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A rapid “touch base” phone call with Jimmie from Fiddlesticks Papercrafts reveals he and Barbie are safe – that it was “close, but we are alright”.

Given the proximity of their home to the Kilmore fire fronts, this is a great relief.


For those of you who know Pamela Gurney from Dancing Needle Designs, I can report that she and her family is, at this stage, safe.

I was able to talk to her at some length last night and she has been overwhelmed with messages and calls from friends and customers from all over the country.

Your thoughts and concern are greatly appreciated.

If you have not had reply from her, please understand that resources like phone links are under enormous pressure and much of the local infrastructure like mobile phone repeater towers have been lost.

The full horror and the extent of losses in the fires is yet to be fully revealed.  As the death toll climbs (173 confirmed dead at last count) there are families and friends all over the world touched by this tragedy.

In my personal corner, my family is safe but each of them have friends affected.  Friends are reeling at the news of lost family members, neighbours and friends. The property losses count in the millions but are insignificant in the face of the human toll.


It was a bittersweet time I spent yesterday with my daughter at her father’s bedside.  His surgery has been successful and he faces a long road to recovery.  Despite this, he is keen to be back up and out there with his volunteer CFA brigade protecting his community from further loss.  It will be sometime before he is fit to do so, but his son is still out there fighting the fires still threatening life and property.

There are appeals being coordinated for donations for relief funds – via the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army as well as at all the major Australian Banks.  Many retailers are conducting appeals including supermarkets donating proceeds from shoppping done on Friday.  The RSPCA and the Wildlife Carers Group are also seeking financial aid to provide for the animals injured.  Your support is welcomed.

The Blood Bank is in need of blood and blood product donations but can only manage to deal with a certain number of donations at any one time so it is suggested you register online and you will be advised of when your donation can be made.

My thoughts are with all those who have suffered loss.

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