Sunday, May 3, 2009

The paradoxes of life.

Well the hectic life continues with the arrival of another assignment.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the Good Lady Naut (GLN) has started a 12 week job helping re-establish playgroups for those effected by the bushfires. It's worthy work and she has been enjoying it, but it is also quite challenging. As part of her job her boss suggested she take a drive through both Kinglake and Marysville so she can better understand the parents she will be dealing with. She did so and came back with some unimaginable photos.

The photos showed a luna type landscape with black tree trunks sticking out and twisted, mangled rubble that was once houses. One photo looks down through the blackened trees onto Marysville which now consists of neatly laided out piles of rubble. Nasty stuff.

In the midst of this we have been talking about moving a little further to Melb's north, getting a few acres and building a house. It's all very conceptual at the moment, but on Saturday we jumped in the car and took a drive to see what's around. The areas we are looking are all near Kinglake/Whittlesea so we ended up driving through Kinglake to Whittlesea. Seeing what I saw in the photos for real had just as big an impact. We made sure we stopped at a couple of places in Kinglake and spent some cash to help out the local community.

On the way back we detoured via a friend's place in the area that I knew had been destroyed. When we arrived we found my friend, his partner and baby daughter in a caravan parked out the front. They are living with his parents during the week, then weekends in the caravan. They left home on Black Saturday about 20 mins before their house went up. Some of their neighbours stayed and saved their houses and some stayed and died. They looked tired and you could see an air of sadness behind their eyes. The paradox is that in a couple of years time when they have built their new house, they will be in the best position they have ever been in.

Life is a funny thing sometimes.


  1. Life is certainly something.

    I admire their drive, I don't know if I could pick myself up after such a devastating blow.

  2. Don't think you're got a lot of choice, B. Having children would be a motivation.

    Yeah, sobering stuff.

  3. It is funny at times Naut. Funny indeed

  4. Moving into the country is a challenge when you could be an hours drive from the nearest KFC

  5. Materially they may be in a better position in a few years. Thats if they survive the tramatic stress they are under at the moment. Ask people who decide to stay in caravan while building how hard it is in winter. But when you are thrust into this situation and been through a traumatic event. Money can not bring back the friends we miss or beauty of our natural environment. Reasons why we live here. Add in the frustration of dealing with government and shires. Look more closely and you will see the strain those of us in Kinglake are under, even the ones who still have homes.

  6. Barnesm - You have no idea of your strength until you need it.

    Moko - Yep.

    Lerm - It is.

    Chaz - KFC is not that far away, I have checked.

    Anonymous - 100% agree and I guess that is the point of my post. I hope it didn't come across as in any way suggesting that the whole experience was a good one for them. The paradox is that while this might be financially ok for them, it will still be one of the most traumatic, horrible experiences of their lives. We often equate success and happiness with financial success, but those of us who have faced real trauma understand the true value of things. In my own experiences, the only silver lining to my own traumas have been that it clarified what is truely important to me.

    Hope you are as well as can be and have plenty of people around to support you.

  7. Reckon I'd get the hell out and never come back. I'd pack up ang go join the rest of Victoria who voted Bloody Jeff into power in the 90s and then moved to south-east Queensland.

  8. These are the sorts of things which make the rest of sit up and think "Yeah. It WOULD be like that, except probably a million times worse." I'm talking about things like setting up play groups again. All the parts of a family's life which need to be rebuilt. Its a hell of a thing.

  9. Dr Yobbo - Biggest problem with SE QLD is all the Victorians there.

    Therbs - It never gets rebuilt the same.