Ground Level

Summer’s frantic buzz has been stoppered by autumn’s peaceful hum.

Covid keeps slipping through the lines here in Aotearoa – no thanks to people identified as having had contact with infected people (and in one case, I believe, actually while infected!) disregarding the advice and expectations by the whole country to self-isolate and not mix with the wider community.

On Saturday night (quite suddenly) our largest city, Auckland, had to go up into alert level three (again) and the rest of the country up into alert level two (again.) This could have been prevented, but when you’re dealing with humans, sadly, a disregard for others will always be a factor.

Our PM was not pleased. And I don’t blame her. So much hard work and advantage gained is in danger of being undone. However, we are still doing pretty well as a country and have a lot to be thankful for living in these narrow isles near the bottom of the Pacific.

Hanging out, Andy Bay inlet

However, I am hoping for the best and that these current precautions will safeguard our status as one of the countries least affected by Covid. As well, the immunisation process has begun. We now have a weapon for counter-attack. So much fighting talk. Warfare. Appropriate vernacular for a pandemic.

Almost every day I go for a walk. The same track mostly. But as it’s an appealing trek by water with wading and diving birds and pretty plants and trees, why change? And it’s nice to forget about Covid, at least for a while.

Vauxhall, Dunedin
Nasturtiums along a tin fence

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that we have been free for most of the past year to travel, explore (our country of course – not overseas! Haha. Bitter laughter ensues.) And to gather . Something I know overseas family and friends long to be able to do. My daughter in law in Berlin for example, said she is dying to be able to go and sit down in a cafe for a coffee and cake. A simple luxury that she has been denied for so long now.

Windscreen reflections, traction engine and plane – Mandeville Air Display
Mandeville air display

A personal example of being free to travel, is sometimes accompanying Robert on his Sunday jaunts down to the Murihiku / Southland town of Gore to visit his mother in a Rest Home there – a return distance of 300 k’s.

Last time we were able to take his Mum to a display of planes and transport (including a steam train) in the small Northern Southland town of Mandeville – which is not to be confused with, as my weird brain sometimes does, Manderley, the fictional house in Daphne De Maurier’s Rebecca. I looked it up and there is a house in New Zealand called Manderley. If you’re at all interested – here is the link.

Small pond near Mandeville

Today is March 1st and the start of autumn. Summer’s frantic buzz has been stoppered by autumn’s peaceful hum. In my head, the all clear has sounded and I am giving myself permission to begin a writing project.

Off the main road, near Mandeville

What fascination awaits me I wonder as I begin a deeper-than-ever-before (for me anyway) research into my own family history. I’m fairly confident of striking writing gold as I have previously been informed by my mother and aunty of some potentially tricky business afoot.

Interior view from inside our son’s house

At least what I do – writing – is something that can be done in isolation, at home, should the worst come to the worst. But it won’t. And anyway and whatever – I’ll just keep writing.


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

3 thoughts on “Ground Level

  1. It’s probably little consolation that, compared with just about every other country, NZ has coped with Covid brilliantly. There will inevitably by mishaps – people are people, and sometimes do crazy things – but it seems to me that your government has got it covered. Could you maybe lend Jacinda for a few months?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes she’s a treasure. If I had the power I’d clone her for the rest of the world. I know we are lucky and I think that is what makes it even more annoying to think just one person (or a few anyway) are prepared to selfishly trash that. Oh well. I think steps taken now may counteract.
    Thinking of you all over there – you’ve had it tough. I have no right to complain at our small ( in comparison) setbacks. I do try not to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree…it’s right to remember that, in NZ as well as the UK, it’s just a tiny selfish minority that are making life worse for everyone else. I do believe that most people are trying to do the right thing, although here that’s been made more difficult by the fact that our government’s messaging has been muddled.

    Liked by 1 person

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