Thursday 26 March 2020


While I haven't been actively hoarding, and thank you people who have now created a normal where I can only get 2 chicken breasts for 6 people at a time, it appears subconsciously, I have. Not toilet paper, not meat, and not tins. Chocolate.

The weird thing is, I'm not a big chocolate eater. I like spearment leaves, Jujy fruits and Ginger Kisses. The chocolate seems to get purchased and then left in the cupboard....I guess for times like this. Who knew a secret chocolate stash would come in handy?

May you discover a supply of what you need in these strange days. Be it love, communication or merely chocolate.

Stay safe everyone.

Also Wayside Chapel is struggling to stay open and keep helping the homeless and those in desperate situations. Please donate if you can.

Linking with #LovingLifeLinky

My Random Musings

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Finding the calm in the storm

On Sunday, as I thought we might sensibly be preparing for full lockdown, I became scared and upset. I felt angry at everything that had been taken from me, and all the fun things my kids were missing out on - the cancelled camp, the last hat parade, the last international food day and the award at assembly. The role of house captain and the responsibilities now redundant. 

I was feeling how insecure everything was, and how the planning and life we set up was and things we enjoyed were now all gone. That security is really just an illusion that we had put too much belief into. Everything was in free fall and beyond our control.

I sat outside in the yard feeling hollow.  I worry about all these people that have literally no income now, in a country with poor safety nets. And I feel sad for my kids that will miss out on their fun. 

Then it occurred to me that this was exactly what happened to the Syrians. Living normal lives, planning their school dance, a new career, their next day's work and overnight, it's all ripped away and life as they know it has changed. Or the Bosnians, the Croatians, the Cambodians, the Vietnamese and a million other places. It's not that it's the whole world changing forever, it's just that it's the first time it's happened to us. A Croatian friend I discussed this with concurred. 'All of our lives were so badly disrupted by a war we had 25 years ago that I honestly think people here in Croatia are in the group of “the least panicked” nations — you can even hear it between people in the grocery store "“This is nothing compared to scarcity of food and hygienic items during war.” was disrupted ALL THE TIME. And when we would go to school, at least one hour was spent in the shelter due to air strike sirens...This isn’t to say I’m minimizing what’s happening now — it’s affecting our lives too, mine, my family’s, but this is still so FAR from the fear, anxiety, and devastation that war brings....Even my mom came home the other day and said: I refuse to lose my shit due to coronavirus— I still remember very well living through a war with two small children and husband in military and this is not that type of crisis.'

My understanding is that Russians my age have lost everything twice. All their money worthless overnight & it’s changed their thinking and behaviour and they just spend everything, as they've learnt there's not a lot of point in saving for later, as later can change everything. 

I heard an interview with an Aussie stuck in a hotel in Lebanon when the last flare up happened (can’t remember the exact details but he was doing daily reports on the radio) and he said that in the hotel, all the Australians were freaking out (& crying) and all the Lebanese had just jumped back in time 10 years, sitting relaxed at breakfast and were saying things like ‘that’s a R27*, you don’t need to worry about those ones’ or looking at them as if they were being ridiculous and creating a scene by crying as the bombs went off. 

In Australia, we been really lucky to not have experienced that on shore since WWII. It felt like the world was changing forever with this virus. But now I realise it's just that it's the first time we've experienced anything like it. Yes the world is changing, and some things may never come back, but it is probably just an interlude, and we will adjust, maybe alter our thinking a bit, but some sort of normal returns. 

It cheered me up and I've been okay since. I'm sure I will yo-yo on it, but for now it's all out of my hands and I just have to go with what is recommended (frankly go higher than the Australian recommendations - look at WHO and the countries that are getting it under control). If you have the economic security to help others, please do.

Please don't think I'm trying to minimise anyone's distress. This is just what helped me get my head around it. I also think it is okay to complain about the little things, to work them out of your system. We only understand what we are losing for now. I suspect that will change the more out of control this gets. Robb Webb has this bit where he says it’s like you go to the doctor with a broken arm and the guy next to you has a broken arm and two broken legs, and yes, he’s in more pain than you and needs more work done but the doctor still sees you and says ‘you have this broken arm and it’s causing you pain, so let’s talk about that’. So that’s our pain. And it’s okay to deal with that...(so don’t let anyone dismiss whatever you’re upset about).

Needs to be noted that I am not a doctor (*and I also know nothing about missiles so I just made the R27 up, because I can't remember what he said exactly). I am also taking my time frame for Ticketek who started selling tickets to a concert in late July. That seems as good a date as any, so I'm going with them for 'expected medical outcomes'.

Please note: Lentil as Anything is running takeaway so please donate food and containers if you can so they can continue to feed the poor. For more details  or Donate Here

Linking with #MLSTL  #KCACOLS #AnythingGoes and #Inspirememonday
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
My Random Musings
3 Little Buttons

Saturday 21 March 2020

Ironically titled Out and About

Pink Clouds

In a rather poorly timed post prompt, and as I've spent the week more or less at home (when not at Supermarkets and walking the dog), I've little of interest to offer on the #Lifethisweek's theme of Out and About.

