February 9th, 2009

Willow

Worse and worse

The news is just worse and worse everytime I hear an update on the bushfires. The death toll now stands at 108 but I understand even yesterday they expected it to be 111 and the Alfred Hospital thinks that a few people in ICU will not make it.

It's utterly heartbreaking looking at the scenes of devastation - where all that was constructed has been razed to the ground and all that stands is burnt out bush. And listening to survivors talk of their escapes and who and what they have lost. I'll never forget the image of the man crying on the Prime Minister's shoulder or the Premier of Victoria breaking down in his press statement. Or the man who was fighting the fire and lost his family. Or the woman sobbing that she worked so hard to buy that house and now it is gone.

I've been in tears a lot this weekend. There's not much that can be done from so far away. Emergency funds are being given for essentials and the Defence is bringing in bedding. The Red Cross has an appeal and I will be donating to that. And I will be part of those asking questions when it's time to investigate what happened and how we can do things differently - because that is something that I can help do.

Much is said about how the fires were started deliberately. I know some of those fires were started with cigarette butts. Something I do here in WA is report people who discard lit cigarette butts from their cars - its a $80 odd fine but I think getting caught and fined and therefore told its FUCKING STUPID to do in a hot, fire prone country is important. I do it because animals get hurt when they step on lit butts - I used to volunteer in an animal rehab centre. But the bigger concern is lit butts dancing off into the scrub at the side of the road and starting fires.

Contact the EPA in your state and sign up to be a litter reporter - it's a simple process, you fill out a card and send it in.

My heart goes out to all in Victoria - I hope there is some respite soon. And that the toll is done and the fires are put out soon.

It's a sad day.
Willow

on the personal front

Dragged my arse to yoga and was glad for it - full moon so really easy class of lots of stretching on the ground. Was good to get the blood pumping and clear my head a bit.

I'm currently addicted to the quiche of the day at the canteen in a neighbouring building. Today's has eggplant in it which was unexpected. Yet still delicious.

If last week I had too much seretonnin in my head, perhaps now it has all gone. I feel a bit in a funk. Less mentally robust and unable to shake off other people's negativity. Interesting I guess to note given that depression is a symptom of Crohn's. I have counselling today so will address it there and discuss my fear of getting sucked into the abyss again - we discuss it often, today I feel the pull.

I can't believe what a difference 24 hours makes. All last week I was panicking about New Ceres Nights because we hadn't even confirmed the table of contents let alone really gotten into working on it compared to A Book of Endings which Ben has devised a gruelling timetable for with a bunch of deadlines that are impending. I kept trying to subtly point this out to Tehani with ... you realise this book has to go to the printer's next month?? Huh? Huh? And she kept smiling calmly and nodding and saying "It'll be fine." And "Yes Dear."

And today the request for quotes have gone out because we know the book is going to be 256 pages. We each have a detailed to do list of items that once done, put things at layout. We have bought cover and internal art and commissioned some more works. We have a vague budget and per unit cost price. We kinda know the layout and look of the text. And we're proofing and sending edits back. We have some marketing plans. How did that happen? I only blinked for a second. And now I really do think that the book will be at the printer's next month.
Willow

(no subject)

Swan Aid

As you are probably aware, this past weekend has seen the worst bushfires in Australian history hit the state of Victoria. At least 125 people have lost their lives, and many more are in a serious or critical condition in hospital. The death toll is expected to exceed 230. More than 750 homes have been destroyed. Over 330,000 hectares of land have been razed to the ground.

Maia, Grant and Jaunita are hosting a BBQ event on Valentine’s Day afternoon/evening in order to fundraise and collect donations to support the Australia wide relief effort in support of people who have been affected by the bushfires.

Come along to our informal event, and help us to reach out to the affected people and make a difference for them and their communities.

RSVP’s are appreciated but not absolutely essential – if you’re unsure send us an email/give us a call.

For more information, you can read the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Victorian_bushfires) or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's news website for more up-to-date info (http://www.abc.net.au/news).

Event details:

Location:
The picnic area at the South end of the South Perth Esplanade (access from Ray or Mends street and turn right)
Date: 14th February, 2009 (Valentine’s Day)
Time: 4pm onwards
We’ll provide: Refreshing drinks! (of the non alcoholic variety)
What to bring: Bring any food you’d like to partake of. Also, please bring something however small to donate towards the relief effort. Details on donations below.
Contacts:
Jaunita Landéesse – 0439354992 or transcendancing@gmail.com
Grant Watson - 0430223604 or fanboy@gmail.com

Details for fundraising and donations:

All funds will be donated to the Red Cross 2009 Victorian bushfire Fund:
(http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/services_emergencyservices_victorian-bushfires-appeal-2009.htm)

Information on your donation from the Red Cross site:

As at 1:30pm on the 9th February, the Fund had received $4.6 million from over 26,000 people through the website and phone, with governments including the Victorian Government and Federal Government and corporates pledging additional sums. Donations are still continuing to flow in.

An independent panel made up of community leaders will oversee the appeal Fund's operation. Criteria for assistance will include the extent of the hardship covered and the extent to which a person's livelihood has been impacted.

Additionally, we’ll be collecting goods to pass onto the Salvation Army that are urgently required such as:

Toiletries - (soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoo,
deodorants, sanitary pads and tampons), underclothes, bedding are
urgently needed. Please do not donate perishables, they may not make
it to those in need fast enough. Nappies, formula, bottles etc for
babies, clean soft toys for toddlers, good wearable clothes. If you
wouldnt wear it because its too old, ripped or stained etc, please
do not donate it. You will only waste volunteers time in having to
get rid of them.

Also - so kids can go back to school, generic school uniform items
(ie without your schools name on them), common items would include
tracksuit pants and tops (navy blue, green, maroon are common
colours), polo shirts ( eg navy and sky blue, green, yellow, white),
gray or navy shorts, school shoes in good condition, school dresses
(many primary schools have similar uniforms), even backpacks as some
of these kids will have lost everything.
Willow

Sometimes

Some days it's not about motive or agenda or politics. Some days it's just about decency, respect and regard for fellow citizens of the planet.

And on those days, individual true colours out. And after those days, things are ever changed.

Willow

Surreality

So as you can see by the previous post, my head is in a funny space this evening.

Most of the day was like swimming though mud to get anything done. In the last 5 mins of my working day I was able to crack a code and put my finger very pointedly on exactly what was wrong with a particular thing in a document.

Counselling was ... confronting, surprising, thought-provoking and unexpected. I did not think the session would go the way it did. A lot to think about.

And then if that wasn't enough, on the way home past the post office, I saw my ex-Mother-in-Law standing on the street with her dogs (I recognised the dogs first) and I stopped the car, got out and chatted. And the fact that I call her MIL is something I need to think in terms of new thoughts to think. Anyway ... was nice to talk to her. Aside from the family things, it was easy enough to get on with her. She told me I should buy a house, that it's time. She always thought that. My response was interesting - yeah ... it seems so permanent. It's been a long hard road to put my life back together, and I have, and it just seems so permanent when maybe my life doesn't have to be.

And so yeah ... I haven't blogged this but I've been toying around with the idea of moving to France. *shrug* I'm young, I have no attachments, why not?

Yeah so like I said. Surreal.
shoes

Also? Not a Princess!!!

Thanks to jonathanstrahan who painstakingly explained on Facebook last night how to a) find and then b) clean the aircon filter - including with photos for how to recognise it in the first place (Hello? They aren't small, what did I *think* that was?), tonight I cleaned my aircon filter.

I feel all empowered!! And independent! Woot!

(*NOW* can I justify getting someone else to flip my omelettes?)