Saturday, October 9, 2021

End of Lockdown

 Morning everyone!

Lockdown in Sydney lifts tomorrow, with another few weeks of gradually increasing freedoms but basically as a vaccinated person I can do stuff from tomorrow. Shops are opening. We can see other people. The media call it Freedom Day (which they did in the UK as well, and maybe elsewhere) but I don't really like the term and some military veterans find it offensive.  

I've been in lockdown for about four months I think, leaving the house only to do the grocery shopping. And I have put on weight. Up to 88.1kg this morning, my heaviest ever, which is rather horrifying and terrible for my body. My feet hurt all the time, and my right knee when I go down stairs. I don't sleep well. I just haven't been able to find any motivation to do anything about it. Food is my friend, and I have zero interest in exercise. Hopefully that is all about to change as life gets back on track.

My boss contacted me a couple of days ago to come back to work next week! Yay! Only booked in for a week so far but I'm sure that will lead to more now that everything is opening up. I am a library technician, I had just newly retrained as one a few years ago and gave up a more secure position for one that was better for me in every way - much better location close to where I live, higher pay, lovely people - except that it was casual not permanent. That was fine for the first six months, I worked almost full time and who minds a week off here and there! Perfect! Then the pandemic arrived. Suddenly being casual wasn't so good. Permanent staff worked even when the libraries were closed, they did a lot online, but they didn't need me. A year with no work, then employed for six weeks, then Delta hit and I had another (much stricter) four months at home. Really hoping now that the majority of Sydney is vaccinated that the lockdowns can end. 

Ironically of course there is all the other things I need to be doing now that lockdown is ending, and can't because I'll be at work all day. My son desperately needs a haircut and shoes and clothes that fit. My daughter is about to start her final exams and I won't be able to drive her back and forth, she'll have to catch buses which might not go at convenient times (she only has to be at school for exams, no regular school day). Her gymnastics will also start up again face to face instead of zoom classes so I'll be juggling getting her to that. I have a few medical issues to follow up: mammogram, colonoscopy, probably should see someone about my feet. Oh well, I can cross fingers that I get the perfect balance of regular work but not every single day between now and Christmas!

None of my work clothes fit. Not a single skirt or pair of pants. Not even black jeans pretending to be trousers. And no way to shop before Monday (my boss only called Thursday, so too late to find something online). So I'll be wearing a work-appropriate top with dark blue jeans every day. It's not terrible, for a library, but not what I would prefer to wear. No-one dresses business-formal (except the boss librarian, who always looks very professional) but no-one wears jeans either. Oh well, I'm sure the students (it's an adult education library) won't notice or care. 

My husband has been working half days all this time, his workplace had morning and afternoon shifts (and cleaned the office in between) so that if one group got sick they would still have half the staff to carry on. He is back to full time tomorrow and not looking forward to getting up early in the morning! My teenage son has two more weeks of Zoom before school restarts face to face. 

We've had some lovely spring weather and I have been getting out in the garden a bit more. But the forecast is for a week of cold rain so I won't mind being in the library all day. And it's going to be awesome seeing people other than my (lovely and beloved) family and doing some useful work. 

Have a great day. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Almost spring

 It's two weeks until spring here and the weather has started warming up. We have a garden that needs soooo much work that I find it overwhelming unless I just focus on one little corner at a time. I find it hard to motivate myself to do anything. But when I do, it is lovely to get out in the sunlight, and move my body. And it's nice to see one little area, however tiny, all tidied up with weeds gone, overgrown plants clipped and intruding grass pulled out of garden beds. I usually hate sunbathing (hot and boring) but one warm afternoon I lay by the pool for a long time, I think my body was craving sunlight and vitamin D!

Covid numbers are getting worse here in Sydney, nearly every day is a new record for most cases since the pandemic began, 478 new cases today and deaths every day. Lockdown is predicted until November. I'm still not working, Tim works half days (can't work from home), the kids do school online. Jasmine is starting exams online tomorrow, HSC Trials (exams set by the school, they contribute a significant part of the 50% from the school half and the actual HSC exams set by the state count as the other 50% of the final mark.) She is coping very well, considering.   

Aiden and I both had a cold (tested Covid negative) a month ago, I got better but he still has a horrible cough. The doctor won't even see him without another more recent negative test but we've done a couple of phone consults and she says it's normal and not to worry unless he feels feverish or coughs up rusty or green phlegm. I hate to hear him though. If it goes on another two weeks we're to get a chest x-ray. 

I've started doing cross-stitch bookmarks as a lockdown hobby.





Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lockdown

 Hello again! Checked in on the blog to find my post comments clogged with ads that I find offensive, I’ve deleted lots then gave up… please know they are nothing to do with me! Thanks to my real readers and commenters, love you all. 

While lots of other countries are coming out of lockdown, here in Sydney we’ve gone back in. The delta variant is hitting (relatively) hard - over 100 new cases a day and a few (5 maybe?) deaths in a month. I had my first vaccination in June but have to wait 12 weeks for the second. I had Astra-Zeneca which is the most readily available here but has had some fears about blood clots. I felt very ill for nearly a week and my arm was sore with a huge lump for about three weeks, I couldn’t sleep on my usual side so next time I’ll get the other arm done. Has to be done. 

I got to go back to my job for about 6 weeks before this lockdown, after more than a year at home, and now I’m sitting at home again. And the little bit of weight I lost bustling around work and feeling busy is back. Looks like we’re going to be in lockdown another month at least. 

Tim is still going to work, but reduced hours and driving instead of public transport - they cover his parking in the city but he’s paying $70 a day in tolls! Aiden is coping ok doing Yr 9 online via Zoom. But poor Jasmine is having her life turned upside down the most. She is in Yr 12 with her final exams coming up, and needs a high ATAR to get into the University course she wants. She is very diligent but it’s stressful. I know everyone is in the same position. If this lockdown continues much longer she’ll never actually return to school, no farewell, no formal dance or graduation ceremony, never seeing all her year in one place. Then also she is an acrobatic gymnast and trains 9 hours a week with coach and partners, plus stretches etc at home, but now that’s on Zoom too which isn’t ideal especially as she can’t do any partner work! She and another “base” throw a smaller girl around, as well as tumbling and dance moves, similar to cheerleading. There were no competitions last year, this year’s Nationals have been cancelled and the State competition has been delayed, we’ll see. And finally she’s on her L plates learning to drive but isn’t even allowed to do that at the moment.

So, that is my grumbling over. Apart from worrying for Jas, I’m fine. We’re safe and comfortable and financially ok. I have a garden to get out into if I want to leave the house. Watching the Olympics. Birthday in lockdown, but I got to spend it with my three favourite people. And you can get books delivered right to your door! What more could I want.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Hello 2021

 Monday,

I’m wondering if it’s time to retire this blog, it’s been 10 years and I rarely post now. But I suppose there’s no harm in it being here if I want it.

Australia continues to be relatively lightly touched by COVID, any time there are a few cases all the state borders close. Masks have finally just been made compulsory in Sydney. I am still out of work, still hoping I can go back to my dream job otherwise I’ll have to start applying elsewhere. Some places are hiring again. At Christmas we were allowed ten guests plus children, which worked out exactly for us.

We just went ‘away’ for a week, less than two hours up the coast for a beach holiday. It was mostly warm but not swimming weather with a fair bit of cloud and rain - probably lucky for us as on our last day it was finally beach weather and we all got sunburned (except Tim who spends more time outdoors so has more protective tan). It doesn’t matter how careful we are with 50+ sunscreen, hats, Tshirts etc; two hours in the sun is too much. The other days we went for walks, ate, and played board games.

We’d been trying for about 18 months to get our dismal front yard landscaped, finally found someone who actually followed up their visit with a quote and the work is now nearly done. Retaining walls, new plants and turf, and most importantly steps up to the front door instead of just the steep slippery driveway. Oh, and a decent mailbox!

I went to a specialist about my foot pain and numbness, they now think nerve damage, possibly from years of pre-diabetes but a third of cases are of unknown cause. The specialist told me to lose ten kilograms (the amount I’ve gained during COVID semi-isolation) before I see her next in three months. That depressed me so much I went and ate junk. Two of the three months have passed and I now weigh more than I did then. I am on and off the CSIRO diet which is mainly large portions of vegetables with moderate amounts of everything else. Obviously not sticking to it at all.

This morning, just back from our holiday, I was 86.8kg which I believe is my highest no -pregnant weight ever. Not great.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

November

 Friday:

After a cool rainy spring, summer seems to be here with 30+ C days and cicadas screaming outside. One is clinging to the fly screen of the kitchen window, I can mostly see its belly but I think it is a 'Black Prince', much prized when I was at school due to their relative rarity. 'Greengrocer' is the one you see most often. Cicadas are a huge fat insect, size of a mouse without a tail and rather threatening beady eyes, but completely harmless. Except the for the ear-drum shattering calls. 

