Isolation diary, days 4-5

We have just been for what seemed a mega-expedition! I had previously discovered a nice walk a couple of kilometres away, through Gardiners Creek reserve. (This walk leads to Glen Iris Road, where my beloved’s dietician has her practice. I walked to the practice through the reserve, about a ten minute walk, from Burwood Highway.) So I thought we would do a version of this today. This time we drove down to Glen Iris, parked, and walked through the reserve. On the far side of Glen Iris Road is a nice cafe, where my beloved got us a couple of take away coffees. (We had brought our Keep Cups, but had to get them in the ideologically unsound paper ones.) It was a bit drizzly, so we found a picnic bench with a roof over it and had our coffees overlooking the oval. There was quite a number of people out with their kids, walking their dogs, and so on. It was lovely to have the fresh air, and something new to look at. On our way home I went to the ATM and got out some cash.

Yesterday, it seemed a while since I had done any serious cooking. (I hadn’t been to the shops since Monday, the day on which I was confined to barracks.) So last night we had some lamb shanks, which I had taken out of the freezer yesterday. My beloved did a supermarket crawl yesterday morning, and fortunately was able to get quite a lot of what we had on that list. We will also be getting a delivery from the local greengrocer today, fulfilling an order that we texted to him yesterday. 

It’s surprising to hear that things like meat are running short — most butchers get supply every day. The one in Maling Road, Canterbury, seemed to have plenty (admittedly that was on Monday, and there were plenty of people in there then). From what my beloved said, some things are becoming easier to get: she was able to get a couple of packets of pasta and the same of pasta sauce. How much is available may vary from area to area, depending on how well the supermarkets are enforcing limits, and who is doing the kind of crazy panic buying I heard examples of. There is quite a good article in The New Daily about how to source groceries online.

Yesterday afternoon we watched Edwin Drood on Stan — I remember this being broadcast a few years ago. The service certainly works well though our Chromecast. We will possibly get Netflix as well, which is pretty cheap, about $14 a month. One can just go month by month on both Stan and Netflix, which are also unmetered through Telstra broadband. So far our NBN speed has been up to the additional demand of people doing extra streaming and working from home. (One can always download shows from Stan and watch them offline.)

Many arts organisations are throwing open their streaming doors, as it were, and making concerts available. There is a round-up of these in the Limelight article . We had tickets for Lohengrin though Opera Australia, and I had a subscription to the Musica Viva coffee concert series in the Recital Centre. All of these are of course cancelled. (I have my fingers crossed for the Brisbane Ring Cycle toward the end of the year.) The Limelight article also lists a new initiative, the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall. This is to sell virtual tickets for concert performances, starting on the 27th of this month. This is a really enterprising way of giving Melbourne artists an audience unable to hear them in RL. 

Of course there is more classical music (and every other genre) on streaming radio services than one could ever listen to. We have a TuneIn Radio app in our living room stereo, giving access to hundreds of stations like the ones on this list . (You don’t need a TuneIn subscription; just point your browser at any station. Or, if you have a Google Assistant-equipped device, say “OK Google, play [name of station] on Tunein”.) Some of these internet stations just play chunks, i.e. one movement of a work, then another, all from unrelated works —  a bit like community radio programming. A bit of experimentation will yield a reliable shortlist.

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