Wow, what a weekend it's been. The hottest day on record on Saturday, it got to 47.9 degrees celcius at one point of Melbourne. My little part of the world was a little cooler it only got to 46 degrees. It's absolutely Crazy, cos on Sunday it only got to 20 degrees and we were actually getting cold in the backyard in the afternoon.
I had to go out in the heat. I saw my neighbour because she is 79 and I like to make sure she is ok and has everything she needs in the extremely hot weather. She mentioned there were fires, but she wasn't sure where. I later heard the radio and they said Warragul and Druin. Not near us, but only a couple of hours away. Then I heard 6 houses were lost in Narre Warren. That's a 10 minute drive away.
I get onto CK Sunday morning to find out one of my friends was hiding in a supermarket from the fires surrounded by people who didn't know where their family and friends were.
Whole towns have been wiped out by the fires.
I got a call from my neighbour. Her granddaughter's was one of the 6 houses in Narre Warren.
It's just so upsetting. I was in the heat on Saturday, praying for the firefighters. I saw 4 firetrucks going through my town, I heard another 2 in the distance. I didn't envy their job one bit. Someone described the wind as being like a fan forced oven. It was a very accurate description.
Watching the fires on TV, the flames zooming UP a hill, nobody would have had much of a chance to save anything.
I wanted to do something, wanted to help. I thought about buying a few things for my neighbour's granddaughter, but they have a fantastic support base and their family will help them out until their insurance comes through. (Plus I'm not too popular with the rest of the family, so I feel the sentiment would be wasted.) I did get my neighbour to get me all the photos she has of her great granddaughter and I copied them all so she can start her photo album again. All she took from her home was her wedding album. It's a small gesture, but it's something. I know I would be devastated to lose all my photos. They are irreplaceable.
I decided to donate the money I would have spent on those few things. Westpac bank had big signs saying "donate here". That made it easier.
I was also trying to get onto the red cross to donate blood. Their phonelines have crashed. They are taking messages at the moment. I think I'll just go down there. The worst they can do is give me an appointment time and I'll go back again. At least I'm doing something.
Over 118 people have died in these fires. Some of them have been deliberately lit. It's horrible, just horrible.
... I decided to go down to the Blood Bank in person. They referred everyone without an appointment back to the phone number I left a message on . They have no extra beds up, possibly some extra staff, but I haven't been in there on a Monday before. So many people want to help, but can't . I guess at least if we have to wait a week, it will stretch the supplies further. It's just so damn frustrating when there is so little we can do to help.
Ken wants to take a week off and go and help. I told him to find out who wants the help, like the salvos or the SES, then get in touch with them. If he just goes up there, he could just be in the way.
My little girl is 4 now. We had her party on Sunday. She had a fantastic time. She's oblivious to all the horrible things that have been happening. I am glad, my girls are so innocent. They don't need to know the realities yet. Plus they've kept my perspective. I have my family. I am so lucky.
In response to Julie's comment about our playgroup flyers. We've had one phone response and we had a mum and her son come along. So a slow start, but it's a response!!