I want to write you a joyous tale that involves frolicking and the kicking up of heels, but Australia isn’t like that today. Also, I’m writing this through a weak point in a migraine (weak points are when one gets work done) and even the thought of frolicking makes me wince.
The truth is that Australia is all kinds of political this week. Different politics to the US, but annoying politics. Do we really want ten announcements telling us that government has approved the blowing up of major heritage sites? Or the proof that our governments are not free of corruption (and any of us who are not surprised are either pretending or avoid the news) or the fact that the Federal government forgot to give out almost all of the bushfire aid it promised? No. Not really.
I don’t know about other people, but I’m still handling the discovery that the experts don’t know how long it will take for our lungs to recover from the fires. My expert told me this and gave me more medicine and even with a migraine I can do more than I was able to do a couple of weeks ago. So there is good in this world, but it arrives by telephone due to Crowtime.
In other news, I made impeccably gourmet chocolate today. This is the way I handle certain kinds of problems. Other people scream or call various people rude names. I make chocolate. This one is Callebaut chocolate infused with mandarin peel I candied over summer. The mandarins in season now aren’t as good for candying – they’re not as fragrant.
It’s a bit surprising how angry so many people are this week. Footballs season has begun and the team who revisit Clash of the Titans every time they meet have met and my cousin’s team won which means, of course, that mine lost. Most of us don’t care. Australian football and we’re sort of taking note, but not really.
Masterchef is also out of favour. It’s shucking off all the Asian Australian cooks one by one and its audiences are following the missing chefs. I am no longer one, for I saw actual racism in how they lost us a cook and thought “I have better things to do with my time than watch anyone hurt. I mentioned this on Twitter and watched a DVD instead., a week later, I’m not the only one to drop. My replacement activities last week were superior, though, because I finished a novel and a publisher is taking another of my novels and… I missed Masterchef, but not as much as I expected. In fact, the only thing I regret is not getting around to making a Wrath of Khanh joke, in honour of one of my favourite contestants. He was dumped yesterday, so maybe he’s enacting Star Trek? Maybe not, but Masterchef is no longer in the trending subjects for more than a few minutes after the show finishes.
What’s interesting in the sudden loss of these two major features of this time of year is that food is replacing both of them, to a degree. (Actual food is replacing a show about food.) Australia has moved from a foodie nation to a national of passionate and possibly addicted foodies. I don’t see this as anything to complain about.
You need an example that’s not me telling you about chocolates. An elderly woman I know found she didn’t like the instant coffee she bought and so added some chocolate liqueur. She plans to finish the whole jar of instant coffee that way. She knitted me a cap while drink this coffee and it was finished in record time. She rang this evening to let me know.
In theory, Australia is opening up due to Crowtime being in abeyance. In reality, the spike from the demonstrations has begun. The truth that lies under our odd habits is that we are furious at government and at the bigotry in this country. More Australians than I’ve seen in years are talking online and want to demonstrate again. But… we don’t know if a second wave is coming or if the virus is waving on the way past. We all hope the latter, but we don’t know. Some people are in iso (anyone vulnerable, such as me) and some are doing many things as normal. Many people are planning winter holidays and ski resorts are open. But we’re nervous.
Australia has such low infection numbers right now, you’d think we had nothing to be nervous about. I think that the numbers may be low partly because we are so nervous. And we’re finally getting the hang of masks. More people wear them. Still not as many in other countries, but more than there ere.
I need to finish on a happy note. We have too much despair right now and at this moment, we’re due a break. My break is possibly not the one you expect.
I’ve been talking to many, many friends in various parts of the world. All of us who were hit by the bushfires (actually hit by them, confined indoors, or lives changed and houses burned) got some of our energy back in the last few weeks. That big fatigue that comes with the constant impossible emotional drain of the impossible presenting itself every single day… it passes.
Be gentle on yourself. Take Vitamin B. Knit. Eat chocolate. Watch Jane Austen movies. Do whatever you need to do to take pressure off yourself while that emotional fatigue rules all.
I have chronic illnesses and my fatigue is back to its proper level. I am still worried and I still jump for no reason… but I sleep at night and I work during the day. I miss walks in the sunshine but… I can work again. Many hours. Not good work yet, but work. That’s how I finished a novel. Probably not my best novel, but considering the year I wrote it in, the amazing thing is that it’s finished.
Even if we don’t know the end point of all these crises, we know that the way that they affect us will change. The bits of Australia that were totally impossible from sometime last year until two weeks before the COVID crisis hit us hard… they’re no longer totally impossible.
Hang in there. It will take its own sweet time, but sleep and the loss of that numbing fatigue will happen.