March 2ndEvery so often I make a really good Pie. Today was one of those days. We picked blackberries and apples and the pastry I made was spot on. I wish my batting average was this good every time. Still to see Marky wolf down 2 pieces made me happy. The blackberries drive us nuts for most of the year but when they produce fruit we like them. It always feels so great to just walk out and pick a few fresh from the vine. Still shocked that a little container of them at the supermarket sells for $6.00.
Our ex house mate Peggy is in Australia, her Mums funeral so sending her lots of love. We've both have known Mad Dog since we were 15! So yes a long time.
I'm working on the walk tracks, getting rid of lots of ivy, back to the original stones and encouraging some moss to grow on them. Our place can be so beautiful but it takes work.
March 3rdI go and get a small Oregano plant for our friend Jeng, but by the time I dig it up, it's well-MASSIVE so I find a pot big enough. It's insane to carry.
March 4thMary calls by and we stuff the Oregano plant into the car. She visited my Iranian hairdresser and got this cool new haircut, we all comment how great it looks. A lot of us gathered at Montage today. Seems very person is talking about Covid-19. I head next door to IGA and people certainly are shopping like it is the end of the world. The more PM Scumo screams at people to stop the more people ignore him and buy up. Certainly a sign of no confidence in our weak PM and people are scared. Maybe wise... if a lockdown happens it will be tough times for many, so stock up.
Late afternoon I go to the plant nursery. They are so kind and open the gates for me and I quickly buy up some Lysiosepalum, Boronia and Darwinina for some decking pots. Add a bit of native colour to the decking.
March 5thHappy Birthday Mum. I get in early, the first to call her. She's laughing as my crazy birthday present arrives at 6.30. We have a new washing machine for her, so I also sent 12 large boxes of FAB washing powder (and flowers). I'm just happy Mum is still with us. She is a survivor.
The online delivery page for Woolworths is crazy, all booked out for many days. Our timing is good and we are looked after, but within minutes all the delivery times are taken. It is becoming insane. Is this the new norm?
March 6thRain and Fog today. Which I like, that ghostly world out among the gum trees up here on Mt Dandenong.
I just read that Mary Ward, who played Mum Brooks on the tv show Prisoner is 105 years old. She must be one of the oldest actresses in the world?
Nice to chat to Greg Skyhook. we are still passionate to try and get the reissues for the last 3 studio albums done. The wheels turn slow around our record company and the 'Hooks.
March 7thSleep In. One of those morning where it is good just to surrender to it. Maybe my body needs it, maybe I'm just being a lazy sod. Banshee cuddles up so closely and of course she starts cat snoring. Which is both annoying and very cute.
Three woman fighting over toilet paper. You just have to shake your head. The footage of course goes viral.
Homemade Pizza for dinner.
March 8thI finish reading the Ian Roberts book. So very brave to be the first major League player in the world to come out. A good read.
We enjoy the new Tv show DEVS. A two parter.
March 9thMy little Cloth Badge posts on FB seem to be appreciated. Little stories and extra photos with each one. Todays was a cloth badge from Broken Hill. Home of artists Shane Gehlert (such a talent) the wonderful Palace Hotel from Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and of course Laura's lovely husband Kevin! I've asked MIM to find me a Wollongong Cloth badge for my birthday , I wonder if she will remember.
March 10thI head to Montage with Jean today. A fun chat, she is such a talented photographer. It's much quieter, the Covid-19 virus has nearly wiped the tourism from the mountain. Maybe good in one way, less infected people and tourists. I'm still shocked PM Morrison has not closed our borders yet. No wonder they now call him SlowMo!
"Bad Moon Rising" is playing over the Montage speakers- seems rather apt considering the current crisis.
March 11thI need to learn how to make Lemon Curd tarts. They seem to expensive at our bakery, ok bloody delicious but I should work out how to make them. Plus our lemon trees has always provided a lot of fruit.
Back to Kalorama Oval today, I managed 8 laps. I was trying for 10. A mans gotta know his limitations. Still 8 is pretty good considering it's been a few weeks since I last went for a run.
I mail MIM her special travel box, full of eye covers, neck pillows, micro toothbrush. Like all kids she loves getting little surprises in the post. We try so hard to be good uncles.
March 12thGrand Prix gone, Byron Bay Bluesfest Gone, Glastonbury Gone, the last piece of lemon Curd Tart- most certainly gone!
Donald Chump declares the Coronavirus "Fake news". Seriously people actually voted for this dumb fuck? Good grief. Watch him change his mind as Americans start dying and it gets out of control across his country.
