A year ago today we had our housewarming. It was less organised than I'd wanted because the car broke down in the heat that afternoon, stranding me by the road. I was home late and far too hot. Instead of taking Princess Pea to her friend's birthday party I got a lift home from a kind stranger while the CFO took her over in a taxi. Instead of preparing salads and things and tidying up, I went to the bottom of the pool for as long as I could. The CFO kept his eye on me until I was no longer beetroot coloured and was again talking rationally. Each time I surfaced the air was apocalyptic hot.
It was a great party, faces everywhere, pool thick with kids and everyone mixing and talking and dancing and drinking. We love our friends.
While I was getting heat-stressed, homes and towns were burning. While we were cooling down and having fun, people were dying. The news took a day or so to come in. BY Sunday afternoon everyone know it was bad. By Monday that day was named Black Saturday and the toll was still rising.
A year on many of the survivors' stories have come out. When I find the link, there's a community-based book that can be ordered online. There's another more official one with funds going to the CFA. I'll edit this post later with the details.
If you have a strong stomach, read the Royal Commission's interim reports: http://royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Interim-Reports . But please do more than that. I'm old enough to remember Ash Wednesday as a young adult, and we all said then "never again". If enough people force things to be done, instead of the Commission's findings and recommendations being buried or ignored, maybe Black Saturday will be the last.
God bless and heal; rest in peace.
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