7 July marvellous Melbourne not so marvellous!

We were just getting a bit too comfortable with that stealthy virus and now it has taken off like one of our famous bushfires, ratcheting up the numbers to double digits. The Victorian government has come down hard, fast and serious on 12 suburbs and in particular some high rise apartments. They dropped the ball on the hotel quarantine which leaked infection into the community and now we have significant community transmission again. This time I think they reacted strongly, but communicating with the hundreds of people in the high rise to explain their sudden isolation has been less than impressive. Speed overtook community consultation. I live in a high rise apartment and I understand how important the control of infection needs to be and also how hard it is to communicate with everyone simultaneously. We are in for a rocky road for a long time.

I read on the BBC web page that Spain tested 60,000 to measure how many have immunity. Only 5% were showing antibodies and nowhere near the herd immunity requirement of 70%. Also the North West of the country is now starting to show infection surges. This virus is such a mystery. The fact that people can be asymptomatic but contagious is such a concern and they still may not have developed antibodies either.

Well, since I started this post the whole metropolitan area has been sent back to lockdown and Victoria is now an isolated state. All borders closed. Aagh!! I am not surprised that this has occurred. When restrictions were eased it seemed that people just thought the danger was over. People relaxed the social distancing too much or didn’t take the threat seriously. Hospital admissions have gone up and that is really the measure. Hopefully we will get it back under control in the next six weeks that we are in lockdown. It is the businesses that are going to suffer the most again. So tough.

My sons are back working and my daughter-in-law is back working full time so even though we have lockdown I will need to help out with my grandson who now has an extra week at home and may be back being home schooled, (not something he or his parents want!).

I have been sharing Ziggy with his other grand parents over the school holidays. I have had to up my soccer( football) skills as he is a keen player who fancies himself as the next Renaldo. He has always been well coordinated and kicks hard and straight. He kept wanting me to dive for the ball when I was goalie! I had a sore elbow from deflecting balls. Fortunately another kid turned up who I encouraged to play for a while so I gained some respite. Two hours of leaping and kicking and running was a bit tiring for a Grandma! The other activity has been the pool. For a brief time our pool was open and we were able to get in quite a bit if swimming before the new lockdown. Ziggy likes to pretend he is surfing and grandma is the surfboard! I get to do a lot of swimming underwater which is good for my lungs. He is also swimming quite well and a few regular days swimming would boost his abilities. Fortunately he loves to draw also and so I manage to get some quiet time to recover from all this activity. He is great company and like all kids is switched on and a sponge!

I have managed a couple of restaurant outings. What a treat! To have a meal cooked for me has been quite wonderful and to have company with whom to share the experience was such a pleasure. I was blasé about restaurants before the lockdown sent me to the kitchen and now I really appreciate the pleasure of not knowing what is on the menu!

Restaurants who had just reopened to have 20 people had limited selections but everything was so imaginative and beautifully presented. Staff were so thrilled to be working again that the atmosphere was jubilant. Now they will all be back to home delivery and takeaway.

The Modern Australian Restaurant in Prahran with friends

After these two events I decided to try the at home menu of the famous Melbourne restaurant Attica. My friend Janine had missed the traditional birthday celebration lunch we share and with the new freedoms it seemed a good time to try what is usually a very expensive experience. I organised delivery to my home and Janine was coming to stay the night. The sudden lockdown threatened our evening but none the less the meal is going ahead and Janine is still coming.

I have had a sewing blitz and hemmed some trousers, remodelled a top, and started to consider quilting a long unfinished quilt. Time ran out when I was called for Grandma duties once again. I started the actual gym but that only lasted two weeks and it is back to Zoom sessions again. There have been two book club Zoom sessions too which were both interesting and challenging discussions. One book was The Yield by Tara June Winch and Island of Sea Women by Lisa Lee. Both were engrossing reads.

One good thing was a refund of two thirds of my multi-trip travel insurance. I have been so lucky. My China trip was fully refunded, the Africa trip was refunded less 10% and the Spanish trip I had delayed making bookings because I felt uneasy, so nothing lost. The plane fares are in dispute but we are likely to get a two year credit and they were pretty cheap. I would still like to have a refund but a credit will suffice if it is all we can get.

The refunds have gone some small way to ameliorate the cost of my dental expenses. Most of my travel money has gone into my mouth for work I had been postponing. There may not be lots to smile about, but when I do, I have now a great mouthful of teeth! Other expenses have been the cost of Alfie’s medication for his ear infections. It was quite a challenge on my own to outwit him so I could syringe the liquid into his ears. Fortunately he is very food focused and I could often do it while he ate, but he started to get wary after a few days. He would look very Suspiciously between me and his dinner when I put it down so I had to vary my attempts or he would escape under the dining table.

My final joy this week was a haircut. My mop was desperately in need of a trim and I have decided to keep most of the length now it has grown over the initially lockdown. Nothing like a trip to the hairdresser to make you feel great.

Small things have taken on a lot more importance in our lives. My neighbours have decided to remain at their beach home for the rest of the year and maybe permanently. I was sad because even though we live next door and do not see each other very frequently we have a great relationship and enjoy each other’s’ company. We could always call on each other if needed. CoVid is responsible for so much turmoil!

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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