The captivating country on fire as Australia burns | JabberingJourno column

The Asutralian bushfires
The Asutralian bushfires

When I was five I tried to dig a hole and make my way down under.

Although I did make quite a serious dent in the sandpit and found a buried and forgotten 50p coin( riches!) I didn’t quite make it to the land where kangaroos roam - mainly because I was called in for my tea.

But then 17 years later and post-university, with the call of the other side of the world still ringing in my ears, I finally discovered that excavating my bank account to pay for a flight was easier than labouring downwards through the earth- and I headed off on my travels, which included a year living and working in Australia.

It’s a captivating country most like Britain and nothing like Britain and I was enamoured from the start, even considering taking residency and moving there permanently - a plan ultimately stopped by family illness.

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Now that country where I learned to pull a schooner rather than a pint behind the bar, where I slept out in the red centre under the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock) waking covered in bites, where I swam with sharks and partied with other backpackers and natives in sandals and tie-dyed outfits from Bali and where I transitioned from to young adult to independent soul, is ablaze

It’s very hard for us here in the UK to understand the scale of the Australia bushfires.

As of January 2, it’s reported an estimated 5.9 million hectares of land has burned.

That’s larger than Denmark and The Netherlands — and almost three times the size of Wales.

Think about that - THREE times.

A total of 23 people have been killed, 1,500 homes destroyed and an estimated 500 million animals have perished.

A total of 1.2 million UK citizens live in Australia. It’s like our sister’s house is on fire, they are screaming for help, and we are doing nothing because we live so far away from each other.

If it was us - we would want and expect more help.

To do just that look up or