When we arrived in Melbourne last month, the Rainbow Lorikeets seemed to be the only ones not in Lockdown 4. We had come to Melbourne to visit our daughter and family, as they were expecting a new baby in September.
There were severe restrictions in Melbourne as a result of rising cases of Covid 19.
We were allowed into Victoria, but had to get an exemption to get back into Canberra, and could only enter ACT (Canberra) by plane. Once back in Canberra we have to self-isolate for 14 days and take a Covid test on day 11. All of which we are happy to do.
All the boxes were ticked for the visit, and we were delighted to see our daughter and family again.
The restrictions have eased slightly now, but when we arrived, Melbourne was like a ghost town.
No playgrounds permitted to be used, adults working from home, children learning remotely from home, one hour of exercise outside of the home per person per day
There was a nightly curfew and compulsory wearing of masks, outside of the home. Very heavy fines for all offenders.
My daughter and family live in the inner city of Melbourne, and fortunately have many parks around their home. The urban planners of yesterday had wonderful foresight, people living close to the centre of the city need parks more than most… and during this difficult lockdown period they are a godsend to the community.
During our time in Melbourne we spent our hour of exercise taking our granddaughter to the park, running off toddler energy. We have no live cases in Canberra and do not have to wear masks, which are compulsory in Melbourne. It is a skill getting the right mask!
We also spent time walking around the suburb with our granddaughter. Many people had put teddy bears and toys in the windows, and some had decorated the street trees with ornaments for children.
Luckily she likes bugs and insects and snails have a charm of their own (who knew) because they leave silver trails..
The spring colours are everywhere…
She enjoyed the ”Bird of Paradise” looking over the fence every day…
We enjoyed Melbourne’s spring weather…a little ahead of Canberra..
The suburb is changing as new families move in, and there is pleasant mix of houses and well kept townhouses. Often the houses have a wrought iron trim, pretty lace curtains, lead light windows and front gardens, carefully tended, full of interesting plants and vegetables..
The small pleasure of the day was getting take-away coffee from the regular coffee shop, called Brother Nancy. As I waited for Paul, social distancing strictly in place, I watched the gardener of a house nearby.
His garden was full to the brim with plants and vegetables, and he kept a small bucket tied to the fence with fresh, sweet smelling herbs, free to anyone passing by…
In the afternoon he came out with his broom and swept the street around his house.
There was something very touching about his pride in his home and his generous spirit offering some of his abundant crop.
A sign of the changing times is a new café specialising in vegan food and small plants…
Melbourne is well known for its coffee shops and there is always room for one more…especially since they are reputed to have delicious chocolate slice.
Meanwhile a lovely baby boy was born, and has been been fitting into life at home very well.
Once the baby was born we tried to make the most of the time we had left, to go, when weather allowed, for a family walk to a lovely little park nearby.
The evenings were getting longer and warmer and we often just sat on a bench taking in the scene. Many people choose this time of day to use their hour of exercise, and they seemed to stroll past us, Paul said it reminded him of the passeggiata in Italy. We saw this near Rome, where families met for Sunday lunch and the strolled along talking to friends and family.
My friend and neighbour commented that the Europeans had/have good practices with family walks. She lived in Germany years ago, and as the shops closed on Sunday the family would ”spazierengehen”, go strolling with the family and often stop for ”Kaffee und Kuchen.” (coffee and cake) Sounds wonderful!
Perhaps we have all slowed down during this pandemic…it seems that way to me.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have time to stroll occasionally, even if it is just around the garden, as we will be doing for the next two weeks of self-isolation at home…..the time will fly by as the garden has sprung into life while we were away.
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