A funny thing happened this morning

So it’s day 7 of the Covid-19 lockdown. Our medical community is braced for an influx of virus sufferers and I’m ensconced in the safety of my home. What could possibly go wrong?

Quite a bit it seems.

It only took 7 days but I’ve done it – produced a sequel to the “nail through the foot” incident of last year.  All it took was a blown lightbulb and a step ladder – well a kitchen step ladder to be honest.

Yes, another foot injury. This time it’s torn ligaments along the side of my left foot, swelling, pain and embarrassment – in equal measures.

I fell from the bottom step of the ladder and managed to sprain my foot to such an extent the doctor was impressed. “The bottom step? Really? The bottom step, are you sure?”, were his words while examining my swollen and rapidly blackening foot.

One x-ray later and I’m in a moon-boot with enough pain killers and steroids to treat a horse. Easy.

I’ll be spending the next week with my foot elevated, garnering as much sympathy and as many cups of tea as I can.

Top Tip: If you do something silly like this, now is an oddly good time to do it. When Jean called my doctor as I lay groaning on the ground she advised me to visit the after hours clinic (in Newtown for me) as they are “very quiet”. Apparently all the usual maladies that fill the clinic’s waiting room have mysteriously been cured. At 1pm I was the only person in the waiting room and when I had my x-ray I was the radiographers second customer – that day. 

Let there be music everywhere

Day two of the lockdown and it’s quiet out there – too quiet. Time for some music, and what could be better than a curated playlist to suit these odd times.

  • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals

  • Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

  • Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley of course

  • All By Myself – Eric Carmen

  • I’m In Chains – Tina Arena

  • The Walls Are Closing In/Hangman – The Pretty Reckless

 

  • I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – Nina Simone

 

  • Me & You Together Song – The 1975

  • Mad World – Tears for Fears

  • I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

  • All Revved Up And No Place To Go

 

And, of course, anything by Small Spaces. All suggestions for additional songs are welcome.

 

 

It’s 24 hours from lockdown

We live in extraordinary times. In the next 24 hours we will give up our freedom willingly (for at least 4 weeks and possibly longer) and retreat to the relative safety of our homes, isolated, socially impotent and very likely bored out of our minds.

Today and tomorrow are the days to tidy things up – to sort all that life admin that needs to be done for a month in isolation. Not wanting to appear shallow, but top of my list was to purchase some of the delicious SmokeHouse Salmon Pate that New World stock. Ok, not earth shattering but just something that seemed important at the time.

Of course if I’d thought for another moment I’d have realised that it was possibly the least important thing I could have done in the day. But my brain ended up fixated on this damn pate.

So off I went to Chaffers New World to buy my limit of 2 pots. A llimit we can blame on all those who panic bought toilet paper, hand sanitiser, coffee, chocolate, baked beans and whatever else was panic buy of the day over the last few weeks.

I was expecting the supermarket to be chaos, queues out the door, police in attendance, possibly some tear gas being fired around but – no. It was quieter than any time I’ve been there recently – from a certain angle the store almost seemed empty.

Never one to miss an opportunity, I went in for some good old fashioned panic buying – well as much as you can do with a two item limit. When Jean saw my purchases she said I’d missed the point.

Poor women, she’s now stuck with me for 4 weeks – alone, together.

 

 

Christmas in Colorado

For someone who is used to Christmas being summer days, shorts, a tee shirt and barbecues, Christmas in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was a bit different – as it was for the whole team who travelled from a New Zealand summer to a Colorado winter.

We were treated to a white Christmas with about 3 inches of snow falling on Christmas Day, all of which led to a magical day. Dinner was roasted chicken and duck with all the trappings. Presents were under the tree and the kids played outside building a snowman.

Andre also continued a Christmas tradition of barbecuing the breakfast – despite the temperature.

Skiing? There has been some of that as well. Steamboat is vast with 169 trails spread over 3,000 acres. No matter what your skiing level, there are multiple runs for you.

And when you need to take a break there are bars, restaurants and cafes at the base of the mountain for that whole apres ski thingy.

Today – Friday 27th in the early evening it’s -17 degrees celsius. That’s 17 degrees below zero. That’s quite cold, with more snow forecast over the weekend.

 

Snacks on a train

I’d like to say that this post is all about Jean’s first lunch on a train.

The trip from Firenze to Napoli included lunch as we rocketed through the countryside north of Roma at 275km/h. Compared to typical airline food this was a feast of pasta, ragu and buffalo mozzarella all washed down with a Sicilian Chardonnay.

But really this post is just an excuse to use the title.

Heading south

View from our villa – hazy weather means Capri is shrouded in the distance

Yesterday we travelled from Camogli (south of Genova) to Positano (just south of Napoli). The 2 hour drive to Firenze to catch the train south was negotiated successfully – including the Firenze one way system which is always a challenge.

It felt like it was going to be a good day.

As it was Saturday the rental car office was frantic (most villa rentals run for a week from Saturday to Saturday) with tourist picking up cars. The queue went out of the office and down the street – quite hard work for those waiting in the 32 degree heat.

We drove past all this chaos, into the garage, was met by a lovely Avis rep who checked the car (no dents this time), helped with our bags, ordered a taxi for us and handed me a receipt in about 3 minutes flat.

It was really looking like a good day.

The taxi dropped us at the organised chaos that is Firenze train station with time to spare for our train. Luckily we could escape the chaos as our tickets included access to the Frecciarossa lounge – an air-conditioned haven of peace, tranquility, free beverages and snacks.

Jean discovered the shopping mall under the station and disappeared for a few minutes returning successfully with “that t-shirt top she’d been looking for” and “something to wear by the pool”.

The train trip south was 3 hours. We arrived in Napoli at 5pm and were greeted by our driver Enzo on the platform. An hour later we were in a warm and slightly muggy Positano being greeted by the Eden Roc team.

Definitely a good day.