Shall I write about something else today other than the bushfires? I think I will. Even though a huge fire continues to burn close to home, it might be nice to think of something else for a while. So what shall I write about instead?

I look out the window as I try to think of a story. It’s actually raining a little. Water drips off the hedge in front of me. It’s a native tree hedge: melaleucas and hakeas. We planted a row of tiny little trees only a few centimetres in height, a couple or so years ago. Now they have grown so tall, they are higher than the house. Our hedge is magnificent. It is one of our few gardening successes.

I always get teased about my lack of gardening skills. You see, I have a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in botany. I’m kind of expected to be good at keeping plants alive. But I’m not. I suppose I just don’t put enough time and effort into it. The idea of getting my hands dirty and communing with nature appeals to me. But when it comes down to it, I’d much rather sit here and write a story about how useless I am in the garden, than get outside and lavish love on my plants.

I have never actually used my botany degree. Well, I guess the degree got me a job, but not with plants. I used to work at the university in the veterinary physiology department. I worked with animals not plants. After suffering from a major ‘6 month flu’, I was diagnosed as having a severe allergy to plant pollen. “I don’t advise you to ever work with plants,” said the doctor. Just as well I was working with pigs.

I can’t remember what we were investigating with those pigs. Investigating? Some people might call that ‘experimenting’. Experimenting with animals? Oh no! I think I’ve strayed into dangerous waters. I hope there’s no animal activists reading my blog. Not that we did anything terrible to those pigs. I sure they made my life more painful than I made theirs. Have you ever tried to catch a wriggly pig? Slippery creatures. Oh and the noise they make, as if you’re murdering them. They caused me much more distress than I caused them. I think they had nothing to complain about. They were much better off than the pig I ate with eggs for my breakfast.

But some people feel it’s their duty to liberate animals, even those that aren’t really in trouble. I suppose they might have thought my bacon pig needed rescuing. Of course they were much too late. Would it be awful to say he was delicious? I guess animal activists are vegetarian. They have a lot of zeal for their cause. I do admire that. But I just wish they were as interested in helping babies but that's another story.

I once spoke to an animal liberator. Or rather, he spoke to me. One morning when I was in my lab washing test tubes or something, not being cruel to animals, the phone rang.

“Tell Professor G there’s a bomb hidden in the building. Don’t contact the police.”

Of course we contacted the police. The building was evacuated. The police arrived, in a car with the siren blaring. I had my five minutes of fame as I was ushered into the police vehicle to be interviewed.

“A false American accent? Wrong pronunciation of the professor’s name? Animal activists! I doubt we’ll find a bomb. They just want some attention.”

Yes, no bomb was ever discovered. We just lost a morning’s work. The pigs didn’t need to be caught. And the activist got a bit of attention for his cause.

Attention? While I’ve been writing, I’ve had one eye and one ear on the bushfire updates. It’s been that way all week. Anyway, I just stopped writing for a moment to listen to the RFS media briefing. And my attention was caught. This is the latest news…

The weather tomorrow is predicted to be very bad. We are expecting the worst possible conditions. It will be very hot and dry and windy. Everyone near one of the out-of-control fires will be in danger. It could be a catastrophic day with huge losses… though everyone will be working hard to minimise damage.

In some ways it is hard to believe that will happen. We’ve had a bit of rain here today. Not a great deal but enough to wet the ground. It was like a sign of hope. I actually raced into town, abandoning the house for a couple of hours. It was a calculated risk. I wanted to buy a few things just in case we find ourselves fighting a fire in our own backyard tomorrow.

I have organised leather boots, long legged and long sleeved clothes, gloves and goggles for everyone. Yesterday the residents of a village on the north side of our fire had to extinguish spot fires as embers fell on their homes. We are prepared just in case we have to do the same.

So are we in any danger? If the winds come from the predicted direction, they will blow the fire straight towards us. Will it escape the containment lines? I hope not. Nobody knows really. But we have to be prepared.

This story seems to have turned into a bushfire story after all. I guess it’s hard to forget the fires when we are still on alert. At least I rambled on a bit about pigs before cheating and bringing you back to the topic uppermost in my mind.

I guess when it comes down to it, I’d rather an animal activist rang and announced there’s a bomb in my backyard because I eat bacon than receive a call saying, "Evacuate because the fire is approaching!" 

Which is more likely to happen? Neither, I hope.

My apologies to any animal activists who are truly concerned for animals as well as babies, and don't mind me eating bacon. I guess you might not all be like the one who tried to liberate my pigs.

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  1. Not the Pig ... anything but the pigs. I confess we are meat eaters. A year or two back I mistakenly drew back the drapes when the meat man was here to slaughter out beefies and what I saw gave me bad dreams for a while. Frankly I haven't felt the same way about meat since and there are days I just can't stomach it. I wish I could go vegetarian but bacon whispers to me ... it beckons me or should that be bacons me to eat it... oh dear.

    I did see tomorrow is expected to be worse, am only hoping they are very wrong and it isn't. Praying for safety for people.

    1. Lisa,

      A few friends of ours have cows and pigs and slaughter their own animals. All their kids have learnt how to do it. They are all very practical. I've never done it myself and don't wish to, but I've enjoyed the spoils! I can imagine your distress. I hope you hadn't made friends with your beefies.

      "but bacon whispers to me ... it beckons me or should that be bacons me to eat it.." .Oh my! You are so funny! I wish I'd thought of those words. I've just eaten bacon. It was delicious!

      I'm hoping the predictions are wrong too, a worse case scenario perhaps. We are ready whatever happens, but still it's frightening. Thank you for your prayers!

