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Aussie Life Challenges

And now for something completely different

At the end of March, life changed in Australia as it did for so many other countries around the world. Covid-19 saw to that, changing our lives, the way we live and the way we interact with each other. Australia has weathered the pandemic storm relatively well thanks to the low density of our population and strict social distancing restrictions. Sadly there have been 104 deaths nationally including 6 in Queensland. It doesn’t sound that many compared to the rest of the world but is no comfort to those families who have lost loved ones to this terrible virus. Now restrictions are starting to ease and our state borders are starting to reopen.

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a huge spike in cases in Melbourne, and as I write this the number of cases is rising; some attributed to the poor management of the quarantine of returning travellers and some to community transmission. It’s a worry and the impact will most definitely be felt across state borders.

I am still working from home although since the end of June we are allowed back into the office in limited numbers. I believe that the coming week will also see further relaxation of our work restrictions.

I was expecting to do so much with all this so-called extra time on my hands; baking has become popular with lots of folks, or bread-making, trying their hands at sour-dough and baking umpteen loaves until the perfect one is lifted from the oven. I was hoping to sort out my photograph folders – they are a mess. I was hoping to be inspired by all the virtual keep-fit and exercise videos available to me – erm no! I was hoping to write more but I couldn’t see through the fog and procrastination.

mindful colouring

Instead, with down-time on his hands, Chief donned his apron and dusted off his pastry recipes, creating desserts he hadn’t made for years. We’ve eaten Bakewell tart, bread & butter pudding, lemon tart (at least twice!) fig and almond tart and creme brulee. The kilos started to creep on and I was in danger of my airbag going off. It was time for me to take control.

I’m sure you can agree that it’s been an odd few months? We’ve all learned something about ourselves and each other; I’ve learned that it’s easy to become a recluse and that I’m content being tucked away. We all have some things that we did and did not do over the last five months. So in no particular order, here is my COVID-19 list of things I did and things I did not do.

  1. I did not bake bread nor bake cakes EXCEPT a Victoria sponge cake for Chief’s birthday.
  2. I did not tidy up my photo folders.
  3. I did not join The Body Coach, Joe Wick’s PE classes every day. I started virtual exercise but by mid-May had given up.
  4. I did not start meditation (I forgot).
  5. I did not do one of those TikTok dance things.
  6. I did not do a jigsaw puzzle.
  7. I did not paint the garden fence vibrant colours. Someone in the neighbourhood painted theirs with swirling orange, pink and blue shapes. Such a vibe!
  8. I did not stockpile toilet paper, rice, pasta, flour or anything else come to think of it.
  9. I DID do some mindful colouring, that was relaxing.
  10. I DID sing two Couch Choir songs, the Carpenters, (They Long To Be) Close to You and Bowie’s Heroes.
  11. I DID watch a lot of films. Chief is a huge James Bond fan and watching a 007 movie is the comfort food equivalent, when you need reassuring that everything is normal in the world; stick a James Bond film on.
  12. I DID start yoga – more to come on this!
  13. I DID start jogging again but then stopped. The back was starting to hurt.
  14. I DID work from home, and still am. I love the flexibility that comes with it and the peace and quiet to concentrate but the silence is deafening.
  15. I DID use Zoom – a lot – meetings and presentations.
  16. I DID drink a lot of alcohol – mainly wine. I’m doing Dry July now (It’s not too late you know!)

While we’re a long way off our ‘normal’, I’m sure that I will be adding to this list over the coming weeks and even months. How have you been keeping yourself occupied? Have you surprised yourself with a commitment or taken up a hobby? Keep yourselves healthy and I look forward to reading your experiences.

4 replies on “And now for something completely different”

I think you had a moderately productive quarantine. When China locked up I said “If that happens here, I’m going to edit a bunch of blog posts into a book.” Well, it happened and I didn’t do that. In fact I’ve been doing less with more time. Reading less, less chores, for a while I wrote less too. The only thing I did more of was exercise. The spring was unusually cool and long and I’ve run and biked more in the past four months than I have in years.

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I agree with Jeff – your time in quarantine was a productive, even if (Jeff thinks) it was moderately. I did teach myself how to successfully make bread and pizza dough, but I didn’t join the Couch Choir even though I thought about it.

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Lucy – that’s a great list of activities that you’ve accomplished (or not!). Don’t forget you were still working during it all too. Better to have fewer things started, enjoyed, and then maintained. Keeping fingers crossed you’re not going to have another lockdown…have been watching the news today from Melbourne. Learning to live with COVID, huh? 😷 Kx

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