Saturday, March 21, 2020

Personal

I didn't get my act together and make a Tasmanian holiday post. Manana. I feel like I am living in a surreal world. We dared to visit Prahran today for shopping and I had a doctor's appointment. My blood pressure was through the roof and even worse by 5pm when I checked it at home. By 7pm, it was normal. This is exactly what happens with my mother's blood pressure. We dared to have a sandwich and coffee. Toilet paper is starting to reappear on shelves, but it was gone by the time we visited. We can survive for a week or so without more and we have a good stock of tissues.

Mother's friend's husband has been stockpiling. They have 400 rolls of toilet paper, and five sides of lamb in freezers. God knows what else. I hope a water pipe bursts and the toilet paper becomes sodden and unusable and the flood of water knocks out their power and so the meat will go off in their freezers. Despicable behaviour. Meanwhile, we have two half full bottles of hand sanitiser. It was time to buy a one new bottle, and we did from behind the counter at a supermarket. There were two packets of three lamb chops in each, we scooped them both up until we looked at the price and put one back. We bought some last remaining spuds, but there weren't brown onions. We eat a lot of broccoli but it was $10 a kilo. We bought a small amount.

R spoke to his former workmate today with whom he often lunches. Her son is closing down his food business in a week's time in spite of rent being halved. Casual staff have been put off.

Brighton Antique Dealer met a bloke on her cruise late last year and we have met him and he seems like a nice guy. The classy BAD seems to like rough trade and this one was once a fireman and so should have good superannuation and not be after her money. He still works, as an interstate coach driver. All social gatherings at BAD's posh retirement place have been stopped and she is fearful. Consequently she has moved it to her new beau's townhouse and if you know Melbourne suburbs, a move from one hundred metres from North Brighton Station to Mitcham is quite a step.

I just spoke to ABI Brother whose toilet was flooding and unusable. Both he and mother were 'going' in the back yard. The plumber eventually came and put some sealant on the rubber ring on the P or S trap. After the third attempt at explaining finally ABI Brother understood that we gave our key to Mother's house to the real estate agent and we needed another key cut to keep in our car glovebox for when Mother forgets to bring her house key. He sounded sober but I was ready to tear my hair out. Mother was prattling on in the background, tell Andrew this or that. I hung up quickly.

I am not sure how I can help people in this difficult time. R's volunteer job goes on but with severe restrictions. I don't do so bad at writing. I sent this this evening to a what I see is a really nice ship, owned by Viking Cruises, and perhaps I would even like to travel on it, in spite of some of my sea cruising experiences not being to my liking. The crew probably have no voice that will be heard by anyone who will do something. Maybe an email from a rich old white Australian faggot might help.

Viking Orion has been sitting in Port Phillip for days after passengers were unloaded. I feel for the crew who are probably not paid well by Australian standards. While they are safe, they are probably bored to tears. They are used to being busy and I expect in these troubled times, they would like to be at home with family, as it clear that the cruise ships won't recover business for some time. I hope at least the crew have free internet, and the ship should return to its home port and then pay staff to go home, if that is possible at this late stage. 

Andrew, who sees the VO at anchor from various angles as currents and tides change, day after day.

29 comments:

  1. I share your wishes for Mother's friend's husband.
    Our supermarkets are still pretty bare. We have enough for our needs at the moment, but I do worry for the disadvantaged (the poor and the homeless) who cannot stockpile.
    The call on LL is huge and growing but since I still have a cough and a cold I am banned from going in (though I can still do supervisory shifts from home).
    I liked your letter.

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    1. EC, we found toilet paper in the supermarket this Saturday morning. along with paper towel and onions, all of which were running low. I can imagine about LL. People are very afraid.

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  2. Somehow the name "Viking Onion" strikes me as funny. So does the name of a local exterminator, "American Pest." Perhaps the owner of the business named his company after our Dear Leader. Awaiting a delivery of groceries on Tuesday. Tonight: spaghetti with a hint of ground turkey (ICK!) and braised cabbage. Reaching the bottom of the barrel here.

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    1. Cynthia, it would be funny if it was onion but it is Orion. I like clever business names, ones that grab your attention. Sorry you are so low on things and you now have an adequate supply after delivery.

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  3. I have only purchased small amounts of things. Enough to get by. Things are getting bad here though as they shut down the State. I expect that a curfew will follow soon.
    There are laws against raising prices during catastrophes. No price gouging.
    I'm just trying to remain calm and not let it upset me.

