Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bushfire heebie-jeebies.

For those who aren't familiar with Aussie slang, heebie-jeebies means...um...well, read on, and it will become apparent.
There is a lot in the Australian media these days about bushfires, given that we've had a very early start to summer. It is still officially Spring, but last week's heat was frightening. I picked up a free magazine at the local shop, on how to be ready for the bushfire season. It sat around on the coffee table for a week, then I decided I should read it. Last summer's fires got uncomfortably close to Eltham and it was only a wind change that sent the fires in another direction. Everyone here knows it is just a matter of time before parts of our town could go up in smoke, as trees form most of the landscape around here. (This picture shows our street, from our back yard)

I asked Ken if he'd read the magazine and he said he'd 'looked at it'. Which means he probably picked it up, looked at the pictures and put it down again!

It took me about an hour to read it from front to back. And I got a bad case of the heebie jeebies. Property owners have to decide whether to stay and fight a fire or nick off and leave everything. One of the reasons we had such a large rainwater tank installed, is to give us more of a chance to save our home if a bushfire comes this far. We've got an electric pump, but that's not much good if the power goes off, as it will in times of extreme heat. So the article suggested people who have a tank should also have a back up power source such as a generator. Sorry, but that's a bit out of our reach financially, so we'll just have to douse the house with water as long as the power lasts.

An important aspect of fighting a fire is wearing suitable clothing. It should be made of natural fibres such as cotton, wool or leather. I have denim jeans (tick), an Akubra hat (tick), leather motorcycle boots (tick), but cotton blouses? A thorough check of my wardrobe showed that every single piece of clothing was made from acrylic fibre such as nylon or polyester. Oh, there were a couple of cotton teeshirts, and two pure wool jumpers. But no longsleeve blouses or jackets made of cotton. So I headed for the opshop today and found the perfect blouse! You can see it here.

So does this mean we are now prepared to defend our house against a fire? Not by a long shot. What do we do about our aviary birds? The cat is easy - put her in her carry cage and take her somewhere safe. I've already got a brief case packed with essential documents, and a list of what else to pack in bags if we need to get away. I seriously doubt if we would be able to stay and fight a fire. Ken's lungs wouldn't tolerate the smoke for more than a minute or two, and I couldn't run around the house on my own for 6 hours, hosing it down. Guess we'll just cross our fingers.

3 Comments:

Blogger FredaB said...

If it does come, save yourself and your pets and run fast. Ken doesn't need any smoke damage. Lets hope this never happens. I watch in fear the California fires and wonder how people live with this fear. Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires,earthquakes - there is no where to run anymore.

ake care of yourselves.

Hugs

FredaB

Friday, 27 November, 2009  
Blogger Merle said...

Dear Gina ~~ It is a worry every year isn't it. Especially where you and Ken live. But as Freda says Save yourselves. Your lives are too precious, other things can be replaced. The birds are a worry
but better them than you.
The Aussie Creation was good, and I wonder who wrote it, Pom or Aussie so if Sue and Bob answer you, please let me know.
Hasn't it been wonderful having good rain and cooler days?
Take great care, dear friend, and try not to worry too much. It may never happen. Please God.
Love, Merle.

Sunday, 29 November, 2009  
Blogger Pear tree cottage! said...

Gina I read the very same book!! and suggested Rob read it! he did the front page ho! hum!

Lee-ann

Tuesday, 01 December, 2009  

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