Melbourne Odds and Ends


This time a year ago like everyone else I was preparing for the pandemic. A State of Emergency had been declared in Victoria; museums, art galleries and libraries were closing; festivals, the Grand Prix, footy matches were abandoned; toilet paper was being hoarded and all of us became experts on how viruses spread.

We knew a lockdown was coming, but we had no idea of what that meant or what was to be at the end of it. Were we heading into a dystopian future? I bought dress material and potting mix, planned to learn Auslan, decided to clean out my cupboards and wash the windows. I still have the material, only recently used the potting mix, never began learning Auslan, and the windows and cupboards remain as they were. Fortunately we didn’t head into the dystopian future.

Then in July Melbourne and I went into an even longer lockdown. My list reduced down to making sure I laughed everyday and to find comfort in creating. And there was a comfort in knowing that all I had to do was stay at home and be safe. The roof over my head was secure, as was my income. Like everyone I learnt that there was enough toilet paper to go round and that food would be on the shelves.

Although most of our restrictions were lifted during October it is only now that I am feeling like going out and about. It’s a strange thing, because it is not fear of the virus that had kept me from wandering further than my neighbourhood. (My reduced fear is not reckless, our community transmission numbers are very low.) Instead I think I have become something of a hermit. Home feels safe, secure. I don’t have to go far to find what I need.

My health issues have made me reluctant to go far afield and I worry about the Fella. But really, I am just not ready.

Well, I wasn’t until Friday of last week.

I went, with my sister, to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to see the Triennial Exhibition. What winkled me out of my hermit cave was combination of spending time with my lovely sister and seeing the exhibition.

And what a lovely day it was.

I caught the tram into town. I haven’t done that for over a year! I wandered across the Yarra to the NGV. I haven’t done that for over a year! We were amazed by the exhibition. I haven’t done that……(!) To top it off Judy and I had a delicious lunch in the restaurant and chatted. We have talked a lot over the year, and she has been one of the people who has kept me afloat.

The Triennial exhibition is a wonder, a collection of contemporary art and design spread through out the gallery. I am sorry I can’t show you the really amazing ones which involved light shows and changing digital images. If you follow this link you will see some of the exhibits. Maybe you will just be happy with some of my photos. If you live in Melbourne, and are ready to venture out, you have until mid-April to see it.

Yep, that chandelier is made from glasses lenses.

So yes, it is time to leave the hermit cave and remember what life used to be like.

23 replies on “Out”

I know just what you mean about feeling slightly agoraphobic. We are still in lockdown in the U.K. but hoping for a lifting of it in June after some preliminary, cautionary steps between now and then but it will seem strange. It doesn’t help that, since we moved back to England, we were first in quarantine, then living under some restrictions, then full lockdown again so we’ve not had chance to get our bearings.

It looks like you had a wonderful day with your sister and I’m sure that, little by little, we’ll all start reconnecting with the outside world again and it will be safe to do so Fingers crossed .

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June is an awfully long way away! You will have been in lockdown for many months by then. Getting your bearing will give you a good reason to head out, when you can, and gradually meat the locals. It will be a bit like your garden…it will be interesting to see what appears.


I am marvelling at the photos of people indoors (mostly) without masks on! I can really relate to your caution. We still have covid and we are still in lockdown even though younger people are acting like it’s all over.

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It is no longer mandatory to wear masks in Victoria, except in public transport, hospitals and aged care places. Yesterday we reached the milestone of 28 days without it being in the community. Our issue is in becoming too complacent. I know your numbers have dropped, but that there are still many cases. Stay well!

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Up until now we could not travel out of the local area but from Monday we can travel around Wales…yes, people get complacent (and ill) I think the “new” variants are more unforgiving of lapses which is why it is spreading in Germany and Italy….its a race against time to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

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I have had my first one, and I now have to wait 11 weeks (hopefully) for the second. My husband is due his 1st on Tuesday. I think that getting hold of vaccines is tricky for most countries except the USA because they make them in the country. The UK’s vaccines are made in UK but also in the EU and India, and there have been tensions about delivery from the EU and India decided not to deliver theirs at all. I read that Italy had blocked a lot of vaccines that were due to be delivered to Australia.

