#1504 Day 6 of getting there: Supporting local – Kirks

I feel terrible for all the businesses out there suffering through this uncertain and indefinite period.

I look around the town that I love, and I feel even more sad.

Because it’s these small businesses that make my town, what it is.

Sure, people will flock and spend and visit and book things once this all blows over, but that could be months away… meanwhile, how do these places stay afloat?

Keep employees paid?

Keep paying rent?

Keep making money amidst further lockdowns, bans and imposed isolation to ALL?

I’ve been happy to see many businesses going online, getting creative and thinking of other ways to get their business out to people who can’t get out anymore.

Really if you think about it, this is kind of the best time in history that we could have this kind of pandemic. Because even though we may not be able to get out in public…

We can still get out and about online.

I’ve made a concerted decision lately that I will be one of many out there, to support local business. I don’t want the people who make this beautiful part of the world so unique and great, to go under, and I want to make sure they know they are supported, while also trying to send the really strong and important message…

Buy local. Wherever you are. Support small business. Keep them afloat. And tell your friends about it too.

Which is what I am here to do. 😉

First on one of my many support locals list… Kirks.

Of course, FOOD.

We have been there heaps of times before, (check out my Food Review from a while ago), it is a local favourite on the Esplanade, and no matter what, we seem to gravitate there, again and again.

They recently released a takeaway/delivery menu in the midst of no more in-dining within their restaurant, and I have to say –

WE WERE EXCITED.

Tonight we got a different kind of food delivery!

Instead of your basic pizza, or fish and chips, or drive-through, it was:

Beef Burger

Prawn and Zucchini Risotto

Chicken nuggets and chips (for baby girl – okay kind of takeaway staple!)

and because we got two main meals in there, we were able to get a bottle of wine for $5.

$5!

It’s only the beginning of my loving local and helping local list, so stay tuned…

It’s going to be a big ride. Let’s get ready for the long haul.

And on an aside, it was Zoom night, part 2…

As we caught up with sis and bro-in-law!

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Who said isolated Saturday nights were going to be boring? Like hell they are!

#1494 Finding the good in a new kind of normal

I remember a line I read in a pregnancy book, a few days after coming home with a very newborn baby girl.

I was in a state of panic and fear and frustration, and this book said something along the lines of:

“Lower your expectations.

And lower…

And lower…

Even lower…

There you go.”

Essentially what I was being told was to not expect much AT ALL. It was a new, confusing and confronting time of our life, becoming new parents and learning how to raise a small human, and the expectations of anything else that life would bring, including this little being herself, was lower than NIL.

It was the only functional place to operate from. Expecting anything higher, would result in severe disappointment, and as a new Mum that is a dangerous place.

I can’t help thinking of that time again today.

Because today, with the PM announcing approximately 6 months of living in self-isolation, avoiding gatherings, unnecessary social occasions, events and the like, well it all feels very sad.

Very lonely.

We need to lower our expectations to a new kind of normal.

And with that, I realise that by lowering my standards of what I expect life to be and look like, I will essentially be raising the bar for this blog.

Because I will be looking for even more simple and inventive ways to be grateful… all without my little every day luxuries.

My catch ups with friends.

Getting my hair done.

Going to the park.

Going to the movies.

Grabbing a coffee at the local café.

Eating out on a Saturday night.

Discovering a new place.

All of this will be, if predictions forecast accurately, put on hold. And sure, 6 months is hopefully the maximum time this will be imposed on us.

Even more hopefully, this will all end WAY BEFORE the 6 months are up.

But in the meantime… lower your expectations.

I’m already thinking of writing. So much writing. And reading SO SO much.

Home improvements.

Movie nights in.

Long D&Ms on the phone.

Running around the yard.

And one that Hubbie and I thought of tonight… talking to our people, via webcam, and skype!

Imagine the full blown catch-ups we can have if we link it up to a computer and cheers! the night away!

We might all end up creating a new and simple way to live our lives, away from the hype, the hoo-ha, the busy busy busy, and the chaos.

