David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 March 2009

A beautiful sight

This photo of last week's Musk Vale fire was taken by local resident Pete Woods. Daylesford township is in the foreground, the fire is five kilometres south.

Perhaps the detail below will provide a better sense of scale in the image above : the old chimney (visible in both images) is in the grounds of the Daylesford Museum, home and archive of the Daylesford and District Historical Society. The Post Office is on one side, the Primary School on the other.

Yesterday all Victoria was on emergency alert with Fire Danger Index ratings off the scale, many times the 'extreme' index number. We were warned that strong north winds would blow all day, with gusts up to 12okm/hour, to be followed by a dangerous SW change late in the day. The winds did get to 12okm, and did blow all day, but by good fortune and great management the major fires still alight since Black Saturday were held and the few new starts were stopped.

Today is cool and there has been some rain. C and J and Susie the dog have returned from their third evacuation in two weeks. There is much general relief. Tonight, at the Daylesford Town Hall, I'll attend my seventh fire safety meeting since February 7.

The caption to this post refers to the beautiful sight two days ago of a team of Canberra firefighters (below) on the road opposite our overgrown gully - yes, we've been lobbying for more than ten years! - as they took up a waiting position to the north of Hepburn Springs. Big thanks, guys! The same to all the crews we've seen around town over the past week. Seeing one from Wallan, for instance, I realised that crew have probably been in the thick of their own massive fire for the last three weeks.
3 Mar 2009 ... The Kilmore East - Murrindindi Complex North fire is still going and is currently about 165,000 ha in size. The weather forecast for today is ...

The best sight of all was my brother 'Red' at the door yesterday morning. He'd come from Bendigo (where 50+ houses were lost on Black Sat) to face the day's potential with me. He ain't heavy!