Our second ever market was surprisingly successful.
Considering the treacherous weather conditions we almost cancelled. But I was hardly going to recoup my stall fee's by sitting at home on my butt. It was only fair to other stall holders that we show up and make the venue look full and inviting.
The organisers did stay close all day monitoring morale and customer flow, handing out water, and making the call, when to call it quits and go home. As it was, from 10-12 it was really busy, then nothing.......................
I stepped out onto the main road at 1 to see who was around and Sydney rd was a ghost town.
The immediate change in conditions from inside the air conditioned hall, to the gale forced oven winds outside was stifling. Standing there, I knew this was the hottest, most extreme weather I had experienced in my life.
I remember all to well the ash Wednesday fires. So many years ago. we sat out the front of our house on the porch holding ice buckets in front of the fan, with wet rags on our heads. The sky was a harrowing shade of black and red, and you could smell things burning with every breath.
On Saturday, standing there in 46 degree heat, feeling the oppressive hot wind smother me, I decided it was time to go home. I did the rounds, and bought a few things I had been eyeing off. You know I can't come home without supporting my fellow crafters. My proud purchases....................
We packed up happy that we made enough to cover expenses and then some, but dreaded loading up the car, a waiting sauna, that had been poaching in the sun for four hours. I carried our little fan, noticing the blades were still spinning from the wind pushing it's way through us.
The drive home was easy on the abandoned Rd's. A quick stop at Cole's for drinks, was marred by the fact that they had a power out, and were running on generators that were only keeping the fridges and registers running. So it was a quick in and out, in a dark, stuffy blurr.When we arrived at Grandpa's to pick up Finn, the sky was blue, with a sweltering sun. A hot haze rising of every surface. It was a quick stay, but by the time we left and hopped back in the car, the sky had transformed itself to a thick red and grey cloud. Ty said it was dust.......but I knew that it was that same sky I saw as a 7 year old, full of peoples dreams and hopes going up in flames. You could sense it in the air.
We turned on the radio, and sure enough, fires were blazing in Whittlesea and Kinglake. Only 30 minutes away. Going home we did everything we could to keep the house cool, and prayed for the cool change. Watching the news with fascination, awe and fear, we listened to the horror stories and the growing death toll.
Only then did I think, that my best friend's property was at the back of Kinglake national park. I guess because her suburb is Arthur's creek, and that it's name hadn't come up on the news I didn't worry, but it was only 2 minutes away. So begun, the barrage of calls, to house, and mobiles to get in touch. Four hours later we still hadn't heard, so fear kicked in, and we just kept texting and waiting.
Finally a call.......that was all we needed.To hear her voice. She was safe. Trapped, but safe.
Surrounded by fires, and road blocks, they can't leave. Police have advised it's safer for them to stay. The fires are contained, but the journey out of town is dangerous, with falling trees, burning houses, smoke, charred cars and bodies littered along the roads.
I can't imagine the horror.
My hearts goes out to everyone who has been affected by the fires, and I hope like me you find it in your heart to contribute to any one of the appeals raising money for those who have lost so much.