Monday, 6 January 2020

Safe Home

Sepia Saturday #501: Safe Home

I’ve missed the call for Sepia Saturday #500  and am even a little late for a contribution to #501, but nevertheless I hope you won’t mind if I repost a blog I wrote 6 years ago at the end of 2013, the year I started to contribute to Sepia Saturday.
Here’s the link, entitled Happy Holidays, Safe Home. The main part of the blog concerned the Blue Mountains, an area in New South Wales that is popular with holidaymakers due in particular to its spectacular scenery and challenging bushwalks, The other relevance of the post was that it referred to our wedding which took place on 5 January 1974, and we have just been celebrating our 46th anniversary.
 I imagine that other Sepians will have heard about the disastrous bushfires in many parts of Australia that have tragically affected so many residents and visitors, whether in their home towns or on holiday. The Blue Mountains, the South coast of New South Wales and the East Gippsland area of Victoria are all popular holiday places that have have suffered in the horrifying infernos that have raged out of control for many days this summer, and the threat to them is not over yet. Lives have been lost, wildlife and stock have been killed and thousands of homes and properties destroyed. For many holidaymakers, getting safely home has been an enormous challenge, and so devastating for those residents who no longer have a home to go to.

We own a holiday unit north of Sydney in the small beachside township of Hawks Nest. I have mentioned it in other earlier blogs. Fortunately that area has not been threatened by fire this summer, but it was very smokey when we were up there before Christmas, as a result of fires slightly further north, and much of our drive  home from Hawks Nest down to Melbourne was heavily smoke affected. The smoke situation must be very much worse now.

Like many Australians, I really wonder what the future holds, and glib political platitudes certainly don't provide us with any solutions. Perhaps it's time to re-think the annual Christmas holiday by the beach, but for now I can only wish all holidaymakers a safe trip home, help for all those who so badly need it, and for everywhere else, smoke-free skies and lots of very much needed rain!

My late father-in-law fishing and camping, c 1948

Family camping holiday at Lake Tabourie on the NSW South Coast, early 1960s.

This photo was taken by my brother of the fire across the lake from his home. He and his wife evacuated to a safe location and thankfully the fire did not reach their home town.

Smoke blankets Central Melbourne, 3 January 2020

Safe Haven: Bayside view, Hawks Nest NSW
To read other Sepian members’ blogs, just click here and be transported to the smoke-free safe haven of  Sepia Saturday.


La Nightingail said...

That photo by your brother of the fire at night across the lake from his home is a reminder of the wild fires we've been through (safely, thank heaven) over the years, living in the mountains and woods of California when my husband was working for the U.S. Forest Service. So glad your brother's home and town have been spared, but my heart goes out to others who have not been so lucky - including all the animals that have either lost their little lives or their homes! A scary and frustrating aftermath of dangerous fires here are the insurance companies that are beginning to cancel homeowners' insurance policies in their perceived fire-danger areas!

Jofeath said...

Yes it is awful for the poor defenceless animals and birds that aren’t able to flee. So many incredible stories of human survival.

Alex Daw said...

It's been difficult to think of anything else hasn't it Jo? A worrying time indeed.

Wendy said...

I just can't imagine what it must be like for you. I think the same thing about people in California who seem to endure major fires yearly. We have friends who lost a vacation home due to a widespread fire in the mountains of Tennessee a few years back. They did not bother to rebuild. It's sad. It's scary. Prayers for relief!