Jasmine finally got her L plates and is learning to drive (she passed the knowledge test first time, but we had delayed due to Covid). I do not enjoy teaching, I get nervous with even an experienced driver let alone a complete beginner! I hate not being in control of the car. She is actually quite careful and hasn't done anything bad, but every time she goes a bit close to a parked car or her speed creeps up to the limit instead of super slow I nearly have a heart attack. I'm going to have a stomach ulcer after this. My husband has done most of the teaching so far, but he isn't around after school. We just go round very quiet streets so far.

The pain in my foot got worse, I had an ultrasound and a blood test and the doctor thinks it was gout - I didn't even know that was still a thing but apparently it is quite common. I had a course of steroids - Prednisolone - to reduce the inflammation and that helped a lot with the pain in my heel/ankle but I still have pain and numbness along the outside of my foot. I need to go back and see the doctor but I've been confined with a bad cold (which I got from my family, I didn't get a Covid test this time but they did and were negative) which I don't want to spread to the doctor's office. I'll go next week. 

I'm back on the CSIRO total wellbeing diet, focus on whole foods and lots of vegetables, you count units (3 carbs, 3 dairy, 2 fruits per day etc) not calories and can have one indulgence per day. I lost weight in week 1, put it back on in week 2 with sickness comfort food plus Aiden's 14th birthday, back on track with week 3.

Speaking of Aiden, several days after he'd seemingly recovered from his cold he came home from school exhausted and napped all afternoon. Then the next morning he woke with bad chest pain and a racing heart rate. Our doctor sent us to the ER where we spent a lot of the day - in the children's area they were playing Despicable Me on a loop and didn't bother to change it, we were watching it for the third time when we got to leave - an ECG was normal and he was feeling a lot better by the afternoon. Probably a virus but we don't really know. So that was a worrying day. 

My uncle who had a stroke is almost back to normal he says except for a bit of dizziness, and he won a tennis tournament last weekend so that is great. My poppa is ok at home with regular care visits I think but haven't heard just lately. I want to visit but not with sickness running around the family. Even if not Covid, I don't want to pass it on!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A walk

 Thursday:

Well my employer was unable to hire me after all due to rules from higher up the chain - not for the rest of the year at least. They are not allowed to "back-fill" (fill places vacant from people going on temporary leave etc) at all. I could look for other work, but of course there is not much going. And that was pretty much my dream job. So that is depressing. Bored and lonely and sad at home. And still putting on weight. I think my sleep apnoea is back, and my pre-diabetes, and now I even might have an uncomfortable varicose vein in my foot. Very unpleasant. Most of my clothes don't fit. 

But, trying to find some good. Both my grandfather and my uncle are doing well and are at home. Poppa has a carer coming in every day so he doesn't have to go into a nursing home at this dangerous time. Uncle Greg is recovering from his stroke and even playing tennis again. I haven't seen either of them. 

I went for a walk yesterday in the spring sunshine. And saw:

*Four water dragons on the way out; the first one was on the footpath right outside our house. We often see him/her/them sunning in our backyard and leaping into our pool to hide if startled. I also saw one on the way home, not sure if it was one of the four or a new one as it was in a different spot to the others. 

*A man sitting reading a magazine at the edge of his open garage, but facing away from the street. Seemed odd. 

*A front yard completely covered in rich bare soil. A child-size blue spade sticking up showed someone was getting fun out of the dirt (or "helping") before turf covers it. 

*A man cradling a very tiny baby in a sling. All I could see was a little pink flowery hat. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

In brief

Tuesday:

I never seem to get around to posting, these days. Maybe because I don't have a lot to say?

Bad news is, my weight keeps going up and up... Covid kilos. From sitting at home all day. And eating. Bored and lonely. I'm up to 83.6kg, getting very close to my highest weight that I fought so hard to lose (with the help of Duromine). Spring has just started here, I'm trying to get out for a walk on the nice days. And doing a bit of gardening. Cold and grey today though.

Good news is, after many months of silence my workplace finally contacted me to come in for some casual work. It's only for two weeks (so far)... and not until November! But it made me happy because it shows I am still their preferred fill-in employee, and I can expect more work as people start taking time off again. Everyone must have a lot of holiday hours saved up, since we can't go anywhere and no one has been taking leave. It will be lovely to get back into the library, seeing my colleagues and helping students. Giving my life a purpose other than collecting every battle pet in World of Warcraft - I now have 1157 pets and have the 9th biggest collection on my server and about 2800th in the world out of about 8 million players (collecting battle pets is only a sideline for most WoW players, it is not the main focus of the game). I have around 60 more to collect that are still available - until the new expansion comes out in about 6 weeks with probably lots of new ones to collect.

So that is what I do all day.