However, yesterday my husband needed something dropped at his office - I drove instead of getting the train like I normally would and parked at the empty Barangaroo point park, then walked through the greenery to get to his office.

I need to maybe try to find an empty outdoor space closer to home as it was a good mood enhancer...

 Have you been staying sane in these isolating days?

Linking with #GardenAffair (This was my last post before we offically locked down). We currently have 1 case in the community - though a big stuff up with International Arrivals may cause a headache....but for now, we can relax a little and enjoy being out and about!)

Wednesday 18 March 2020

“If you cannot find faith in humanity, be the faith in humanity.” – Anonymous

Just when I thought we had reached despicable new lows as a nation, I heard this story:
Busloads of Melbourne (and apparently Bendigo) people - 200 or so, are descending on supermarkets in small towns (one of 1500 people) and stripping their shelves of food. Of everything.
What kind of people think of doing this? I hope their shame at their greed and selfishness eats at them. Somehow I doubt it. I can't even put into words the disgust I have at the type of people we have become. EDIT: Apparently this was made up. So made up people are the kind of people that do this. Why would people make that up? I am thankful it is not a real behaviour.

Conversely, in my little bubble of a neighbourhood, I was happy to see a story where a woman gave a shout out on FB to the owner of Adult World in Newtown, who after hearing her Nan complain about not being able to get any toilet paper anywhere, offered to organise to fix her up with some, and did. A complete stranger.

This was thrown over the fence by the Salvation Army. The card is hanging on a string we can hang on a door knob so it doesn't get lost. There is a phone number to call for help and their address. I will be donating the roll we were gifted to a guy that lives in a boarding house down the road, as they probably only got one for the lot of them.

If you are reading what is going on in the world, the SARS experienced countries have a mentality of all being in this together - there's no rush on the supermarkets, there's not even a mask shortage and everyone does their bit. This article on Taiwan is worth reading, they had their first case yesterday after a 40 day break. The election proved how selfish we really were, but now it's coming back not just on the poor, disabled and the LBGT people, now we're taking it out on the elderly, infirm and basically everyone and anyone. We need to change our mentality and gain a sense of social responsibility if we are to survive this.

For me personally, there's a number of local elderly or immune compromised (or struggling on pensions) people I've sent my number to so they have help if they need it. I need to talk to my husband about offering to take my neighbours kids if the school shuts. He is a doctor in a hospital and it will affect his ability to do important work at this time. However, it will also make the kids high risk of carrying COVID and we are already 6 in the house so that will push us up to almost 10 - that's a big group to infect if one person brings it into the house. I need to weigh up the pros and cons (and, of course, it all depends what is legally allowed by then). I am not that young myself, but still young enough to not be too worried, if I'm careful.

This was posted by a friend last night. Please donate. I have already seen hospitality workers and travel industry workers asking for jobs (any jobs) and my own daughter has had her shifts cut to what appears to be once a week so they can share the now limited shifts around.

The demand for affordable groceries is shooting through the roof. Addison Road Community Organisation's FOOD PANTRY has seen a growth in customers of more than 20% every week for the last month.
Food is a basic human right. Hunger is an injustice. We need your help now to keep affordable food and household items on the shelves for the most vulnerable people in our communities.
DONATE NOW to make sure the people who need it most can buy food – many of our new customers are casual workers who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis and the economic effects of the summer bushfires.
Donations can be made by clicking on link below. Thank you.

I am changing Richard M. Rorty's words slightly but very applicable in these strange days 'disgust with Australian hypocrisy and self-deception was pointless unless accompanied by an effort to give Australia reason to be proud of itself in the future'. If you are not proud of the way people are behaving, don't follow suit. If you are one of these many Christians that apparently need LBGT abused & treated as second class citizens legally, start showing you at least adhere to some Christian values. Let's stop this appalling behaviour and set a new standard. Let's copy the better, kinder nations. Let's take the actions that let us be proud to be Australian again.

It starts with you, and it starts today.

Linking with #Spreadthekindness

Sunday 15 March 2020

Where does the rainbow end, in your soul or on the horizon?” ― Pablo Neruda

 It's been a grey and miserable weekend - not brilliant for social distancing...In the dreary days to come, keep looking for the rainbows. Try to share the hope around. We are all going to need it.

Linking with #SayCheese #PictorialTuesday #WordlessWednesday #MySundayBest #WWOAT #WWOT #OurWorldTuesday

Saturday 14 March 2020

“It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.” ― Jon J. Muth

My neighbourhood had steered clear of the toilet paper panic. Until this weekend. A neighbour on a pension told my husband that the local IGA had been cleared out of toilet paper. I said I could get him some, as so far, I've been in my own Truman Show where none of this craziness was a problem. I'm currently trying to share the money to the small corner shops (as they'll be hit hard in the lockdown), and discovered I was gouged at $8 for a 6 pack in my do-goodery. I will admit I was annoyed when I figured it out, as I do expect more from our people in the neighbourhood. But I'd already tapped and paid, so I gifted it to our neighbour and kept the price secret. I can afford to waste $8. He cannot. I had been proud of my neighbourhood at their lack of hysteria but I guess even they've fallen. Try to support the smaller businesses if you can (though maybe not if they're gouging), the big chains will survive. The little guys may not.

