Weekend Coffee Share 24th January, 2022.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How are you? If you were coming to my place, we’d be sitting out the front wearing masks and sending hand signals. Covid has gone from being “over there” (a common phrase used here in Australia due to our geographical isolation) to being in certain hotspots, and then “out there” but not local. However, now it is here but not here. Loads of friends have had it or have it, but as far as we know, it’s not inside our house, or indeed inside our very own lungs. At least, we think it’s not. I can’t even even smell a RAT let alone buy one.

When I think of covid creeping around like this and the sense of it finally getting hold of you, I’m reminded of a kid’s folk story which was read aloud to me with great inflection and animation. “Who’s Got My Hairy Toe?” There are a few variations of it, but the one I know finishes off very dramatically with the dreaded monster saying: “YOU”VE GOT IT!!!!” I still haven’t forgotten that sense of absolutely leaping out of my skin forty years later, but there’s what this whole lurking omnipresent covid situation feels like right now. Fortunately, some vulnerable people I know (including those with my medical condition) have got through omicron without going to hospital so that is encouraging.

Meanwhile, life goes on.

Most of the news this week relates to our son, who is just a couple of months off his 18th birthday. Last week, he went away to the Church’s youth Summer Camp. This is probably the highlight of his year. He does sound and DJ work usually at camp, which he loves. I don’t know a lot of what happens at camp, and the old adage “what happens at camp stays at camp” applies, although I did chase up covid transmissions afterwards and he was full of stories about the pranks other people were caught up in. While he was away, we got into his room and I was just going to wash the bedding, but before I knew it, I was going a major clean and we were actually able to walk through the joint to install an air-conditioner. This was good, because we were expecting to lock him away in there for a few days after he got back as a precaution. However, when he arrived home he was so animated and full of stories, it was hard to stay away.

Going to Summer Camp isn’t such a thing here in Australia like it is in America and possibly Canada. However, our kids have gone on Scout and youth camps. The first time our son went off to the Scout Jamboree, we received an urgent text warning us that funnel web spiders had been found in two backpacks when they arrived home. Our son promptly removed his pack from his room and dumped it at my feet. I don’t know what madness made him think Mum was the great protector and defender against deadly spiders, especially when HE’S the one who is into spiders. However, kids are always unpredictable and keep putting parents on our toes. There were no spiders in the pack, and hopefully no covid in him now.

It did feel good to get his room sorted, and it’s encouraging me to keep going.

During all this household sorting business, I came across a postcard advertising sailing with the Young Endeavour. The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, in partnership with the Royal Australian Navy, provides young Australians with a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea on board the national sail training ship Young Endeavour. The actual ship is a replica of Captain James Cook’s Endeavour which “discovered” the East Coast of Australia in 1770. These days we are hopefully more sensitive to Australia’s Aboriginality, and that Australia was never “lost”, or a blank canvas, or “terra nullus”. However, that’s another story.

What matters here, is that I actually managed not only to fill out the paperwork, the next day I was notified that he had a berth. On the 21st March, 2022 he sails out of Geelong, Victoria and arrives in Sydney on the 30th nine days later. This means we’ll be driving him down there, and will be there to see him arrive back. This is such good news, because he’s had quite a few significant disappointments and setbacks due to Covid. Most notably, he missed out of his European History Tour in 2020 and that was a very big deal. This, he feels, makes up for that, so now we’re saying our prayers and crossing our fingers that all goes smoothly and he’ll be off. Nothing is a certainty anymore and while I try to be optimistic sometimes I feel doomed. That we might indeed be under an unlucky star. However, usually my spirits lift and our plans aren’t dashed on the rocks after all.

Meanwhile, in between trying to get our daughter organised for heading back to school on February 2nd, I’ve been beavering away on my family history research. I’ve taken January off my WWI research and wasn’t intending to do much research at all but the weather hasn’t been the best, covid’s around and I’m back at it.

My book pile is also growing beside me. These are the books I’ve bought in the last couple of weeks, and a new book pile which is growing beside my writing chair in the loungeroom. This is not the book pile on the coffee table or the book pile I lent to a friend first because I thought she’d get through them all before me. There’s still Kay Arthur’s: “Choosing Joy”, but recent arrival are Tim Hawkes: “Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager”. I’m going to start reading that today, and I think the title is just asking for me to read one lesson per day. Jules Sebastian’s book: “Tea and Honesty” arrived today. I couldn’t wait to order that even though I’m well and truly overloaded with books already. She’s married to international musician Guy Sebastian. Guy’s songs are deep and philosophical. Moreover, Jules’s brother committed suicide while they were on their honeymoon, so I think she’ll have some good things to say. There’s also Sally Rooney’s novel: “Normal People”. It’s been around for awhile. Have you read it? Then, there’s Mark Kurzem’s: “The Mascot” which is a WWII Jewish escape story. I loaned it to a friend first and he loved it. Lastly, I’m reading my aunt’s national history of the Stolen Generation to fill background on some of my family history. My great grandfather’s cousins were married to Aboriginal women and living in the Yass Black Camp so I’m trying to find out more about that.

