The first bushfires of the season have hit Victoria in the last few days.

It’s only the middle of Spring and they get worse as it gets hotter and drier in Summer.

The word ‘bushfire’ makes it sound like something small (a bush on fire) but they are infernos that travel faster than you can run and are kilometers wide. Maybe the American word ‘wildfire’ conjures up the reality better. They jump across roads as if there was nothing there. They destroy property and kill livestock, wild animals and anyone unfortunate enough to be in their path who has not evacuated the area. Sadly sometimes some maniac will have started the fires deliberately.

Our firefighters risk their lives trying to put them out. Most of them are unpaid volunteers. They and everyone else in the emergency services deserve our unstinting thanks.


Water on Mars

I mentioned Mars in my last post so this is becoming a bit of a habit.
It’s great that NASA has actually found the wet stuff on Mars even if it’s salty, frozen and covered with red dust.
With water and electricity from solar panels you can make hydrogen (use as fuel) and oxygen (breath it).
So a Mars base would be more sustainable without needing to be resupplied from Earth quite as much.
Who’s going to get there first?
NASA in the 2030s with their SLS rocket designed by senators to keep jobs in their states?
Mars One in 2025 with their reality show and completely infeasible cash and technology projections.
My money is on Elon Musk’s SpaceX. If anyone can do it on the cheap he can.
Ourselves and our ancestors have done a right royal job of stuffing up the planet all the life we know of lives on.
We are overpopulating it to death.
The future of our children’s children is out at Mars and far, far beyond where the resources are infinite.

Then and now

I just joined a Facebook group of people who attended my old school. It’s 45 years since I walked out that door for the last time. I was delighted to see there were still people out there with memories of the teachers, etc. They did a great job for the most part even if we didn’t appreciate it at the time. We live in an age of instant global communication that only science fiction writers talked about back then. We should be very happy about that. But what happened to flying cars, a base on Mars in the 1980’s and the 2 day working week?

Father’s Day

Today was Father’s Day in my part of the world.
I had a great day thanks to my daughter.
Our children are our windows into the future so we should treasure them if we are lucky enough to have them.
If we are lucky enough to have a father he is our window into the past.
If windows get a bit fogged up at times we should polish them until they sparkle rather than throw stones.

Writing historical fiction

Writing historical fiction is a little like crossing a raging river. There are stepping stones you must use. They stand out from the general flow. They are the well known characters in the tale. Then there is the surging current around them which is everything in life that tried to immerse them and drag them down. You have to take care of that as well. It’s what adds the human touch to the dull stuff. It’s also where the writer has the opportunity to add colour and take liberties (make stuff up). It’s slippery around those rocks!