We’re burning up down here!

Setting the world on fire for Sunday Stills

It’s been a HOT few months here in Tumbarumba, and most of Australia for that matter. And we’re burning up!

We're burning up down here, photo challenge for Sunday Stills

There have been bushfires burning out of control in Tasmania and there’s heavy rain and flooding up in the top end of Queensland. We’ve had massive storms and really the weather is being a bit extreme, even by our hot Aussie summer standards!  Our little town has played host to a tent city with fire fighters using it as a base as they fight a particularly large bushfire nearby.  On the other side of the world it’s snowing up a storm.

The last thing I want to think about at the moment is fire but as this week’s prompt for Terri’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge, is Fire, I will make an effort.

Over the years I have tried to capture fire:

A true story about calling the emergency line: Police, Fire or Ambulance ??

What a decision I had to make – police, fire or ambulance? The triple O operator couldn’t advise me, she said I had to decide which was more appropriate.

I chose police.

How ironic… I worked in a correctional facility and yet I was the one locked in, luckily for just a short time and not in a gaol – but in a stairwell!

It all started very early one morning, like 3am, as I had a bus to catch. The problem was that the bus left very early and I needed to leave my car somewhere safe for the day.

I decided to park in a big shopping centre that had 24 hour parking – at least I got that part right. My problems started when I tried to find my way to the ground level, as I wasn’t sure if the lifts would work or not. I did try them but then changed my mind and decided to take the stairs.

I don’t sweat, I sparkle.

Being a bit of a fitness fanatic, I always choose the stairs when I can and didn’t think too much about it until I was in the stairwell and tried to open one of the doors – it wouldn’t open!  I went down and tried another door and another but nothing, it was all locked up tight. I wasn’t panicking too much at this stage but when I went back up to the top floor expecting the door where I went in to open, and it didn’t – well then I started worrying big time!

I remember telling myself to breathe and calm down. It didn’t work too well!

I couldn’t ring my husband (he was 300kms away and fast asleep in bed), I couldn’t ring my daughter where I had stayed the night as it was way too early, and I had a bus to catch, so I rang 000 (triple zero emergency number).

I have only ever called this number once before in my life and felt a bit foolish doing so now, but couldn’t think of any other options. The operator was very patient with me and asked the question police, fire or ambulance….I couldn’t decide for a moment but I decided to start with police.  After checking my location city, state and my phone number she connected me to the Australian Federal Police.  This seemed a bit over the top to me!!

The officer was very helpful and calming, asking me if my phone had reception and how much battery I had left (I started worrying that I’d be stuck in there for ages).  She asked for my location within the shopping centre and said they’d get someone from centre management onto it.  I received a call a short while later asking for my location and within another 10 minutes I was rescued by a security guard, much to my relief.  I nearly ran out of the stairwell and he very kindly took me down in the lift and pointed me in the direction of the bus station.

I was very disoriented, which my husband pointed out had nothing to do with my little adventure!  It really was quite a harrowing experience and one I don’t recommend to anyone who doesn’t like enclosed spaces.

The good news is that I made my bus, I survived my ordeal.  I’m still not too sure about going into a stairwell though!

I’ve also been stuck in a public toilet cubicle – but that’s a story for another day!

But back to the topic – the sky can sometimes be said to be on fire and these photos show a range of fiery colours 

Enjoy your week and stay cool, or warm, depending on your hemisphere and try to set the world on fire in your own indomitable way!

Feel free to leave a comment below. I always enjoy hearing from you!

Deb x


Sharing with Denyse for #lifethisweek

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Playing with fire



46 Replies to “We’re burning up down here!”

  1. Oh wow that stairwell story is my idea of a nightmare! I have an absolute fear of lifts – so scared of it getting stuck between floors and being unable to get out – so I always take the stairs, I had never ever thought that the doors may not open from the stairwell before! You must have been so scared.
    It does seem weird that Australia is experiencing such extreme temperatures and parts of the US are having their coldest winter ever. Here in the UK we are nicely between the two (at the moment!) it’s cold here, but no worse than it normally is this time of year. Not sure how I’d cope in your heat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Debs, your comment is much appreciated, it was a scary episode but a great story now! Our daughter in SW England has just had lots of snow so we love seeing her photos as we swelter here. I’m off to the pool shortly for an aqua aerobics session – one way to beat the heat and get exercise win/win 🙂


