Saturday, July 11, 2020


It was a chaotic afternoon. R's bedroom digital tv recorder, PVR, failed. It is dual tuner, as is the lounge room PVR. We moved the PVR from the lounge room to his bedroom. Sounds simple? It wasn't. Many wires, some redundant were involved. TV's had to be lifted. Furniture moved. Wires manipulated. His infrared ear phones wouldn't work, then I broke a bit of plastic on them and rendered them useless, even though they were already rather useless.

We will retrieve our single tuner PVR for our lounge room from Mother's that we gave her when analogue tv was switched off and she had an old tv of ours. She now has a newer digital tv, also an old one of ours, but of course she doesn't live in her home now.

Enough, I proclaimed. I need to clear my head and go out for my ISO walk, and I did. Not much head clearing as Sister called while I was out walking. I hate myself for it, but I talked on my phone while I ordered coffee while out. The barista knows me well enough and knew what coffee I wanted and of course I paid with a card. I did say to him, thank you, in spite of Sister continuing to talk. I was worried about getting back home and finish sorting out the tech issues.

I was walking in Fawkner Park, which you can see on the right of my blog header photo.

Just on a whim, I thought I will check the glass lost property case within the park. The case mostly contains lost keys and car and apartment fobs, but there is a pair of glasses that look like my lost reading glasses. The case was locked but a key was in position. Alas the lock was seized and I couldn't open it.

Then I noticed a lower open ledge where more recent lost keys, fobs etc had been left. Would you believe, there were my reading glasses. At $200 they are a bit better than my newly bought $5 reading glasses, being two staged for reading and computer screen use. I will return to the lost property case and leave a thank you note. The people who surround us in our neighbourhood may be ever so middle class, perhaps somewhat retentive and conservative but are thoroughly decent and honest people who will go out of their way to help. Such is the kindness of strangers.

"To whoever found my black framed reading glasses and left them here, thank you so much." I hope it is not whomever, but regardless, that would sound pretentious. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Lock Down Mk 2 Day 1

The traffic below The Highrise was much quieter this morning, but not as quiet at Mark 1 lock down.

We did our weekly South Melbourne shopping. No panic buying. Panic buying was a total media beat up. Aldi was overstacked with toilet paper. The numbers of vacant parking spaces in the Aldi carpark is a good indicator of busyness. Pre Christmas, it showed Full at times. Lock Down Mark 1 it showed around 55 spaces vacant spaces. Last week it was down to 27 free spaces. This morning under Lock Down Mark 2, it showed 58 free spaces. The streets were deserted. People who were out went about their business but did not hang around.

The Highrisers sanitised their hands about every five minutes, did not put anything down on a surface apart from our Aldi shopping on a the shopping trolley and checkout belt and we kept our distance. R as always wiped down the shopping trolley with sanitiser wipes.

We did buy a pepper steak pie each from a bakery and a take away coffee from Brazil coffee shop but they did not touch any surface.

R is extremely stressed by Mark 2 Lock Down but logic tells him it is necessary.

I had an online chat with our remaining Brother Friend who now lives in Thailand and I asked him if could the Thai figures of virtual zero infections be believed? Vietnam has even better figures.

His reply was, lock down borders early, mask wearing when in public, hand spray sanitising every time you enter a shop, along with a temperature check, closing public venues and bars, and a night curfew. It was strictly enforced and obeyed. Thailand is now opening up. Its medical system was prepared but not necessary.

I ask why has it all gone so wrong in my state when the rest of country is pretty well zero infections?

If you look at a map of COVID infections in Greater Melbourne they are generally contained to areas with a high Muslim population, yet western Sydney has a high Muslim population, so it can't be the religion or the race. Yet, in Melbourne it seems to be. Eid is the end of Ramadan in late May and is when families get together. The highest cluster is now a Muslim secondary school. Many of the locked down public housing blocks are full of Muslims. Many of the guards at quarantine hotels were Muslim and they interacted with each other and it seems sexually with 'guests' at the hotels, along with being lax about keeping people locked up.

I don't want to be seen as a Muslim basher, but it seems like I am being awfully like that. It is just how I see it.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Barwon Heads Day 1

We lent Ex Sis in Law and her husband some money and we waived the repayment. The husband's mother recently died and her house was sold and he bought a caravan, which they have used a few times since the last lock down. In gratitude, they offered to pay for a night's accommodation in the Bellarine Peninsula town of Barwon Heads where they would be staying for a week. That didn't happen and the last accommodation in caravan park was what is known as a Boathouse. It was expensive but very nice.

