Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I could not have imagined...

When I wrote my last post, I had absolutely no idea of the scale of this disaster.

Saturday had brought the most horrible, unbelievable weather conditions that I have ever seen. Here, as in most parts of Victoria, it was a sweltering 46.5 degrees celsius (almost 116 fahrenheit). Not only was the heat unbearable, but the wind was travelling at speeds of up to 110km/h. I knew it had been the worst possible conditions for fire, but just never could have imagined the damage that could be done.

Re-reading my last post, I feel a little naive. The headline on Sunday's paper read that 14 people had died. Now, that was an absolute tragedy. Of course it couldn't get much worse - right? They did say that it was possible that up to 40 people may have lost their lives. I didn't believe it.

Obviously, I wasn't the only one who underestimated the ferocity of this fiery demon.

The photo of the smoke here on Sunday was about double on Monday. And you know, we were a good 60km away from the fire. Every person I speak to knows someone who has been adversely affected by these fires... or worse. You have all seen the images... Unspeakable...

It really is something that you could never, ever imagine facing. To each and every person who has been affected (there are so, so many), I am so very sorry, and like all of us, I'm sure, I feel so helpless. Nothing will ever take away the horror that you have all lived through. I just wish we could do more. I wish we could turn back time....

The last I heard, 181 people had lost their lives..... One. Hundred. And. Eighty. One. With more expected to be found. More than 1000 families have lost their homes. Entire towns have been obliterated.

Of course you know all this, but no matter how many times I hear it, I just cannot imagine how it is possible. Right on my own doorstep. Just so horrific. So tragic.

I will be donating money to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal - 50% of profits from the sales of all remaining stock at La La Baby (I will make the donation when the shop closes).

I will also be donating 10 sets of MiniLaLa hairclips (maybe more if someone buys them) to Handmade Help.

100% will go to the appeal. That is, every cent you pay for the hair clips will go to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. There are also many other gorgeous handmade things of which funds will be donated.

I'm sure most Australians have or will be doing the same, as we are all so deeply touched by this disaster. To my international friends, I ask you to please consider donating some money. Every cent is much needed. These people have suffered so badly. The more that we can raise, the sooner these people can start to get their lives, and homes rebuilt. Unfortunately, we will never, ever forget....

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