Weekend Coffee Share…9th March, 2020.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

It’s now Monday afternoon here and I’ve finally managed to levitate myself from the comforts of bed. I suppose I should be embarrassed and a tad ashamed for sleeping through much of the day, but it felt so good and I also read about 20 pages into Thoreau’s Walden, which I should’ve read years ago, but I haven’t. Have you?


This is the only red Alfa our son is getting hold of. Ours are off-limits.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have meant birthdays here. Our daughter turned 14 a few weeks ago and our son turned 16 yesterday. He’s now able to get his Learner’s Permit (his L’s) and would’ve been there yesterday if it wasn’t a Sunday. I don’t know why we didn’t book him in for today, but he still hasn’t been booked in. He’s as keen as mustard, but his father and I are justifiably hesitant. I’m sure he already believes he can drive better than me, and I’m not sure whether it’s better or worse to put someone who is wildly over-confident into the driver’s seat for the first time, or a nervous Nelly like I was who ducks beneath the dashboard praying to escape (along with the instructor). We’ve heard stories of friends’ sons wanted to drive home from the registry or drive to school the following morning through heavy peak-hour Sydney traffic. Fortunately, that’s left us forwarned. He’s been told that he’ll be having his first lesson in the car park at our local community centre and I think he’d already chosen his Dad for the first drive. Hey, that could well be all driving lessons, except he’ll get his hours up with me.  I don’t like driving and can’t wait for him to get mobile!

Their birthdays have changed now that they’re teenagers. Gone are the days of making them a fancy cake out of the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. In fact, gone are the days of us being invited along to festivities with friends. Our daughter requested a pavlova at home and went out with friends and our son almost had to be dragged away from his Youtube videos for us to sing Happy Birthday.


The Cake of Carnage. A scrumptious Bienstich from our local bakery. The candles had to go in the cracks in between the slices and after the dog got to it, there was no chance of decorum.

By the way, I should point out that the dog didn’t need to dragged anywhere near the cake.  Well, to protect the innocence of the other two dogs Zac and Lady, I’d better name and shame Rosie. While I was trying to round the family up, she chomped a good eighth of the cake away and I hastily had to rearranged what was left to try to get something of a circle. It’s not the first time a dog has helped themselves. They’re so much more switched on than us humans and rearing to strike. No doubt, all her ball and stick chasing has enabled Rosie to gulp up a cake just as quickly with but one snap of her trap.  I won’t go into details, but you can be sure family tensions rose after that the by the time everybody was back seated round the table, it was a case of “you will have a Happy Birthday!!”

I was particularly trying to give our son a Happy Birthday because he had some rather devastating news during the week. The NSW Education Department canceled the school’s Europe trip due to the Coronavirus. I was so devastated when we found out and the school held a meeting and I was so emotional and shaken up. We’d given our son this trip of a lifetime from the very depths of our hearts. It wasn’t something we could afford and my husband’s never been to Europe, and it’s been over 25 years for me. The depth of the history teaching in this tour was so good that we found the money. As turned out, my husband got a lot of overtime last year and that covered it, but it meant he was working six days for three months. It wasn’t something that came easily and I’m sure the other parents from this tour are in the same boat. At the moment, it looks like we’ll get some of our money back but it’s a complicated process. That hurts as well. However, we just have to do the whole life goes on thing. They were meant to be leaving in six weeks.

Speaking of the Coronavirus, what if any impact is it having over your way? The most obvious sign of the virus here, is the empty spaces on the supermarket shelves where the toilet paper is supposed to be. For some reason, people have bought up huge volumes of toilet paper and it really does seem rather strange. Has that happened over your way? I remember when we were kids we used to play a game in class where you said what you wanted to taken if you were deserted on a desert island and you had to remember what everyone before you had said. I don’t remember ANYONE saying a 50 pack of toilet paper. Rather, you can put me down for Tim Tams, chocolate, tea and some blueberries just to be a bit healthy.

Toyota Corona

Do you remember the original Toyota Corona? Could this be the original source of the virus?

Jokes aside, I am in a high-risk group maybe not of catching the virus, but certainly of having a serious response if I do catch it. I have an auto-immune disease called dermatomyositis and a complication of that called Institial Lung Disease. This has left me with 50% lung capacity and fibrosis. So, I get a flu vaccine every year and try to keep away from crowds etc. Meanwhile, my husband works at Macquarie University in Sydney and that is at the epicentre of cases there. At this point, we’re talking about a handful of cases but there has been at least one death. Epping Boys High School nearby had a case, and so on Friday the school was closed down and teachers and students were in isolation for two days. That included a friend from Church.

Corona Beer

Could this be the possible cure?

