Friday, January 8, 2021

And It's Getting Worse

 Well, it's the New Year, and gotta say: things are going from bad to worse. I'm in Brisbane, Australia, and today, we're going into lockdown for 3 days, starting from today at 6pm. This means no going out, unless it's absolutely necessary - and we must wear a mask.

I had to go out today to buy a part for my computer and I wore a mask for the small trip to OfficeWorks. However, there were so many people who didn't wear a mask... and yet there were plenty who did. I was pleased and disgusted at the same time. So, what can I say? This isn't the first time we've been told to stay home, and to wear a mask, but it won't be the last either; and yet people are not taking it seriously.

Anyway, there's new strains of the Covid virus and we can't seem to get it to stop spreading. This is not a good thing... and I'm making sure I'm staying away from people. Today, I was supposed to go out and have coffee with a friend, but she got a cold, and we called it off. I was going to call it off due to the lockdown anyway; and when I called her up, she sounded so stuffy and croaky, I thought it was best if she stayed home.  But there's going to be so many people out and about panic buying things and acting weird, that I'm glad to be home right now.

Anyway, it's just begun to rain again - and it's nice and cool outside, which is strange for January - but I'm glad to see it's the weather is getting better for us. I'm just lucky to have not had to be tested for Covid yet, nor catch it. I've been very careful in where I've been and how I've be participating in public... so when I know there's been problems with everything outside, I'll get my masks going and wear them. And I've got plenty of anti-bacterial gel and wipes as well, which does play well in my life.

I just do hope this gets worked out. The UK strain has hit Brisbane, and it took one person to take it around Brisbane... and that's all it takes - just one person. So, please be careful with where you go. And remember to stay well, keep safe too, and wear your masks. Well, I'm off now, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Pandemic Things

 Wow! It's been this long since my last post?

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to say anything to you all. But I've been very busy over the past months with my isolation here in Brisbane. And really, staying away from people and staying home has had its good times and bad times.

The good times have had me doing up my garden, making it into a lovely little place for me to escape to. I've added a gorgeous archway, with two climbers attaching themselves to it. Then, moving a few things around, and making a new path to the back of the garden - so there's two paths now. And the best thing happened! I asked my Dad (who's also my landlord) if we could put an awning on the back of the townhouse. This was to keep out the rain and bring in the Summer breezes... well, he said yes, and 3 months later, it happened! So, now, there's a lovely 4 metre awning across the back of my place. I've added solar lights and gorgeous little brass wind chimes and there's a new park bench - with a cushion on it - and I've added new cushions to the chairs of the bistro setting... it's all just looking so... so... lovely.

Inside the house, I've decluttered so much of my house throughout this year. I gave away my late-Uncle's entertainment unit. It was big and took up a lot of room; and at the time, he gave it to me, I did need it. However, it's been a time where we need more room in our houses to live in them - instead of existing in them - and I thought it was time to shift it out and move the credenza across from the window and put my tv, stereo and other things on it. It all looks great too. And under the window? Well, my great-Grandmother's chaise lounge! My brother had it at his place, at Sandgate, and he wanted to toss it out. But I have saved it; and from the day it came home with me on my birthday last month, it has looked like it has always been a part of my house.

How weird is that? I mean, when you get a piece of furniture into your place and it just looks like it's always meant to be there? Or you get something new attached to your house and - well, it looks like it's meant to be a part of you place; like it was fated! 

Once the op-shops reopened, I loaded up the car with all the boxes of goodies I had piled up against the front door (yeah, I went into major decluttering mode during shut-down) and did a huge donation at them. It was interesting to find that a lot of places had huge baskets outside their stores to donate your goods. They sat them in the sun and didn't collect them until the end of they. It didn't bother me, I just hoped they kept taking things - and we didn't have anymore cases.

Over the past few months, the garden has really come into itself, as Summer has blasted us with some boiling hot air, and the first massive storms of the season, which gave us a huge lot of good rain for our gardens; even though they were destructive and left a lot of people without homes and power. 

