Fading Memories

Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Becoming Industrious.
Saturday 2nd- Australia - 6783 cases 901 Active - 266 per million population


Desperation takes one down all sorts of tracks to get to one's destination, and in truth with a little over a week left for the miraculous production of Matt's cabinet it was time for a re-think.

This is a cupboard that's going to spend it's life being peppered by errant darts after all, so trying for a piano finish is quite possibly not a sensible approach which is why my original thought was to attempt one of those trendy pre-distressed finished vintage effects, using cheap ply and multiple coats of paint.  The reality of that is that it's harder to achieve something believable than it looks and time was no longer on my side.  

A bit of a shuffle through my slow-moving stock shelf turned up enough engineered ply flooring offcuts to cobble up some door skins and a backing, so I assembled the bits and took the rest of the morning off while the glue dried, ostensibly to consider what my next move may be.

As it turns out, fiddling with some of my old industry photographs turned into a happy distraction, to the extent that by the time I'd exactly matched the blue of the acid tanks with that of the sky to my complete satisfaction, I'd not really made progress on the actual task in hand and had one day fewer left to complete it. 

I'd made a nice print though.
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Work almost begins.
Friday 1st May- Australia - 6766 cases 934 Active - 265 per million population



I have a list.

Every time I look at it my mind goes blank and  "COVID 19 CLOSED" flashes before my eyes and I retreat to not doing whatever it was I wasn't doing before I got the urge to not do something else.   

The trouble is that Matt's birthday is a week and a bit away, and  right there on the top of the list it says "Dartboard Cabinet for Matt".  If I don't make a start on his present soon there may very well be some explaining to do at management level.  

In order to avoid that particular confrontation I began to sort through that pile of timber I'd brought out last week, only to discover that many of the pieces I'd thought might make a nice cabinet were too short on one end and therefore unusable.

Plan B involved (shudder) buying some plywood to use in the carcass, and with the virus now receding to the point where we have just two cases active in our region, we thought it safe enough to risk a late evening visit to the large building supply company nearby.  After two months absence it came as a shock to discover that its shelves, while not entirely bare were greatly depleted of stock, and in the case of the few items on my list, entirely depleted.  This appears to be as a result of difficulties in the supply chain, particularly with imported products which according to the nice man in the red shirt are not likely to be resolved before tomorrow.

Clearly it was time for a new plan, perhaps a good sleep will help.
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Us and Them.
Thursday 30th April - Australia - 6752 cases 946 Active - 265 per million population



As the first wave of the virus infection continues to subside, restrictions on our movement have been announced.

From the coming weekend we'll be allowed to move up to fifty kilometres from our home, and meet someone else in a park.   Perhaps we are reading too much into it, or perhaps it's one of those perverse traits of human nature bubbling to the surface once again, but for now that recently discovered need among the community to "exercise" has evaporated, at least on our beach.  

Of course they may have been supervising their kids struggling with online lessons, or they  might have just had better things to do than to go out in weather which has taken a turn for the different, making conditions less pleasant in the great outdoors than it has been of late.  It was so bad out there that that one of us even wore a light jumper round her waist "in case".  Perhaps they were washing their dogs, or doing their hair, or stuck on hold making their claims with a Government agency.

Whatever the reason for this turn of events, we wandered smug in the knowledge that we were not such fair weather sailors, that we were there for the long haul, this was our turf and we were going to keep on doing what we do come hell or high water.  It would take more than a slightly grey sky or a splash of bureaucracy to keep us away.  It's all about self-discipline and determination and making time to do these things.

Had we known that his would be our last beach walk for some time too, for reasons equally various and valid as the accusations we were flinging at the absent throng, perhaps we might have cut them some slack.
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Monday, May 11, 2020

Naturally disappointing.
Wednesday 29th April - Australia - 6746 cases 990 Active - 265 per million population


My parents had a pot plant in their little bush house that had spotted leaves and always looked as though the old bloke had been painting and had forgotten to cover it beforehand.  Somewhere along the line I came to be its custodian, which if you are a potted plant, given our usually peripatetic lifestyle is not necessarily a sign that you will live long and prosper.  My usual solution to this dilemma is to rid the poor thing of its pot, stick it in the ground to fend for itself and more or less forgot about it.

This works to varying degrees it must be said, but the little Spotted Dracena (Dracaena surculosa if you insist) was nothing if not a survivor, and has sat there presumably happily for a few years, not doing too much at all until a month or two ago, when it produced an entirely new stem.  This was followed this week by a cluster of flower buds on another stem.  Yesterday evening one of them emerged and I grabbed my camera to have a practice for the spectacle that would come today when another dozen or so would join their solitary mate.

