I had the candles lit last night. I often light candles, but what is about a death of a family member, or a friend, or even an acquaintance, that makes me feel I need candles lit? That small flame against the dark is comforting in some symbolic way.

It has been humid lately. Humidity is an unusual condition for Melbourne. We either have dry heat, or it’s cold and rainy; until this year, which has had a distinctly tropical feel. Everything feels damp and smells kind of dank. What a weird summer, thanks to La Nina, apparently.

I watched ‘Ponyo’ last night, which was pretty cute. It includes an animated depiction of flood in a Japanese village, a stark contrast to the grim reality of floods we’ve been seeing around this country lately. The director, Hayao Miyazaki, also made ‘Spirited Away’, ‘Howls Moving Castle’ and ‘Grave of the Fireflies’. I think Howls appealed to me most, but they are all worth seeing. ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ was based on his war time memories as a child, and is very sad, so be warned. But see them all. The animation is hand drawn, not computer generated and you can tell.