Tuesday, 10 February 2009


overcast, mild, temps minus 5

Nice day...breakfast at Le Petit Coin Latin. Omelets. Then strolled home past a building going up a street over. We can see the workers through our bedroom window in the morning. Which, I presume, means they can see us.

The older I get the less I care. I think my bashfulness is in inverse proportion to my cellulite. Strange. I guess maybe I not longer expect men to whistle or pay attention. I am invisible, which at 50 is understandable, even comfortable. At 25 it's less so.

Another reason to enjoy aging. Though can't think the construction workers across the way agree.

As we walked by we chatted with them. It will be a series of condos. Ready by summer, they hope. Michael and I both wished we had a desire to live here. They would make a great place to live! But first London, then New York.

I've shifted my fantasies. A small studio apartment (as opposed to a trophy house) or maybe a modest one bedroom, brilliant located in London, Paris, New York. Wouldn't that be great.

Won't happen, of course. And frankly, all we really want to do is stay home, but it's fun to dream, and dream decorate.

Have an update from Sheila in Australia about the fires...and you might want to read Caroline, who left a very powerful comment after yesterday's post.

Here's the email Sheila sent today:

Yes the cooler conditions have eased some of the State

How to explain the devastation that has hit Victoria? It is so overwhelming I don`t know where to start.

The death toll now stands at 173 and still people unaccounted for! Fires still raging out of control in several places in the State! Many large areas still on fire and with a change of wind, will again threaten Towns.

I have just gone down to our small town (Pop approximately 2000) for a newspaper and the atmosphere is so strange. Driving the 3k I felt that everything was sad. The trees and bushes were burnt and drooping because of the temperatures and winds we had, and together with every building, are covered in the black soot like substance that is covering everything for miles .

The people in town who are usually so bright and happy are quiet and subdued. The conditions will have impacted on most through friends and family, and yet we are a community which has not been directly hit.

Many of the township will have family and friends who are members of the C.F.A. (Country Fire Authority) a voluntary organization throughout the country, without which we would be lost, and this in itself causes a lot of worry as these men and women put their lives in so much danger for their communities.

The stories of loss are almost unbearable to hear, the stories of survival seem like miracles, and the stories of incredible bravery make you feel so humble.
The Australian people always so warm hearted, are so generous, and especially when help for others is needed, have already donated over 2millon dollars and that is just the start. Corporate Australia too has already donated millions and in this economic climate can`t be taken lightly. The rebuilding will take massive amounts there is just so much lost.

The loss of animals is devastating and so much heartache for so many, I was in tears listening to one man telling of how he had to shoot so many of his horses.

I have seen in the daily newspaper huge advertisements, never imagined before, from insurance companies. The gist of which is for people to contact their insurance companies to enable them to help with accommodation, transport etc.

On a personal note, our friend is now at home and we are ready to go get her at any time should the need arise. The fires around them are still going and the roads in and out of the area are closed to all but essential traffic, but the cooler temperatures and the lack of wind are making it safe enough at present. Worrying about family does not help when you are ill.
We have several friends in other areas of the State we have been worried about, but all are safe, but still on alert.

We are still cleaning and trying to help ailing trees and bushes but our main centre of activity is cleaning the working shed and pens as we have about 8 alpacas still to cria (the young of alpacas) but I can`t help thinking that to even think of this as a chore when so many have lost so much is a bit self centred

On a lighter note. When we built this house we had it rendered and I thought it should be painted, I was however howled down by my husband Graeme, daughter Sandra, and son Bruce, (neither children are still at home by the way) who thought that it looked good the off white colour. However after all the hosing etc yesterday my husband cheerfully thought it might be a good idea to think about having the house painted. Ah well!!

I will keep posting Sheila's messages, and as I mentioned, you might read Caroline's very moving comment after yesterday's post.

i wrote to Sheila offering to send books to any library she knows of that might need help re-building. Feels like a feeble offer, but I know a sincere offer is never feeble and always welcome. And that moral support is as substantial as any other.

Remarkable people.


Lee Ann said...

London, Paris or Rome sound like good spots for jewel-like studio apartments--I have spent significant time as a tourist in London and Rome and could see living in either place very happily! (I like to dream too!)

Bless our Australian friends--the last I heard the fires sounded somewhat better but the toll will probably still rise. They need rain, steady rain, desperately.

Thank you, Louise, for posting Sheila's observations.

Lee Ann

humble.pie said...

if i may think out loud ... to the extent i might term any process running in my grey cells thinking ...

the Australian commentaries make me wonder if this blog could support a charitable initiative along the lines of the yarn harlot's Knitters sans Frontières.

as far as i can gather - and others here are no doubt more knowledgeable - the knitting blog readers, from time to time, individually & when the inspiration strikes - send small amounts of $$$ to Medecins sans Frontières, which somehow keeps a tally of these knitterly contributions, and over the years the yarn harlot has managed to raise more than half a million dollars.

it would have to be a cause chosen by louise ... i am wondering, given your love for libraries, if it might be something in the domaine of supplying books and school supplies for children in 3rd world countries ...

what's appealing about KnitSF is it's exceptionally low-key. the impression i get is that donations are frequently as low as $5 (although, to be sure, if the donor wants a hardhearted tax receipt the minimum amount would have to be higher.)

such a thing cannot spring into being like athena from her father's brow. there are substantial concerns to work out, an important one being how to set limits around such a project so it doesn't become one more extra chore for louise who is already too busy.

OK it's a grey cells process residue. there's a lot of creativity here on louise's blog, blogs are dynamic and evolving writing modalities, i wonder if some people who post here might like to express their gratitude now and then by making a small offering to a good cause championed by louise ...

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Lee Ann,

Yes, it is good to dream! And like you I'm really touched by the reports out of Australia. What really impresses me is that everyone says - I'm not badly effected, but others are...then in the course of the message it becomes clear how much the writer has been effected, but puts others first.

I always find that moving.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hum,

I love your suggestion, and I think we should pursue it, no matter how many people actually respond. It might be one of those understandable situations where people have so many calls on their own time, energy and finances that they don't want to get involved at this stage...but that shouldn't stop us from at least investigating.

I've put it on the blog today.

No matter what happens I do want to say what a lovely heart you have. and thank you.

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