Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
On October 6th, 1727, English poet Alexander Pope wrote these words in a letter to a friend. Almost 300 years later, his words sum up perfectly the attitude of many Melburnians after two months of stage four lockdown.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that prolonged periods of lockdown aren’t good for the human psyche. Being confined to our homes, our suburbs, even our state can be claustrophobic. We stare at our four walls but dream of faraway places.
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.
Who was it who said ‘Living with your adult children goes against nature’?
Oh yes, I think it was me.
It was long before the financial implications of choosing a life in The Yarts had hit home to two generations of my family: my muso son and me. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. The writing/music life fixes you in its gaze and you are powerless to look away. So here we are in lockdown together.
This online dating story was the catalyst for a piece ofmine that appeared in The Guardian this week. It led to a second pitch, a whole new focus and a home in one of my favourite newspapers. It’s a lesson in perseverance and sheer bloodymindedness.
Here is the original…
An English friend of mine, now in her late 70s, introduced her husband to me by saying ‘This is Bill. I advertised for him in the Guardian.’
A bonus long weekend post in honour of my nephew Tom and his mother – my friend – Anne
A gift like Anne comes along once in a lifetime
An in-law who becomes a close friend, confidante and partner-in-crime. From the day we met, we got the point of each other. We laughed at each other’s jokes, shared each other’s pain (including a common mother-in-law), went on holidays together and shared a brood of children who were best mates and just happened to be first cousins.
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.
Love was a terrible thing […] Not perhaps my cup of tea.
So says Mildred Lathbury, self-proclaimed spinster and one of the ‘excellent women’ of Barbara Pym’s 1950s novel of the same name. The setting is post-war London – the start of the baby boom – when early marriage and motherhood are the norm. Little wonder that thirty-something Mildred thinks she’s missed the (love) boat.