Monday, November 28, 2005


Adelaide in summer is one of the great beauties of the world. Even on the breathtakingly hottest days, there's a sort of crackling blue and gold shimmer, as in those medieval Florentine paintings of angels.

That weather will be on us in a matter of weeks, so it's all the harder to imagine how things are in the two places hardest and most recently hit by natural disasters: Louisiana and Pakistan. Because in both of those places, of course, winter is closing in.

Operation Eden was one of the first blogs I ever had a proper look at, and remains one of the best I've seen. It was begun as a way of managing desperation, the day that photographer Clayton Cubitt heard in New York that his mother and his little brother had gone missing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and from there it has developed into an astonishingly moving photo gallery and journal; the guy is a born writer as well as a superb photographer. His most recent post describes a re-housing project being hurried along before winter sets in.

Across the world in Islamabad, aid workers from various agencies are trying to co-ordinate efforts to get supplies and shelter materials to remote villagers in the wildest mountain regions before the snow sets in and those regions become completely inaccessible. A friend working on the relief effort there e-mailed this morning to say the weather had broken: 'Heavy rain and snow on the homeless.'

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