I have taken heart that on the local FB page, a lot of people are trying to work out how to look after the elderly and those with mobility issues. How to get them supplies.  I like that there are people offering boxes of home grown produce to those in need.

Neighbours are meant to look out for each other. If your neighbourhood isn't, then it's time for you to start. Start with one specific person if necessary, but start all the same. It can be small and easy - I shop for a 96 year old neighbour. It's minimal effort for me but provides weekly support for her. I am a little worried about what happens in the lockdown. On Friday I made her watch from the lounge room while I unpacked the groceries, and I sanitised before walking in. I'm not sick but I worry about the infectious period with no symptoms. We need to be very mindful of our role as infectors, not just getting sick ourselves.

Now is a time we need to rally together. Make sure no one is left behind. It's time to stop the everyman for himself attitude because we won't survive this if we're selfish. We need to be on the lookout for those in need. We need to share the spending around. We need to think a little more about what we're doing.

We need to be good neighbours.

Do you have ideas on how we can help people during the lock down? Please share below.
Or if you are out of lockdown, have you made helping your neighbours and those in need a priority?
Linking with #Blogtober21 because when I read the prompt, this photo of a car was the first thing that sprung to mind and we're still in lockdown so it all still applies really....

Monday 9 March 2020

The great thing about new friends is that they bring new energy to your soul. -Shanna Rodriguez

I stumbled across this article on how to make new friends as an adult. I initially thought 'Outside of the kids' schools, I've never made new friends since Uni or work'. But then I realised this wasn't true. I started the Wednesday Club and a friend invited her friend as a regular. That other person has no kids and I like to go out more than most, so often, she's my 'yes man'. The person who I ask when I need someone to do something with. We like similar things, and have broad interests, so anything on science or philosophy, she's become my first point of call.

I then realised last year I also made a new friend at a friend's 50th. We started talking and at the end of the night she asked to FB friend me. I was a little taken aback, to be honest, but didn't want to be rude so said yes. We have political issues in common so frequently discuss those and she's coming to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas with me.

Of course it would be remiss not to mention the blogging friends - an online world of contact that extends into real life from time to time.

So while I agree it's harder to make friends in later years, and outside of work, it is still possible if you put yourself out there.

I think the world gets as small as we let it.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.-Anaïs Nin
Have you kept adding to your circle? Linking with #TwinklyTuesday #KCACOLS and #StayClassyMama

Confessions of a New Mummy

Friday 6 March 2020

Tourist Sydney

We had a gorgeous time showing friends from Greece around last week.

On the harbour.

In the bush...

To the beach.

West Head Beach

With some native wildlife. In the wild. Sort of. (Technically in the toilet and then the car park and THEN the bush.)

From high...

And low.

I live here but every time I show off its features, I fall a little more in love with my beautiful city.

If you don't love Sydney, you just aren't doing it right....

Linking with #H20Thursday


Tuesday 3 March 2020

The great virus toilet paper shortage...

Our government chose to call the pandemic early, but then proceeded to not really implement any protocols. If you look at Singapore, the Gold standard, or Thailand and Vietnam, they have active protocols in place for all work places and crossing (temps taken before getting on a boat to an island etc., schools closed, doctors are visiting homes rather than sick people going to centres and so on). Whether it does anything, as the infectious period starts before that, who knows. It has, however, appeared to put confidence in the people.

We, on the other hand, were told to buy a few cans and some extra rolls of toilet paper.

And as you know, this has caused panic and mayhem if you want to buy any toilet paper or pasta. Yesterday's news also came with the charming story of people wanting their dogs put down because of the virus.

We have just been through massive bushfires. If you want to go crazy on supplies, head to a fire affected community and spend big there.

Do not be distracted by the SM chaos and make sure the bush fire rebuilding is happening. 

Most of all, keep an eye on this government and where our money is. It is easy to forget what is important if you are distracted with chaos.

Lastly, wash your hands more frequently. Do not cough or sneeze near people - always have a tissue to cough into. Wear a mask if sick, no matter how mild. Remember it starts with a scratchy throat, so get that checked out and self-isolate if you feel that coming on, well before the temperature spike. Let the doctor know when booking the appointment that is what you are worried about, so they can arrange for you not to infect the waiting room.

Use common sense, and try to not be selfish. You are trying to not spread the infection, as much as you are trying not to get infected.

We already have a crumbling economy and rising unemployment - let's not speed things up with further mismanagement.

And as we all learnt from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, “Don't Panic.”

Linking with #MLSTL. 

If you do feel the need to buy toilet paper in bulk, please buy from here. Who Gives A Crap. Delivers to your door (no need to infect anyone) and builds toilets around the world. If you want to freak out about diseases, the increase in viruses due to the impact of climate change and lack of toilets is terrifying  - as discussed in one of these two podcasts - can't remember which one. Cameron Webb – Climate change and the rise of mosquitoes or Jacqueline Thomas – The value of human waste

These fabulous people do have hand sanitiser and also help women in refuges, escaping violence and homelessness.