It’s hard to know at this stage what this virus means for our global community. Is it going to become a great pandemic rivaling the Spanish Flu of 1919? No one knows at this stage, but it’s good to see that health authorities aren’t taking chances and it seems isolation is reducing the spread.

Meanwhile, I am continuing with my research into WWI Australian soldiers serving in France. I can now appreciate how all these months and months of research are consolidating into a solid knowledge base. I really knew nothing about the actual running of the war before I started, although I’d studied the cases of the war and how it led to WWII in a lot of detail at school and uni. I’m only now starting to appreciate the distinction between artillery and infantry and how that shaped a soldier’s experience of the battlefield and I’m picking up great stories and insights into the battles themselves. This all started out with trying to find out where my Great Great Uncle Jack was wounded (Mouquet Farm), which has evolved into an obsessive ques to try to work out what he went through back then. The records of the day were very scant and nowhere near enough for anyone truly wanting to build a solid picture of what their family member went through. Geoff’s Great Uncle was Killed in Action at Mont St Quentin in September 1918, but at least he left us his diary and some sense of his experience was passed down to my husband. However, that was not the case with his relatives who returned. understanding what our people went through over there, and back here at home, is very important to me. It’s clear to me that our younger generations don’t know what happened so it’s no longer a case of “lest we forget”. We do not remember. We do not know.

I’m not sure what else I’ve been up to. How about you? How have you been?

I hope you are keeping well and staying clear of the Coronavirus and other nasties that are out there.

This has been another contribution for the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by  Eclectic Ali. We’d love you to pop round and join us.
Best wishes,

8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share…9th March, 2020.

  1. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share…9th March, 2020. — Beyond the Flow – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

  2. Tails Around the Ranch

    As is typical for America, people have lost their collective minds about the virus. Events are being cancelled, people refusing to eat at Chinese restaurants, and silly solutions (hand sanitizer made from vodka), and binge buying at grocery stores to name just a few. While I am concerned (mostly because the government has no clear unified strategy for dealing with the health aspects), I’m not terrified like many are. I say wash your hands frequently, don’t go out if you are sick and other sensible behavior should be fine. For people like you with compromised immune systems, I hope you stay well and send extra healing energy virtually. Happy birthday to your son and the little miss. Norman and Elsa give Rosy high marks for nicking the cake. I remember those driving license days and hope all goes as planned. With boys who know everything, it’s always a mom’s worse nightmare but I’m sure he’ll be a proper citizen behind the wheel. Hugs.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share…9th March, 2020. | Actual Dated Photos of moments that may never be captured again.One Mans Journey to inspire and give hope.

  4. maxwellthedog

    Happy Birthdays to the kiddos! I’m sure they enjoyed their big days even if Rosie pilfered the cake and, by the way, that was one delicious-looking cake. Re: COVID-19, you better be especially careful these days given your health history. There may be a lot of unfounded hysteria around but it’s pretty known that the virus is super tough on compromised immune systems and those with respiratory issues. So, use this as an excuse to send Geoff and the kids on errands on your behalf, like for more cake, maybe. Over here we have panic buying of toilet paper and also water which makes no sense at all since the water at home will flow even if one is quarantined. It’s a good practice to have spare H2O in case of earthquakes but a virus…nope. The jury is still out on whether the virus is truly zoonotic and until it’s proven one way or the other, Max is nervous. Anyway, if you truly need a reason to panic, the idea of a sixteen year old with a driver’s permit would be enough to get the blood pressure up! Cheers!

  5. Rowena Post author

    Great to hear from you as always, Tom. That’s interesting about the bulk water buying. People don’t make sense at the best of times, let alone in a panic.
    It is hard for us to guage things. I am avoiding large groups of people and public places like the supermarket which has always been a breeding ground for any kind of germ. It’s like a petrie dish in there. I have to be careful each flu and cold season, even though I have the vaccine so am versed with taking precautions. My doctor has told me the masks are useless. OCD handwashing seems to be the way to go and trying to drum that into Mr 16 year old is going to be fun. A boys’ school in Sydney was the first school to have a case. My friend is a teacher there and it seems they have trouble applying deodorant so I can only imagine that handwashing is another are of difficulty. The Coronavirus and all it’s friends and foes will have a field day there.
    The lad still hasn’t got his test booked so we can still relax on that front. Any day now though and it will be action stations. Stay tuned.
    Best wishes,

  6. Rowena Post author

    Thank you for the birthday wishes and I’ll keep you posted on the driving front. We still need to book the test.It is a lovely sunny day here and I should get motivated and go for a walk, but next up I’m off for my nanna nap.
    Best wishes,

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