Soft shoe shuffle

There is a tendency among people in my country to persist in pretending that all is just fine and peachy when it clearly is not.  As long as we all keep dancing that dance, all will be well.  In some cases this works, perception being reality and all that, but when nature takes control no amount of soft shoe shuffle can hide the fact that serious problems are not going to go away with a song and a dance, or even a lyrical number on a saxophone.

This is what it looks like outside my house right now

In short that entire mountain range is on fire and has been burning since yesterday.

At first it looked like this, plenty of bark and not much bite

By the afternoon this little hill was ablaze

And while this way happening, a guy came out into the street and did this

No reason why we can’t have a delicious soundtrack to the apocalypse

Later that evening the main mountain caught alight, but as the wind was down, it spread slowly westwards

At 3am when I woke up choking on smoke, the entire mountain was full of rivulets of flame like a demented volcano.

In all fairness, these is no access to vehicles up that mountain and lacking a helicopter no possible way for that fire to be put out.  Apparently this is a “controlled burn”, by which they mean they have no way of controlling it.  Not to worry, the powers-that-be are keeping an eye out and will jump in if people or property are being threatened.  As far as the people living on the farms in the path of the inferno, they are finding out that when the chips are down you’re pretty much on your own.  I can see at least four separate fires and although our town has recently acquired a “fire truck”, this consists of a bakkie with a water tank, some hoses and a couple of people who have been on a course.

Maybe we should all just … um … pray?

And how did the fire start in the first place?  Since it’s so dry, it doesn’t take much but a number of people in town not only know that it was kids playing with matches, but exactly which kid it was.  I can think of a number of people who have creative plans for what to do with that kid.

The wind has come up and the fire is moving on to Greyton and McGregor, another two small farming communities with a bakkie and a couple hoses and not much else.  But never mind, keep dancing the dance.  It’s all going to be OK.






South African writer, crafter and all round animal lover
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