It’s weird being in London

It’s weird being in London with half of eastern Australia burning. I can still remember when my cousins lost everything except the clothes they were wearing and the car they were driving in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bush fires. A family I know who had a caravan in Lorne had to stand in the sea for hours in the burning sun to escape the fires.
The sky was orange-brown for what seemed like days. I remember standing in our garden as burnt leaves and twigs dropped from the sky. As the fires spread further and more bush animals and livestock were killed, I seem to remember the smell changing from gum smoke to something darker.
Luckily the fires aren’t anywhere near Mum’s place on Westernport Bay. I feel pretty selfish for thinking this.
It feels weird that no-one else here has ever driven through a burning grass fire, or had nightmares after seeing gruesome bushfire safety displays. I can still remember one display where two members of a family had left the car to try and outrun the fire, while two members had stayed behind. The ones that stayed behind were ok, but they never found the others. They could tell how far they’d gotten before the radiant heat hit them because their thongs (flip-flops) had melted onto the road.
I guess they’ve never had nightmares about being eaten by sharks when out swimming either, another legacy of an Australian childhood.