Smoke over Dunedin as a building went up in smoke. I saw it as I walked up George Street, a column of smoke rising over the city. Bracken Court on the southside of Lower Moray Place was aflame in minutes and threatened the buildings around it. The surrounding buildings were closed off and evacuated.

It meant I did not get into Bag End to buy my last comic stash – I will try again on Friday. I passed people standing at the corner of Moray place and Princess Street taking photos with their cell phones. Rather ghoulish I thought. The photos were circulating around Dunedin Offices within minutes. The tower of flames could be seen around the city.

I am told that the neon sign for the cafe on the ground floor stayed on as the upper storeys caught fire. Ironically it is called Toast. The building was bombarded with water until the gutters overflowed.

The archives is indirectly affected because a neighbouring building in risk of catching fire in turn is Parry House where the records for the Synod of Otago and Southland are held. Apparently the flames would have been seen from the Synod Clerk’s office directly opposite.

After going to the gym I walked up to Mornington for a meeting, the second time in the last seven days. I missed the corner I wanted and had to walk back about four blocks.

[She] rather distrusted Archivists, which she knew was an ambivalent attitude because she recognised the underlying necessity for data. But Chapter House Records could only be viewed as a jungle of abbreviations, special notations, coded insertions, and footnotes[…]You could nver consult Archival Records in a straightforward manner. Much of the interpretation that emerged from that source had to be accepted on the word of the ones who brought it or (hateful!) you had to rely on the mechanical search[…]This, in its turn, required a dependency on those who maintained the system. It gave functionaries more power than [she] cared to delegate. […] She did not like dealing with the Archivists who came trotting in with answers to her questions. A disdainful lot they were, full of secret jokes. (Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune.)