1 EAGLETON NOTES: 2020: The First Day

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Wednesday, 1 January 2020

2020: The First Day

For those who haven't already seen my seasonal wishes I direct you to Meike's wish: Welcome to 2020. May your skies be blue and your seas be calm. I hope you will manage to keep what good and happy things you have in your life, and get rid of what bothers you. Happy New Year! 

It's been a strange day and not quite the way I had intended to spend the first day of the year but then wotthehellarchiewotthehell I've enjoyed it so far. I just haven't really achieved anything much of the things I set out to do. Will it alter anything in this world? No. And I have managed to keep up in Blogland.

This is a photo taken this morning New Zealand time (ie 2 January) in Havelock North by Martin from my New Zealand Family. That is the sun. It is almost blanked out by smoke from the fires in Eastern Australia. Sydney is 2365k /1437 miles away from Havelock. I'm sure that all my readers will be aware of the enormity of the fires which have been burning since September and now engulf huge swathes of Australia. To give a European perspective that is the distance between Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis off the West Coast of Scotland and Belgrade, Sarajevo and Rome.

The global effects of the fires in so many ways are demonstrated rather well by this photo. 

Oddly I have just had a notification from New Zealand One News with a bulletin about the fact that this is the second day that New Zealanders have woken up to a 'blood orange sun'. In some places the sun is a dark red. 

Let us all hope for better things in the coming weeks, months and years.

29 comments:

  1. It is truly chilling. Almost like one of those apocolyptic films from the 1970s and 80s predicting the end of the world.

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    1. JayCee it certainly would be if you were affected or trapped by it

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  2. Burning since September is terrifying. I pray for rain.

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  3. Happy New Year to you, Graham!
    I hope we never see a fire season like this one ever again but somehow I suspect it is the new normal. My cousin in Havelock North messaged me early this morning to talk about the red sunset. It's horrifying

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    1. You see, Kylie everyone has a link of some sort. We both have people in Havelock. Are there any fires near you?

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  4. The fires are horrendous...heartbreaking....my tears flow freely when I see the images on TV...and I see them often. It's gut-wrenching...I'm not alone in hoping the weather conditions change soon...very soon...in wanting the skies to open up and let the rain fall...widespread rain.

    I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the New Year's Ever fireworks displays...it just didn't sit right with me. It's just how I felt - personal, individual feelings. Much money was raised from the various events for charities to help those affected by the fires and the drought...and that is wonderful.

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    1. Lee, I'm not sure how close you are to any active fires but I do hope that you stay safe.

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  5. I have always loved the gorgeous colours of sunset and sunrise, but now they fill me with sadness knowing they are currently being caused by these disastrous fires. Even our clouds now (it is just after lunch) are tinged with a dingy buff-orange colour from the smoke.
    I spent most of the first day of the year blobbing in front of TV - I hope it is not a sign of things to come!!
    May 2020 be a great year for you :)

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    1. Margaret, firstly thank you, and secondly it certainly brings it home to us what could easily happen. My Cottage was surrounded by orchards but nearer still were absolutely massive Southern Beeches and a large stand of eucalyps.

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  6. Sadly it's not only Oz that's on fire; it's the world over. I was recently looking at a map of where all the fires are burning, and it was frightening. I live in a very wooded area with a high percentage of Pine trees, and can already envisage a time when we too will be on that map!

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    1. Yes, Cro, that map was an eye opener. We have few trees compared with many places but when it gets very dry (which, fortunately is unusual, the ground itself burns and can carry on burning for a long time - most of Lewis is peat.

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  7. I saw a news item from the Australian Tourist Board yesterday pointing out to the world that not all Australia is on fire.

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    1. That's true Rachel although at the moment there is an area ¾ the size of Scotland ablaze and that's increasing. Many of the most prominent tourist areas eg the Blue Mountains, which I know, have been severely affected and well as the holiday East Coast. We've hardly heard about the West Coast (which I've travelled more of than I have the East Coast) but about 90% of that is bush fire prone and over 1.2 million hectares of that coast have been affected so far this season.

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    2. Strange as it may sound, an area 3/4 the size of Scotland does not look very big to me in my mind's eye when visualising Australia. I note that you say that Australians will survive and survive they will. The hostel that I stay in in London is frequented by many travellers from the Antipodes and this is exactly what they have said to me. I have been using this hostel since 2007 and have met many. They are very strong and resilient people. And a lot of fun too.

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    3. Compared with the whole of Australia the whole of Britain is small. However most of the fires are in populated areas near the coast and forest and not in the outback wilderness. The true extent of the problem is shown on these Tourism Australia rolling updated maps.

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  8. I am sure that Australia will come out of this ongoing tragedy stronger than before under PM Scott Morrison's wise and inspirational leadership. Not.

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    1. I'm sure, YP, that Australia will survive. The people are used to hardship and adversity in many ways. Then I tried to think of some wise and inspirational leaders around the globe. Is it just me or are they rather thin on the ground at the moment.

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    2. I wouldn't call Trump thin and Johnson is also quite porky.

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    3. One is a peroxide dumpling, the other is a candy-flossed orange dildo.

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  9. I have friends living in New South Wales and Victoria. I keep worrying... (I know at least one of them has been seeing the smoke from the fires at the horizon from her house...) Wishing I could send them some of all the rain we've been "blessed" with here lately!

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    1. I just published my comment as a wretched spammer pressed publish and 'Broke' Blogger temporarily.

      Monica, yes it is worrying and it would be wonderful if the rain that is falling in places to excess could share it around a bit. WE have plenty to spare. However Jacarta has even more. I just read heard that within 30 years it might be the first modern large city to sink below the water.

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    2. Yes. Too many bad bad news reaching us daily to take it all in, really. And I guess that's why we tend to react most to that which may concern people and places we know personally, even if there may be even worse catastrophes going on somewhere else...

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  10. over here, it has been repeated several times on TV recently that 2019 was the third warmest year ever since the beginning of weather recordings. But that is nothing compared to the horrendous fires. Like others here have said, it could be the new normal. Hard to accept, and maybe that's just it - we should NOT just accept it, but do our part, however small it may seem, to change the self-destructive direction in which our species has been moving for way too long now.

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    1. I'm fortunate enough to live in a country which is very renewable energy conscious. In 2018 we produced about 75% of our energy needs from renewables. Of course that's not the while story not is it all that needs to be achieved by all of us. Meat eating is declining too. The truth is that there is a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do it.

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  11. This is a tragedy which the rest of the world cannot image. Here in California, wildfires are frequent. Paradise fire destroyed the entire town of 25,000. 71 people are confirmed to be missing or killed.

    All who read this should donate to the Australian Red Cross. https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-new-years-eve I have.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Friends have already been donating. The disaster gets worse and worse.

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  12. Hi Graham, The sky here has a strange tinge, too, a reminder of the horror that is unfolding across the ditch. It's so far away and yet we can see a consequence. Can't imagine the horror of it up close. Those I know in the danger zone are constantly in my thoughts. I pray for their safety. I have no other words.

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    1. Pauline, I've just been watching the latest news and it's just beyond anything that I can comprehend.

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