In recent years I seem to be opening our newsletter with descriptions of unusual climatic events. It is a very interesting year for us to be celebrating the 40th anniversary. The opening sentence was written some weeks ago now. Fires, floods, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis are uppermost in our minds this year. Just last night, 400 campers were isolated at Wilson’s Promontory after extreme rainfall cut the road in a number of places. This year rainfall records have tumbled down like the rain itself. Often these reports of mine have been accompanied by news of various threats to viticulture and how tough things are. In response, many people have emailed or phoned just to check that we are OK! This year, due to an unprecedented sequence of events portrayed in the local and international media, we need to keep things carefully in perspective and it seems completely inappropriate to use this newsletter in any way that might compound the grief of those that are facing true hardship. Our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones and livelihoods and those that now face the difficult task of rebuilding their devastated landscapes.