The skies have been good in the evening, haven't they? The colours of the day deepen, and there's an hour or so when lights from houses and streets are shining, the sky flushes through its sunset wonderment, if you're lucky with that fleeting magic moment of green, and everything's still clear, but darker, and then it's not clear. It's the gloom, it's the night.
Is the first week harder than the second will be? Than the third or fourth or however long this will be? Don't ask, don't fret. Week one: getting used to it, learning how to smooth your way through the household frictions. New rules for screentime, same old rules for bedtime, new rules for eating: yes, we can go to the supermarket to buy more but we don't want to. Make it last.
New games to play. Counting teddy bears in the windows, that's genius. Gemma McCaw kept a rugby ball in the air for 25 kicks in a row, a feat so incredible I think she should probably be the next Governor-General. It's a good job, BTW: you get a really big house to roll around in.
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Is Police Commissioner Mike Bush on the same page as everyone else? Stay home, he says. Stay home or we might lock you up. But in truth we are allowed to go out. The Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, says get some physical exercise, get some fresh air.
The message is the same, but sometimes needs a little massaging. You can take the dog for a walk. You can go to the local park but you can't cross town to the beach.
But if you have a local beach, it's probably also your local park. Don't get in the water. You can drive to the supermarket or pharmacy but you can't drive around to see what's up.
Maybe it doesn't quite make sense, because obviously you're in a bubble in your car. There is no more bubble place to be.
But public health is about the health of everyone. It's not okay to risk needing an emergency services callout: they've got better things to do. It's not okay to drive around, because the concept of the bubble would burst. Nobody would be able to stop it.
Seen the advice about immune systems? To keep yours in tippy top, eat well, get some exercise and sleep well. And don't get stressed. Huh. Especially don't get stressed about not sleeping well, I guess.
I'm reading part three of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. At only 882 pages it won't be long enough for the duration, but it is full of seriously stressed people. Henry VIII and all the innocent and guilty people he ever knew, half of them locked up in the Tower of London, the rest doing the locking up, all afeared for their mortal soul.
I'm unloading my own stress onto them, although I do wonder if anything I read after could ever be as good.
The evening skies have been excellent and there are joggers. Two types. The people who always jog, swinging along in their gear, buds in, elbows up, eyes front. I worry about them: do they have enough running shoes?
And a few others, wearing whatever, experimenting with a new exercise regime, grinning sheepishly, eyes glazed, legs awobble, happy to stop and gasp at you. From the far side of the street, naturally.
Where I am, you can climb a hill and there's the long curved highway, the trees with their dark beauty stretching away on both sides. A supermarket truck, heading into the night. You hear it coming, watch it pass, and it's gone. Silence again.
To be continued.