22 and a hump

Hello outside world! 

Upon consulting my calendar, it appears that it has been 22 (and a hump day) weeks since a whole slew of Melbourne folks, including me, started working from home and staying home more than usual. 

That’s a long time! Deep in the second trimester of growing a human in your guts kind of time, yeah? 

It seems both entirely normal and still surreal to be connecting to the office computer network from the small desk in my bedroom. I haven’t enjoyed a face to face chat with my workmates since early March. 

I mostly wear trackies and a hoodie or stay in my pjs as I read and send emails, arrange settlements, chase things up for the sixth time, and chat to clients over Skype and FaceTime. Who knew it was so easy to seem semi-profesh while wearing uggboots? Throwing a colourful scarf on is my no. 1 video chat hack. 

I think I’ve felt all the feelings in the past 22 weeks, from fear and loneliness to gratitude and moments of peace; and every adjacent emotion. Thankfully I’ve mostly been able to cope with it all. 

I like to pop outside mid-afternoon and see what the sky is doing. 

This week I discovered jasmine exploding over the back fence. 

I look up, take photos, say hello and thank you to the grocery delivery guy, check the letterbox every couple of days, and do the dishes before they pile up too high. I make the bed, most days! 

My oldest friend in the world and I have silly text chats and long phone conversations which range from uproarious laughter to the deep and meaningful. 

Today, my dad called me to make sure I have had the faulty airbags in my car replaced. Bless him! Get yours done if you haven’t, dad says so. 

I’ve misplaced my cooking mojo. It will return I’m sure. If you’ve got a great (vegetarian) pantry staples pasta sauce recipe, hit me up please. 

When I’m not working, you’ll mostly find me under this colourful blanket watching something on Netflix, Stan, SBS On Demand or Disney Plus. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Hamilton. How good is it? ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ from me. 

I hope you’re keeping well, especially my fellow Victorian readers. 

We can do hard things! 

Keep going. Stay home as much as you can. Wear that mask. Wash those hands. 

Run your kids ragged in that one hour of exercise off the premises. 

Call an old friend and have a laugh. 

Read a blog you haven’t read for a while. 

Comment on someone’s Instagram feed. Spread some nice thoughts around. 

Return to an old album you loved, or a book that’s special to you. 

Most importantly, have flexible expectations around how you get through this exceedingly odd and challenging time. 

Baked beans on toast for dinner is 100% okay, and a delicious source of fibre. 

Home schooling hiccups are okay. 

Throwing in the towel (temporarily) is fine. 

Having a good week, fab. 

Dragging yourself through a bad week? Know this, you’re not alone. Have a quiet cuppa on the back porch. Text a friend for support. 

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your pals who live alone. Just a text or Instagram โค๏ธ reminds us we’re not alone. 

Keep going. 

I believe in us.  

 

Annette xx 

 

PS Comment at will, I love it when you do. 

How are you? Tell me how things are in your area. 

 

 

Full Basket, Empty Sink

Hello!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I enjoy marking the ritual of having a laundry basket full of clean folded clothes. 

There’s something satisfying about bringing clothes or sheets in off the Hills Hoist or clothes rack, piling them up next to me on the couch and methodically folding them. 

Pants – in half and then in half again, my particular undies fold (which is not KonMarie approved!), tees get the arms folded in then folded thrice… it’s familiar, rhythmic, part of the ritual of everyday life. 

Those rituals are more important than ever in “the time of Corona”. 

Tiny moments of calm and control help me stay calm and clear on the inside. 

This week I’ve made an effort to keep the dishes from piling up. When they pile up too high, when I run out of sugar spoons for my daily coffee, it messes with my insides staying calm and clear. 

Orderliness has always been part of my personality. I like things to be neat and squared away. I feel better when things are sorted. 

 

If only it was as easy to do that with the world around us, as it is with a laundry basket. 

 

I hope that you are finding ways to keep your insides calm and clear. 

Maybe laundry folding isn’t your thing – what a glamorous life I lead. Maybe it’s tending your garden, or a daily practice of yoga or creativity that keeps you motoring along. 

Whatever it is, don’t let it slip. 

Just keep folding, saluting the sun, writing, painting, hooking, and if you find yourself stuck for something to centre you, just pop outside and look up. We’re all under the same sky. 

