Last week, you may remember that I wrote about a mysterious piece of newspaper that turned up in the post from my sister, Maureen, in Australia. Initially confused as to why she should be sending me adverts for mobility scooters and various other matters of interest for the over 60s, I eventually - perhaps optimistically - realised that it was a feature about someone who had got a publishing deal from blogging. Okay, so she was 77 so really, the whole two pages were devoted in some way to senior citizens which makes you wonder whether it was the whole paper was like that or if Maureen just saw it and felt compelled to rip it out and send it to me. If you can tell that I am becoming a little paranoid by all this then you may be right especially as I only came here to tell you about the latest post from the other side of the world.
Again, I thought it was going to be stamps for my father-in-law. But no, it was koalas. Not whole ones, obviously as this would be cruel but pictures of them. Now I think I quite like koalas even thought I've never seen one as I've never been to Australia but they have nice faces. They look sort of loved, patchwork in some way, maybe because of the shape of their ears and it is like someone has thoughtfully just sewn on a nice new leather nose. They also look slow, as if they are unlikely to make any sudden moves and this, I like. I also like the idea that they smell of eucalyptus and this reminds me of our children's bedtime creatures that we put in the microwave (obviously, I'm not suggesting that I would microwave a koala any more that I would like to put one in the post) so there's something very comforting about the image of a koala.
Anyway, the pictures were of koalas who had suffered in the recent bush fires. I had already seen some images emailed to me by my brother-in-law and if you click here, you can see them too. I'm trying to think what to say. The scale of human loss is unspeakable and although the images depict animal suffering, their very existence seems to capture the essence of what it is to be human, of being fragile. I will say no more now because I think that the pictures speak for themselves.