|Christmas Tree in Martin Place, Sydney|
Our Australian summer has been awful so far.
NSW has been ablaze since August when the mid-north coast and south-east Queensland fires flared up. Several large towns were threatened at different times including Tenterfield andTaree. Two people died and it burnt through 31 268 hectares.
On October 26, a lightning strike caused a fire around the Gospers Creek area. Due to extreme weather (heat and wind) and the dry conditions caused by drought, it quickly spread to the Hawkesbury region and the Blue Mountains. So far it has burnt through 459,848 hectares, threatening the towns of Wiseman’s Ferry, Lithgow and Blackheath.
The south coast has a smaller fire constantly threatening to get out of control around Balmoral, Bargo and Pretty Beach. Another six people have died and over 2 000 000 hectares of land has been burnt out or is still burning. Cooler conditions this week have eased the situation, but the fires are not out.
Sydney has been enveloped in smoke haze on and off for two months. Ash particles have created the poorest air quality days on record. Central West NSW has also been enveloped in smoke and ash this past month. It all depends on the wind. Recently, we in Sydney, have had some sou’easterly winds blow it away…but of course, it has just blown the smoke out west.
My family and friends west of the Great Dividing Range are now smothered with this ghastly smoke haze and ash particles.
Due to road closures and fire hazards many people have chosen to Christmas at home this year.
Both Mr Books and I are working the holiday shifts at our respective jobs this year, so we only have the two days break to plan for. On Christmas Eve eve, we ventured into the city to see the Christmas lights on St Mary’s Cathedral, the windows at David Jones and the giant tree in Martin Place (see above).
On Christmas Eve, B19 flew back into the country after enjoying 6 weeks running around Europe with his friends. B22 plus his GF and her mum will be joining us for Christmas lunch.
Christmas at home means a quiet family day with just the four of us (plus the occasional friend popping by and pet-sitting service). Afternoon sleeps and board games are the prime activities. We may summon up enough energy to go to the beach tomorrow…along with everyone else left in Sydney!
But for now, I simply wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas, however you celebrate this time of year. May peace and love surround you and yours.
Thank you for another fabulous year of blogging. I look forward to more of the same throughout 2020.