Weekend Coffee Share 4th October, 2021

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

This is actually my second coffee share post this week, and while it’s too late for the blogshare, I wrote a post from my new blog: Tea With Ethel Turner, which got up in time. However, I still decided to put this together because so much is going on. At least, it seemed that way, but perhaps that’s only because not much has happened for so long what with being in lockdown for the last three months.

Well, the big news is that our NSW State Premier who is simply known as “Gladys” resigned after being hit with corruption charges by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The irony is that the public and the media have almost unanimously come out in support of Gladys and feel ICAC’s timing stinks. We’re due to start coming out of lockdown on 11th October. Covid cases have dropped back own again which is encouraging, but Gladys has been our fearless warrior woman defending us from covid and trying to keep the economy going. Like Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews, she’s been giving a 11.00am daily update until about a week or two ago. I didn’t watch these very often, but they were repeated throughout the day and on the nightly news and they brought calm and stability during very tempestuous and uncertain times. Now, Gladys has gone and the Deputy decided to go as well. He’s had enough and is leaving politics. I think someone else has also left, resulting in three by-elections. Goodness knows what’s going to happen now without Gladys to keep covid out. I might be weird, but I already miss her. Gladys, don’t leave us!

Yesterday, Geoff and I went out in the kayaks. I’m not sure whether I’d go so far as saying we went kayaking, because we were test driving how I went in the red fibreglass kayak instead of the much heavier, cumbersome yellow bathtub. It went okay. It felt a lot more unstable and I almost had that sense you have when you’re first earning to ride a bike. I had to be very conscious and focused on what I was doing or I felt I’d lose my balance and end up tipping over. However, tipping over was very unlikely much of the time, and getting beached posed a much greater threat. It was low tide and we headed inland which was more like a wetland or swamp and there was only a depth of about 30 centimetres. We knew a friend of ours was also out kayaking and we eventually caught up with him and a friend. It was so exciting to see him. This normal thing of seeing friends, bumping into friends has become so precious after being in lockdown for 14 weeks now, you’re soon doing the happy dance (which isn’t such a good idea when you have lousy balance and your in a kayak).

The yellow bathtub

Meanwhile, the preparations for Freedom Day are starting to get under way at our place. Freedom Day is scheduled for Monday 11th October. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what so called freedoms we’ll be getting then, and it doesn’t really apply to vulnerable people like myself, because we have to stay on guard and if anything, be more cautious about who we hang out with. However, I think it allows me to go down to Sydney to see my Mum and Dad and that’s at the top of my out of jail bucket list.

Anyway, as I said, we’ve been doing some work around the house in preparation for being able to have people over here again. Geoff has painted much of the house, although we still have to get onto the front door. I was initially wanting to repair the table out the front, which has also been storing a large fish tank so we couldn’t use the table. A friend of mine had found a lovely old table beside the road and I’d fallen in love with it, and he was thinking it was too big for his room and he might get rid of it. Well, naturally I quickly put up my hand. However, we already have a few excess table inside the house, and I was trying to find the right time to mention the new addition to Geoff. A table is a very difficult thing to hide, especially when I needed him to pick it up! Meanwhile, my friend was starting to lose patience with the delays. I was getting frustrated with the delays. I could be sitting out the front in the sun reading instead of being stuck inside. I needed a reading nook. I needed somewhere covid friendly for friends to chat.

Picking up the table.

Well, we have now picked up the table, and today I started sanding the top back and I’ll finish it off tomorrow and also paint the legs.

Going against the grain like this, these scratches had to go.

It’s been an interesting process sanding back the table top. While some people deliberately destress their furniture, the table had some nasty scratches which looked like a cat had gone crazy. In another patch was very badly scratched after goodness knows what idiot madly tried sandpapering the varnish off working against the grain. These scratches didn’t add character and while I’d never be sitting at a friend’s place chatting and eating dessert and counting the number of scratches on their table, the thought did cross my mind. It’s probably that same part of my brain which frets about “red pen” (a writer’s nemesis) and having one comma out of place in a published work. Yes, I know. I need to go and get a life. Believe me, I would if I could. So, after using the orbital sander for the best part of 3-5 hours and still having scratches, but now having patches of light appearing through the immovable dark (the table is made of oak and had been vanished). I couldn’t see how I could get get the surface to a point of equilibrium. To a point where it didn’t look like I’d tried really really hard to get it right but had clearly given up and thrown in the towel. I asked Geoff if we could apply some varnish stripper to clean it up a bit. IT’s only at this point that he brings out the belt sander, which was clearly the right tool for the job and in minutes sawdust and varnish were flying and the table top was as smooth as a baby’s bot. Well, it will be when I’m done. The battery had gone flat and it was getting late. We didn’t want to disturb the neighbours.

A rare sighting of Rowie using power tools.

However, it’s now looking like I’ve become one of those fusspots who are never satisfied. As all that dark varnish disintegrated before my eyes and those immovable scratches were pulverised into sawdust, the tabletop started to look rather plain and devoid of character. It looked like it had had it’s personality removed, and that somehow even those very scratches which grated on me like fingernails scraping down a chalkboard, gave give it character. The table now had a perfect face, but it almost appeared unnatural. Or, at least it will when I finish it off tomorrow.

