I cannot believe that I am sitting with rain bucketing outside my office window, while more than 60 people have died in the fires in Victoria. For those who claim that it is all part of some deity’s plan, or down to karma, I need it explained to me a bit more clearly. Chaos theory seems a bit more likely.

Having been through Ash Wednesday in 1983, and having to go inside my house, so as not to get hit by falling tree branches, and hoping that the fires weren’t going to come our way, I truly empathise with those affected. I remember how the fires made their own wind, and I’m told that those fires pale into insignificance beside yesterday and today.

Some writers to the newspapers suggested that lighting fires in Australia is nothing less than terrorism, and I concur wholeheartedly. Those who volunteer to fight bushfires in Australia must be amongst the bravest folk around. All natural disasters are to be feared, but an Australian summer bushfire is truly terrifying – I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember us packing belongings into a borrowed utility when a fire came racing across the paddock across the road. Then, the volunteer fire brigade stopped it at the road. That was scary enough, and I cannot imagine what it must be like in Victoria today.

The other appalling news today is that Martin,our gardener, in Bali, (and husband to our pembantu, Ani) is gravely ill in hospital. You could not find a gentler, more hard working and God-fearing person than Martin. I can see no rationale for stories like this, no matter how hard some people try to twist facts to fit their illogical beliefs. I am prepared to be persuaded, but it will have to be a very, very good argument.

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