrow...I have no doubt, they will continue to hold Black Saturday in their memories for their remaining days and their lives will never be the same. All we can hope for now is that the community continues to support and give generously whatever and whenever they can.

So far there has been nearly $100 Million donated to the Appeal. It sounds like a lot, but this is going to be a long recovery and every cent is needed to start to rebuild the lives of those effected.

If you would like, you can donate online to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.