We order some more groceries online and so many delivery days are booked out still. A 'self quarantine" delivery option pops up as well-now that is scary.
March 13thI walk around our little 2 acre property and it's hard to envision people dying en masse overseas from the virus. This place has a natural calm , which somehow creates a buffer from the craziness. Maybe living high on a mountain in a national park really is a little bit safer? It's abit of mental therapy too-away from the depressing Covid-19 media articles.
March 14thUsually I make a chocolate cake from scratch but one packet variety we Do like. Strangely enough it's by Greens cake mix (Yes I have my own cake mix at last. *GRIN*). The supermarket had them for half price so we grabbed a few boxes. Most packet cakes tastes like they are just that but for some reason this one tastes really excellent.
Happy Birthday to our old mate Mary. Catching up soon for a bit of celebrating.
While the weather is good I get some mowing done. I get to see the few cars arrive to check out the house near us that is up for auction soon.
March 15th200 people have the Coronavirus here in Australia, 6000 deceased worldwide. Tip of the iceberg I guess for what's to come. I get why so many are so fearful. My Mum made me smile when she said "only a matter of time before we get Zombies on our streets". I thought she was talking about peddlers of The Watch Tower!
March 16thWe watched "The Flu that killed 50 million" documentary , it was put together 2 years ago. Amazing ... does ones head in. It was over 100 years ago, and unlike now, the Australian government closed down our borders asap and Australia was the only continent not to get the Spanish flu. I think Mr Morrison took too long to do so.
Each day the world seems just that little bit nuttier. I wonder when we look back at this time in a decade if we will be shaking our heads in disbelief. Unless we are all dead and Apes rule the Earth.
The Byron Bay Bluesfest gets cancelled , I guess the other Crowded House shows will be knocked on the head. I see Glastonbury is now gone too. I hope they don't take too long to let fans know, as I'm sure many have to cancel flights, accommodation etc.
Love that Mark is walking around the house singing "We are Fucked, We are Fucked". At least he's in tune.
March 17thPresident Chump says America will probably fall into recession. Gawd for once he might of made an honest comment- how weird is that. I know America will overtake China with the number os cases of Covid-19.
MIM calls, we love hearing from our niece, she makes us laugh. She Totally suckers her 2 uncles.
I keep looking into our doomsday bunker pile just to make sure we have enough food. Three months worth , with maybe 1 hour a week away from the house at the most. Hopefully we won't have to isolate that long but good to know we can do so if needed. We do a drive to the supermarket for a bigger shop. The shelves are so empty, thankfully customers and staff are all ok, no weirdness and fights. I unpack the trolleys and Mark takes them back to the trolley bay. I climb in the car and 2 spots down from us another car pulls out. Mark stops and goes up- "shit he's going to chat to someone he knows" I just want to get home. Suddenly he jumps out of the other car and is rather red face. He climbs into our car. "Just don't say it" he laughs. Yes Mark climbed into another persons car !!!! It was this really pretty woman. She's now laughing and waving goodbye. I laughed so much i couldn't dive. In all fairness the two cars were identical and the Covid shopping is a bit of a mind fuck. He gives me permission to tell our mates, because it will give them a chuckle. We all need a laugh at the moment don't we! Well done Marky.
March 18thThe state of Nevada has closed down. New York not looking good, suddenly all eyes are on America.
Funny comment in the newspaper readers column today. "I'm surprised Peter Dutton got it , he usually doesn't get anything" . That made me chuckle.
Nice to have a late night chat with our friend Warwick. He's BBQing for us when the Covid-19 stuff finally finishes. Something to look forward to.
I pick some micro daisys for Jane, her birthday soon and we always remember to send a card. Not the usual giant bouquet but it's the thought that counts.
March 19thA little gathering at Montage today, Sandra and Mary sit with me. All talk is about Covid-19, it's a bit exhausting. Guess it won't be long till cafes are closed down. So we enjoy it while we can.
We loved "Bear: Koala Hero" documentary, a must see. Bear the dog is truly a hero and those that work with him. He's rescued so many of our Koalas after those horrible bushfires.
Qantas have started suspending International flights for a few months. We have postponed Morocco, just too close to Spain and the virus numbers are jumping in that area. Thankfully we got all of our money back, so that is a good thing.
I bust Andy the Kookaburra stealing Banshees cat food. She's never done that before, naughty bird.
March 20th"Motherland-Fort Salem" starts tonight. It's not too bad, hopefully the characters will grow. We love a bit of Wicca on our tv screen.
I bake some Profiteroles, not my best effort but passable. All gone in 10 minutes so I guess that means they tasted ok.
