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Aussie Life

Die Hard and Marigolds

Like so many of us, Chief and I have had to adjust our lives and join the global effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. After returning from Adelaide and the wedding that never happened, I joined the millions of home-workers around the world and set up my office space. Unlike some of my co-workers, I don’t have children at home interrupting me every five minutes and I can only imagine that this would be a massive challenge in itself; you would need the patience of a saint, and I admire you!

It was important for me to develop a new routine, I’ve worked from home in a previous job and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s lonely and isolating. There are too many distractions like the fridge and the household chores, and it’s easy to spend over your normal working hours just checking that one last email.

There are plenty of tips for developing best home-working practices out there. One I am finding surprisingly useful is leaving the house and taking a quick walk around the block as if you are ‘going to work’. At the end of the day, do the same so you are cutting off that work connection and ‘going’ home. Exercise is so important during these days of self-isolation and I begin my day with a mindful walk around the neighbourhood. Being present and not worrying about ‘stuff’ is a good practice to develop but one I admit to finding challenging at the moment.

Chief and I have been avoiding the news other than what we need to know. Needless to say escapism has become our distraction and by Thursday evening we had watched two James Bond films, Die Hard and Leathal Weapon 1 and 2. I mentioned that it would make a pleasant change to watch a film that didn’t have gun fire throughout, so last night we rewatched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The cast includes some of Britain’s treasures – Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Celia Imris and Bill Nighy. If you haven’t seen it yet, by the end, India will have been added to your ‘countries I must visit when all this is over’ list, if it isn’t already on it. The vivid colours, and the breathtaking scenery, the people and the smiles will have you wanting to visit.

Dame Judi’s character Evelyn Greenslade has some wonderful quotes which I think were adapted from the Deborah Moggach novel of the same name. I wanted to share a couple with you.

“The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”

Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, trust me, it’s not the end.

Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Both of these quotes are topical at the moment; we are all trying our hardest not to fail in the fight against this pandemic that we have found ourselves in. Clearly we are not at the end either as ‘trust me, everything is not alright’.

unsplash-logoDerek Story

10 replies on “Die Hard and Marigolds”

I understand the escapism and have been reading and comfort watching quite a bit. We are fortunate to be retired and have lots of space around us so can get out into the splendid autumn days. I loved that movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel too, such a great story. having been to India a few years ago, it brought back fabulous memories for us. All the best for your working at home and I agree a walk around the block before and after ‘work’ sounds like a great idea. Take care.

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I keep trying to do the early walk but so far have failed to get myself out of bed early enough due to nightly hot flushes but I will keep trying and hopefully get that routine nailed soon. I love the quotes , inspiring

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Hi Lorna, I don’t think you need to be dragging yourself out of bed early to exercise given that you are doing heaps already! Don’t get me started on the hot flushes – all the stress and anxiety of the last few weeks have caused mine to flare up really badly – I’m so tired from disturbed sleep. I keep meaning to start meditation but haven’t got round to it yet. Take care

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I have been working from home for 5 weeks now and it is so difficult to switch off. I love your tip of a walk in the morning to go to work and a walk at the end of the day to stop work. I will try this next week. Wise and gentle words Lucy. x

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For me, “work-at-home” is a genie released from a bottle. For the first time in over a decade, I’m checking my work email at night. It seems like my coworkers are having the same problem. Yesterday at 5:30PM, I received an email wanting feedback on a fundraising campaign. By the time I logged in to work at 7:30AM today, all of the decisions had already been made and everyone moved on to the next topic. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel made my wife and me want to ditch our lifelong retirement plan of Moab Utah and settle into a smallish city in India.

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That really is a genie released from the bottle Jeff! Sounds like you and your coworkers need to set some ground rules around that or else it’s going to become the norm and certainly not the best work/life balance – difficult times. Take care.

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Excellent as always, Lucy.
‘Marigold’ and the entire cast is a favourite and your chosen quotes sum up the current situation so well.
I have always believed in the universal health procedures-we used to tested on hand washing after which ultraviolet light was used to show what part(s) hadn’t been washed correctly!!
Walking and gardening are my saviours and the dogs love the company. I have never seen so many people out walking!!! – and prepared to speak to strangers!
Perhaps when this is all over people may have learnt valuable lessons of social acceptance and tolerance.

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We have good practices around hand washing, given that we have aged care and hospitals in our business. I fell pretty safe when I do head into the office as there is hardly anyone there and we have hand-sanitizer, wipes, hand-washing posters and social distancing measures in place. In an office of usually 600 people, there’s about 30 si no trouble with keeping ourselves apart. Brisbance CBD is virtually deserted – very odd!
On my walks people I meet seem to avoid eye-contact as if they might catch something by looking! I think people are very wary and getting used to the new normal still. I think it would help to make friends had we a dog!

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