A tv show years ago called Seachange made Barwon Head famous, including the dispute over the old and worn out bridge. I think the matter was resolved by building a new road bridge and converting the old bridge to a pedestrian and cycling bridge.

The star of Seachange, character Laura, lived in a house overlooking the beach and for Mother's 70th birthday, Sister paid for a week's accommodation in the house for Mother and late Step Father. We visited and were part of a huge family celebration with a barbeque. It is hard to believe it was 16 years ago. Mother and Step Father paid themselves for an extra couple of days as they loved it so much.

Our Boathouse cottage was next door to Laura's House. It is a one bedroom and fortunately with a king sized bed. In spite of there not being a vanity unit in the bathroom, it was really well set up. Even in the most expensive hotels we have stayed, there has never been a better set up for towel rails and door and wall hooks.

The heating was good and there were heat lamps in the bathroom and by golly we needed good heating. It was cold and often wet. It poured down rain as we drove for the one and a half hours to Barwon Heads on the Friday. Longer than that really as we stopped off for lunch and supplies.

Ex Sis in Law had one granddaughter stay with them in the caravan, and the day we arrived, Little M was going home with her mother and Little Em was going to stay. Also Hippie Niece was staying, sleeping on our lounge room floor with her twins in the caravan with their grandparents. What could possibly go wrong?  The three grand children ran riot but no big problems.

This mud lark, jay or mud jay was trying it on for a free feed at the caravan. Gosh it made loud chirps.

The view from our lounge room. Yes, that air con was really pumping the heat out.

Cute cottage, yes?

The two seater couch was very uncomfortable, but otherwise we could barely fault the cottage. Well, the tvs were a little small but that is par for the course in nearly all accommodation.

The bridge over Barwon River is visible.

The bedroom looking into the bathroom.

I am not sure what this restaurant is called. We called it The Boathouse, which is a little confusing as we stayed in a Boathouse. It also had a kiosk serving food and coffee.

A magpie with a broken wing came a begging. I don't normally feed wild birds but I felt sorry for him or her. His partner and his two young child maggies were close by. In spite of the broken wing, he still shared food with his nagging offspring.

Nice evening sunlight. Ex Sis in Law's husband made us a wonderful pasta dinner. We returned to our cottage with Hippie Niece, had a couple of drinks and were in bed early enough, only to be startling awoken at 1.30am, but that is the next day, so I will tell you about it in the next post.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

What a disaster

I hoped to restart with telling you about our brief holiday, but our situation cannot be ignored.

While the rest of the country has virtually no COVID infections, my state had 191 new infections announced yesterday, in a state of 5 million. We are to be locked down again and can only leave home for essential shopping, medical care or caring for others, essential work and local exercise as of Thursday. I suggested to R that we go out for a local sit down meal tonight before we return to take away only but he said no. He is fearful, as am I.

Some public housing tower blocks have been locked down to prevent spread. Some post code areas have been locked down. There was one case brought from Melbourne to the area where we holidayed. Our local council area hasn't had infections for ages, yet yesterday, twelve. A couple of cases in the City too. Except for the final two senior years, schools will be closed again but at least this time special needs students are exempt. And no, this time you cannot drive to the countryside to go bushwalking with the reason of exercise.

As of tomorrow night our state will have closed borders to every other state, and I don't blame the other states at all. However, some kind words would be nice rather than calling us COVID infected Victorians.

It seems to me like this has all happened because of lax procedures and behaviour at quarantine hotels and an underway judicial inquiry will probably confirm this. Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

This is going to be at least an awful six weeks and while we never stopped being very cautious, we will return to extreme caution. Yet, this will effect so many so much harder than it will us.

Where I bought coffee when out walking today the owner had heard the latest news and he will have to remove seating again. He who makes the coffee offered his political views, that are in opposition to mine. A big mistake. Business owners should never offer political views if they want to keep customers. He badly guessed me as a rich old bastard who would be against a government that was socially caring, progressive, environmentally concerned and a supporter of workers rights (ok, that is the idealised version). I kept my mouth shut and I rather wish I hadn't. But I have choices about where I buy coffee.

To cap off such a wonderful news day yesterday, I lost my Armani reading glasses while out walking.

Should I cut my left wrist vein or right?

But as I replied to R when he said, 'my life is effed'. 'Not like it is for many people'.