And so here we are, a new decade, one that feels much less like the gleaming science fiction future we were promised and much more like every dystopian novel realised.
The area I live is not considered a high fire risk at the moment because it’s so drought-stricken that there’s practically no fuel for fires if they were to start, but like much of the state, the air is filled with fire smoke and the dust the wind picks up from the bare paddocks.
A strange side-effect is that when I’ve been driving through particular areas with my air-conditioning on, I’ve been getting contact rashes and my arms end up covered in hives. I’m assuming there’s some kind of pollen or seed in the air as grasses shed in distress.
Like a lot of people my age, I’ve lived through enough droughts to have heard of young children amazed by rain because they’ve never seen it before, but I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s strange enough to see people in other parts of the country using sprinklers, they seem like foreign objects now, but it’s also becoming incongruous to see cattle and sheep when it doesn’t seem possible there’s anything left in paddocks for them to eat.
It’s not exactly the dazzling start to a new decade we’re conditioned to expect, but it’s what we’ve got and if anything perhaps we will emerge more resilient and wiser to how to resist the status quo.