Sunday, 8 February 2009

Heat Wave

Yesterday, thousands of people fled to Chadstone shopping centre.

60,000 to be exact.

Unfortunately it wasn't to score a bargain but to escape the hottest day on record, 46.4C at 3pm. It trumped the previous benchmark of 45.6C recorded on Black Friday, 13 Jan 1939.

It was Black Saturday and as the automatic doors of the shopping centre tiresomely welcomed patrons the hot wind stuck like glue. The usually arctic temperature of the cooling system was no match for what Black Saturday had in store for Victoria.

This morning's headline read; "At least 14 dead in horror flames" and tonight the number has escalated to 65. The raging inferno, that is officially Victoria's worst ever bushfires, has swept through Victoria's bushland circling Melbourne. Rural properties in Bunyip and Maiden Gully and those suburban ones in Fentree Gully and Narre Warren perish.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a $10 million emergency relief fund for the victims of Victoria's bushfires.

Black Saturday occured 9 days before the tragic Ash Wednesday fires, a natural disaster that happened in South eastern Australia on 16 Feb 1983 . 65 people are dead and 640 homes have been lost. Sadly these numbers will only increase.

Up North, Queensland is experiencing flash floods and king tides. Go figure.

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I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

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