So, I hope you're all working out your remaining time here of the dreaded 2020. It hasn't been the best year for us, has it? But, like a lot of us, I'm making my own style of lemonade from the lemons we've all been handed. Take care, safe and well, and remember, I'm always here.

Friday, July 3, 2020

It's Been A While

I know, it's been a good while since my last post; and truthfully, I didn't want to bore you all to death with my everyday boring bits and pieces of the same old thing.

So, I thought to wait until something worthwhile came up and write about it. 

It's early July and I've been working hard on things around the house, and in my life, and it's been all worth it too. And this week, I had one day where I went out and did three things to get them all done in that day. And I didn't realise how much energy I really needed to get so much done!

I've had my eyes tested and new glasses made over the past week, and picked up the new glasses this week. I also had to drop off my membership to the LAA to pay for the next year - meaning I can still be there in the new year when I want to attending their social groups again. Then, I dropped off my watch to get fixed. I had dropped it in the bathroom and the back of it fell off and I had to take it in to get it looked at. All these took a few hours; and I did stop in at Simply Beans to get my caffeine hit to keep me going for that day. I'm so glad I did that too.

Anyway, I've been staying home over the past month or so, just being here on my own, doing my own shit and painting, cleaning out and making sure the house and garden look its best. This horrible virus has scared me so much, I just don't want to go out anymore than I have to.

And so, seeing I'm not going anywhere and not doing as much as I used to, it's causing me to save money and keep myself to myself here at home. I'm not doing as much op-shopping and I'm cleaning out more of the house than I used to. I think it's because the walls are kinda closing in a bit and if I don't clean out the rooms, I'll feel the cabin fever more than ever.

So, how about you? How are you all doing? Are you going okay in this day and age of staying home and sticking by your close family members more? Or is it bothering you that you can't go out? Until my next post, take care, stay safe and well, and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The New Normal

We've had a real kick in the guts with this Covid-19 virus; and a reality check as well. It's caused us to take a good look at ourselves and how we live and understand that we need to talk to each other, take a look at our neighbours and talk to them - at a good and safe distance, of course.

And we have to look at what we have too. We have become a species of greed (and who said that greed was good? Oh yeah, that dude from 'Wall Street' - um... no it's not). 

Keeping our distance and learning that takeaway food, having our noses in our phones all the time and not talking to our family members has shown us that we have become very rude, self-centered and it's taking its toll on us. 

But why did it have to take a virus like this to show us that we had to not only take care of us, but our families, and friends from afar. Why did it have to take this pandemic to make us step back and take notice of what's going on around us? 

There's a lot of why's in my head - and not a lot of answers which are making any sense to me.

I do understand what the government in my country did was to protect everyone. Closing schools and businesses and closing all of our borders was to protect our population here in Australia. However, not everyone understood this. 

We are getting back to the new normal. Schools, cafes and workplaces are reopening ever so slowly and it's going to take time - years - to get us back to anywhere what we were before. 

If there is ever going to be another normal again.

But I have noticed there are people out there who are acting as though it's completely over and nothing's wrong - as though nothing has been wrong - just because we're allowed to go out and socialise. It's not like that. You still have to keep your distance, you still have to sneeze into your elbow, you still... 

yeah you know what you still have to do - don't ignore it. I'm not going to lecture you all about this.

This is the new normal... and I guess we have to get used to it. But then, what's normal these days?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Things Change

You know, it's been only a few months since this virus spread across this little blue marble called our home planet, and it's changed our habits so quickly and suddenly - hasn't it?

Well, I wasn't here at my home when the new rules came into play, but almost as soon as I arrived home, I pulled my home into order, cleaned up my yard, organised myself into getting things working in such a way things needed to be looked at and working properly - and I also kept my distance with people.

