Good things I’m enjoying right now.

The world sometimes feels like it’s splitting open at the seams. The first half of the year has certainly been eventful. How will things pan out the rest of the year?

I feel as though life with the threat of COVID-19 marks a new era. We need to learn to navigate this post-COVID world. By post-COVID, I don’t mean “When COVID is over”. There is no deadline for it to be over by. What I mean is life in a world where contracting COVID-19 is an ever-present risk. As a society we need to get used to living with the risk mitigation strategies against the mass transmission of this highly infectious and in some cases severe and deadly illness with no vaccine now, and possibly not ever.

Since my last post on July 7, the COVID situation in Victoria has become much, much worse. The situation that state is in now is the result of a series of unfortunate events. As much as we want to Look away, Look away, Look away, Look away (to borrow from the theme tune of the TV series, A Series of Unfortunate Events), we need to know what’s going on there. Here, there and everywhere.

The situation in Canberra is OK. We did get 5 cases of COVID here in July, people who had travelled back from Victorian “Hot spots” (the whole of Victoria is now a hot spot), but these people have recovered now and there’s currently no active cases in Canberra and no evidence of community transmission.

But when the sun is shining through my north-facing windows in the morning, and the guinea pigs are grooming themselves and wheeking contentedly, life seems peaceful and normal. But what is normal? The unpredictable, the fragile, and the ever-changing, is a part of life. So I like to take the time to appreciate the little things I can count on moment by moment.

Things I’ve been appreciating lately:

Apart from being grateful for family, friends, home, and health, I’m enjoying the following (in no particular order):

  1. Carmex watermelon lip balm (limited edition). So soothing in Canberra’s dry winter winds (though it’s been raining a lot lately).

2. Frangipani scented tissues from Sorbent. Almost a Hawaiian holiday in a box. Almost. Just as well, because it looks like I won’t be using travel brochures this year or maybe ever!

3. Our new smart TV. George did the research when we were deciding what to buy. I can’t believe I can pair it with my iPhone; now it’s not only a TV, but a music player and digital photo wall! So clever.

4. Short animated films on Disney Plus, like a 7 minute tear-jerker called Bao. It’s a short about a middle-aged woman with an absent husband. One day the woman makes dumplings, and one turns into a baby! She loves her dumpling baby/constant companion, but then he grows and eventually wants to leave home. I’m pretty sure the dumpling baby is a metaphor. But it had me in tears. There’s a couple of surprise twists so make sure you watch through to the end.

5. Alaskan Bush People on Nine Now. A reality show that’s like Little House on the Prairie meets Bear Grylls, meets the Kardashians, with a Twilight twist. Trust me, it’s good. So good, it deserves its own blog post.

Little House on the Prairie with a Twilight twist…except they’re not vampires.

6. The series Love Life starring Anna Kendrick on STAN. In fact STAN in general, so many good things!

7. The Coronacast podcast about the Coronavirus. Journalist Tegan Taylor and Norman Swann host this ABC podcast every weekday. I listen every morning as I get dressed. It’s 10 minutes of the latest Coronavirus information that helps soothe my vague low-level chronic anxiety about it. Ignorance may be bliss, but information is power! Tegan always sounds so upbeat as she talks about this scrouge on our society and asks Dr Swan all the tough questions. His voice is calm and reassuring and delightfully Scottish.

8 Leopard print fleecy-lined hoodie from Jay Jay’s Warehouse – like a wearable hug on chilly Winter nights.

9. Dobinson’s takeaway coffee.

10. My indoor plants in their sunny nook.

11. Walking around my neighbourhood with George accompanying on his bike. We live in a little neighbourhood of townhouses. Some of the apartments and townhouse buildings remind me of parts of New York. But on a smaller scale, and cleaner, and with much, much less Coronabloodyvirus floating around.

12. Wearing pants with elasticised waistbands; I’m talking leggings, yoga pants, tracksuit bottoms, and also skirts and dresses with tights. I never say never, but at this point I have no intention of going back to jeans.

What good things have you been enjoying lately?

Coming up on The Alexcellent Life:

  • July school holidays in Sydney
  • A very socially-distanced family reunion in Canberra
  • We sadly farewell our beautiful guinea pig, the Pasta Princess.

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