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Friday 3rd January 2020, 11:13am

I was out walking this morning and the air was cool and it smelt different. Mum said yesterday about the fires that “we’re weirdly isolated from it here, away from it all, we don’t see in first person the affects, but only hear about it” I’ve been thinking about the fires so much. I’m reading all of these articles, hearing about it on the radio and social media is like a 24hr news room with everyone sharing the photos from those at the epicentre, their opinions and mourning. I just feel so helpless, tucked away in my inner city home with far less immediate concern for the safety of my house and family. The smell in the air this morning was the smoke from the fires, carried by the winds and reminding us of the flames that are devouring Australia.

If the flood of photos, news stories, videos and writing didn’t make this feel real, the thick smell of smoke sure does. Scent always has that effect. It’s ability to take you elsewhere, to a past or other place. When I was a kid whenever I had lost something I used to imagine where it was sitting in my room, our house or primary school what it would be looking at, if it had eyes what its perspective would be. One shoe from a pair, down beside a couch a sliver of light above it. I think of the animals and plants that have been burnt and all that I can think of is what they would’ve been seeing as the fires approached.

I’ve heard 12 fire engine sirens today. JS

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