Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Burning Down the House.

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  • David Haywood,

    I don't believe we were saved by our Lady of the Blessed Sprinkler.

    Shame on you for your unfounded skepticism, Mr Slack! Do you really mean to deny the divine intervention that self-evidentally saved your wretched skin?

    If so, then please explain, sir, by what other means Emily Dickenson was able to predict these exact events (in every detail) more than 120 years ago in her poem 'Though the Great Waters Sleep':

    Though the great Waters sleep,
    That they are still the Deep,
    We cannot doubt,
    No vacillating God
    Ignited this Abode
    To put it out.

    Earthly fire is but winter sunlight in comparison to that which surely awaits you in the hereafter, Mr Slack. I hope you enjoy the smell of brimstone in the morning.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    They had beautiful deep green leaves, and delicate branches that swayed gently in the summer breeze.

    They didn't ask for much did they? There you were ready and able to annihilate. Well, well. .... ;) On a lighter note(fnah fnah) We have just saved 6 acres from ever being chopped down ('cept of course the building site.)
    Frankly it was irresistable.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5971 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    David we have all done dumb things
    "That seemed like a good idea, at the time!"
    Well I have and so it would seem have you
    Put it down to experience and thank the

    our Lady of the Blessed Sprinkler.

    that no real damage was done

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    Reminds me of Terry Pratchett:

    Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been Fate. People are always a little confused about this, as they are in the case of miracles. When someone is saved from certain death by a strange concatenation of circumstances, they say that's a miracle. But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of events : the oil just spilled there, the safety fence just broke there : that must also be a miracle. Just because its not nice, doesn't mean its not miraculous.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    This was like a scene or three from the movie Final Destination.

    The tree was probably going to fall on some wires and electrocute you, but it went for the 'spontaneous combust (with assisstance) ' option, now it will be plotting some other evil way. Is it poisonous?

    Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Is it poisonous?

    Heh, it's mexican. Eye for eye innit. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5971 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I'll echo Raymond here, but excuse my ignorance, but I just don't understand; what prompts people to plant trees in the most inappropriate of places?

    For instance, planting one's Christmas pine, the poor wee thing, one metre away from the bedroom window, because, you know, poor wee pine trees stay poor wee pine trees.

    Forgive my note of sarcasm here - but it's a cliche that all to often becomes ones worst nightmare. Bam! The poor wee thing becomes a 40 meter pine blocking your sunlight and creaking ever so noisly on windy nights. All for a moment's thinking how big is that thing gunna get??

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    David we have all done dumb things
    "That seemed like a good idea, at the time!"
    Well I have and so it would seem have you

    I don't think I need to detail the Great Smoke Inhalation Affair or the Melting Pot Incident to give you the flavour of some of the fire-related mishaps in households I've lived in. It mostly doesn't do to dwell on them too much, with the exception of making sure there's no repeat.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    how big is that thing gunna get??

    Hey, with all due respect Christopher ( and wee Mexican Elder) and really don't need to step in, I am sure, but, I have a few Bay trees (Portuguese Bay laurel) and in hot weather they get up to 10 metres but in cold they are considerably different, yet still grow nicely. So David may have thought south side , bit cold. less chance , limited info by the retailer etc. etc. Still, continuous pruning can reduce water consumption and clay soil will jam the doors every summer.That should be common knowledge eh? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5971 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    David Just be careful laddie. When the chips are down, you are committed to a be a victim of revenge. Remember that while you sleep the chippies will be plotting because as you know, "They Walk by Night!"

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5971 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Christopher, we honestly gave it careful thought, but it outgrew its predicted size. This leads me to believe that Mr Haywood is correct: I failed to appreciate just Who we were dealing with.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah. Nearly burning down the house. Reminds me of our embarrassing chimney fire.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18663 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    So Mexican Elders moved your house and then tried to burn it down. This is why we need a fence people...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    There must be a word (and if there isn't, there should be) for that peculiar lurch you get in your guts, and the associated unpleasant skin-creepy feeling, when you realise that you're fine, but a few seconds ago you were inches/milliseconds/one flip of the cards of fate from something really nasty.

    The time you jumped from a 10-metre cliff into a rockpool, and realised there was a submerged boulder a foot away from where you landed....

    The time the rear of the car gave an interesting little shimmy, and you crossed the centre line for a second, getting yourself back on the right side of the road seconds before a logging truck came round the corner the other way...

    The time you were drilling a hole in the wall to put up a picture, and there was a bright blue flash and the drill bit was suddenly half the length it was when you started...

    And so on.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2344 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    When I was about 9 I had a horrible dream about driving down the Desert road on a family holiday and the whole Desert road was on fire. I woke up very upset and sleepily climbed into my parent's bed for comfort.

    At that point we realised the house was full of smoke...

    The clothes rack in hall had been left with a heater under it to dry the large sheets of cloth soaked in detergent that Dad sold as windscreen demisting clothes. We ended up with a patch of burnt floor tiles and a hell of a scare.

    I was too young to understand just how close we had come. Looking back I can understand that my father must have felt just like you David.

    PS this was in the days before household smoke alarms existed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3256 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    And so on.

    The time I was biking along, cutting through to the left of stopped traffic, and the front wheel slipped down into the gutter and I ended up falling onto the left front quarter panel of someone's car... then reflecting about 500m down the road what might have happened if I'd done that in moving traffic and fallen in front of a car.

    There was also the time when Dad managed to shut the power cord of a toasted sandwich maker inside the hot plates while it was still plugged in and working - cue tremendous bang, a ball of blue light about two foot across, and a few reflective minutes on the part of everyone in the room.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    Reminds me of a song.
    You say Alder, Sophie says Elder
    Lets cool the whole thing off..

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    There must be a word (and if there isn't, there should be) for that peculiar lurch you get in your guts, and the associated unpleasant skin-creepy feeling, when you realise that you're fine, but a few seconds ago you were inches/milliseconds/one flip of the cards of fate from something really nasty.

    There is... Life.
    Which is why, when it all turns to custard people say "That's Life"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4636 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How does one befriend these custard people?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7348 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    How does one befriend these custard people?

    Oh, it's quite trifling, really.

    Make suitable offerings of fruit, jelly, sponge cake, and whipped cream.

    Add brandy to the jelly to taste. Garnish with sprinkles, walnut halves and grated chocolate.

    Serve chilled, with more whipped cream.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2344 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I don't think I need to detail the Great Smoke Inhalation Affair or the Melting Pot Incident

    My best effort is the Indoor Fish Smoking conflagration of '08. Closely followed by the Unattended Toasted Muesli Smokebomb of 1978.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 647 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    How Northshore to have a 'house' fire as opposed to a hiphop one

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16436 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    How does one befriend these custard people?

    I, for one, welcome the Yellow peril. Trade agreements may pave the way to closer ties but there maybe some cravats.

    I'll get my passport.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4636 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Do you really mean to deny the divine intervention that self-evidentally saved your wretched skin?

    So, I used to have this... person I was forced to interact with regularly, who was interesting. She told this story about the time she was woken by their lights flickering on and off. Thought it was one of their kids acting up. It stopped, then started again, and her husband got up to catch the offender. Nobody there, but he noticed a funny smell, went round the corner, and discovered that their fuse box was pretty much melting into a pile of slag.

    It was of course, a miracle. Because you see God had made their lights flicker, to warn them that they were in terrible danger from their electrics. There is, after all, no other possible explanation.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4335 posts Report Reply

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