Anyway, with the way things are around here, it won’t take it long to get knocked around a bit. This house is the personification of “Misrule”.

Well, on that note, I’d better head off. I don’t think I’ve actually asked you much about how you’re doing and what madness is going on in your neck of the woods.

Meanwhile, you might like to join us over at the Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Take care and best wishes,


9 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 4th October, 2021

  1. Tails Around the Ranch

    LOVE your ‘yellow bathtub!’ What fun to kayak around. Heard a bit on the BBC the other night about Gladys, sorry for the loss of your premier. Too bad there’s not a woman candidate waiting in the wings. Have a great week!

  2. tidalscribe.com

    You can never have too many tables, especially rescued and upcycled. Our freedom day was a bit of a misnomer, but we can’t be locked up forever. Alas after being so careful my daughter has Covid – brought by her father-in-law when he visited. He is a prat at the best of times apparently and it is doubly infuriating she lost her own father and has to put up with a father-in-law like that. She is double jabbed and had just had her booster as she is NHS, another couple of weeks and the booster might have helped. Covid is not going away. Like my double jabbed neighbours she is feeling rough, but not needing to go near a hospital. I just had my third chemo session and the four of us on the ward had a great chat and laugh – it is good to meet with people whether friends or strangers.

  3. lindamaycurry

    Such inspiration in your posts! I have a table that I have been planning to sand and refinish. I got as far as removing most of the French polish. It sits under a tablecloth and is in use every day. We have had it for nearly fifty years so you may be just the catalyst needed to get me going. The four wooden chairs need work (a lot) as well.

    I’m looking forward to going to Canberra when it opens up to NSW to see my son and also to pick up his kayak which he is selling to us ( he has three). It will be added to our exisiting kayak collection to make two (one paddle and one pedal) but then the problem will be transporting two on top of the car. I hope it is as stable as the one we already have which is a fishing kayak.

    I can’t believe my grandchildren will be coming to stay for a few days next week. It is ages since I’ve seen them although we have talked often on the iPad. Entertaining, cooking for more than two will be a shock to the system. At least they will have schoolwork during the day.

    Now we have a new Premier. I was sad to see Gladys go but corruption must be investigated and can’t wait until every crisis is averted. We usually had coffee with Gladys at 11 and will remember it as a significant part of 2021. Covid numbers are still higher than we would like in the Illawarra so we will be keeping the grandchildren away from others where possible. All the best to you and your family as NSW “opens up”.

  4. Rowena Post author

    I’m sorry to hear that your daughter caught Covid, and particularly given her vaccination status. Catching is from someone like her FIL would definitely be the icing on a horrid cake. My thoughts are with her, and I hope she is feeling better soon. Thanks for sharing her story. You might know Gary Wilson from the Weekend Cofee Share. He’s also recovering from covid after being double vaccinated. While not as severe as being unvaccinated, catching covid is nasty.
    I can well picture you chatting and laughing during your chemo sessions, although it sounds quite unbelievable to hose who haven’t been through it. I had one round of chemo, which involved 9 weekly sessions to treat my auto-immune disease and I didn’t lose my hair although I had chemo brain for a few years afterwards. Lost all sense of time (which wasn’t my strong point to begin with!)
    I have infusions every three weeks in hospital before that and we used to chat a lot. We used to be on the top floor of Royal North Shore Hospital looking out across to the Sydney Harbout Bridge. When you look closely, you can see two flags right up the top and I used to focus on them while the canula was being put in. I didn’t know it at the time, but focusing on a point is a meditation technique and I was unconsciously doing that all by myself. I hope your treatment is going well and you are okay within these adjusted perimeters.
    Best wishes,

  5. Gary A Wilson

    We’re in that group of people who need desperately to rid ourselves of stuff rather than bring in anything which is not food.
    At this, we struggle. . .

  6. Rowena Post author

    We are in the same sinking boat. We are starting to open up from Monday and I’m wondering whether I should have spent more time sorting the house out in lockdown instead of writing and research. However, I’m sure you know me well enough to know the answer to that!! Besides, I’m be emerging very slowly and cautiously. No crowds.
    Hope you’re having a great week. The table is almost down. JUst needs another coat of decking oil on top nad then we’re onto the legs. It might even be tonight. Yippee!
    Best wishes,

  7. Rowena Post author

    Hi LInda,
    My aplogies for not replying sooner to your message. I’ll blame it on the table which is taking longer to rejuvenate than I’d anticipated and I’m also trying to get it fixed quickly so it’s protected when it rains. That may not encourage you to restore your table but as usual a great idea involves a lot more hard work when the rubber hits the road.
    I am missing Gladys and not happy that ICAC acted when they did while we were still in lockdown and needing her reassurance. I’m not sure about Dom Perrottet on a number of fronts. However, when I was in year 12 I went out with his cousin, and I’m still close to his mum even though I have seen her for years. I think we last spoke a year ago. I’m no arch conservative so I’ll have to see how he pans out.
    This week is almost done and dusted. I rang my dad about catching up on Monday but he’s off to get a haircut and I’m sure he’s far from alone. Goodness knows what the next step of this massive social experiment will pan out but I’ll be watching from the sidelines and slowly inching forward.
    Best wishes,

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