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I’ve always been a bit of a hermit so I’m happy to be home too. For me it’s just the little things that I miss. Still haven’t been able to get that latte, but no big deal in the greater scheme of things.
We had to get a few medical things done this last week, and I know the Offspring felt very strange going out after a year of literally not leaving the house.
At the moment I feel that Melbourne is between outbreaks, which is good, but like Emma, I don’t think it’s over. Each person who’s vaccinated brings us one, tiny step closer to real herd immunity but, it’ll be this time next year before we’re all jabbed.
-sigh- I know we’re incredibly well off in comparison to other countries but I wish we were further down this road.

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A desire for a latte is the one thing that drives me out of the house and down to the local shops! We all have to do this in our time and work out our own acceptable level of risk.
The Fella and I were booked for our jab in early March at the GP. I got a phone call to move it to May. The vaccines hadn’t been delivered! How long has the Federal government had to organise this rollout successfully?!! Grrrr.

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Yeah. When you compare the numbers of people ‘proudly vaccinated’ against the total pop. of Oz – what is it 25M? 26M? – the rollout is an absolute joke.
What I can’t understand is why the Fed. Govt is insisting on doing it themselves? The states have proved how efficient they are. Why not just allocate all available doses to the States and let /them/ control the roll out?
Frankly I have a lot more faith in our local govt than the one sitting on its hands in Canberra. 😦


I am now allowed to meet up to 3 people as long as they all live in the same household, we are outdoors and we keep our distance. So there is a flurry of visiting and being visited which is lovely. Hairdressers have re-opened so I will be able to get my locks cut soon which will be a relief. Do I have an urge to shop in a supermarket or wander round a Department Store? No! Emphatically No! When I was in my teens I would start the summer holidays from school with a list of things I would do with all that free time and every September it remained barely started. Guess what! I have been doing something similar through lockdown and again I am nowhere near finished. So I will continue to meet friends and go out when there is something important to do and otherwise I will enjoy staying home. This virus is mutating and all its variants are circulating still so I will be cautious but also I have got used to my quiet life and rather enjoy it.

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I really understand how you are feeling. I understand the list thing, as I do exactly the same! And I don’t have a desire to go to shopping complexes. If I need something I am in, get the thing, and out.
It must be lovely to see a few people face to face. It was such a delight last year to see my Mum after many months of phone calls.

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How the octopus thing was created I will never know. It was enormous! Fancy, in answer to the question “What are you working on?”, the artist replies “A giant octopus”! I would love to be able to say something like that!

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That is so true, Tierney. It is the simple things I am really enjoying, and appreciating. Glad you liked the photos. Of course they don’t do the works justice. Maybe next time I will have invented a time portal and you will be able to visit in person!

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Well, a few days since I spoke to you last on my blog, Anne, and I can cross the border to see Mum and sis in a few days time! All because Mum has a health appointment I want to be with her for, so that’s allowed. After that, it’s open sesame for most freedoms at the end of the month. But, like you, I’ve been quite enjoying being a hermit and have decided to go ‘out’ when I actually want to, not just because i can.

This afternoon I popped in to my nearest garden centre, just recently opened, to get some top-up plants for the garden. I thought I’d get carried away, but didn’t – just one shrub, because they didn’t have the plants I wanted. Lockdown has given me focus on what’s important, what’s relevant, so i hope this attitude of sorting the wheat from the chaff continues.

What a special day you had with your sister. It’s great that you could both share the exhibtion and appreciate it together. My fave is the chandelier of lens. Cheers for now, Anne :>)

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How wonderful to see your Mum again ~ I know what a delight that will be.
I agree that the lockdown time has refocused our ideas on what is necessary and what is important. Your trip to the garden centre is a great reminder of that. We have to hold onto that, don’t we.

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