Years ago, when we still lived at Hurstville, there was a large paperbark tree out the front of the unit block. One Friday night – just before friends from Canberra were coming up to visit us for the first time – someone parked a car next to the tree, and set both alight.
Kel famously slept through the whole thing: I woke in the middle of the night, saw that the fire engine had everything under control and went back to sleep.
In the morning, when Kel finally noticed what had happened, we had to explain to our friends that they would be parking their beloved ute next to the burnt out car and the burnt tree.
Walking past that same spot today, it was encouraging to see that the fire hasn’t done any lasting damage to the tree – it’s still as strong as ever.