"Disappointment" does not describe the feeling one has when one rises on the morrow morn excited and intent on photographing nature in all its wonder, to find that some other miscreant part of that natural wonder had risen earlier and chomped off the head of every bud.

Yesterday's photo will therefore have to suffice.  However, if you squint at it, and poke yourself in the eye ten or twelve times with a pencil, you may see enough duplicates of the solitary flower to gain a fair impression of how the thing in full bloom may have appeared, and at the same time, will feel some of my pain. 

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What's done is done.
Tuesday 28th April - Australia - 6731 cases 1021 Active - 264 per million population



That little pattern book that has spent thirteen years travelling the world with us, and when it was closed  today for perhaps the last time, so did a particularly colourful chapter of our life.  Twenty-four colours to be exact now knitted into six little jumpers and six little funny hats that match, each with a story to tell.

For someone who lays no claim to being "a knitter" but who likes things "just so", the first five-and-a-half weren't that easy, and perhaps to illustrate just how far things have come in that respect, the last bit of this one was only unpicked once.  The book was not written in French but in the beginning at least it may as well have been, and it's true that the occasional words muttered during the process might have been French but almost certainly weren't.   

The words spoken in the wool shops as we tracked down supplies over the years often were (French) although in the early years it could have been Mongolian for all we knew, but we always managed through a combination of giggles and hand signals and the enthusiasm of all around us to find a colour that looked as though it would suit whichever baby was at the time growing more rapidly than the jumper.

This one went quite well comparatively no doubt aided by an absence of rushing for trains or waiting in airports during its construction, and went off today with Great-Grandma's buttons attached, in a post bag optimistically marked "Priority".  We are somewhat confident that even given the struggles of our presently overloaded mail system, that a hundred kilometres or so should not be a stretch, and that she won't have outgrown it by the time it arrives. 
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Time and Millie wait for no man.
Monday 27th April - Australia - 6720 cases 1051 Active - 264 per million population



A week ago she sprung "the old surprise them with a tooth" trick on us, and now as if to rub salt into our wound she's grown another one!

And while I was thinking of something clever to say about that, two weeks went by and she learned to roll over to get things, and can even say "mum" if we use a bit of imagination.

I have made notes of course, which when there's not much going on get to be quite comprehensive, so the next few days of posts will be happily backdated, because no one will ever know.
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Thursday, April 30, 2020

There's an app for that.
Sunday 26th April - Australia - 6711 cases 1089 Active - 263 per million population



For now it would appear that our nation has avoided the tsunami.   Barely a month ago, we were standing on the high ground staring out to sea, wary, concerned, perhaps just a little bit frightened that a great invisible wave filled with virus was about to engulf us.

Now we happily wander on the rocks at low tide in the rosy glow of sunset (socially distanced of course) in the knowledge that as a nation we've either been lucky, or clever or perhaps a bit of both, but there's also no doubt that we won't know how successful we have been in suppressing this pandemic for many months or perhaps years yet to come.  The eyes of the world are on us too, watching with interest to see if winter will bring renewed viral havoc when our normal flu season arrives.  It's a puzzling thing this winter flu business.

The results are so encouraging that tentatively, a week from now we will be allowed to move up to fifty kilometres from our homes, and if we were not of the age we are, perhaps mix with another family occasionally.  Since we would have to travel more than double the allowable distance to see the nearest of our mob, and we are the age we are, the relaxation is moot.  In any case, we have tech.

We had a family gathering this afternoon as it happened.  It was something of a reenactment of the "Brady Bunch "introduction with four families across seven screens (well no self respecting ten year old is going to share), and it was a bit of fun, albeit a bit hard for the blokes to disappear for a quiet yak when the girls started talking girl stuff as would happen in a "proper" gathering.  We've got a new app for tracking each other too, or actually its for the government to track us if we happen to be near someone who has the app and develops symptoms of the disease.   

It's a curious thing when the government hands out a tracking app to watch the hue and cry on social media.   People who are happy to tell the world what they are doing and with whom, nonchalantly paying for things on their entirely trackable eftpos cards and digital loyalty apps, oblivious to the certainty that their whereabouts would not be too hard to discover even from the data in the photos they've uploaded, have suddenly become security conscious!

The way we see it is that big brother already knows our phone number and our whereabouts, so if our whereabouts during recent times are going to be discovered by some other unwelcome entity, it would be nice if they didn't include a spell in Intensive Care.

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