Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Trafalgar Day - wish I could say as the smoke clears

Happy Trafalgar Day – 208 years since Horatio Nelson’s naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21st 1805.  The only reason I know this bit of trivia is that it is also the birthday of one of my three brothers, so Happy Birthday Alasdair, and your present is in the post.  This tardiness on the present front comes despite the fact that Husband has just set a world record on the international mail front and proved it is possible to send something from the US to Australia in two days.  However the downside to this speediness is that if you are absent minded and fail to specify that when you say ‘Airmail’ you don’t actually mean “Fedex the dammed thing”, you subsequently discover the modern equivalent of a man running full speed with a forked stick is in fact very, very expensive.

Out on the water this morning on one of my rowing outings, it did in fact feel a bit like being on a Trafalgar Day type naval battlefield, not because of any crowded conditions as in fact we had Middle Harbour to ourselves as we rowed up the river, but more as a result of the smoke drifting down through the gum trees and trickling over the sandstone cliffs.  The huge bushfires that are burning outside Sydney are a good hour’s drive away, but the smoke from exploding bushland clouds the city sky and creates the type of sullen, yellowing light that I associate with the end of the world.  Unfortunately New South Wales is due for a further round of hot, windy days so the fire fighters who have already been battling blazes for days, have a mammoth task in front of them in their efforts to protect various townships and property.

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