It’s impossible to get a grip on what’s happened here.

A colleague here at the office lost everything; I know of others too who lost everything they own, and who had friends who were killed. We’re still hearing more stories, trying to find out about people. Mike and Claire’s house is OK but badly affected. Their community is shattered.

For every miracle story – and there are many – there’s a story of tragedy where the miracle didn’t happen.

Fires are still burning, and communities are still under threat. The terrible, incomprehensible truth is that most of the fires seem to have been deliberately lit.

Of course, this is completely irrelevant, but we have been working on a Valentines Day basement space for this weekend. I don’t have the stomach for it at the moment – it seems somewhat offensive to be working on that when mike and claire, who have been so much a part of its creation, are literally sitting in the ashes. Our last planning meeting was up at their place last Thursday – we ate dinner, looking over the trees and paddocks from their gorgeous living room. We talked about love and romance, debated wording and, of all things, type faces. We were clever, the space is coming together brilliantly. It all seemed terribly relevant then and meaningful – and it was – but in the light of everything else just at the moment, it just feels like a luxury, and an insensitive indulgence.