March 21stWith our (limited) lockdown in place, at least the yard is getting some extra work. It's nice to be outside in the sunshine, some mental relief from the 24 hr news cycle on the Coronavirus. I wander out at nights and stare up up the starry sky, truly beautiful. On such moments I appreciate just how lucky we are.
March 22ndFog and Rain today. I love the little bit of wind blowing the fog around like happy ghosts.
NSW and Victoria seem to be shutting down faster than the other states. NSW especially has such high numbers for those with the virus. Gladys flip-flops on closing schools. Obviously pressure from the Prime Minister .
March 23rdA nice day to do my washing. How domesticated am I?
We are enjoying DEADWATER FELL - David Tennant plays A Dr, not THE Dr. The beach scene was extra cool- sitting in the background 6 kms at sea was Ailsa Craig , the scottish island that our house is named after. Cush Jumbo plays her part perfectly and Matthew McNutty is the rather sexy village cop. Why do cops rarely look this hot. Ha!
Montage starts closing down. We are not too far away ourselves from doing so. Soon just 1 hr a week away from home. Lucky Mark and myself get along so well, he has been preparing himself all year for this.
March 24thWe drive off the mountain today, some paperwork bank stuff that we need to do. So that is done. Call into 5 supermarkets and at all 5 all the essentials have sold out. I even hide 2 cans of Banshees favourite cat food so we could come back on our return trip. I do find one lone can of baked beans. The smallest baked bean can I have ever seen. I buy it in case our friend Giles gets desperate.
It's eerily quiet , the roads are empty and 3/4 of the shops are closed. I rarely go into Coles but we did and it seemed a lot worse than Woolworths for stock. However they did have 2 large packets of Mince so thankfully we grabbed those. Felt the urge for fast food, as it will probably be 3-6 months till we ever have such bad delights. Red Rooster was open and we ventured in. All tables are closed, and the register girl in a mask. There was a grassy knoll outside next to the highway so we sat on it and consumed our bad boy burgers. Must of looked funny to the few cars that drove by. It felt good to be home, safe!
March 25thMark cooks me the best omelette for brunch. I sit back and enjoy being spoilt.
Weddings are now restricted to 5 people and funerals 10 people here in Oz. A friends sister who is a teacher is getting married soon- seems a bit nutty that she still can have 28 students around her yet only 5 at her wedding.
Happy Birthday to Jane. Nice to chat.
A strange night, calm outside, no wind or crazy weather yet our power goes off at 8.00. Not back on till 9.30. The entire block is in darkness. Lots of candles and the Orb of Thesulah will protect us. It's nice to sit, talk and make some decisions for the next few months. It feels like it might never come back on again, a bit of a Walking Dead moment. Thankfully it does and we find no explanation as to why it went off. I make a note to buy more candles-just in case.
March 26thPaul Hester has been gone for 15 years now. I play loads of Largest Living Things music today. He was so proud of that band.
I'm balancing on a ladder with clippers trying to remove all the ivy and dead blackberries from our ancient lemon tree. It's only when you are clipping it off that you realise how much excess greenery there is. Thankfully i don't break my neck and get around one third done. Plenty of time to do so. If Australia locks down our yard will certainly end up looking fantastic.
We are watching LOVE MY WAY aussie tv series (again) well written, and the music is pretty good too.
March 27thChat to Fenella and Giles and a few other mates tonight, keeping those lines of communication open.
Australia now has 13 dead from the Virus but it is early days here. America has now overtaken China when it comes to people being infected. Trump seems to be in some sort of ego driven denial.
March 28thA quick photo shoot today, guess I'm a hybrid squirrel easter bunny. Just a little easter photo for MIM, and a weirder one for my facebook page for Easter. Mark balances on a ladder for the photos and i sweat it out on this warm day in a padded chunky squirrel suit.
Loved "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" movie especially the ending. Brad Pitt still looking rather dashing for his age. He makes a great Cliff the stunt double and Leonardo is rather fun as Rick the washed out actor. Quentin Taratino is just brilliant.
March 29thMark Hart is having a bit of a play in his piano room tonight. It's in support of Italy's health care providers. I do hear that he is playing "Italian Plastic' which is a cool choice. Good on you Mark and Camille for organising this. Fingers crossed it is archived on the net. Mark Hart is awesome!
It's been awhile since I've thanked Deb for her efforts around putting up this diary on the net, so a HUGE thank you. You are so generous with your time, doing this. It IS appreciated. xxxx [editor's note: Thanks to you! Sorry I'm often a few days late with it. :)]
Stay safe everyone. We'll get through this!