However, the neighbour who butchered my poor little jade in the front yard - and caught the wrong end of my temper - has been doing nothing but bugging the crud out of me. They have been breaking rules about the isolation situation we're all supposed to be in. Three times in the past month, they've been either knocking on my door or trying to get me to talk to them, when I don't want a bar of them.
They don't seem to understand that they wrecked a part of my house which will take a very long time to recover - and this person even came over to my place again today and touched the plant they butchered saying 'it needs another trim' (or something along those lines) and I snapped at them to go away and leave me alone - and that I've told them many, many times to stay away from my house and stop stuffing with my things and my yard; that I've never wanted them to do anything with my place. They said they were 'looking out' for me, and were trying to keep and eye on my place - but no, they were not. This is the last straw and it's really not the way a neighbour should act if they want to be friends.
I ended up calling my Dad and asking him to help me; and he said that this neighbour is feeling guilty, and wants to mend fences - but I'm afraid it's too late. This person has done this once too many times to me, and with this virus around, I'm just way too jumpy to have somebody like this person around being so flippant and idiotic in my life. 

This is what has happened to us in our lives, isn't it? We have had to pick sides, pull away from people we really don't want in our lives and absolutely, physically keep our distance in every way possible so we can keep ourselves well. And the people who don't? Well, I don't know what to say about them. If they think it's something of a joke, that it's a conspiracy, that it's something the government has cooked up... I'm afraid to say but that's your opinion and yours alone. I'm not going to risk it - and really, if you're going to come near me, I'd like to say that you please keep your distance. 

Life isn't what it used to be... indeed it's not... and as we all adjust to this change in our lives, I think it is time we really did take care of ourselves. You see, my Dad told me the other day that when the Spanish Flu hit after WWI, it wasn't the first wave which killed a lot of people, it was the second. So, we have to be careful of the next wave which has yet to come. Take care of yourselves in the biggest possible way in the coming months, okay? 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Broken Computer

Well, I've been away for a bit, and there's been a good reason for it. My computer broke - again. And I called Super Geek - again.

But this time, they did not call me back. I called last Saturday, and they have - to date - not called me back to make another appointment. 

So, I went onto my phone and Googled around to find somebody who would fix my computer. And I found a guy in my local area, Peter, who worked from his own house, and fixing computers is all he did. He was his own boss and has been working on computers and laptops for over 15 years. And the reviews I read over my breakfast were fantastic!

I called him and chatted with him about the treatment I had from Super Geek and he was disgusted - and he bit his tongue about his own thoughts of what Super Geek were really. Then, he told me exactly what kind of company they were - and that their quality of computer company people have slid in recent years.  I was convinced that he was the best person I could trust my computer with... and so, on Wednesday morning, I unplugged everything from the tower in my office and took it in to him. 

While I was there, he took a look at my hard drive and said there was nothing wrong with it - except it was 80% full... and was it okay to wipe it? I said yes, that when the computer was working, I got everything I could off it and onto an external hard drive. He was impressed I had thought of that. I said that it took over 4 hours and most of my sleeping time at night, so I didn't mind staying up late, so long it got done - and well, in truth, I had my suspicions that the computer wasn't going to work the next day (which turned out to be right).

I left my computer with him from around 9:45am until around 1pm Wednesday, while I visited a friend of mine - the first time in over a month - and we had a take away coffee from our favourite coffee place. We enjoyed our time, and I went to check my mail and while I was at my local post office, I found Peter had texted me about the computer - that it was ready to pick up.
I dropped by and he talked to me for around 40 minutes about what he had done to it... and that it's ready to go. And you know, it's running so much better now it's got the right programs in it. He said that this old hard drive could run for another two or three years, otherwise, the rest of the computer is up-to-date.

But you know, that's computers for ya. They'll be working one day, and screwing up the next. I'm so happy I could get this fixed. But I do want my money back on what Super Geek didn't do for me. And I'll be looking into that soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

It's Been Weird

I've had weirdness happen here at home on a daily basis of late. First off, the computer had it's turn of being sulky - yes, computers sulk if you don't use them. 

