Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A fortunate life

It seems irrelevant to tell of my gallivanting last week in the face of such tragedy afflicting our country at the moment.

It is all so shocking, a staggering level of destruction in the firestorms, an enormous and incomprehensible loss of life. We were in that region last year for our niece's wedding at Healesville, and can well imagine the leafy communities and winding rugged roads that have become death traps in the thick smoke and terrible conditions.

We have made immediate donations of money where requested, and I plan to make a quilt to send to the comfort efforts. It seems such a small thing ... We watch with tears in our eyes, and pray it doesn't get worse.

My husband's family lost a home to the Hobart fires of 1967. It is still discussed how Uncle Bob drove into the little cul-de-sac to fetch Mother and Auntie Marj, and drove away as the firestorm raced up the valley to claim the house behind him. He saw it in his rear-view mirror as he floored it uphill to take them both to safety with the clothes on their backs.

My heart is with all those affected.
We were very lucky last week to spend a four night break in the bush and beach setting of Eagle Bay, near Dunsborough on the South West coast. Thanks so much to the Zeds for the loan of a fabbo house, metres from the water through a tiny fringe of scrub. See the turquoise bit?
The house was ideal. Simple floors, huge rooms, fully equipped...heavenly. So comfortable. We kicked back and unwound. A lot. There were just the three of us, we could have had rent-a crowd with us.

Don was beside himself with delight. Give the man a beach close-by and he is there morning, noon and night. Give him a fishing pole and he is even happier. I know people have always felt this way about this house. I remember, now bittersweet, the happiness Lesley describes of sharing time with other friends there over the years. I was thinking of K, Les. And his family. Savouring the joy and simplicity of watching my husband fishing. This one got thrown back, but I was tickled to have been there to see it briefly. (edited to add - he caught another fish, a whiting, that became Steff's breakfast the next day)

I made his day on the first afternoon by joining him on the beach (I tolerate beaches, but I'm really more of a pool girl). And not just joining him, but swimming with him, topless, as I have forgotten my bathers (D'Oh). We wandered up and down the beach, slowly making our way in through the shallows, just us, well - apart from that solitary man in the distance, who walked past eventually, my back to him as he approached. As I was unable to find any full bathers to fit all of my gorgeousness, I ended up buying a tankini bottom and a new black bra and wearing it as a two-piece for the rest of the stay. Its been years since my tummy saw any sun! I kinda liked it.

The bush was lovely, we visited Meelup Beach - scene of the first of the wedding frenzies last year (ooh, my hair was really short).

We went to the lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste - a whole post for another day. I love lighthouses, yet somehow this was the first I have ever been inside. It won't be the last.
I was terrorised in the shower by a very large spider on my last day. A Large, LARGE spider. Large amounts of screaming were involved. All lived to tell the tale (including the spider, maybe on his spider-weblog). A quick drop in to Busselton for a coffee on the way home and we headed back to Perth. An early birthday dinner that night with our son before he headed off to Melbourne.
Steffie started work today. It seemed to go well. She is taking sticky-date pudding to work on Thursday! I hope she won't get lost and phone me in tears again on Thursday. My heart was in my mouth, from 15 miles away, talking her through the backtracking to the station and taking the right way through to the place 200m away. Little steps. I'm so glad she came home cheerful.


Natalie said...

I struggle to think of the right words... those fires put me on edge and recall the fear, the dread smell of soot and ash. My heart and prayers go out to all.
As for your getaway: Brilliant! I didn't appreciate just how deserted the beach was until you mentioned your first day beach attire (or lack of!) What blessed liberty. Cheers for success and happy days, for surviving.

Lesley said...

Aaaah — looks so good! Counting down the days now...
But did Don catch anything worth eating?

Yes it's just mindbloggling getting the latest reports from Victoria. It doesn't seem real, to have so much horror.
I think the quilt is a great idea — I'll join you in that one.

Dogs fly home tomorrow — gulp!