A new way of doing things

Well, welcome to the new world.

Perhaps in a lot of things, we should have been there a long time ago, but I suspect complacency and laziness has a lot to do with some of the issues.

Like washing your hands. It’s usually hell on earth to get a child to do anything and you have to be at them and at them to do anything.

I’m not sure about social distancing, but I’ve long wanted people in the supermarket to stop leaning over me to get stuff off the shelves when they could wait one minute longer.

Or being crowded into a restaurant where you can practically eat off the plate of the person at the next table. I like the distance, and the privacy it brings.

I’m also a fan of the new click and collect phenomenon where I don’t have to go out to get something I want; just get it delivered.

Of course, there’s still the necessity to go to a shop and physically see an item before you buy it, in my case clothes and shoes, but online sales for a lot of things are so much better, especially books and magazines.

I guess future traffic jams won’t be cars but delivery trucks.

I like the idea of working from home. Aside from having to face time with colleagues every now and then, if you don’t have to be in an office, then give it up. It will reduce pressure on roads, public transport, and reduce the concentration of the population in one place. You might even get to work on time, and get something to eat before you arrive!

As long as they get the internet right, which in this country is a pretty big if.

And perhaps now people will stop blaming 5g for the COVID virus.

Perhaps this homeschooling thing might work as well, as over the last few weeks I’ve seen it in action, and in most cases it works. Of course the isolation of students could be a problem, and there is always a need for face time for teachers and other students for interaction with contemporaries, but perhaps a compromise could be found.

Among the negatives in a time like this is the fear of using public transport, a fear no one is taking lightly, leading to children having to be taken to and brought home from school, and the fact there are potentially 800 cars needed to do it.

I used to leave home 30 mins before school end and was first in the pickup queue. Now I leave 45 minutes before and the closest I can get in nearly a mile from the school. And the traffic is a dangerous hazard in the main street, blocking driveways, bus stops, and lanes. It’s basically a mess, and it cannot continue without more organization.

Or we find a cure, or at the very least, a vaccine.

But there’s another problem. The anti-vaxxers. Everywhere in the world, it seems, not more than 50% of the population will get vaccinated, so it means that we may NEVER get past where we are now.

And the very worst problem that this new world has sprung on us, we may never travel again. Anywhere.

Perhaps we really do need a miracle.

What’s happening other than the Coronavirus?

Since a great deal of what we see in the media is about the Coronavirus, that means something else is going on, we’re just not getting to see what it is.

So, that being the case, I’m on the hunt…

Of course, the now non-royals are still in the news, because if they suddenly lost relevance, then they wouldn’t be able to exploit the name, and this week’s epic headline – a move from Hollywood to New York.

How long it takes sensible people to get bored with them, say two days, will mean they will no doubt be moving on by the end of the week.  Wouldn’t it be a surprise if they go back to London?

But meanwhile, in outer space where the sun is losing its lustre and making us normally hot people cold, there’d another phenomenon going on, what is being called a ‘cosmic ring of fire’ which happens when two galaxies collide.

Now that has to be better than reading about Brazil’s problems.

And speaking of life imitating art…

Sneaking under the radar is the successful test of a laser weapon, you know, the sort of thing we see in movies like star wars.  Albeit, it’s on a conventional ship and it’s shooting down a drone, but how soon before we have space ships, and we’re heading to outer space?  No, not any time soon.  The economy is currently circling the drain, and besides, there’s more important stuff that’s needed.

Maybe next year.

And here’s something I didn’t know, the world’s largest volcano, now extinct Pahahonu volcano sits between two small rocky peals in Hawaii.  How large is large?  About 171 miles long by 56 miles wide.

Of course, as interesting as that all is, I’m still looking for a place in New York, that is, when the pandemic is over and we can once again go there.

I was looking at warehouse lofts but ran out of fingers counting the zeros in the price, so I’ve had to come back to earth.

Would I like a 627 square foot pre-war condo in the financial district for about $600,000?  It’s got a doorman, and I’ve always wanted to live in a place like that.  It’s in the city, so no traveling, maybe.

How about a $550,000 house in the suburbs, namely a 46-year-old, 3,000 odd square feet over several floors on an acre?  I’m not sure I like the hour or so’s drive, or over 2 hours by train.  Ideal of course if you work from home.

And then perhaps the $645,000, 2 bedroom apartment in Hoboken.  Yes, it might be appealing to live in the town Sinatra came from, or be somewhere near Buddy’s cake shop but I think I’ll keep looking.


Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe is apparently still an active volcano, has been for 2,500 years or so, and last erupted on 19th February 1975, and reportedly has erupted around 70 times since 1839.

The mountain is usually climbed from the western side, from the Mangatepopo track.

This photo was taken in summer from the Chateau Tongariro carpark.

In late autumn, on one of our many visits to the area, the mountain was covered with a light sprinkling of snow and ice.

On our most recent visit, this year, in winter, it was fully covered in snow.

It can be a breathtaking sight from the distance.

Wishful thinking

My phone, being smart and all, has been creating a notification that tells me I have some memories stored on it for this day a year ago, or two years, or many years.

The pictures it is showing are of our trip to China last year.

Not much chance of going back, and, back then, neither of us could imagine that everything that has happened in the last six months could happen.

But, it did.

And one of the effects of those events is no more overseas travel

No more travel of any sort at the moment with the travel restrictions in place.  We can’t even fly to another state.  Come to that, we might not have an airline to fly on.

Travel, of course, is the main escape, where we can get away from our daily lives, and go somewhere quite different from where we live and experience a different world.  The people, the food, the sights.

What is probably more significant is that we might not be able to go away again, if there is no cure for the virus.  No one will want to risk catching it in another country, simply because of the medical expenses, the chances are that travel insurance will not cover you for the Coronavirus.

And no cover, no travel, even if you are able to.

So, it means that any travel we will be doing, when we can, will be in our own country.  We can do this without a vaccine because we have so few active cases, and the measures we have is stopping it in its tracks.

So too for New Zealand, and we may be able to travel there.

One day.

Until then, my smartphone is going to keep sending me gentle reminders of what it was like in another lifetime.

Searching for locations: Murano, Italy

The first time we visited Venice, there was not enough time left to visit the glass-blowing factories on Murano.  We saved this for the next visit, and now more comfortable with taking the Vaporetto, boarded at San Marco for the short journey.

The view looking towards the cemetery:

The view looking down what I think was the equivalent to the main street, or where several of the glass-blowing factories and display shops were located:

Looking towards a workshop, this one costs us each a Euro to go in and observe a demonstration of glass blowing, and it still surprises me that some people would not pay

The oven where the glass is heated

And the finished product, the retail version of the horse that the glassblower created during the demonstration:

Then we bought some other glassware from the retail storefront, a candle holder

and a turtle.

In a word: Dear

Yes, it’s that simple word that we use to call someone affectionately.

Or sometimes, with a little accent on the word; yes, dear and no, dear.

In other words, it’s a person regarded with deep affection.

It can also mean expensive, by saying, that’s a bit dear, isn’t it, when we’re really saying it’s way overpriced.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve said something is ‘too dear’ to the children.

Grannies tend to use the expression, ‘be a dear and…’, to get you do do something for them.

Friends, sometimes tongue in cheek, will say, ‘oh dear, I’ve upset you’, when that was exactly what they meant to do.  Friends you say?  Yes, friends indeed.

And then we always start a letter (always?  Who writes letters any more?) with

Dear John (oops, not one of THOSE letters)

Dear Sir/Madam

Of course, instead of swearing, you could simply say ‘Oh dear, you’ve let us down again!’.

And when you lose your job, which is happening a lot at the moment, it is said it would cost you dear, though sometimes it would be more appropriate to use the adverb, dearly.

It is not to be confused with the word deer which is an animal, the males of which have antlers.

There are a number of different types of deer, such as reindeer and elk.  In Canada, they are called caribou.

In Robin Hood’s day, killing deer brought you very harsh punishment.

And one of my favourite meats is venison, meat from a deer, which are farmed in New Zealand along with sheep.

Searching for locations: Venice, ships come and go

Through this window, which wasn’t one of those floor to ceiling, walk out onto a balcony type windows, we saw big ships, little ships, small boats, and then huge ocean liners.

And when that wasn’t enough, sunrise and sunset, or just the sight of Venice in the sunshine

The many vaporettos that came and went

It was simply a matter of watching ships go by, or watching the Venetians go about the daily business

Ferries that would arrive in the morning, and leave at night, small

and large

Small ocean liners

Very, very large ocean liners

And everything in between

And, whilst COVID 19 would make it a very difficult decision to take to the sea in one of these large ships, before that time, it was a matter of picking a destination and a day, for ships came and went every day, to Athens, to the Mediterranean, to Turkey, anywhere really.

All you needed was the money and the time.

And, as for plots and writing, it is a writer’s paradise, where you are limited only by your imagination.