I spent 6 weeks away and my computer wasn't used, so it got a few little things wrong with it - and man did they turn out to be expensive things!

Well, this week, I went shopping for groceries, and then today I paid for my registration on the car - but only 6 months because things got expensive with the computer - and scored myself a credit/debit card from the post office, so I can buy things online. This will be handy for me when I want to buy something from Bunnings or Eckersleys and don't want to go in-store - instead I'll get it either send to my PO Box or delivered.

Anyway, I'm well... truly I am. 

When I go out, I make sure I don't go out for any longer than I need to. Today, I was out the door before 8am, to get something done for my car - and it was finished before 8:30am. They were great about it all. I got them to adjust the catch on the boot on my car too - as they had told me to bring the car in if it wasn't catching properly.
After I paid for that, and was gone - hopefully for the last time - I drove to my folks' house to sign some papers and email them back to a doctor for next week's appointment. He's calling me on the phone; instead of actually seeing me - which is the going thing at the moment with doctors. 

Then, I was off to the post office to pay for the rego on my car, and get the credit/debit card I mentioned, and then I was checked my mail at the post office at Slacks Creek and then I headed home. 

Once home, I showered, stripped my bed and put my sheets in to wash. Man, am I tired! Two days in a row, I've gotten up before 7am and have been out the door just about 7:30am... and I'm home before 10am. It's a busy week too, with my gas bill to pay, laundry, washing up to get done, the rest of my Christmas lights going up, the garden to look at, and the hope of mowing my lawn this weekend. 

Isolation in this day an age means not going out for coffee with a friend, not hugging your parents when you don't live with them, keeping yourself active and lifting weights at home, and making sure you do everything at right. Today, I forgot my mask - and I felt awful about it. 

But the computer's working again, and that's a good thing. It was a small thing which got it going, and once the people at Super Geek and I figured out what was going with it, it was all good. Now, I have the time to save up for some things around the place... but I am doing some serious work on my garden. Yeah, isolation makes you want to make your yard pretty so you have somewhere to be. 

Well, I hope you're going okay in your isolation situation wherever you may be. So, take care, stay safe and remember, I'm always here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Keeping Yourself Sane

In these weird-ass times, it's important to keep yourself sane. It's difficult to sleep, hard to get something to eat which you'll want to eat, and it's even more difficult to get motivated in the mornings. Yes, you just don't want to get out of bed anymore; thinking there's no point in getting up - because there's nothing to do, nowhere to go and not much point in getting out of bed until 1pm.

Well, I'm afraid to tell you this, if you keep doing that to yourself, you will actually put your system at risk of catching this virus and you will get sick.

If you think that sounds negative, well, I don't mean to be - it's the truth about being depressed and also being mentally exhausted. We are all feeling this right now and it's a matter of doing a few things which will put you onto a more normal keel.

Get to bed and get up at your regular times.

I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but there's you out there who are going to bed a midnight and getting out of bed at 2pm and then complaining you have no energy and don't want to get out of your pajamas and you're sitting around watching television all day or sitting around surfing the net all day on your phone. This is not healthy... and what's worse for you is to call up for take-away and have those 'zero-contact' delivery show up. I'm telling you right now, there's no such thing as zero-contact. They have to make your food, right? Well, they're touching it there... make it yourself.

And speaking of which: 

Get in and cook your meals yourself.

Cooking is the great equaliser. You will find out what kind of cook you are when it comes down to it. Are you the gourmet where you have a herb garden outside in the greenhouse? Or are you the baked beans on toast cook? Well, after a while the baked beans on toast will get very old - and believe me, it'll get old very quickly. 

