Changing Seasons – June 2020 – Lockdown eases

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June has seen a roll back of lockdown measures, here in Tasmania. At the beginning of the month, shops reopened, children returned to school, people returned to work. Social distancing of 1.5 meters remained in place.

Covid-19 precautions at work include temperature check when signing in, also new batch of hand sanitiser.
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Last Friday more restrictions eased. 500 people can gather outdoors, 250 indoors, with 1 person per 2sqm rule, thus allowing museums, galleries, restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs to resume business. 20 visitors allowed to visit per household. Markets, food courts, garage sales, casinos, spas, swimming pools reopened. Community sport resumed.

Life feels like we’re heading back to a level of normality. Tasmania is fortunate, we have been virus free since the middle of the month and had no new cases for over 46 days.

Tasmania has used its advantage of being an island. Our borders have been closed since mid March. Anyone arriving from mainland Australia must complete 14 days quarantine, visitors in a government sponsored hotel, residents can quarantine at home. The rules are strict. So we feel safe here while we watch the news from other countries, other parts of Australia, as cases increase in some communities. Although a little worried what will happen when our borders open. Tasmania relies on tourism so it is a fine balance between economy and health risk.

We – well husband – has made this hat rack, for my one and his many hats. The wood is local Huon Pine.
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We’ve picked olives from the trees in our garden and they’re now in jars. Our first attempt at curing olives. Fingers crossed.
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I joined as group of neighbours for a productive clean up of our local coast path and beaches, one Sunday morning. We collected plastics, rope, a cushion, large piece of rubber, bubble wrap, wood. A worthwhile couple of hours.
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We’ve had some sunny winter days so have tried to get out into nature, exploring the countryside. Walks on the beach with long winter afternoon shadows. We’ve also tried to support local businesses, where possible. A visit to the local animal sanctuary, lunches out, take away coffees.
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This is my contribution to Su’s Changing Seasons.

Changing Seasons – May 2020 Autumn in lockdown

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Here in Hobart, May has been a month of autumn colours, frosty mornings, mild sunny days.
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We have been given more freedoms as lockdown rules begin to roll back. We can go out more, travel further from our homes, more shops are open and cafes and restaurants can have up to ten people seated in addition to take away meals.
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I took these photos of Hobart Waterfront. There are not usually so many fishing boats in port.
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Therefore May has also been a mixed month, with a different feel today compared to the beginning of the month.

To occupy myself, I have knitted a couple of baby strawberry hats. Here is our granddaughter. When I posted this photo I had two orders so I’m still busy with red and green wool.
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I saw this experiment so tried it for myself. Hot water in the middle of a circle of M&M’s creates a pretty rainbow. Yes I still ate the chocolates 🙂
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And I have relaxed with this fascinating book.
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As today is the last day of autumn I will close with this image of “the last leaf on the tree”.
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This is my contribution to Su’s Changing Seasons challenge.

A cold and foggy morning

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It was a beautiful morning with our local river fog, “The Bridgewater Jerry” trailing down the River Derwent. The suburbs upstream were engulfed in the fog, but from suburbs south of the Tasman bridge, the “Jerry” looked stunning in the sunlight.
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I took these photos on my way to work, from Howrah, Kangaroo Bay and Tranmere. I like that you can see Hobart City under the fog, while Mount Wellington stands tall and proud above.
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Autumn at the Botanical Gardens

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The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens reopened this week as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. Only outside areas were open “for exercise”. The shop, café and kiosk were closed. Also the Conservatory and Antarctic House.

It was a perfect autumn day to visit. Feet of all sizes had fun scrunching through the fallen leaves.
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I joined lots of people for a delightful walk around the gardens. Everyone was sensible and respectful, keeping social distance, waiting to pass on narrow paths and bridges over the lake.
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It was pleasing to see the autumn colours.
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Many of the maples in the Japanese Garden have finished their display. There were a few still putting on a show.
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Also to see what is happening in “The Patch”, as seen on Gardening Australia. Local charities maintain some beds.
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The gardeners have kept busy while the gardens have been closed.
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Changing Seasons – April 2020 in lockdown.

