Low tide

Is it week nine or 10 of lockdown in Sydney? Should I take the dogs for another walk or make more soup? Is 4pm too early for a cocktail? Have I showered today? Can I wear my pyjamas to Chargrill Charlie’s?

I can’t speak for Melburnians, but we’re starting to unravel in Sydney.

The past week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me, but I’m going to start with a natural high.

On Saturday, DD and I explored another headland – this time it was North Avalon. I wanted to see the secret cave that’s only accessible at low tide.

In a weird coincidence, we ran into friends who were doing exactly the same thing. What’s the etiquette for that during COVID-19 restrictions? Do you studiously ignore each other?

We decided to keep a few COVID-safe metres between us as we clambered over the rocks.

It was a stunningly beautiful afternoon and I was so excited to see dolphins frolicking off the shore.

The speck below is DD sitting halfway up the cliff face, waiting for me while I explored the rock pools.

I was so pleased to see lots of local teenagers swimming, surfing, kayaking and snorkeling in the afternoon sun. They are lucky to be near the ocean. I think it will be a great sanity saver for them over the next few months.

Who knows when this lockdown will end? I actually swore in shock at the TV screen on Saturday when Gladys announced there were 825 COVID cases.

Joe Hildebrand noted in an opinion piece: “A school counsellor I know is dealing around the clock with a tsunami of kids in stages ranging from tantrums to trauma, all pleading to go back to the classroom.

“Somehow we have created a world in which children are begging to go to school but the government won’t let them.”

The eldest didn’t cope well with the trial HSC last week and I was quite worried. There wasn’t much studying done, but at least the exams were completed. I wasn’t holding much hope for the two major works, but a spurt of creativity late last week saw them almost completed.

The DT major work is vampire fangs. They look very realistic on the mould of the eldest’s teeth, which was made by a kind and helpful dentist. Apparently they are designed to be a self-soothing device for autism, rather than for sucking blood.

The Visual Arts major work is hard to describe. It’s an ex-Barbie that looks like a cross between a voodoo doll and something used by a shaman in strange rituals. It’s nestled on a piece of sheepskin in an old wooden box, surrounded by various small animal bones.

It’s a little scary looking, but impressive.

Speaking of strange rituals, I enticed the eldest out of the bedroom to start watching the first season of Twin Peaks with me. It was a big hit, especially the dancing-dwarf-backwards-talking dream.

I was feeling very excited about all the progress that had been made, until the last rat died at 2.30am on Saturday morning. He didn’t get to imbibe much of the $78 worth of medication I bought him last week, but he was loved until his very last breath.

I felt sad that another living creature was gone and that his passing had broken my child’s heart a little bit more.

I was also quite wobbly earlier in the week when I didn’t get a job I really wanted, following three phone interviews and one video interview. Luckily I was at DD’s when I got the bad news, so he could give me a big hug.

Speaking of DD, he tried to cut his own hair with clippers and gave himself a hairdo that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Dumb & Dumber. So I was enlisted to try and fix it. Cutting hair isn’t my strength, but I gave it my best shot. I think it was an improvement but, hey, we’re all starting to look a little wild and unkempt in lockdown.

Afterwards, I made us both a soothing drink – my new favourite cocktail, the Claret Snap. DD declared it delicious and immediately asked me to shake him up another one!

We finished the weekend by having a Zoom call with a few of our Newie friends. I roasted pork ribs and beans for us to nibble and DD made a Tik Tok potato salad.

It was lovely to see our friends’ faces after so long. We were meant to spend Christmas in July together, but we now have our fingers crossed for Karma County in November.

And now another week in captivity begins. I hope your weekend had some highs and not too many lows.

Song of the day: Steve Winwood “Higher Love”

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