  2. I’m thankful that the fires aren’t near you both!! Scary these extreme temperatures and weather. Laughed at it wasn’t the ordeal that made you disoriented. That’s something Les would say about me. Like exiting a shop 😂 Getting stuck in a toilet and pulling the a chord. Les and our friends came to rescue me as that child set off a very loud alarm throughout the small village. Obviously for the elderly who get stuck in the toilet 🙄 We headed to the car rather quickly!! Deb, loving those colourful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omgoodness, how scary! I find it weird that door wouldn’t open on the ground floor? I have been a fire warden in many jobs. The stairwell doors don’t open on floors only the main exit floor. Having worked in a sky scrapper we had to tell fit people that if you decided to go down the stairs you must go right down to the bottom. enough ranting lol…love your photos xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was very scared I’d be stuck for ages and thankfully my phone was fully charged. I had a good story to tell once I was extracted 🙂 but I’m not in a hurry to go through it again! Thanks for your explanation, I really thought all the doors would open up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First off, your fire pics are gorgeous, Debbie–fire is not easy to capture with a lens! Sorry to read about the local fires and crazy weather. Thankfully our fire season is over but the effects of the Campfire in Northern Cal are felt acutely as the displaced folks are dealing with tons of rain and flooding. I’ve heard we are in a La Nina weather pattern, so more rain in the Northern Hemisphere, (and helps explain so much rain and snow in the desert,) but sounds crazy in the entire globe. Thank you for sharing the harrowing experience of being trapped. So interesting you have to choose whom to call. Thanks for being a faithful participant in Sunday Stills! I always look forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Terri, it’s good to have some sort of schedule to stick to otherwise I just post randomly, and so Sunday Stills gives me this direction. You have had some dreadful fires over there too! Crazy weather indeed!! I enjoyed sharing my harrowing experience as well, just a bit more weird randomness from me 🙂 I love trying to capture fire and love the opportunity to join in with you, so thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mother Nature really is throwing her toys out of the pram what with the fires in Tassie, the floods in Townsville and temperatures hot enough to make you melt all over Australia – at least that’s certainly how it seems! I felt a bit anxious just reading your story about the stairs – it’s one of my biggest fears trumped only by getting stuck in a lift although being trapped in a toilet cubicle is right up there too! At least your story had a happy ending!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sammie, it was scary at the time but now I just enjoy telling the story and I’m so glad it had a happy ending! I’m OK with lifts but then I’ve never been stuck in one, so maybe that would change my thinking. I was stuck in a toilet cubicle once and that was just awful! We are certainly experiencing some wild weather!! Great to have you stop by, so thank you for that! Enjoy the week ahead.


  6. Hi Deb, I would have been hyperventilating in the stairwell as I’m not good with heights or confined spaces. You have certainly had it hot down there this year. I’ve never experienced bushfires but always think that if I was warned one was on the way I would just get up and go. We can always replace possessions but we can’t replace our lives. Have a great week and hope it is a bit cooler fo ryou. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness Debbie I can totally visualize how you would get locked in that stairwell. Like you I am often in search of the stairs for that extra exercise. I’m going to take a moment to think about that from now on! As I type it is mid day in Calgary and the current temperature is -26C and falling. That would be without windchill which I think is currently -34C. Let me just shiver as I type.
    Dave and i both have been using the app you suggested and having great fun. His looks ridiculously like him. So fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you’re having fun with the app Sue, it makes me giggle but my daughters cringe!!
      The stairwell experience was not fun in the other hand. Your temperatures sound diabolical to me, stay warm.
      I’m just off to the local pool, although today is quite a lot milder than it had been at about 25C. We’re at polar opposites at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Deb, Nice fire photos. Getting stuck in a stairwell and not knowing how long before you could get out is scary. Good thing your phone was fully charged and you got help soon enough. I got stuck in an elevator before. Hope it is cooler for you soon. Have a great week! #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My nephew was just posting satellite photos of the fires. The severe weather around the globe is devastating. And I don’t know whether to laugh about your stairwell story or be worried it will happen to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fire – especially bushfires – very scary stuff. Loved your stuck in the stairwell story too – made me smile but also I was very glad it wasn’t me because I’d have panicked and not even thought of calling 000. Smart move girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The heat has been ridiculous. Loved your stuck in the stairwell story – I would never have thought about calling 000 but rather would bang on the door calling ever so feebly for someone, anyone, to hear me. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can relate to your panic in the stairwell, but oh boy, the heat and fires there are just unimaginable. Of course, we were plagued with our own infernos this past year out west in the US, and then we were caught up in the polar vortex last week … our poor Mother Earth is surely angry with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Deb,
    As always, I enjoy your photos…fire is so hard to capture, maybe that is part of its allure.
    The stairwell adventure was an exercise in problem-solving…which you passed with flying colors…I would have been a bit panicky too !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, it does take getting used to it.
        I grew up in FL on the beach, it was very hot and humid but I could spend a lot of time in the water.
        Now I live in TX, I can’t imagine living here without AC. It gets up to 95-100 degrees pretty much from June-Oct. Same humidity. It’s miserable. No one goes outside much. Spring and Fall are really nice. Winter too, mostly. We’re having lots of rain, but temps haven’t been below 30 degrees yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Country fires look so treacherous. I remember when we lived in the north west of NSW and you could see a fire in the distance. You HOPED it would be put out eventually and not land on your doorstep. I have to say that I avoid lifts at Westmead Hospital now. I am there a lot and the one that takes people to different levels in the dental area just did not want to close its doors or move one day…and that was the last time I rode in it. I have shortcuts via the stairs – not the building stairwells – and feel more virtuous for using them.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt for 6/51 is My Worst Purchase. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

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