My week ended on Friday with a colleague sharing insights about how people are feeling as a result of ongoing Coronavirus restrictions. The ...

My week ended on Friday with a colleague sharing insights about how people are feeling as a result of ongoing Coronavirus restrictions. The upshot? People are scared. 

Yellow Cootamundra wattle in bloom

I’m not sure I would say I am scared, but I am cautious, prepared, mask-wearing, hand-washing, choosing to make myself scarce and only going places I can bet on there being few others. 

What I can say is I am thoroughly sick of online conferencing. My hands are rubbed raw, which makes me wonder at what skin can be left on the hands of health workers. I am newly irritated by noise, especially phone alerts, all of mine silenced save a few pressing work ones.

I can’t say I’d go back to the way things were this time last year. 

Having had a taste of the flexibility that comes from a home office, I won’t be rushing at daily commutes. Without them creative thoughts and ideas are creeping back in.

I WENT TO… Cootamundra. We agonised over whether to travel at all in the past month. I work in the city at least once a week and though I’ve not even suffered a runny nose this winter, I was nervous about the risk of unwittingly carrying a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus into a town with a high proportion of older folk. We scrubbed up, kept our distance, phoned ahead to book in a meal and check we were welcome and in the end had a charming weekend of road trips, wintery walks and a tasty pub meal or two. 

I ATE… I finally managed to get a sourdough starter going that was self-sustaining and didn’t need to be carried around our poorly heated old home. With a decent starter, I'm now turning out a couple of loaves a week. My next iso-cooking challenges are nougat and liquorice. 

I OP SHOPPED… The Red Cross shop at Cootamundra was everything I love about country op shops. It’s a cavernous old building, with every room on the lower floor full of treasures to hunt through. Another lucky find was the church op shop at Murrumburrah. 

I READ… Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence. It was sitting on my bedside table so long I’ve had several overdue library reminders. It’s not a front page to back page read; you dip in and out and back through. From the audio selection, read via Borrow Box, I finished Tara June Winch's The Yield, and Kiran Millwood Hargrave's The Mercies.

I MADE… Masks. I’ve now got a stash to have two with me on every outing, two in the wash and spares. While the machine’s been out, I’ve also pulled a few UFOs from the cupboard, including an idea I had for a soft art doll made from the salvaged pieces of a silverfish-riddled Liz Gemmell knit. Keep your eye on my Instagram account. I'll share a picture there when I remember to take one.

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