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April has been a full month of lockdown. Hobart’s Salamanca Place is usually a bustling market on Saturdays, surrounded by popular cafes and bars. Now it is empty except for the drive through test centre.
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I’m fortunate to still be working full time and work has been hectic, with some days in the office, others working from home. As well as formal Zoom meetings, our Deputy CEO organised a “Big Hello” meeting so colleagues from all three offices could meet online. Hats, backgrounds were optional as we waved at each other and said Hi. It was a fun ten minutes in a busy day.
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“Time is like water, if finds its own level.” Away from work, some weekends have dragged, despite walks along local coastal paths. I painted some pebbles to leave along the pathway and benches for kids to find.

I’ve spent time in the garden, planting veggie seeds and seedlings, cabbage, radish, spring onions. We are harvesting carrots, rocket, spinach and I’m on my second jar of bean sprouts. Our olive trees have fruit.

On Monday 20th April, I noticed comments on Facebook that the Aurora Australis was putting on a show. One side of our balcony faces south, so I went outside with camera in hand. I was pleased to get a few reasonable photos of the green glow in the night sky.
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I’ve drunk lots of tea and written more than usual in my diary. I have kept journals on and off for thirty years. I was happy to find new books in a local newsagent, that match earlier volumes.
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We keep in touch with family and friends and I’ve enjoyed video chats and receiving photos of our grandkids.
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I continue to feel inspired by “Action for Happiness” calendar and quotes. Here are just a couple from April.
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Stay safe. This is my contribution to Su’s Changing Seasons challenge.

ANZAC Day 2020

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At 6am this morning, ordinary people stood at the end of their driveways, lit a candle, held a minutes silence, in remembrance of all who have served in wars and conflicts.

ANZAC Day is the national Remembrance Day for Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the landings at Gallipoli on this day in 1915.

Usually, dawn services are held at local cenotaphs but such gatherings are cancelled this year. So we were encouraged to “gather as one” outside our homes.

I could see three other sets of neighbours in our small section of street. I could hear the broadcast from the National War Memorial in Canberra. I held a candle and sprig of rosemary, which grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula and is as much a symbol of ANZAC Day as the poppy.

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Everyday musicians were asked to play “The Last Post” on any instrument.

Our daughter played her saxophone and made these lovely lanterns out of milk cartons.

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Remembering the Yorkshire Dales

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This time last year I was in the UK to catch up with family. I organised a mini break in the Yorkshire Dales, in the spring time.

My Mum, daughter and I stayed in a country hotel with views like these.
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We visited Aysgarth Falls.
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Also the 600 year old Bolton Castle.
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We travelled past Ribblehead Viaduct.
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And climbed Malham Cove to the limestone pavement.
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Happy memories. Fun times.

As there are a lot of lines in these photos I’m linking this to Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge.

Human Connections

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How have you connected with family and friends during the current social distance restrictions?

I’ve had spontaneous calls with our toddler grandson, shared matching Easter Eggs, compared items in our fruit bowls.
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I’ve had regular “coffee meetings” with my Mum for five years. I arranged similar online Skype chats with UK girlfriends this weekend.
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Our London based daughter called on Face Time for a “breakfast chat”. She was so happy that she’d been able to buy a tin of Milo. Her dinner was cereal with Milo. I had my usual porridge with blueberries and we had a lovely catch up.
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I’ve had “afternoon tea” online chats and phone conversations with friends.
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I’ve shared emails and Facebook comments and messages.
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I’ve been able to share everyday moments with our two week old granddaughter, see her safe in her mother’s arms, see photos of her older brother interacting with her. My daughter even took her phone for a nappy change and continued chatting to us. It felt as though we were there in the room, just without the smell.
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And I’ve enjoyed creating photos to reflect all these different connections.