NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH

My meadow is coming along well and we’ve already got much more wildlife in our garden. Mosquitoes, mostly. I’ve also had a couple of bee stings from frolicking barefoot in the clover. Snake bites will be next.

It’s all part of going wild. I’m looking forward to the deer.

None of the meadow flowers have emerged yet, at least not here on the top of the cliff, but I thought I heard cowbells down on the Housing Commission flats. It’s hard to be sure these days as we can’t open windows or doors any more because the kitten will escape. We’re all very much in our own soundproof bubble, bleeding from the wrists and ankles.

Thanks to Nina, all the indoor plants are outside, the pictures are all crooked, and the floors are covered in biros and corks and coins and everything else light enough to be pawed off a precipice. Then tripped over.

But she is gorgeous – and a constant, relentless reminder that everything is VERY interesting. Note to self.

Dreaming of the fjords I decided to take up Gladys’s offer of giving us all 4 x $25 vouchers of our own money to spend amid the amorphous ‘doing it tough’ crowd. It’s a kind of rent-a-crowd scheme. BYO mask. Being Gladys, we can’t just spend it on what we want – alcohol – but instead she points out what we can and can’t do and where we can and cannot go.

You’ll need to set aside a weekend to register your interest in getting the vouchers.

First you have to download yet another app. I found my old Service NSW registration and password failed to open the treasure chest. Then I had to prove who I was again via my driver’s licence and medicare card, then remind them where I live and why I want to go out for a $25 lunch.

It’s a giant data mining/linking exercise. At the end of it I could feel the heat of one of those red laser dots on my forehead.

Just when I thought I was finished I was reminded – threatened feels like a better word – that it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to provide false or misleading information to a public authority.

By now it all felt like a version of that magnificent old Arlo Guthrie song, Alice’s Restaurant, and the dangers of littering.

I wonder if Alice’s Restaurant is on the voucher-approved list? I’ve got a feeling she wouldn’t pass muster. She accidentally became part of the counter culture, and Gladys would not approve.

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