Well, it’s been a while and, seriously, there is no real excuse for leaving it this long, after all, it isn’t as if I have anything pressing to do. My last ride was over a week ago with the classic bike gang and I haven’t been out since. Apart from the necessary trips to the shops for provisions (thankfully I have experienced no shortage of the essentials of life in my area) I haven’t been out of the house. I’m starting to feel like the character in the 1719 novel whose name has gone into history. Of course you know that the reason why Crusoe had all of his weekends off is because he had all of his work done by Friday but, that dreadful joke aside, I have been using the time to clean, re-arrange and pass the time.
My main shed out the back hasn’t been tidied for over a year so the accumulation there needed to be thinned and a lot of stuff that has been hoarded “in case I need it one day” has been ditched because it is now clear that I won’t. I have been hanging on to a heap of valuable teaching resources that were my mainstays when I was relief teaching but, even if I decided to go back to it (which I won’t) it is all pretty much out of date and replacement stuff is easily sourced on the internet. So, out you go. Now that the back shed is tidy I have been able to move the pushbikes back there and allow more room in the other one for my camping/travelling gear (though God knows when I will get to use IT again) and the other bike.
So, apart from tidying and culling, what have I been doing? Well, I have been doing a lot of crossword puzzles as well as other things. I have always loved crosswords and got to be a pretty dab hand at the harder, cryptic ones back in the day though I haven’t done one of them for along time. But lately I have been doing the normal ones together with my wife. Helena is also really enjoying the combined challenge and we work on each puzzle together, each contributing answers and suggestions. It really is a most enjoyable way of passing the time, especially if it is combined with a cup of coffee and/or tea and bikkie or two.
Social media is a cultural wasteland at the best of times, but extreme times tend to bring out the worst in people and, sadly, it is doing that right now. Suddenly every second Facebooker who was an “expert” on climate change (whatever that is) a couple of months ago, is now an “expert” on the corona virus. Pointing out the obvious flaws in their posts is an exercise in frustration so I am basically ignoring them (I’m practising social distancing – virtually).
The virus and its impact has decimated sport and, before anyone asks what does that really matter in the face of human tragedy, I agree. But the likelihood that we will have any sort of meaningful MotoGp series or WSBK series is shrinking daily. WSBK published a “revised” schedule yesterday but I think it’s pretty much wishful thinking. The impact of all of this is devastating financially to those whose investments in the sport is large or small but I’m just hanging around now waiting to see what 2021 will bring.
On a more general level, it has been heartening to see that ordinary people are stepping up and putting the needs of others before their own. My own Facebbok feed is filling up with people offering help to those who are not able to help themselves, how encouraging to see after the fiasco of rioting in the supermarkets over a roll of toilet paper. May owners of rural properties are offering their places as a haven for nomads who don’t HAVE a home base now but who live full time on the road in their camper vans, what a great thing.
Businesses, especially the smaller ones, who have been hard hit and continue to be hard hit by the new regulations governing our lives, are finding innovative and clever ways of staying afloat and still provide the valuable community services that they can provide. These clever and forward-thinking entrepreneurs will be the ones who will survive and prosper once all this fuss is over.
I am hopeful that, when this fuss IS over and it WILL be over, don’t worry, we will emerge from it as a simpler, more compassionate and caring community, less focussed on the things that DON’T matter and more focusssed on the things that DO.
We can all do our part to make this happen, let’s resolve to do so and be part of taking a tragedy and turning it into a triumph.