Saturday, February 21, 2009
Never Say Never
I know some time ago I said I would not be making any more forest/view from my window quilts? Wrong. I had to make another one as I had put it in for the Tutors exhibition at AQC ( which I must admit had slipped my mind) when I sold the piece earlier this year. Moving house was an expensive exercise and so I was very glad when someone wanted to buy it, but it also left me with a dilemna which I discovered afterwards that I had entered it elsewhere. So I contacted AQC and they allowed me to substitute a piece so I made another View from My Window piece- simply because the view from my window is still of trees, and the afternoon sun does set behind the trees.Oh and there is still three places available in my Tifaifai class at AQC in case anyone is interested. Just follow the link for AQC.
I have been working hard - actually I got embarassed into working hard- there were several pieces I did not finish last year for my Caravanserai exhibition. They languished as so much stuff was going on in my personal life and that's what kept happening. I would think I must and then something else would happen and they simply did not get made.But last week AQC rang me up to say they had managed to snare an article in the Herlad Sun- this is one of our big daily newspapers- which is good publicity for AQC and for me. So now I had to live up to my promise.... The photographer came out yesterday and he was knocked out by the nature in my surroundings and the cat did her best to win him over- so he took lots of photos of my quilts , myself and a lovely large old gum tree in the background and with the cat who behaved like a movie actress ( and yes she is a tart!) I really dislike being photographed but it certainly was more fun knowing i was showcasing some of our fabulous scenery.
We had a community fire meeting on Thursday night as we are in a community where the risk of fire is great - there was some ok information, but most of us knew a lot of the information, but I was a bit shocked by the lack of co-ordination between say our shire and the emergency services , powercorp and the police. The shire guy talked about recovery- and yes it is good to know they have a plan- but we are more concerned about what if a fire hits here- what will we do? There is no community safe area because none of the governmental/bureaucratic bodies want to take legal responsibility for that- we were told we must wait for the police- we don't have a police officer stationed here- the nearest one is 22 kms away in Colac- the fire is likely to come from the north west- which would cut us off from Colac- and there is only one road in and one road out- which means the police are unlikely to be able to get through for a certain time in case of fire.
Then the discussion turned to closing certain roads on extreme fire danger days- but we were told by the shire that everybody was too worrried about the loss of tourist dollars so they couldn't do this. Excuse me this seems to me to show a certain lack of clear thinking......( and I am talking about extreme fire days of which we get maybe a weeks worth a year- some years more some years less)- but the tourists are more important than the communities???? And if a fire does strike there will be no more buildings part of which constitute community. And the tourists I encountered on the sunday after that fateful Saturday which was also a total fire ban day, with open fires , shows that they had a total lack of respect for the conditions or for the communities where they were visitors.
I think it is time that everyone also realised when the CFA and media forecast extreme conditions like February the 7th and a total fire ban - and the warnings were out- then that risk applies to everyone who lives in the state- not just the communities at greatest risk- stay home if you don't live in high risk areas, and if you are at risk and can't see yourself saving your house get out as early as you can before even a hint of a fire.
Also communication is a really big issue for us. Most of us with modern phones would lose the ability to phone due to power shut down which is done for safety reasons. Only old style phones would enable you to get through ( anyone have a spare one ?) we are also in a mobile blackout area because Telstra does not consider it commercially lucrative enough to put in a tower ( yet they could put in a mobile tower when the great bike ride went through a few years ago)- it was mooted and Telstra would also put in a tv repeater which the community would have to pay for ,as we also have very bad tv reception- what seems to be a basic right in much of Australia- is not possible here- even 774 ABC has dodgy reception here even with a battery operated radio.I think big companies which are supposed to provide services to a community ( for which we pay) should actually deliver those services as a matter of equity not of commercial expediency. Having to post ever bigger profits for ever greedier shareholders is not a good premise on which to deliver equitable and fair services to all communities.
There I am off my soap box.