Covid 19 and social distancing in Byron Bay

It’s been an awful few weeks for all of us. There is such a sense of loss pervading the world. It’s hard to grasp the loss of life first in China, then Italy, Iran, Spain and more recently the UK and the United States. While here in Australia, we seem to be doing well in comparison to the rest of the world, Covid 19, with its plethora of social distancing regulations is still affecting all of us in many different ways : some good, some not so good.

For example, I thought that social distancing and social isolation would be a breeze for me. After all, hadn’t I whiled away many an afternoon lost between the pages of a good book? All by myself? And I had made a serious New Year’s resolution; namely to don my Marie Kondo persona and declutter every room in the house – a herculean task that would keep me gainfully employed at home and Vinnies restocked for the foreseeable future! And there was the cupboard full of crafty stuff longing to see the light of day. All I had to do was open it.

But I discovered that it’s one thing to choose to be isolated and busy in your own home and quite another to be forced to isolate and social distance and be busy in your own home. Initially, for me, it changed how I viewed these ‘at home’ activities. They lost some of their appeal because, with the exception of going out for some exercise, they were the only things I could do. I spent too much time dwelling on what I couldn’t do. Whether it was spending precious time with the grandkids, going out for coffee or a meal with friends, enjoying a visit to the cinema or local library, being able to exercise with more than one person or leisurely browse the shops for that perfect but non-essential gift or new pair of shoes, I was resentful that for a time, my connections to the wider world had changed.

However, when I began focusing on what I could do, I found that although much had changed, I had so much for which I was grateful.

Back in early February nearly 24 inches or 600 mls of rain decided to fall on Byron Bay over a couple of days. It was a deluge. So much rain that we were almost flooded!

Despite spending far too many hours sweeping water away dressed for the occasion in my pyjamas and gumboots, or on hold with the SES or bemoaning the lack of sandbags, I am very grateful that the house survived intact and was not awash with mud and slush.

So of course, now that we are confined for the most part, to the house, Kenn and I have been busy repairing the damage. Generally, I’ve watched, admired, made coffee and planted while Kenn did all the hard stuff.

And while the garden continues to be a work in progress, we have taken advantage of the beautiful autumn weather to leave the house and get some exercise. Mindful of social distancing we have generally avoided the walk up to the lighthouse for even in this time of social distancing amid the Corona virus pandemic, there are still lots of dedicated walkers ahead of you and behind you. Instead we have enjoyed the Three Sisters’ Walk at Broken Head and its easy to see why.

The track is only 1.6 kms return and follows the clifftop to a lookout over Kings Beach.

We have also enjoyed daily beach walks. We are lucky that people have obeyed the rules and so our beaches have not been closed.

The water is still so warm and as you can see, hardly another person in sight
And at the moment, the rock platforms are revealed at low tide. Such fun to explore
Loved the colours through the Pass. So much to see and feel! Here, it’s easy to forget Covid for a time.

Kenn has thoughtfully pumped up the tyres on our pushbikes and we have ridden around our local bike track. It hasn’t changed very much since I wrote about a year or so ago. And of course, I’ve been able to go to golf. I really was upset when for two whole days golf was on the taboo list. Byron Bay Golf Course is just beautiful at the moment and I’m enjoying the stroll around the course while I try to curb my wayward driver, over enthusiastic pitching wedge and disobedient putter. It’s great to chat, from a distance with your partner as you complete the course but of course I miss the the fun of the 19th hole. But how good is it that I’m able to play?

View over the 9th hole at Byron Bay Golf Course
Although there is a lot of water around the course, I love the reflections and the ducks.

Now that I can’t go out for dinner or lunch as I used to do, I found myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking some retro recipes such as my sister Jenny’s curried sausages. Haven’t had curried sausages for years but these were delicious. And of course I’ve baked bread! As I kneaded vigorously for the required 10 or so minutes I told myself that I was building muscle that I would be able to utilise for my drive. ( I wonder how many loaves of bread I will have to knead before I notice a change?)

