We moved to a house in Holsworthy when I was 13. ‘Lived-in’ was a nice way to describe the house. It was run down but at least I had a big room to myself. There were still packing boxes everywhere, with that really sticky masking tape.

One day my mum came in and said ‘pack a bag.’ There was a bushfire that had encroached on the town within eyesight from our balcony. We could see the flames. The design of the nearby village meant that the thatch fencing around the perimeter of the place had caught on fire. From the balcony we could look directly at the sun due the density of the smoke. The sun was a big orange disk in the sky.

We had to be ready to leave in case the fire came too close. Later, we saw white ash covering everything, it almost looked nice, like snow.


Thick acrid smoke (not the smell of a bushfire but burning houses, cars, building materials…) Horrible 70s carpet that looked like marble cake.


Jarreau Broadhurst