Summer is upon me. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, I’m not even sorry for bragging about this. I flipping adore cotton dresses in summer, and this Lazybones dress with cross stitch detailing is perfect for casual summer activities. These pics are from an afternoon enjoying with perfect weather with my workmates at the local lake. We sat on the grass, ate ice-cream, watched the swans and enjoyed absolutely perfect weather. It’s the sort of weather that is not too hot, but is sunny and there is a light breeze. The grass was green and cool and the trees swayed lightly above us.
If you love this dress and you’re from Ballarat, you can try it on in store at Lark on Armstrong St Nth. It’s another one I’m considering for Christmas day, but is also one I’ll be wearing all summer.
This day was calm, but this week our whole community has been shaken by a large fire that swept through just out of town. In our group, sitting on the grass, more than half those present had evacuated their homes on the day of the fire, knowing their risk was high. The fire was only a few kilometres away.
I’d been out with my dad looking at a new café that he has been working on (my dad is a builder). On the way back in to town, I looked out the side window of the car and saw a huge plume of smoke surprisingly close to the city. We turned on the radio for updates, and I checked Twitter.
The fire at the time was a scrub and brush fire. It supposedly started from a spark from a piece of machinery, and with the hot weather and a hot and fierce wind already present it got out of control very quickly. It’s so close to town that everyone seems to know someone that was impacted by it, like those of us sitting on the green grass while these photos were being taken.
The songs on the radio were interrupted at intervals by an emergency alarm, where the presenter would then announce that there were two fires, and what people threatened needed to do.
In Australia a few years ago we had some monstrous bush fires. Since then, there has been so much more diligence on having fire safety plans in place and publicising fire danger ratings. People work out what they will have ready to take if a fire threatens, if they will stay and if they will go. This was all reminded to us by the radio presenter who went through the danger procedures, telling people that it was too late for them to leave if they were in a certain area, advising how to protect yourself from a fire if you are trapped in a house or in a car, talking about what sort of open areas provide protection.
At the time on the ground, the wind had just changed suddenly forcing the firefighters who were out door knocking to residents, to retreat to the truck for a burn over. It’s a scenario where the truck locks down with the firefighters protected inside while the bushfire passes over them. The hot smoke from the fire pouring into the sky combined with an incoming storm front, causing chaotic winds.
My sister-in-law showed us the pictures of her family home, where her dad still lives. The gate posts are charred. The fire burned right up to the edge of the house. Another friend, shared pictures on Facebook of his scorched orchard at the back of his family home, as well as his neighbours burnt house. The neighbour stayed with his parents to save their house, after losing his own home. The fire is so unpredictable. If you wish to help the family there is a fund set up here https://www.gofundme.com/rxgyrvq4
In the fire, there were 12 homes and 23 sheds destroyed. 2 more homes were badly damaged. 300 firefighters were deployed to the area, along with 12 aircraft. A normally quiet city spent the evening listening to the alien sound of helicopters moving constantly overhead.
One of those houses lost in this week before Christmas was a work colleague of mine. Helen, her husband and her four teenage children lost everything. If anyone would like to make a monetary donation of any size, it would be so very much appreciated by this family. Bank details are below.
Account name: Johnson Family Bush Fire Appeal
Account number: 156377525
Hopefully we get more beautiful and calm weather like what we had on this day, at the lake. Thinking about evacuating had me musing on how awful it would be to lose your home and the things that make it your home. I have a sentimental attachment to so many clothes, but if packing to flee from a natural disaster, how do you know what to pack? The jacket that was my sister's. The dress I wore to her wedding. The scarf that was my grandmother's. I have recently done a large cull of my wardrobe and that alone was hard. If you had to pack all of your things into one suitcase, are there any clothes that you would be sure to take with you?
Dress: c/o Lazybones. Ballarat locals can try it on at Lark.
Bag: Vintage from Beleza
Location: Wendouree Lake
Have a safe Christmas.