Saturday, 18 January 2014

an unexpected event

this is not the sort of thing you want to see
when you are flying over your home patch
the Eden Valley fire ignited about 11am on January 17
[about the same time as i arrived at Adelaide airport]
by the time my flight was in the air
it had grown to a substantial blaze

thing is, when 13 people are relying on you to show up wearing you best set of bunny ears
there's really no option of pulling the plug and heading back home into the smoke

i have my fingers crossed that my family will be sensible
and for now at least the wind has changed
[which just means that it's a completely crap situation for somebody else]

after a sleepless night in Wellington
and a quick totter down Taranaki street to Te Papa
for some calming Colin McCahon therapy
 i hopped the straits to Nelson
to be wrapped in a huge warm welcome 
which made me feel a whole lot better
[on the way at the airport i taught a woman how to make string
because she was fascinated by what i was up to -
she hopped on her flight with a handful of wet silk shreds
and much enthusiasm, bless her]

anyway the fire is not the unexpected event. 
in Australia it's not a question of "if" the country will burn
but "when".
that's how it is.

the unexpected event
[title deliberately purloined from Tolkien]
was this
a parcel
addressed to me
from kowtow
a clothing company based in Wellington
there was a sweet note
and beautifully packed
between deliciously rustling tissue paper
two gorgeously soft timeless fabulous pieces
made from Fairtrade Organic cotton
and in a very comfy size.
thank you kowtow
i know where i will be shopping for simple
soft but sturdy things to wear
under winter layers
or for soft spring afternoons
[in summer i do a complete cover up]
i think our work goes very well together!


  1. Wow, they look great, lucky you. Looking forward to seeing them India transformed. Hope your home is OK too, keeping fingers crossed.

  2. dear india , ups sorry for what happen in AUS , what can i say ? hope , hope the best for you and your family the farm anything , the clothes look fantastic , think of all the people who want you all the best , i do not know if it helps !!!

  3. India, I can't imagine how unsettling it must be for you to fly over your home area and see it ablaze. I hope you've had re-assuring news so you don't worry while you're away. Rain! That would be good!

  4. Goodness. Your heart must have skipped a beat or two at the sight from the air. I hope by now that rain has moved in or, at the very least, the winds have died down. Sending prayers for the rainy season to begin.

  5. Was thinking about you this morning when I read the NYT about the heat in AU, now this! Sending you, your family, animals and loved ones prayers for safety. xoC

    1. thanks Christine. you freeze, we fry. the more trees we cut down in the whirled, the more extremes of climate we are going to see. it's my belief that these weather patterns [and consequences ie high hot winds feeding fires that then create their own weather systems, even generating lightning] are just the early symptoms of increasingly dramatic events. depressing, but there it is.

  6. how horrid that must be. i hope all is well, and stays well.

    1. it is far far worse in the Grampians [where you are scheduled to teach]. the fire there is so big and so hot that it has been creating its own weather system. i taught there a few years ago when it was also on fire and made sure to develop a "fire action plan" with students so that we had a clear and concise idea of what we would do and how we would organise ourselves if the fire came over the hill - it was important to do that because we were working at a cricket clubhouse away from the rest of the community and would have been fending for ourselves anyway. fortunately, though we smelled smoke, the winds changed and we didn't have to test our plan

  7. I've been listening to reports from mates to my south --- sooo friggin' hot! -- yesterday some of the smoke from fires to our south (near orbost) has wafted in - and we have lots of victorian tourists semi stranded up our way (the highway and principal alternate route have both been closed due to fires) ---- yes fire is an omnipresent element in this part of the world.... its still a scary beast though --- hope you and yours come through this latest moment ok

    (I'm going to look at those delish white pieces and wonder what they will become instead)

  8. dear India, we have been watching this with great trepidation from over here where temps can slip 40 degrees either way of some kind of normal... hoping that/wishing that the weather might settle whirled wide - meanwhile sending my very best wishes your way...

  9. Prayer blessings for Australia, your 'ohana, our Earth. And the lovely Kowtow package ... I spent time sniffing into their way of being in business and love the way they practice good principles. Yes, you and they go very well together.

  10. OMG how ghastly .. what an unsettling trip to have to make ... poor Australia .... but those KOWTOW pieces are so lovely, what a kind present, will you bundle and bottle them?

    1. i shall probably use the short-sleeved one to demonstrate mordant methods for cotton [for the class]...the other i will think about for a while...a good while...and then tackle.such a sweet gift.

  11. My goodness, I can only imagine how worried you must be. Hope it goes out soon and doesn't cause much harm!

    What a wonderful gift to receive! I shall be googling Kowtow they look really comfy..