Now that I’m like a parking meter that won’t accept your small change (not working) I’ve been finding it hard to find the weekend. It used to be easy. The weekend was when there were people everywhere, and the weeks were quiet.

But everyone’s been everywhere for years now, with COVID. It doesn’t matter what day it is they’re in the park sliding down a slide, or queueing for coffee, or hospital, or queueing for something else the government didn’t plan for.

It’s made it difficult to know what day it actually is. Am I walking down the hill to buy the weekend papers, or to go to the gym because it’s Monday, or Wednesday, or Friday? No idea.

I remember in the old days the world went back to school and work not long after Australia Day and this morning I sensed this was starting to happen again, for the first time in years.

I think schools went back into actual classrooms in NSW today after the summer holidays? And we noticed there were many fewer people in the cafes. Maybe grown-ups have gone back to work too?

I hope so. It suggests some shift back to what used to be normal and of lives resumed. And it might restore some of the glory of being retired and having the weeks to yourself, mask free, at ease, nude. Possibly lost.

As well as the deserted cafes, I look forward to the playtime squeals of kids in the nearby Forest Lodge schoolyard. The soundtrack to life.

Back to where they once belonged.

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