Isolation – Week Seven

We have now completed Week Seven of our lockdown and we are surviving well. Jill and I actually commented on just how quickly this week seemed to go. There is not a great deal to report other than a few minor aspects of life in general.

The weather this week has been quite cool. We’ve had three days where the temperature only reached 13C and a cold southerly wind made it feel quite a few degrees cooler. Our heater is getting quite a workout. My solar system has reduced its capacity to power our house. In summer, it produces about 85% of our electricity needs but so far this month, it has only produced about 16% of our power. 

It didn’t take too long for me to realise that it is impossible tp produce solar energy and fill up our rainwater tank (for the garden) on the same day. We have a total of 9,000 litres of water storage for the garden and both tanks are full and overflowing. We just don’t need any more rain!

I learned a lot this week from ordering some shoes online. When they arrived last Friday, I tried them on, only to find that they were about two sizes two small, even though they were the same size as others that I own of the same brand. Lesson No 1 – some things need to purchased in person. I rather liked my old shoes. The sole separated away from the upper and was flopping around as I walked . These were the shoes in which I had my orthotics that supported the arches of my feet. When I first acquired them (the orthotics), I was very vocal in my opposition to them and uncertain that they would be of any value, but I stand corrected.

Lesson No 2 was when I went to the post office to ship them back for a refund. The post office is not a place where you are ever going to catch corona virus. The wait was longer than the incubation period. I knew when I left, that I was very well and definitely not infected.

We have bought a few things on line but the delivery firms are so overwhelmed with their volume of deliveries, it is taking many weeks for our purchases to arrive. Whenever a delivery does arrive, we have a guessing game as to what it might be because the time between ordering it and delivery is now so long, I just can’t remember what we have ordered..

I remember at a work conference that I attended many years ago, one of the speakers made a point about how popular music represented the times. He based his talk around how each decade had a different type of popular music that reflected societal attitudes and feelings. . 

As I remember, his story went something like this:

1930’s – In the years following the Great Depression much of the music was bright and bubbly after those years of hardship and despair. Music from the Swing Bands are great examples of this ‘happy music’

1940’s – The second world war years had songs of hope and an eventual return to peace and happiness. Vera Lynn’s songs like ‘There’s a Bluebird Over The White Cliffs of Dover’ and ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ were typical examples.

1950’s – The songs of this decade were about getting on with life again after the war and reflected the beginnings of major social changes in the world. It saw the start of Rock and Roll, Country and Jazz.

1960’s – Here, we saw the rise of protest songs and music of rebellion as old societal standards were dismissed along with the psychedelic music of escapism. . A new social conscience was growing and the cold war was at its peak. Great songs from this decade included ‘We’ve got to get out of this place’ by the Animals (the theme song of every soldier in Vietnam) and ‘The Eve of Destruction’ by Neil Diamond. Other notable music came from the musical ‘Hair’ and some of the Beatles songs referenced psychedelic drugs. I remember someone saying that if you can remember the 60’s, you really weren’t there!

1970’s – This decade served as a bridge between the seriousness of the music that came out of the late sixties and the excessiveness of the music from the 1980’s, Disco was born as was Punk and New Wave music.

1980’s – Music here was inspired by the beginnings of technological change. Music videos meant that greater importance was placed on the appearance of musicians and gimmicks became commonplace. Technical input into popular music was strong.

1990’s – I’m getting out of my depth now but I think that this was a decade of extremes with under-produced, anti-establishment grunge bands and gangster rappers enjoying just as much success as the overly produced and studio manufactured pop groups.

2000’s – This was a decade filled with much suffering in terms of the September 11th attacks, two wars in the Middle East, and an economic downturn, a lot of the music tried to strike a fine balance between upbeat and optimism while still reflecting the pain that many experienced politically and economically.

I’m not sure about how this story of different music themes will will come across to you. I’ll probably never get a job as a serious writer or a philosopher. I did have an interview once for a job as a blacksmith. I was asked if I had ever shoed a horse. I said no, but I’d told a donkey to go away and get lost.

So where is this all going?

Well, the other day, I came across a very well produced video from an Irish organisation that had a distinct relevance to these difficult Covid-19 times. It’s called ’The Phoenix. It is a  Covid-19-inspired video about love and loss, hope and strength. The production, from a Dublin-based creative agency asks, “Do you think when this will all end, will we love more?”’ and it is full of messages of hope about what it will be like when this virus is over and relationships can back to something like normal again. 

The Phoenix | The Tenth Man.mp4

While listening to that video, I couldn’t help but thInk that a lot of people around the world are, sadly, having a much harder time than we are here in Australia. It’s quite surreal to think that we are probably not too far from having this thing under control while isolation and death rates in many other countries are so severe . I’m certainly feeling far more optimistic that I was eight weeks ago. Like others, though, I am anxiously waiting to see what rules our Victorian government may relax from our current harsh restrictions when they review our State of Emergency on May 11.

Some final thoughts for the week:

The best way to avoid touching your face is to have a glass of wine in both hands.

I saw a company advertising ‘Bruce’ mementos on Facebook. This blanket really caught my eye. To use an Aussie joke, it belongs right in the pool room (a line from the Australian movie ‘The Castle’ in which the pool room was the repository for every piece of crap that was considered so special that it had to go on display).

IMG 4175

For my American friends, here’s an explanation of our accent. I hope you are not behaving too much trouble with my ramblings!

IMG 4180

2 thoughts on “Isolation – Week Seven

  1. Reading your musings Bruce brings a smile of pleasure to my face. We are indeed very lucky to be Australians living in Australia generally and specifically under our current conditions for the majority.

  2. Thank you Bruce and always enjoy travel logues and ramblings.
    Cheers,
    Ian & Sue

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