It’s a little, perhaps even slight story amidst the tsunami that’s breaking over us, but it’s buoyed me in recent days. My beloved Leigh and I decided, for a change, to go upstream rather than down, for a few items we needed, some of which were beginning to become difficult to attain in the city. Whether its from blind fear or not-so-blind greed, this panic buying thing is a pain. We were largely successful in our aims at New Norfolk’s Woolies, a place that seemed less frenetic than it’s cousins closer in to the CBD. That, though, is not the point of this scribing. Whilst in there, out of curiosity I sauntered over to the area where the toilet paper should be housed when I spotted her. She was a largish girl, her face very flushed, heaving huge packets of Sorbent up onto said shelves. A colleague walked over to her, presumably her overseer, as she took a breath between hefts and I was close enough to overhear their brief conversation:-
He said, ‘I’ve called in Paul. He can do your shift for you tomorrow. You’re pushing it too hard girl. You need a break. Please take it.’
She said back, in a take no prisoners manner, ‘No. No way. This is my job. It needs doing properly and I’m doing it.’ Then she bent down and laboured another couple of dozen rolls up onto its proper place.
I’ve thought about her reaction to her boss’ desire to give her some time away. I reckon working her arse off is probably more than just doing her bit. My notion is that she is probably struggling to come to terms, like the rest of us, with what is happening to our planet. Working like a navvy is her way of trying to block it all out. Trying to cope with it all till we get to the other side. Thank heavens and thank you to the shelf-stackers. We plan to go back up to NN the next time we need to replenish. Maybe I’ll spot her again to discern how she’s doing.
Trump. Trump makes me angry. Always Trump. Then there’s the ineptitude and just plain dumbness of the NSW Department of Health, or whoever it was that, in cavalier fashion, allowed the Ruby Princess to disgorge its thousands of sitting ducks for the virus out onto the streets of Sydney and beyond. Our island is paying a heavy price for that stuff-up and that has made me quietly simmer. And I cannot adequately find the words for humans who mount organised raids on regional supermarkets. But I find if I focus on that girl who was busting a gut, just doing her bit, for whatever reason, I know there is another side. I must not let the anger get on top. It helps to push it aside. What else?
There’s the stuff I love that I can bring to the fore to replace all of those routines I have already lost – but do not, thankfully, spend too much time lamenting. I can still soak cares away with my morning sudsy ablutions to get a day off to a calm commencement. Then comes my music. Katie and her Leigh organised some magic remote headphones so I’ve been losing myself in Missy Higgins, Clapton, the Boss’ ’Western Stars’ of late. As I pen this I am swooning to a glorious new album of Tom Waits’ covers, ‘Come Up to the House’ by some queens and princesses of Americana – Patty Griffin, Rosanne Cash, Shelby Lynn, her sister Allison Moorer and others. Just delectable. Katie sourced it for me on-line. She’s a marvel.
When my own Leigh emerges to start her day she is all calmness and common sense. I know, once we are through this, I’ll cherish and adore her even more, if that’s possible. Eventually, during our days, we’ll get stuck into our latest picks from the plethora of attractive series/movies on our platforms. At the moment we’re hooked by ‘The Capture’ (ABCiView). That will take your mind off anything. We’re also enjoying ‘Secret City’ (Netflix) and ‘The Last Tycoon’ (Amazon Prime). I’m finding ‘The Test’, also on Prime, taking me from Sandpapergate to retaining the Ashes, simply enthralling. And sporting-wise, with the demise of the AFL season, at least I won’t have the angst of a close match involving the Hawks.
But the best balm of all? Late last Sunday afternoon I had, in quick succession, calls from my daughter, Rich and my dear mother. She’s confined to barracks. She’s lived through the Depression, as well as a hot and cold war, so she’s no stranger to adversity. She just keeps on keeping on, surrounded and cushioned by a caring staff at Umina. It felt so good hearing from them; such a salve, those conversations. Family need to be close in these times.
We’ll find a way through all this, as that young Derwent Valley lass is doing. My best wishes to you all as you ride out the storm in your own ways. My missives will keep on coming, She up there beyond the silver lining willing. Know they, too, are soothing for me, helping me keep it in perspective; keeping the bigger, wilder thoughts away
More on ‘Come On Up To the House’ – https://www.folkradio.co.uk/2019/11/various-artists-come-on-up-to-the-house-women-sing-waits/
Trailer ‘The Capture’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSSmitzvmUU
Trailer ‘Secret City’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2R-DPhzfFY
Trailer ‘The Last Tycoon’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDz-hm3yS28
Trailer ‘The Test’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9g8exCgVP4