  2. Sue, I'm off to bed with the dreaded thought of conditions being even worse for you tomorrow. But of course, I will continue to pray. I will continue to ask the angels to hold back the fire, and to pray for rain. At least you got a bit today...although I know it wasn't enough to help at all. But, maybe God wants us to trust more and pray harder.

    It's funny to me that you were a botany major. I would have thought English or literature or Journalism or teacher...maybe.

    I am an animal lover who cannot bear to see animals suffer and I seem to attract strays of all kinds which I try to help and find homes for. you, I am horrified that people can value animals more than babies. I draw the line there. It is amazing how many people would howl if a living animal was dismembers, yet, have no problem with abortion. Don't get me started.....I'll never get to sleep!

    Love and many thoughts and prayers. May tomorrow be a better day, by God's Grace and Love. xoxo

    1. Patricia,

      We will be fine whatever happens tomorrow. We've been warned and have made preparations. We will leave immediately if we are advised to do so, even earlier if we don't like the look of the situation.

      It was quite by accident I studied botany. I think I would have rather done an English degree,,, writing, literature. Oh well, I found my way to writing eventually,

      We all need to be kind to animals but I do get fed up with activists protesting about animal cruelty but ignoring abortion. They seem to have their priorities in the wrong order. Animal experimentation, even humane experimentation, is not acceptable but experiments using babies is... embryonic research, they would say. And there's two kinds of activism. The one involving the underhanded method of threat and terrorism just isn't acceptable.

      I am sorry to start you thinking about the horrors of abortion just as you want to relax into sleep. I know how much you care.

      Love to you too. Your prayers will carry us through tomorrow. God bless!

  3. Love this post! Humour and possible catastrophe with a little moral reinforcement all rolled into one :) I've been keeping you in my prayers and hope that all this bushfire business will be over very soon. God bless.

    1. Kelly,

      I am glad you appreciated my humour. It was meant to be funny but mixing humour with a serious topic sometimes leads to trouble. I never mean to offend!

      We have very strong winds here today and are being very vigilant as regards the fire. I will be glad when evening comes! Thank you so much for your prayers.

      God bless!

  4. Sue...I have to agree, the majority of activists have no problem with abortions. I find it awful, all the celebrities who advertise to save the puppies, seals, whales, etc...but not one stands up or makes an add to save the millions of HUMAN babies that are slaughtered- with no thought to the excruciating pain they suffer! There is no need for cruelty to animals, in fact, that makes me cringe! But animals were given by God for human use. They have no souls, so to humanely kill and eat them is what we are meant to do...they provide food, clothing and the like for US. To waste or kill just for sport isn't right ( but in some cases animal populations need to be controlled, or it is unhealthy for all)
    It may sound bad, but when we have butchered pigs ( Yummy bacon, roasts, chops and sausage!) we end the day , after packaging and freezing the meat, by watching "Babe"...oh dear! I'm afraid our sense of humor wouldn't be at all appreciated by animal activists!

    Praying for the fires to go out, the day to day worry over them and the damages must be draining. God bless you all and stay safe!

    1. Karla,

      I have to agree with everything you said. If only people would use their zeal to stand up for unborn babies. Oh yes, there's no need for cruelty to animals. Despite my humour, I wouldn't let an animal suffer. My pigs were quite happy!

      You butcher your own pigs? You are tough, Karla! I think if we had animals to slaughter I would cheat and take them to the butcher so he could do the job for us. I can just imagine your tasty bacon. I have enjoyed our friends' home grown bacon. It's good! Babe? I do love your sense of humour!

      I'm still sitting here with one eye on the fire updates. One day life will get back to normal and I will be able to leave my computer and go do something else! There's terrible fire conditions out there at the moment with strong winds blowing. I hope no more homes are lost today. We are all packed ready to leave and will do so if we have to. We will keep safe!

      God bless you!

  5. What always bothers me are the laws against bothering the eggs of an endangered species but not against killing a human baby developing in the womb. Anyways, I have a degree in mathematics and one in Basic Sciences. However, I have always been attracted to botany and trees although I cannot keep house plants alive. I did take a botany class in college, but my school was small and didn't have a botany degree.

    1. Gina,

      Yes, animals are protected far better than human beings. I know we are all praying for the day when these senseless laws are put right.

      I am so interested to hear about your educational background. I love trees. I would love a garden full of them, a little forest and do without a lawn. The different shapes of the canopies and the leaves fascinate me. I'd love to be better at identifying them.

      Botany taught me a lot about how plants work.. photosynthesis etc but not much about keeping plants alive. It was heavy on theory and light on practical matters. I did start a horticulture course which was more concerned with such things as growing plants, fertilisers, green keeping, pruning, reproduction, garden design... That was all hands on. Unfortunately I didn't finish the course though I did most of it. My interest wasn't strong enough and when I was offered the job at the university, I gave up study and concentrated on working full time.

      Good to chat!

  6. I've been quietly keeping an eye on your site and praying you and your neighbors are spared.
    However, when you post about pigs and activists, I couldn't keep quiet. :)
    We raise pigs for meat, and I blog all about it, always putting a funny spin to it. If animal activists haven't bombarded me, I'm thinking you should be fine. :)
    I'll continue to pray...

    1. Christine,

      I read "However, when you post about pigs and activists, I couldn't keep quiet. :)" and my heart skipped a beat. What were you about to say? Then I found out it was ok. You're my kind of person! Pigs and humour... I must hop over to your blog! It sounds like a fun place.

      I am so glad you stopped to say hello. I know we've swapped comments on FB but I didn't know you had a blog.

      Thank you for your prayers. They are very much appreciated!


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