Organise yourself

Organise your day as though you're going out to work. Yes, this is a good way of getting in and working from home, or making it as though you are. We all have a lot of time on our hands now. And there's no better time to get in and take a good look at where your house is at than now. Have you got too many books? Have you got clothes that no longer fit (or you haven't worn in over a year?), are you looking at furniture which you're sick of. Now is the time to look at your finances and start to save up for the new furniture, put away anything you don't want to donate when we're allowed to donate again, and it's time to get in and start looking at how you want your house to look and feel.
This will be a great time to learn new things as well. Get in and work on your garden. Learn how to cook that meal your Grandmother used to cook for those family gatherings you've always wanted to know how to cook. Read that series of books you've had in your bookcase - now it the time because we all have the time.

Get dressed, Show Up.

Yes... that's the ticket! You get up at 7am every morning, get your butt into some every day clothes (no not those boxer shorts you wore yesterday - real clothes from your wardrobe, and not a Halloween costume) and you show up in your kitchen and actually make yourself something to eat, a cup of coffee and look outside. You may be on complete lock down where you're not allowed outside at all, or you can go out into the garden, but you have to get your ass out of bed, out of your pajamas and into your life. 

We're all feeling really ... blah... right now. And it's because we can't see each other, we can't hug our parents or our loved ones. We can't take our friends out to lunch and have a good gossip about everything. But this isn't forever; and we will get through this. And while we're putting up with the crap hand we've been dealt, we can all stand together (at the social distance of 1.5m) and get it that life will go on. 
So, take care of yourself. Get in and work on that great American/Australian/life-long novel/series of paintings/lot of music - whatever you've been meaning to get into - and chill out. I've always been told that my house is my castle... and you know? It's true. And for those of you who are not treating your house as your castle - as your retreat - you're seeing it all wrong. You're seeing your house as a prison, a halfway house, instead of the place you escape to get away from the world. This is how we must see our houses right now - they are our castles, not prisons. We're not trapped at home, we're safe in our castles. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Social Distancing

Yesterday, I went out to do my grocery shopping; and I got up at 5:30am to do it. I decided to take advantage of the early trading hours for people on a pension and disability pension - and I mean, why not? I could get some things for myself which aren't normally there. 

So, I arrived half an hour early and was one of the first in line with one other lady, who looked like she was stretching for a marathon. No, seriously, she did. I think she had been there another half hour before me; so her feet may have been sore. I wiped down my trolley with a disinfected wipe and gave her one and she asked if I had gloves - unfortunately I didn't. So, she went out to her car and got 2 freezer bags for me. How nice was that?

Well, the doors opened as the crowd gathered at 7am and we all walked in calmly showing our pension cards and the first place I went to was the toilet paper... there were 3 of them left. One guy was walking away with one 6-pack, I grabbed one and gave another lot to another lady... such a pity there wasn't any for anyone else. I felt really sad for everyone else who wanted toilet paper. 
I walked around calmly getting the rest of my things on my list - and some of the things I didn't need - and found my way to the checkouts, where they told me they couldn't use my bags. Um, okay... I guess.

I haven't bagged up things to fast in my life! The girl did things so I could lay my hands on them and they weren't mixed up too much - thankfully. But my cold items were too much for one bag; so after paying, I moved out of the way of the next customer quickly and pushed myself against the closed door of Coles and pulled out another bag from my baggies to rebag my cold items. This was when a woman walked past, glaring at me: 'Hey, move out with all of that!' the man behind her snapped at her, 'Are you blind? Can't you see she's rebagging things, you stupid bitch! And hey you moved towards her!' I looked up at her, smiling and ... well, gave her a good mouthful of what not to do when you're confronting a person who hasn't had much sleep - and is a little depressed about this situation.
By the time I had organised myself, she had moved on and I lost her in the crowd. The man asked if I was okay, and he said that I was okay doing what I did; and not to let it get to me. 

What a nice person he was. But woah, what an awful person she was!

