Melbourne. Passing clouds float by., I've opened a window to listen to birds and traffic, and let in some fresh cool air, as it is currently, inside, upstairs a balmy, drowsy 27C. In winter.

Trying to learn another language is hard. And weird. I've just learned how to "do smalltalk" which is fine but my hobby is not dancing and I'm not a teacher.


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Emergency bunny. 🐰
1. click on pic.
2. Say 'ahh'.
3. Share.
4. Feel better. 👍🥰


More advice on coping with extreme heat:

If you can't be at work or home, try a cinema. I spent hours watching bad movies because my little apartment was an oven. I mean Coyote Ugly levels of desperation.

Other places to be that are climate controlled: public libraries, and big shopping centres. In Australia most university libraries will remain open & welcome anyone escaping extreme heat. Staying and reading is free. Indoor swimming pools will be busy but offer shelter and water. Avoid outdoor pools because of the sun.

Food: avoid using your oven, it will make your house hotter. Eat cold things, salads, fruit, or use delivery, or reheat something. Simple things, easy to prepare, are best.

Do not cook outside - avoid barbecues or cookouts or whatever you call them. Why - if one spark escapes you could burn down your home, your neighbours, your town. A single spark could travel a long way on a hot wind.

Avoid work or hobbies that create friction or sparks. In Australia we have "total fire ban days" - no open flames or cooking outside, no using angle grinders, no using farm or mechanical equipment that could cause sparks, because in extreme heat everything is dry and is fuel for fires. If you live somewhere near where fires are burning or could burn, please take this seriously. Don't believe me, please Google Ash Wednesday Fires in Victoria and South Australia. My family farm was singed. We survived but many, many didn't.

Thank you. Stay safe.

Same goes for pets. Keep them out of the sun, or inside, with constant access to fresh water. Do not walk dogs on hot streets / hot surfaces / in the sun - if it burns your skin it burns their skin and their feet.

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Hello, it's winter where I am but I understand a lot of the world is experiencing extreme heat. As an Australian who has survived weeks of above 40C temperatures, fires, and prolonged drought I have some advice.

- In dry heat close your house. Close windows, draw blinds. Darkness is your friend. Open at night.
- Heat rises, so keep low if able - downstairs instead of upstairs.
- Use fans / aircon if you have them but prepare for possible electricity outages as demand increases.
- Damp towel over forehead.
- Drink water. Have it with you all the time.
- Stay out of the sun. Remain inside or in shade.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, light clothing if you do go out.
- Reduce activity. Rest more. Don't go jogging at midday or anything like that. Heat is physically and mentally exhausting.
- Go out if you need to in the early morning or late afternoon / after dark.
- If you can, keep kids home, & work from home.
- If it's still hot at night take a quick cool shower. Sleep is easier at 20C or below.
- Check on elderly & frail. They are vulnerable.
- Let yourself sweat. But keep up electrolytes with sports drinks or medically appropriate hydrating drinks / something like that.
- Your workplace / school should develop an extreme heat policy for health & safety.
- Don't go sight see near fires. Stay away.
- Keep a radio or access to radio stations available for advice from your emergency services / weather / news services.

Far out USA, please apply the term "well regulated" to firearms rather than women's bodies.

Fun fact of the day. Rats can laugh but at a frequency beyond human hearing.

Now to investigate what rats find funny.

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There are many things I will never understand but chief amongst them of late is the USA.

Individual US citizens, sure, I've met many, lived with them, became friends with some, and encountered online so many lovely, kind, talented, sincere and amazing people. Hello cool people!

Oh but your nation? I don't get it. I don't get the obsession with the founding fathers, the obsession with the document they wrote, the obsession with laws, and enforcing them, the gun obsession, the individualism obsession, the freedom obsession. I will never understand the systems that oppress as much as they try to help: healthcare, education, legal, voting, housing, wages.

Some days the US feels as strange, remote, and unfathomable as the distant past, like the Roman Empire with their snacks of mice dipped in honey, where starving bears attacking women was fine, but naked women being attacked by bears was a step too far.

Sorry. I don't get it.

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New poem by me (on page five) out now here at Livina Press issue one:

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Persistently listening to Italian hip hop in a bid to drown out continuous social media and trad media hot takes about a certain trial.

I don't even speak Italian, but I'm slowly understanding more words. That's how much I don't want to read about the trial, the result, any of it.

Anyway, buongiorno amici.

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This scene was captured in Avignon (France). I felt the need to take it because of the way the daylight from outside was falling in the passage way.
I had noticed the whiskered local in the bottom corner, but it was the light and shadow that drew me.
The photo was taken using a Pentax K5 IIs camera and an FA 35mm prime lens, which originally gave me a wider shot than what I've posted.
As it happens, random passer by had walked into frame slightly, so later I decided to crop the person out in a post edit, forcing me to decide on a framing with a narrower field of view.
Cropping had the effect of making me realise the cat was the absolute star of the photo and I'm glad my curious friend was there on the day.

Another day, another piece published. This is a result of a writing challenge at Voidspace Zine to use all the words generated on a website.

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Here’s a little bit of softness and gentleness for your day: Andromache has tucked herself into the duvet by my feet and is slowly blinking herself to sleep.


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