We Are Released from Our Lock Down (But Not By Much)

May 11th saw a relaxation in Victoria’s State of Emergency that now allows us to have five guests in our house (rather than just one) and we are now allowed out of our homes to visit family and friends. We can also have greater numbers of people at weddings and funerals. However, I haven’t heard that we can now go for a drive, but I assume that we must be able to, as how else would we get to a friend’s place? We are also now allowed to have picnics in a park (wth a group of no more than ten people) but we are still not allowed to travel anywhere and stay overnight. Some Australian states still have their borders closed for travel. I notice that traffic on our roads has increased significantly and the shopping centres are much busier (although nothing yet like their normal level of activity).

I have to say that I feel much more comfortable with things as they are now. There are some activities, like going for a drive, that we can now do to get out of our house. and it’s very good to be able to see our family face to face again, rather than on a computer screen.

I have still been busy with Zoom Meetings. I have a weekly one that is aimed at keeping our Probus Club members together. We are not doing too badly at all as the average age of members is 82 years and we had around 35 of them on-line for our monthly club meeting last week. I also had a monthly pizza and red wine Zoom lunch with my old Control Data work colleagues. There are some people who I am now seeing on Zoom that  haven’t seen since I left the company in 1984.

I’ve spent a few hours this week cancelling some more of our travel plans that we made in January. .Sio far, we have cancelled a trip to New Zealand, a trip on the Indian Pacific train to Perth and just now we have cancelled a planned flight to Darwin and a trip on The Ghan train, south across the continent. I have a few more trips to cancel but it’s an act of judgement as to when to do this. I think I get a better deal from the airline if I cancel when the trip is about to commence, rather than a few months ahead. I am either getting a refund of the fares or a travel voucher valid until the end of 2021. Both are quite acceptable. 

To celebrate our new situation, we invited Cathy, Audrey and Violet over for a BBQ lunch on Saturday. I’m sure that the girls have grown a lot since we last saw them almost three months ago. Like most other people our age, the thing we have been missing most in this lockdown is not  being able to see our grandchildren. After lunch, we all went for a walk around walking track in the the local park (along with dozens of other people) and then stopped by the swing bridge over the Yarra River. It was obvious that we have had a decent amount of rain lately as the river  was flowing surprisingly fast.

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It is clearly autumn now in  Melbourne. and the gardens are showing lots of colour. The weeping cherry in our front garden has been bright yellow although it has now lost most of its leaves.

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It was a very nice and balmy autumn weekend  here in Melbourne. On Sunday, Jill and I packed a thermos flask and went for a drive. We thought that we might go to Williamstown where there is a very nice view across the bay back to the city. However, nearly all of Melbourne had the same idea so we drive on to find a quiet place for a coffee. We eventually found one further around the bay near the beach at Point Cook. 

On Monday, I celebrated my 72nd birthday. I started the day with a session at my Gym and then opened the presents that I had received from all the members of the family. Thanks to therm for making my day very happy. We packed up a picnic lunch and drove up to the hills to a very nice picnic area on the edge of the forest at Kallista. It was a gorgeous sunny day – mild and with little wind.

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I’m sure that we looked like Darby and Joan sitting at our little fold-up picnic table in a sunny spot on the grass because everyone who walked past seemed to smile and say hello. I had lashed out to buy some nice ham, cheese and crusty bread which we turned into a ploughman’s lunch complete with pickled onion and cucumbers.

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For dinner that night, we had our first ‘order-in’ meal. We have been cooking our own meals for the duration of this lockdown and it was a pleasure not to have to cook on my birthday and not to have to do a lot of washing up. The RACV (Royal Automobile Cub of Victoria) have started a meal ordering servicer for their members and the this example of one of their meals is certainly enticing enough for us to order more.

So, all-in-all this has been a good week. We feel more relaxed about being locked down and even felt good about celebrating my birthday with just a tiny bit more freedom. It’s interesting how normalised one’s life becomes in circumstances that are different to our ‘old life’. A tiny little change makes a big difference.

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