IN LOCKDOWN PARENTHIS

Robinson and I more or less live on the street these days.

We’re out there eating our cereal on the morning verandah, craving the winter sun. We read books there (currently Mrs Bridge – brilliant) and the weekend newspapers. We drink coffee and eat profiteroles.

No one pesters us. I think my hair scares them away.

Our kitten Nina sprawls along an indoor sideboard behind us, also enjoying the morning sun and keeping tabs on the passing parade.

A ceaseless roster of workmen come and go in flouro jackets brighter than lorikeets. Every day there’s a symphony of reversing trucks, circular saw whines, and hammers banging away like Charlie Watts. We seem to be in renovation central.

No one’s going anywhere.

I garden out there too. The broad bean plants in the Winky Chow are as tall as a tall man like me. The sweet peas are about to flower among them in a mad tangle. The asparagus is spearing again and I break off breakfast and eat it raw most mornings. Cooee!

Even when we move out the back for the afternoon sun we leave the front door open, partly so Nina can play door monster, partly for the sawdust tang of fresh air, for the clatter and bang of the rubbish and recycle trucks, the kids who squat by the front gate and talk to Nina, the dog walkers glimpsed as they pass, the non-stop wine deliveries, the ‘hello’ and kindness of neighbours.

Long-time readers will recall I sometimes come down in the mornings to find the front door has been wide open overnight. Bats circle in the lounge room.

I guess it’s our way of not feeling locked up or down or in.

Not that we go anywhere. We haven’t partaken of any of those fancy pants restaurant takeaway meals yet – we struggle by on profiteroles and asparagus – but our 75th (I think I’ve got that right) wedding anniversary happens next week. Refusing to engage the slave trade of Uber et al I might just venture out and collect something special.

If I can find my car keys. I haven’t used them for months.

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