A Melbourne poised to go into stage four lockdown is probably not the ideal place to be in mid-winter.
Icy blasts of wind from the snow-dusted Dandenong Ranges whistle down the deserted streets as masked shoppers scurry along in search of final supplies before the expected announcement from Dan Andrews of further closures.
A quick look at the Notes app on my phone reveals all the usual stuff: outdated shopping lists, blog topics, ideas for Christmas presents, music for the Absolute Lizzie Funeral Selection Volume 2. (Just me? My children and I joke about the fact that at this rate, my wake is going to have to take place over a weekend. Could be kinda fun.)
Since lockdown began six (or is it seven?) millenia ago, I have begun to realise how reliant I am on the companionship of sound, and of classical music in particular.
I wake up to Russell Torrance and his gentle Scottish brogue on Classic FM, then move on to my late father’s classical music CD collection for the rest of my working-from-home day. Once meticulously filed in alphabetical order in his study, it’s now a jumbled pile in his old bedroom – my current retreat. I sift through it for old favourites – the B for Bach, H for Handel and M for Mozart sections were always heavily weighted on Dad’s shelves – and spend hours every day of this 21st century pandemic immersed in 18th century music.
Being a long distance grandmother has its compensations. Every morning since corona-lockdown, I’ve woken to images of my son and his young family managing their splendid self-isolation in northern NSW. There are five of them and they’re in this together: mother, father, toddler, newborn and Norman. (Norman is a greyhound but try convincing him.)
A recent invitation to join the Kindness Pandemic Facebook page brought to mind this story I wrote for The Age in 2009 shortly after the car crash that – in a strange way – was the catalyst for DIY Woman. I was determined to make the most of the life I had been spared to live. It was the inception of what started out as a guide to separation, divorce and living happily ever after, and grew into a blog for the Daring Intuitive Young@heart Woman I aspire to be. The type of woman (and occasional man) I write for. And that is you, dear reader. I hope you enjoy this story from The Age archives.
A few Saturday nights ago – a lifetime away – I had an epiphany.
I was in a form of self-imposed isolation due to a cold I had picked up from some visiting relatives. It was early on in the unfolding of the coronavirus catastrophe to come. According to the Nurse-On-Call, I didn’t tick any of the boxes that would have entitled me to coronavirus testing. So I was erring on the side of caution. And there was something seductive about cancelling all social engagements and staying in on a Saturday night. Especially with Hugh Grant for company. A Very British Scandal was showing on iview, so my pyjamas and I settled in for episode one.
This year would have marked the 65th anniversary of Eurovision.
Sixty-four years of big hair, wind machines and pyrotechnics up in smoke. For this year anyway – the year I made the decision to experience firsthand the highs, the lows, the costume reveals and the money notes. The year I sweated over three laptops simultaneously logged in to the second round of ticket sales and won and lost tickets in less than five heartbreaking minutes. And won again.