To-day is getting warmer and to-morrow promises to be a hot Australia Day - scorching in some parts. I have been out and about to-day: over to Coburg through Northcote and Thornbury this morning and midday found me in Lilydale heading for the hills through Monbulk and Belgrave and back home to Upper Gully. Now if it's that hot perhaps you dream of waving coconut palms. But coconut palms in Melbourne? Someone in Thornbury (or is it Coburg) has solved this problem. The photo above shows a green palm tree complete with yellowy green coconuts. I think it might be made from moulded plastic - note the "carved" effect on the "bark" and the spiky "palm fronds". The sky looks clear blue. Glad the camera was so sympathetic. The reality is that a smoky, smoggy haze from widespread Victorian bushfires covers the inner city extending even to the outer east and the Dandenongs. Even our view of the Dandenongs National Park from our home in Upper Gully is thick with smoke. It makes us think of the firefighters, those who have lost homes and livelihood, and - above all - of those who have lost their precious lives. Our prayers are with you all!