Anyway, that was only part of my day out. I went to Bunnings and had to wait half an hour to get in because they have special trading hours for the tradies and medical staff between 7 - 9am. I think that's a great idea; and I didn't mind in the least in waiting at all. I bought 2 pots, 3 bags of garden soil, a cute little pot on the bargain trays and a Frangipani for $10 also on the bargain tray too... now not a bad morning looking around. When I got home, I unloaded absolutely everything, emptied out the esky and put everything away. 

It's difficult to clean and make sure everything is clean. You see, there's a video making the rounds about how to clean your groceries from the USA, and the man in it says to leave your groceries in your garage for up to 3 days because the virus will be on it and it'll let it die. And he says to wash your vegetables and fruit in hot washing up water and laundry liquid... something I've never ever heard of here. A friend of mine, from the USA told me that she leaves her groceries in her garage for weeks and months, as storage. I told her that it's simply not possible because of how Australian homes are built. We have such a hot country, we can't seal off everything because it'll grow mold and get too wet. We don't have attics or basements either due to that problem as well. Australian homes are designed to let the air through, to cool down in Summer and warm up in Winter... it's just how it all works. And our garages aren't completely sealed. The newer houses are probably like this, but the older houses are not. 

Well, as you can see, there's some problems with how some of us see the virus affecting us all. I'm still wondering what's true and what's not. I'm still having problems with what is the truth. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Voting Day?

It's just plain nuts to have today - of all days - to have people to go out and vote. I mean, why would you expect people to leave their homes when we have been ordered to stay at home, and not be in contact with others - then suddenly tell us that 'oh yeah, you have to vote for your mayor!' 

Sure, that sounds like a brilliant plan to infect us all!


Well, I voted earlier this week and the place was a madhouse. Parking was crap, I got sanitiser all over my hands and the pencil I was going to use (thank goodness for the huge container of it - and there being too much in one pump) and I was in there, and out of there as fast as I could.

But once home, I thought that it would be a good idea to stay home unless I really need to go out anywhere to do stuff. 

And in all honesty, it's the best way to be. 

In the next week, I'm hoping to get my butt out to Bunnings to pick up 2 pots and more potting mix (as I have some more gardening to do) and maybe see if there's any other plants I can grab to make my garden look better. Then, there's petrol to get for my car I have to get too. If there's cheap petrol before pay day, I'll get it - if not, well, I'll just deal with expensive petrol. 

But everyone is working in a knee-jerk way. I've heard that in the USA, trucks on their way to shopping centres are being pulled over by citizens and held up at gun point and robbed of their load. And now, it's the national guard which is delivering those goods - not truck drivers. It's getting really hairy over there, safety-wise. 

However, here, people are just stripping the shelves of toilet paper, paper towels and tissues - the latter two we can't flush down the toilet (but some people don't know that). And yet, I have to think about what will happen when I run out of toilet paper as well. It's just something I'll be thinking about - and I guess you all will think about as well.

Now, it's gotten to a time where I think we have to all start thinking before we act, thinking before we say something. It's time we stopped acting as though this is the end of the world.

This is not the apocalypse. If it was, Mother Nature would give us some certain signs. For example: the birds would be a sure sign that something was wrong. Animals would be stampeding because they'd feel and smell something was wrong. So, no, it's not the apocalypse. 

So stop acting as though it is.

This is a glitch in our health - not just a few people, but all of us. It's a plague and yes, it will affect all of us. So, it's a good idea to start thinking about how your behaviour is going to affect people around you, and stop acting as though you're the only - and last - person on the planet. You're not. We're going to lose a lot of people in this. Rich people, poor people, old people, young people... so start looking at how you act around the rest of the Human Race before you do something stupid. 

Yes, I said stupid - because people out there who are panicking are acting stupid, single-minded and panicky... and panic rubs off on others. It takes one person to make everyone else to change from being normal, level-headed and calm. So, when you do go out and do your shopping, be calm, stick to the limits we are told there are, and keep your distance with people. We're all in this thing together.