In Sydney, we are in our fourth or fifth week of lockdown with covid numbers rising and (at least) another four weeks of working and schooling from home ahead. There’s a dullness to our days. Between Zoom meetings and supervising schoolwork, I started to write a list of the things that are getting us through the coming weeks and putting smiles on our faces.

Lego: the star of school STEM activities such as building a flagpole, a tool for family challenges (spinning tops, towers), and a treat brought by the postie. We are enjoying catching up on past seasons of Lego Masters, which has prompted conversations about feedback and bias.

Chocolate: the combination of licorice and dark chocolate is delish and the ratio of the Darrell Lea block is just right. Other food indulgences include condiments, take away, new recipes (this week includes caramel semifreddo, mulligatawny, Korean chicken and risotto) and snack experiments such as black bean brownies.

Watching the Olympics: we have a local community connection to Dominic Clarke, who represented Australia in trampolining. We cheered when he got through to the finals, and cried when he was unable to finish his routine. It was a tough competition. His smile was wonderful to see. After qualifying for the final he said: “I’m over the moon… It’s the best performance I’ve put up all year and it literally just came down to me having fun on the floor!”

Comfort reading: quirky and light reads, choosing from the to-be-read pile, browsing the little street library, reading the same books and talking about them, listening to audiobooks or videos of picture books. Here are a few of our recent favourites:

Spring-like weather: for gardening while listening to music (Double J, the radio station described as”older than Triple J”, just celebrated 40 years of Sonic Youth, the sound of my teen years), walking the dog, opening the windows, hanging out washing, doing a garden scavenger hunt, playing ping pong on the outdoor table at the park. And the chooks are laying again!

Creativity: my creativity has taken a dive, and I have withdrawn from my creative writing course for the semester, but this provides an excuse to showcase my teen’s artwork for music created by a schoolfriend:

Novelty: when so much remains the same, we are craving new experiences any way we can get them. As well as food and books, we are trying new television shows (Lost in Oz, The Tailings, Cleverman, Ms Represented, Starstruck), an online escape room with colleagues (here is a free version from the Sydney Opera House), a creative kids box from the State Library, new games (Greed), rainbow bubble bath, a scented candle and fresh flowers.

What about you? I would love to hear what works for you (or has helped in the past if lockdowns are behind you).

2 thoughts on “Lockdown

  1. Hi Agnes,

    Feeling for you all in lockdown! I loved reading your suggestions and how creative you’ve been with what’s available. Lego helped us all enormously too, Reuven especially. He’d set up challenges for his sisters (in which he was always Brickman, of course) and we bought it by the kilo from Bricktastics. As our lockdown was even more extreme than our neighbours (kids were in school but we weren’t allowed to meet up with friends in parks), each person in the family chose a project to work on. Saskia has been leaning Japanese, Minty blogging and Charis sewed herself a quilt. I still feel like we’re in lockdown as thought we’d be leaving Vic by now and so didn’t enrol the kids in their usual activities. (Due to lockdowns, everything has been delayed.) The most important thing for me has been finding time for myself, otherwise I’m constantly with the kids, hearing their voices rather than my own thoughts. Also having days of breaking the routine in any way that feels new and different. Anyway, looking forward to getting my Vaccination next week and crossing the border soon! We found a house to live in last weekend on the outskirts of Orange and are looking forward to having chooks too while the house on our property is bring built. Hope to see you all some time this year!

    Love, Mysie xx


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