Uncle Roy left and my grandfather on the right. This might’ve been my grandfather’s 90th Birthday.

Lastly, my Great Uncle passed away during the week. I think he was 97 and still lucid. I haven’t seen him for quite awhile. He was the youngest in the family and my grandfather was the eldest and there were four sisters in between. They were born and raised in Hahndorf in South Australia which is like living in a museum in many ways, especially if you are living in one of the original houses on the main street. The Haebich used to have the blacksmith’s shop on Main Road and my grandfather told stories of watching the hot iron wheel plunging into water a steam shooting up. It must’ve been such a spectacle especially back in the days before TV and the Internet. I’m not even sure he went to the movies as a young child. He never mentioned it. Thanks to covid and distance, we won’t be getting down there for the funeral.

The Kids and I outside Haebich’s Cottage 2013

Well, that’s all folks.

How are things with you going? I hope you’ve had a good week.

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

Best wishes,


8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 24th January, 2022.

  1. Natalie

    Thank you for your coffee share, Rowena. I hope you and your family all stay safe and well from covid. The Young Endeavour trip sounds like an amazing opportunity. I hope your son gets to go as scheduled.

  2. leannelc

    Hi Rowena – covid has certainly raised it’s ugly head over East hasn’t it? Here in the West we were supposed to re-open our borders on Feb 5th – BUT the Premier is keeping them closed for now to try and keep omicron at bay. We’ve had several cases from relatives of returned travellers and I think our good luck is running out rapidly. We’re all masked too when we’re in indoor public spaces – SUCH a pain!

    Fantastic that your son can go on the Endeavour and that he had a good time at camp. Our kids always enjoyed church youth camps and school camps – somewhere away from mum and dad’s vigilant eye!

  3. Rowena Post author

    Our tests were fortunately negative, but to be honest, I don’t know how. I put it down to divine intervention, but why did he intervene for us and not someone else? People our son spent a lot of time with, had it but he’s clear. Not everything comes with an explanation.
    My aunt and uncle live in Freo. She hasn’t been over East to see us for two years and she’s really feeling it and missing my mum in particular. Yet, at the same time, she’s all for keeping WA cut off from covid. It’s a hard call.
    This week, we were wearing masks around the house. It’s insane and just not comfortable especially with my lung difficulties and I had to go without much of the time. I haven’t seen much coverage of how families with a mix of vulnerable people and teens etc are going. I know I should put something out there, but am not quite sure. I have so much emotion and not sure whether tapping into that is a good thing. Been going through my photos to put together a slide show for our son’s 18th birthday and our daughter’s Sweet 16. I take a lot of photos so its a massive job and what’s touched me most is the love I saw for my kids when they were small and how they brought people so much joy. We’ve lost touch with so many people through covid and just life but it motivates me to make more of an effort.
    Best wishes,

  4. Tails Around the Ranch

    So sorry for the loss of your Great Uncle. Our family lost a cousin last week, one of 3 recent family deaths. Not sure if COVID has impacted my ability to not fall apart about all these losses (though none were COVID related, thank heavens). Perhaps it’s because my family has had few passings and we’re just not used to processing losses in general. Then there’s the fact that US society tends to not talk about death and we are unprepared for its impact.

    When Norman & I went to hospital this week for visits, it was quite alarming the number of patients who had been admitted. We are not permitted to visit the floor where COVID patients are isolated but still, there are so many sick people in hospital and you can’t help but notice the fearful looks in the eyes of everyone visiting them. Our sense of security has been sorely challenged but we need to recognize SARS-COVID will probably become much like flu-always waiting to find a new way to infect us. Masks may become a long term way of life.

    Stay safe and keep smiling. 💙

  5. Rowena Post author

    So sorry for your family losses, Monika. I think the social distancing, lockdowns and lack of contact have lessened that real sense of crushing grief at least where the loss of my elderly relatives has been concerned. It was hard when I lost four friends last year, one was older but the other three were 60, 50, and 44 and all had kids around the same age as mine and as young as ten. They were hard. They lived locally and I couldn’t pretend.
    It’s good you’re still doing your hospital visits with Norman. That would be particularly helpful now. Did you see my post about our Old English Sheepdog, Rufus from a few days ago? He was such a complex dog but so loving and goofy. He was so lovely to hug and the kids adored him. I came across a funny photo of Bilbo today and wrote a post to go with it. I was reminded of Sam passing. I still don’t understand why they go so quickly and how we go through life with a string of different dogs all because they’re on an accelerated course.
    Anyway, I’d better keep moving.
    Best wishes,

  6. Rowena Post author

    I hope your basement is cleaner than mine. I clearer a shelf out the other day but the couch is now piled high and the kitchen table has been buried alive.

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    My metaphorical basement is not likely to be cleaned up any time soon. That said, I hope with self reflection and time I can figure out how to unload the emotional baggage. In the meantime, there’s always spring cleaning that will provide some comfort. There’s nothing like seeing a space cleared of debris, be it in a room or in one’s heart.

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