Maybe this is happening for a reason.

#1493 All charged up

I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry.

It is all so bloody crazy.

So, two weeks into training of a new job, and…

Worldwide virus hits and begins to shut down everything in its path.

The positive?

We can work from home.

The negative?

We can work from home.

Connecting things up to my desk at home today has been a mammoth task. I have been staring at emails, apps, googling various how-tos, and just generally wondering how the hell am I going to get work done with baby girl at home?

Yep, not just for school holidays… we are forcibly keeping her home as of tomorrow.

You might high five me… or you might do a face palm.

It’s ok. It’s that kind of post, that kind of day.

The setting up at home went to shit initially. My work laptop which was meant to at least keep some charge as I took it home for testing tonight, well it actually shit itself (must have caught on to the toilet paper business) and didn’t want to even fire up when I got home.

Nothing. Totally wiped out.

Until something Hubbie said about chargers got me thinking.

Sure, none of my recent laptop chargers could fit into my work laptop to get it going… but then I remember, oh three laptops ago, I used to have a HP laptop.

My work laptop is a HP laptop.

And guess what I still had?

My HP laptop charger.

IT WORKED!

In your face Marie Kondo!!!! Who said hoarding didn’t pay dividends? (Also my monitor that I was going to give away – but haven’t – is going to come in very handy over the next little while).

I was able to do all my checks (albeit, after HOURS in front of the screen tonight).

I am stressing a bit about all of this. I know my stress is the least of the worldwide concern, and remind myself that this crisis has us all stressing about one thing or another…

There are so many that are losing work from this.

Us? Well we are kind of depended on, and if anything we will have nothing but work to do.

Crapping myself now…

 

#1492 Turn to simple things in times of stress

Seriously… this stuff can’t be written.

Though you could maybe imagine a great sci-fi book running along the lines of –

“mega virus spreads across the globe, sending people into a panic as more and more towns, cities and countries self-isolate, close borders, cancel all events and people go mad buying EVERYTHING in the shops.”

Yep, you could imagine that on a book’s blurb.

But not the toilet paper. No one could EVER have foreseen the toilet paper.

It truly does feel like a very weird dream. So unbelievably surreal.

I sway from ‘this can’t be happening,’ to ‘oh f*^$ I don’t want to use public transport tomorrow.’

Everyone and everything is coming to a halt. Forcibly. Never have I witnessed such a thing, and the unpredictability of the beast has us all scratching our heads, yelling out loud, or running around like chickens with their heads chopped off.

I was happy then, to try and make life normal today… if only a bit.

One of those things was being a parent helper at baby girl’s school. I know, I know. Even Hubbie was like – “wash your hands well after.”

It was something I promised long ago, and not being at work today, made me all the more available for the reader-helper task.

Baby girl was rapt. Soooo rapt. I wandered into her class at the end of the day and listened to first her, and a few other kids read to me.

It was so beautiful. The simplistic nature of the task, helping them sound things out, listening to the rhythm in their voice, and just being in the presence of such innocent and naïve natures, made me feel like slowing down, in the best way possible.

But they are so honest aren’t they. One boy who finished reading for me randomly said at the end “Mum said we have to be careful of coronavirus.”

Oh F*%&. Yeah, Mum’s right.

The best thing though, was having my girl read to me. She was beyond excited to have me in her class. And although I don’t know how much my other commitments will allow me to visit the classroom in future, baby girl, whether by coincidence or not, made her sentiments pretty clear through the book she chose to read to me today…

“Mummies are Amazing.”

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#1491 Toilet paper

Never in my life did I ever think I would be so grateful for toilet paper.

I mean, even writing this gratitude blog, where I often talk about very simple, every day things that I’m appreciative for. Even toilet paper, that one item that we take for granted, that item that we literally wipe our asses on, and yet the one item that helps keep us so hygienic, allowing us to clean ourselves and flush it all away without a second thought.

Even that, very important necessity item. Considered a luxury in a lot of third world countries… yet something we have tonnes of in the Western world.

