The bushfire-dragon appeared on the edge of Sydney today.
He hunched up and dug his claws firmly into the mountains. He peered at us from red eyes, and darkened this sparkling city with hot sooty wind.
I get though my work, an the sunlight slants low into my back garden, thin and orange and eerie.
I have a moment of remembering the Fern Hill house of my childhood, a big love, lost in fire.
I just hope everyone will be okay today.
I live my day, I go out attend one last meeting.
Its more powerful than me.
But my Japanese self holds a discussion with my Wild self, and we decide 'Gambarimasu!', to go find a proper bed, and not risk frightening the staff with a woman on the floor.
The snarl of rush hour is closing in, driving home to the Vaucluse House is certain defeat. I turn around, return to Annandale.
Two houses. For the first time, I get to experience a flash of joy about this.
Natalia will be there, all dimples and luxuriously long Russian syllables.
In a few minutes she will get hungry, open the fridge, and stare bewildered at the Kangaroo steak she has just bought. An edible souvenir of her new country.
She will then put it in a frypan, turn it up to full dragon power. Turn it into hobnail boots. Because...well, she's the kind of girl who needs a wife, and the cooking of something as lean as kangaroo is a delicate matter.
As I drive I recall the recipe for Vietnamese Kangaroo salad. My newly-planted shady garden will be of no help tonight.
In this suburban street I'm driving down, under a red sun on an eerie day, I make a wish for corriander, lime and mint, and a miracle.
A little shop appears.
The Magical Milk Bar
Tear mint, coriander and kale of their stems and into bits.
Soften kale and coriander stems in hot water
Cook Kangaroo hard and fast, just a minute on each side.
Wrap in foil to rest. This slow-heats the center to a pink softness. A luxurious mink-coat of foil. But to be wild and low tech, we grabbed leaves from the banana tree instead, for wrapping.
Fry raw almonds in butter till fragrant. Sprinkle on last to preserve crunch.
Blend fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chilli and finely-chopped onion and garlic.
Slice roo Sashimi-style, reducing any juices into gravy.
Mingle everything wildly.
Eat with delight
Just an hour's drive away, people's homes are being turned into memories of home.
Fires brought these people into my evening, and me into theirs.
Like the opposite of collateral damage.
For my next micro-disaster, I must remember to capture the collateral blessings, before they fade away unnoticed.