Hard

I reckon it’s fair to say that 2020 has not been the year that any of us dreamed of.

One day into learning from home, when DorkySon and I were both in tears at our complete inability to communicate, I thought that would be the hardest thing we’d have to deal with this year.

A month or two later, sitting at my desk and reflecting on all the lost documents on my crashed hard drive, I thought that would be the hardest thing we’d have to deal with this year.

But then… then. Then came July 24th, when DorkyDad was diagnosed with cancer. And every other hassle and stress of the year faded into insignificance. This was not just hard by 2020 standards; this was hard full stop. Continue reading

A Dorky Data Disaster

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It has been a rough little spell with tech in the Dorky House.

It started off small, a few weeks ago. DorkySon had an oopsie with his iPad, and while the tablet itself was fine, he snapped the jack on his headphones. I asked about getting them repaired, but apparently repairs aren’t really a thing that happens anymore unless you can do them yourself. It was cheaper to buy a new pair than it was to replace the jack… so I bought a new pair, and also took the opportunity to replace the cracked protective case on the iPad itself. Just to prevent any more serious future oopsies.

Next it was the electronic car key. Back in January, it had been taken for an accidental swim at Seven Mile Beach. We thought that a few days drying out in a box of rice had done the trick, and it did indeed buy us six more months of use. But whatever rusting has taken place inside now seems to have messed up the signals.

Every time we got in the car, we got an insistent message on the dash to change the battery. We tried that. But then the boot started popping open as we were driving along, which was disconcerting to say the least. Then we started struggling to lock the car. Then we started struggling to UNLOCK it. Definitely time for a replacement. That’s currently  being shipped from Germany… and as they don’t allow parcel tracking of keys for security reasons we are just waiting and hoping that it does, eventually, show up.

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Settling

A collage of three photos showing Hobart trees in Autumn.

The last ten days have probably been some of the most ‘normal’ since Tasmania’s COVID19 lockdown began. It feels like we are truly settling into our new routines, and there are far fewer of the ‘fight’ days that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

The last weekend of April was lovely. The Saturday was my birthday, and we abandoned our usual amble along the beach in favour of a walk into the city. We made our way through Battery Point, admiring the autumn colours and keeping an eye out for teddy bears in windows, before wandering slowly along the waterfront. Part of Castray Esplanade has been closed off to be used as a drive-through testing centre, and we saw one car go through as we passed. We kept our fingers crossed that whoever it was would get good news the following day. Continue reading

Rhythms

A view of the River Derwent taken from Blinking Billy Point in Hobart, Tasmania

How’s everyone going out there? You doing okay?

Here in Hobart, we have just reached the end of Week Three at home. There are days when it feels like we have really hit our stride and settled into this new rhythm… and then there are those other days, where every minute feels like a fight.

In one of his recent posts on the MONA blog, David Walsh wrote: “I was happy to stay at home, until I had no choice but to stay at home.”

This resonates so much.

In truth, our lockdown life doesn’t look hugely different to how we normally live. DorkyDad and I both work from home all year round. DorkySon would be on his Easter holidays just now anyway. None of us are big socialisers. But the removal of choice has been an adjustment, as has the unending monotony of the days. It leaves a lot of time for overthinking.

We remain deeply grateful for all our privileges – indoor space, outdoor space, a full pantry and, of course, our health – but even with those advantages and an awareness of how lucky we are, we’ve been unable to escape the constant feeling of impending doom, the sense that the world is collectively holding its breath and waiting for the indefinable moment when things will start to turn. Continue reading

A Marriage in Meals

A bucket of raw oysters with the text 'a marriage in meals'Even though DorkyDad and I don’t eat out a lot – maybe lunch once a fortnight and dinner once every six weeks – the freedom to go into a bar or restaurant and take our time over a meal is one of the things we are missing a lot at the moment.

With that in mind, I decided to republish this piece of writing. It was originally published on xoJane five or six years ago, but that site has since been bought and retired by Time Inc, so the post disappeared into the great internet graveyard. I’ve updated it in a couple of places where I had referred to timings that were no longer accurate, and it feels nice to give it a new home. Continue reading