Fires, family and flowers

Well, I've been rattling round the Edinburgh Festival this last three weeks and been brought up short by a phone call from my brother this morning. You see, his home is in Papagou, an eastern suburb of Athens. The news I had heard through the roar of the local arty rammy had not suggested there was any danger to them. But no! - the fires had been within 500m of the house and the family moved into the city centre for a couple of days! The phone call ended with Fergus saying "I hear sirens - we'd better go and find out what's happening!"

We're a kind of "no news is good news" set of communicators in this family so I won't worry till there's something concrete to worry about. Still I can't say I'm not anxious.

I've chosen this photo as symbolic of the loss of life all over Greece. It's from my last visit to Athens in 2005 and the Kaisariani Forest where it was taken is now burnt to a crisp along with so much else. What a damnable waste of life and land this firestorm has caused. I could say more but it's being said better and louder by others already.


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