Our Second Week in Hibernation

We are still here at home after two weeks of hibernation. Everything is OK with us and we are managing quite well.

The weather has turned cool and over the course of this last week we have had around over 70 mm of rain (almost three inches). This weather has driven us inside so we can’t do as much in the garden as we would like. So, we have had more TV, Internet, reading and YouTube. I do find that the days are going a little more slowly now and by about 4.00 pm each day, I’m starting to get a little bored.

The vegetable seeds that I planted ten days ago have popped their heads up out of the soil. I go and inspect them each morning and afternoon but they aren’t growing as fast as I’m inspecting them.

I am starting to miss the company of other people. I’ve had a couple of occasions where friends have asked me a question by email and I have much preferred to call them and have a chat rather than just type out an answer. Facebook and Zoom have been good ways to keep in touch with family and friends.

There is a silver lining to all this in some ways:

Everyone, however, seems to want to offer me some solace and keep me informed. Every website that I have ever visited has sent me an email telling me what they are doing to get through this virus episode. Some have taken me a lot of thinking to remember just who they were!

The fuel consumption of my car is improving markedly – I now get three days to the litre.

We are definitely spending less. I know that the Prime Minister wants us to spend and support the economy, but when we can’t go out, there is nowhere much to spend any money. I actually now have a comma now in my every-day bank account balance!

We have implemented a much more thorough regimen of washing our hands. It is impossible to find any hand sanitiser around here so we have made some of our own. You need alcohol to kill bacteria and viruses. I’ve seen some recipes for hand cleaner that don’t contain other things and they just won’t be effective against this virus. A simple recipe using products that are easy to obtain is to mix 1 cup of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol), 1 tablespoon of glycerine and one teaspoon of tea tree oil.  I’ve rubbed so much alcohol on my hands, they now have their own AA meetings.

It’s amazing how much water we are using in keeping up your personal hygiene. I reckon that we are both washing our hands about ten times per day. For each 20 second wash, I calculate that about 3 litres of water goes down the drain. That’s 420 litres a week – two of those big 200 litre or 44 gallon drums. Just for hand washing!  I think the accountants at the water company must be rubbing their hands with glee.

We went out for our weekly supermarket buy-up today. Another big day out for the Wilsons. It’s getting much easier to find the things that we want although we have to plan well ahead to do a whole week of shopping at once. I noticed that the check-out chicks now have a plastic screen in front of them and we have to pack our own bags. I actually think our garbage bins are going out more often than we are. I did make a quick trip to the hardware store the other day as I noticed that the area above the window of my workshop was leaking and I needed to reseal it. I was able to do that between rain storms and so far it has stayed completely dry. Thank Goodness! That has been two outings for me in a week – far more than is safe for an old bloke, but these were really necessary.

I have done a few walks around the local park for exercise. The rules are that you can walk around for exercise but you can’t sit on a seat and relax. Here in Victoria, there are only four reasons why you can leave your home – to shop for food or essential supplies, to go to work, or study ( if you can’t  do it from home), to go to a medical appointment or to exercise. It is now illegal to be in group of more than two people (other than family who live in the same place).

The park where I walk has a circular track that is around 1.5 kms long – so a couple of laps gives me a walking distance of 3 km (just under 2 miles). The other day, there was a woman riding on her bike the other way and she was going much faster than me. I think she was doing four laps to my one. Each time we passed, we managed to fit in a sentence with each other. Over my two laps, we ended up having quite a conversation.

Just before our hibernation started, I had bought a macro lens for my camera. It enables me to take extreme close -up photos. I’ve had some fun trying it out in the garden. In just an hour, I have found a pollen laden bee, a rose flower, an aphid on one of its leaves and some little flowers that have caught my eye. I am to find some more things to photograph over the coming weeks after this rain has gone away. I’ll offer a prize to the first person who can tell me the type of flower / plant in the last photo.

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