Sunday, 9 January 2022

A slow start to the year

 We did very little this week, other than get our Covid booster shots and do some supermarket shopping.

Like many people we have been a little bit spooked by the sudden and rapid spread of Omicron, and the impossibility of getting a test if one suspected one had contacted Covid.

The health service in town only does walkup PCR tests on Wednesdays and Rapid Antigen Test kits are rarer than hen's teeth, so you can't even self test.

So, we've simply decided to hunker down and isolate as much as possible until the storm passes, and yes, while we have to go to Melbourne next week for a post op checkup for J, even then we'll minimise contacts as much as possible - no shopping in the city or trips to the art gallery.

However it's not all been doom and gloom. 

Spooked by Omicron, our friends postponed their new year's eve picnic cum party, which was a pity.

We'd bought stuff to make little sandwiches, like the ones posh hotels sometimes serve with afternoon tea, and prawns and avocado, so we went ahead and made the sandwiches and salads any way, intending to have a little picnic of our own in the back garden. However, even by mid evening it was still stupidly hot and uncomfortably sticky, so we ended having our picnic indoors in the air conditioning and watching the ABC's New Year's Eve show from Sydney.

J has given up her rented studio space in the old Lunatic Asylum - she's been unable to use it seriously for the last few months and it's going to be several months more until she's totally fit, so just before new year we went and emptied her studio, and dumped everything from her rented studio in the converted garage at home that will become her new studio. 

I started the week with the full intention of getting up early to do weeding and perhaps start organising the outside studio, at least as much as to allow me to get my bike out for an early morning ride, but Tuesday night the weather broke and we had three days of bucketing rain, making yesterday the first dry day in ages.

As it was I did very little other than bake some bread.

During the last two years of lockdown I've started making our own pizza bases and latterly baking bread.

My loaves are not wonderful, competent yes, but nothing special. The local artisan bakers make a better loaf, but during the various lockdowns you couldn't always be sure of getting fresh bread so I baked our own.

I'm not a sourdough fiend - my loaves are distinctly workaday made from unbleached flour and baker's yeast with a touch of semolina, but they work and I've found the process of baking strangely calming and therapeutic.

I had originally planned to go down and do some documentation at Chiltern on the Wednesday, but I realised that was a little too early in the piece as J still needs some help getting dressed in the morning, so I cried off for this week at least.

That said, she's healing up nicely and no longer needs to wear her sling all the time, and has some use of her right hand again. She's still unable to do some serious artwork, but I bought her an Apple Pencil for Christmas and she's having great fun producing Hockneyesque ipad drawings of the back garden and the cats. It's also of course helping her rebuild strength in her arm.

We never did eat the lobster we bought for New Year - it's still in the freezer. Perhaps we'll have it on Australia Day ...


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