 

Bolsteringly, 

 

Annette xx 

Blurry Days

Have you noticed that these stay at home days all seem to be blurring in to each other? 

Monday feels like Umday and then you blink and it’s Thursday. It is Thursday isn’t it? Yes it is, at least according to my phone. 

Yesterday I broke free of the walls of my house and visited a local bakery. I had a hankering, a gastronomic itch that wanted to be scratched. I had been daydreaming about flaky pastry for a days. 

It was jolly satisfying to chomp down on a warming sauso roll. I haven’t had one for ages. Mmmm so good.  

Going out feels positively Mallory Towers sneaking off to a midnight feast naughty. 

The streets are oddly quiet at the moment. There are cars around but not many people. Drove past a primary school with all the classrooms I could see sitting in darkness. 

There were two people in the bakery when I arrived, and even though three customers were permitted in the store at a time, I waited outside for one customer to leave. 

Black X……. Black X……. Black X, taped to the floor at an appropriate distance, in front of the bakery cabinets. 

Small businesses that usually prefer cash seem to all be using contactless payments. Tap and go, aptly named. 

One of my many nephews is an apprentice baker at that local bakery, so gave him a wave as I waited for my sausos and donuts. Pink icing with lurid green and fuchsia icing. Yum. 

Work has slowed quite a bit. I’m lucky to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment, so my income is guaranteed for the immediate future. Not everyone I know has been so fortunate. 

We had a conference call staff meeting today. The downturn in business gives us time to focus on processes and developing our social media presence, reminding people we exist and have expertise. When this strange season is over, we will all need new clients and old customers to come back to the businesses we rely on for our living. 

My independent streak is thrilled that online grocery shopping is back, even if it’s click and collect this week. I am quite determined not to run out of chickpeas while these strange times endure. I’m mad for chickpeas! So versatile, tasty and cheap. Oops, I may have overspent, I think it was the excitement of being able to “add to trolley” from the comfort of my couch. Veggies, chocolate, soda water, click, click, click. Inordinately chuffed to be able to do my own shopping again. 

How are you coping? Have you got kids doing remote learning? Take it easy on all involved I say, I think the hysteria over kids “falling behind” is, ridiculous – we are only a couple of weeks into this new way of learning. Interrupted education is nothing new in this world, it’s just usually something that happens over there, far away, not to people like us. 

These days, “people like us” are experiencing life rather differently than we usually do. That can be quite confronting. It can also remind us that all the ease and freedom of movement we take for granted is actually quite a privilege. 

Keep going. Prioritise keeping yourself mentally well, look after your people (you’re one of them!), hug those in your household often. 

My last hug was on the 21st of March. I’m not sure when the next one will be. 

Until then; double coated Tim Tams, new books for reading in bed on the weekends, popping out into my backyard to admire the sky, taking dance breaks during “office hours”, House Party calls with my sister and loads of social media chats, they’re my hugs. 

Keep going. Gently. Keep going. 

Cheers, 

Annette x

 

 

 

SEVEN STRANGE DAYS

Hello! 

I am one week into the stay at home and work from home life. My art desk has become my work desk. Totes profesh, huh?! 

When I stop for a quick lunch at the office, I usually check out BabyMac’s latest blog post.

Works from my home desk too, with the bonus of a bowl of delicious veggie soup! 

There’s definitely been some anxiety for me this week. 

food, being able to work while so many people are losing their jobs; these things have helped me stay relatively calm. 

Some nights it’s difficult to fall asleep, and I badly want to hug, kiss and wrestle with my little nephews.

The most important thing is that we all do all that we can to get through these strange days. 

Stay at home as much as you can. 

Be mindful of how much news you’re consuming.

Don’t trust medical information from random social media accounts. 

Wash those hands, and keep your physical distance from others when you need to venture out. 

Don’t forget to be EXTRA courteous and kind to people, especially staff at supermarkets, pharmacies and to anybody working in healthcare. 

Use the most basic function of your smartphone, call someone up and have a chat. 

Stay connected. 

Stay positive. 

Stay healthy. 

Together, we can get through these strange days.

 

Much love, 

Annette xxx