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    1. Maribeth, it is hard to tell what is price gouging and what is the effect of drought, along with extra costs by supermarkets etc.

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    2. In my newspaper today there is a photo taken in one supermarket with a head of lettuce priced at $10.

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  4. We had a bad experience with Viking Cruise. We paid a deposit and bought insurance, but when we changed our mind about going, they gave us no cash back - just vouchers for another cruise.

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    1. Gigi, last year we cancelled flights with an airline and we did get 2/3 back. Cruising will start again, so you will get to use them eventually.

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  5. The crew of the Viking Orion are probably safe, sitting in Port Phillip Bay. But if each person is shut inside his/her cabin, they may be going insane. I speak by phone to my aunt who has been shut inside her room for a fortnight, and her normally fluent language is garbled :(

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    1. Hels, if there is no infection on the ship, they can probably leave their cabins and socialise. That must be rough for your aunt who is no doubt a good age.

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  6. Anonymous12:52 pm

    you boomers are shutting down the entire economy because you're afraid of a flu. Seriously, can you boomers kill yourselves? You are the most selfish generation to ever exist. You don't give a shit about climate change, why should we young people give a shit if you get sick and die of some virus? I HOPE the virus gets much stronger and kills you all.

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    1. A nice copy and paste and you have a lot of boomer blogs to get through. Get busy.

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    2. Does anonymous realise Boomers are probably his own parents also? Does he really want THEM to drop dead?

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    3. River, I assume it is a he, and of course someone who writes like that won't be the brightest spark in the fire.

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  7. My brother and his wife lost their jobs last week. They worked in travel. So far my other brother is still working. My work is gone, as the spay neuter clinics are shut down. I have been delivering a few bags of cat food to people who need it.

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    1. Sorry to hear Strayer. At least your work isn't paid. Pet food must be a problem for some.

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  8. Don't worry that you can't help people, often it's best simply to keep apart.

    I wonder who writes that tripe under the mask of 'Anonymous'? There are some very sad people about. I now send such evil comments to my spam folder, just in case such people can be prosecuted at a later date.

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    1. Cro, aren't they always Anon. Normally I would delete the comment, but in this case no. It is a reaction that I would like archived.

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  9. 400 rolls of toilet paper and five sides of lamb? That's a bit much even for me, who used to keep a huge supply of TP on hand when the kids were younger and all still at home. They used to bring their friends home from school to see the "wall" of toilet paper packages.
    I'm sad to hear that BAD is fearful, for outgoing sociable people these times are harder than for us stay-at-homes. Good to hear ABI's toilet is now fixed, I'm a little horrified at them going in the backyard, especially Mother who could easily fall over.

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    1. Families can probably chew through a lot of rolls but there is just mother's friend, her husband and her grown step son in the house. Funny about your wall. You don't have much storage space now. One of our local Woolworths is closing at 8pm in the evenings, opening at 7am for oldies for an hour and when we were there at around 11am, there seemed to be everything on hand and things stacked in front of the end of aisles where specials are normally placed. Consequently, the floor space was reduced. I think it was only for number ones before the plumber arrived. Mother was in her constipated phase and not the opposite.

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  10. Things are difficult here foodwise. With everything now shut down, people working from home, more mouths to feed within the household, it is obvious that more food is required from the supermarkets. I will be out early this mornjng kn the hope of getting basic fresh food. Just a few veggies, bread and milk will suffice. Wish me luck.

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    1. Indeed good luck Marie. A supermarket CEO said they are trying to supply double our population, but finally things are starting to settle here. I must say, our large supermarkets have been very good, if a little late to react.

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  11. My mind boggles at all that toilet paper when people in need can't get it. Daughter in law came up with an idea if she didn't have any toilet paper, she said she would just go and shower!
    You stay safe, well and keep calm if you can.

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    1. Margaret, of course you can shower, as we planned to do before supply returned.

      We are calm but living in an abnormal world. No traffic, no pedestrians, no people on trams. There is plenty to do at home, but it takes motivation.

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  12. The world has pretty much been turned upside down, hasn't it? Everything so quiet out in public. I have to say I found your reply to River about your mom being constipated to be hilarious - I have IBS so alternate between the two extremes. I'm laughing WITH your mother, not at her.

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    1. Jenny, I don't think my mother has IBS but she certainly has problems. At times she is too concerned to leave home. We know it is because of the strong painkillers she is addicted to.

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  13. That was an outrageous price for broccoli Andrew, are the shops putting prices up during this crisis? That would be unforgivable!

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