Flooding Rains and COVID closeness

Things in NSW seem to be gradually hotting up on the COVID-19 front. Not like Melbourne, but more than Auckland and New Zealand more generally, who’ve reacted swiftly and hard overnight, in response to just four cases. We’ve had four cases within proximity of our regional campuses this week (2 in Batemans Bay and 2 in the Shoalhaven), and we’re still muddling along with non-mandatory masks and open pubs.

The Batemans Bay cases are a bit close to home, because we had both staff and students who were at the impacted schools and then on campus the next day. So far, all the test results have come back negative, so things seem to be fairly contained. The two cases from Sydneysiders visiting the Shoalhaven have impacted my son who works in retail in Nowra, and who suddenly had masks become compulsory midway through a shift on the weekend. Luckily, he had one in his bag. My friend’s daughter made one for each of us and sent them as a care package with a heartfelt message. They are “over-engineered” (in the words of her mother, who designed them), and very soft. Rob has been raving about his, and dutifully washing it and laying it out to dry overnight between work shifts.

My mask. My daughter has cats, my son has stars, and my husband has a dark animal-print one.

I really haven’t had a chance to wear mine yet, because I’ve barely left the house.

Part of the reason I’ve barely left is another bout of flooding–the worst in thirty years, we’re told. Certainly it’s the first time we’ve had water come into the garage, and we’ve lived here thirteen and a half years.

Tony very nearly got the swimming pool he’s always wanted, by default.

(I also have video of our normally dry creek bed as a raging torrent, but I’m not prepared to pay an annual fee just to share it here. I’ll see if it can be added to my personal website.)

On the homefront, the ensuite is finished so while the house is untidy and three bedrooms still haven’t had their paint refresh, everything is actually functional, which is nice. The fear when doing renovations at the speed of cash is one of inadvertently doing more damage while saving, but karma seems to have been on our side in this instance.

Ta-daaa!

And in more big news, we finally found a local company that will check and clean solar panels. This has literally never been done, because the company who installed them went out of business not long afterwards, and we’ve struggled to find anyone in our area with the correct certification (well, I did find one, but he didn’t actually show up at the appointed time!). By my calculations (by which I mean, I know we signed the contract on the last possible day to get the then-60c feed in tariff and I had a quick Google) they were installed in 2011, so I’m well aware that the prognosis might be dire. But they’re currently earning us all of about $10 per month, so I’m hoping that a clean and service might provide some sort of return on the investment of getting them looked out.

Now that I don’t have a renovation project to manage, I have found something else to fill my time. Back in April, I did my civic duty and ordered a couple of “essential” jigsaw puzzles. One order was cancelled, and the other only just turned up about a week ago. Apparently when the PM tells the nation to buy jigsaw puzzles, it mucks up the supply chain of jigsaw puzzles just a little bit. Anyway, mine is here just in time for a potential second lockdown, and it’s already testing my patience significantly. I chose a lovely image of the Venetian canals, thinking we could frame it and hang it on the wall.

I hope they have big walls in whatever aged care facility I wind up in, because this looks and feels like it is going to take decades to complete … and that’s assuming the cats don’t knock it over or push a few key pieces off the desk in the interim!

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