28th October 2013.

The skies outside are dark

Clouds filled with promises

I so want it to rain,to put an end to the destruction of the fires,some have been burning for 12 days

A good downpour for a few days would be wonderful.

So be able to snuggle down inside,without any concerns about the fires.

With good coffee,knitting,movies and chocolate.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

We took the girls to the worst affected area near us

They had seen it on the tv but I knew seeing it in real life would be a totally different thing

As we drove into town,we passed a police escort,with a white car bearing the royal standard of Denmark

Our Princess Mary and Prince Frederick had made an unplanned visit to view the fire site.

They turned up in jeans.shirts and joggers and spoke to many of the fire victims,there were many smiles and one little girl jumping up and down for joy as she had met a REAL princess. Their small gesture meant a lot to a lot of people.

I wanted the girls to see it with us, not in the bus on the way to school,incase there were any tears or fears or worries

We drove around looking at the massive areas of burnt bush,that seemed to go on and on for miles.

The girls sat in stunned silence,wide eyed at all the destruction,astounded that all that was once green and growing was now black and charred.

That burnt smell fills your nose and hangs on to the back of your throat.

We drove around for a while and we talked about it.

We discussed how some of their friends may react,those who had lost their homes. I told them some may not want to talk about it and some may want to talk about it,over and over again,trying to process it.some may only want to talk about the “new” stuff they had got since their houses burnt down. I told them there was no correct way to deal with it. People are different. I said the best thing to do was just listen or offer a hug or a hand to hold.

We came home and I was filled with panic. A terrible fear of being alone today and yet i badly needed a break from the girls who had taken to fighting and bickering about the silliest of things. I feared my head may explode if I had to listen to anymore of it,yet I was scared to be alone.

I took a sleeping pill so I would go to sleep at a decent hour and so my chest wasn’t filled with fear.

I slept a long time and woke to silence as the girls had gone to school. I feel calm. My fears unfounded.

24th October 2013

This time last week was when the wheels started to fall off

When the fires started and our lives and so many others went to hell

Yesterday was to be catastrophic weather event with raging high temps,low humidity and very strong winds.

We are prepared for the worst. We packed bags,documents,photos,pet food,some precious things and we waited.

It surprised me to end what our lives could be reduced to and how simple our lives could really be.

Thankfully we were not close to any of the fire fronts but that didn’t make it any easier. Nerves were stretched and emotions ran high. There was sniping over little things,arguments over movies and all round tension.

We watched movies and checked the net constantly

I was so stressed I couldn’t even knit!

The winds raged and the heat shimmered but thankfully most of it was contained thanks to the tireless work of the Rural Fire Services,Fire Brigade,State Emergency Services,Police,Army and more.

The RFS are volunteers,fabulous men and women who give up their time to protect our precious homes and lives.

The change came through last night and we all heaved a sigh of relief.

I slept last night properly for the first time in a week.

The bags are still packed,I can’t quite bring myself to unpack them just yet.

We got out of it well,so many….over 200 lost their homes and nearly that amount have been damaged.

Our school is offering a free summer uniform to all those affect and another school has donated book packs.

Through all this our Year 12 students have battled on doing their HSC ( higher school certificate) at other schools. Some even having to be relocated from other schools after they came under threat from fire.

The rest of the years 7-10 exams have been cancelled and they will use an average to get the results.

I feel like I have been run over by a truck.so tired and sore but very,very relieved the worst has passed. Fires still rage throughout NSW.

There is a little light of joy to share,Miss Annie and Miss Mary are off to a One Direction concert tonight,they are VERY excited to say to least. A lovely overseas friend helped chip in with some $$$ for the tickets. So they will head off tonight with their dad to forget the stress of the last week.

10th September 2013

It was a hot and windy day. Very odd for the first weeks of spring

A bushfire sprung up near the girls high school. I went to collect Miss Annie and the traffic was very heavy so i pulled off the road and messaged her to come to the car. We went to the shops while we waited for the the others to finish music group.

We had a milkshake and chatted. Some of the shops started to close up even though it was only 3.30pm. We watched the smoke from the fire. I got a text from Miss Mary that they had been told to evacuate the school. MIss Mary,Miss Lizzie and their friend D,walked up to the shops to meet us. There were helicopters and the sound filled me with fear. The noise of choppers takes me right back to the fires of 94-95 when we were evacuated from our brand new house in Kariong and slept on the Gosford waterfront in a tent.

We drove home and passed many fire trucks. When we arrived home we found the tv news was filled with news of the fire. The main road had been cut off and they were preparing residents to evacuate.

The girls were frantic about some of their friends who live near the school. We watched the rfs site and the news. It burned and burned. For 3 days. Over 1000 hectares were lost. Thankfully no lives were lost but about 7 firefighters were injured.
School was cancelled on Wednesday but I had already made up my mind to not send the girls as there is only or road in and one road out.

It was very stressful for all concerned. I’m so pleased no one was killed and no homes were lost.

Ahhh the joys of living in the bush.