We have options. 1ply, 2ply, 3ply. Large commercial public toilet rolls… organic, bleached and non-bleached… recycled, patterned and coloured… even large packets that come with convenient handles that help us lug the monstrous packages to our car.

We have a lot of options.

We had a lot of options.

Now we are lucky to find the damn paper.

This coronavirus panic has materialised itself in Australia in the most bizarre way. And though my concerns about the actual virus itself have grown day by day, as I learn more about it, and as more travel and social bans are imposed upon the country in order to keep us safe from contracting it, it seems a lot of people are just panic buying, and as well as clearing the supermarket shelves from all long-life and tinned food, the main priority, for a virus that attacks the respiratory system, was how we were going to control our bums.

As simple as that. There is actually no logic to it.

Virus that attacks your lungs? Buy toilet paper.

I have no clue as to the link between the two.

This sheep mentality as I like to call it, has meant that people that haven’t been panic buying, are almost forced to, in order to protect themselves against the inevitability that there will be nothing left for them in the probability that we have to self-isolate.

I was down to 4 rolls. 4 rolls. 2 in use, and 2 that were sitting there, just waiting to be wasted.

My parents offered me rolls last week, but I was over-confident in my toilet paper buying abilities over the week… and then both Hubbie and I went all over town and still found NOTHING.

Fortunately for me, I have more than one person who cares about how much toilet paper we have in the household. Sis called the other day to tell me how Aldi seemed a better bet to get toilet paper from. Even though the major supermarkets are getting truck loads of it delivered every morning, it goes within hours.

And although the other 2 big chains sell out quickly, Sis seemed to think, going by her recent luck, that Aldi seemed like the better option… and then the knowledge that they opened at 8:30am (not having to get up at the start time of 6am like the other two chains) felt so much more achievable for me, and like I might actually get it.

So… this happened today.

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I got there before opening time, to a crowd of about 40 people waiting outside the closed doors. Everyone was fairly orderly yet had one very specific thing on their mind, and we all headed to the toilet paper aisle to get it.

24 rolls. 24! I am so bloody relieved after nearly shitting myself for a moment there (deliberate pun).

So, in case you too are freaking out as to where to get toilet paper from in Australia, and if 6am is awfully impossible too for you to get up for, try Aldi. The stores I checked out open at 8:30am every day. If you can pop in before work, school drop-off, or have someone grab it for you…

There you go. Good luck. That’s my community public service announcement.

We all need someone to look out for us. Let’s just pray that toilet paper is the biggest of our concerns.

#1488 The porch evening break

It has been go-go-go lately.

So after the constant cooking-cleaning-tidying-preparing for the next day was STILL not done, I saw Hubbie sitting on the bench outside and decided…

F*&% it.

I would join him.

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And as tired/cranky/frustrated/achy and EVERYTHING that I was, there was something soothing about seeing a girl in a Unicorn dress, prance across the yard to the fading sunset…

#1487 As the sun sets on Summer…

I was so cranky this afternoon.

I felt like I was about to explode.

Mostly, I had the SHITS, majorly, about this whole stupid toilet paper situation.

(Yes, deliberate pun).

Almost everyone has gone insane.

It’s like a dog eat dog world… already people are fighting over toilet paper (why this particular sanitary item I have no idea) so can you imagine what would happen if there was an immediate and very real threat to our health… can you imagine then what would happen?

I don’t want to.

I got home from training, and HAD to turn my head around from all the mumbo-jumbo.

I had to make it better.

The weather was meeting me half-way there… so I had to make the rest of the trip.

To the beach.

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Within minutes I felt all my crazy melting away into the, what was initially very mild waters, to suddenly ICE COLD ones.

It was a short trip, but it got me away from the routine if only for a bit, and for that I am thankful.

Was this the end of our beach trips for this Summer season? I have no idea. It’s always a sad realisation, wondering if this will be the last visit, thinking the next one may be a good 7-8 months away…

SO LONG AWAY.

But, I will always have sunsets. And those are pretty damn amazing, all year round.

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