My Marie Kondo persona has also made a tentative reappearance. The great decluttering has begun! Kenn tackled the garage and following quite a few trips to the tip, the floor and walls resurfaced. Inside, the study is once again an inviting space. There’s still so much to do but then Covid 19 isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Now I’ve never been one to linger over housework but Covid has made me more thorough than normal. I actually wipe most surfaces such as floors, benches and door handles with disinfectant everyday where it would have been once every few days or in the case of door handles, once in a blue moon. To make the task more appealing, I’m using a local product that has a wonderful scent of lemon myrtle. It’s like bringing the rainforest into your home.

This local company has a full range of products which do a great job. And I would never have noticed them if not for Covid 19. I found them in my local Mitre 10 store but the products are readily available online.

Nor have my afternoons been idle. There has been time to read or binge on Netflix or Foxtel while knitting a little cardigan here or a little jumper there for the grand children. The craft cupboard is well and truly open for business.

I’m hanging out for an easing of restrictions. While I was sad to say goodbye to our overseas trip to the UK ( we were due to fly out late May) I’m more concerned that I won’t be able to travel to Darwin at the end of July to meet a new grand child. When this little one comes into the world, Kenn and I will have seven little Australian grandchildren. Who would have thought? We were childless nearly 5 years ago! At the very least, it would be lovely to be able to travel intrastate and catch up with family that we haven’t seen for months. While face-time is great, it can’t replace that special hug a little one bestows.

For the moment we have to keep on keeping and focus on those little things that make each day special: the flowers, the blue butterfly that loves visiting the azalea, the breeze in the trees or just that special cup of coffee made for you with love.

How have you been keeping busy during Covid 19?

4 thoughts on “Covid 19 and social distancing in Byron Bay

  1. Hi Marg (and Kenn)

    Love your Byron Dreamers! This one in particular.

    I was to retire this year after taking all my annual and long service leave (to practice) and travel to Africa for 7 weeks, supposedly leaving next week ☹

    AS we can’t travel anywhere, I’ve stayed on working. Robs been retired for 6 years now.

    I’m working from home as is one of our young, immunocompromised pharmacists.

    With todays technology I can view the patients med charts remotely, speak to them by phone, and support the pharmacists at the “coal face” so to speak.

    Its great getting up at 8am to start work at 830! And at knock off timer, go into the next room to do my regular Pilates classes via Zoom!

    On the other days, and after sitting down all day, I usually get outside and go for a big walk.

    Another plus is that I’m cooking again, as you mentioned, revisiting the old faithful recipes.

    My transition to retirement has included a virtual swap of roles with my deputy.

    She makes a great new “boss” and has been brilliant coordinating all the COVID 19 changes. And I don’t lose as much sleep over work anymore!

    No grandchildren here as yet, only furbabies.

    Laura (26) and her lovely boyfriend of 4 years, Ruhann, now partner, have moved to Toowoomba and are buying a house.

    She works as a dispensary technician at a hospital there, whist studying pharmacy! Her third degree after psychology, then nursing.

    I would hate to have her HECS debt but we have helped them with the house deposit, as we did Anna (24).

    She lives in town and works at Wagga Wagga Base hospital too in the Pathology lab, which she loves.

    Looking forward to travelling again when all this is over.

    We were to attend a wedding at Ballina in March, but instead watched it via live stream.

    One day we will get up your way and hopefully catch up for a coffee!

    Best wishes always



    1. Hi Jeannine,
      How lovely to hear from you. So sorry to hear about your Africa trip. Our trip to the UK(we were due to leave on the 19th May) was also going to celebrate a big milestone, our 45th wedding anniversary. But Covid had other ideas so maybe next year. We are looking forward to little things now. I’m hoping for the all clear for a road trip down south to visit Christian in Sydney and then west over the blue mountains to catch up with the extended family.
      We do have room now for visitors and we would love to have you stay if you are traveling our way. It’s been far too long! We are a nice distance from Toowoomba.
      And thank you for reading. It really gives me a buzz to know that others have enjoyed my posts.
      Given what the situation could be, I’m grateful we live in Australia.
      Hopefully we’ll catch up soon
      Marg xx


  2. Hi Margaret, you may remember me from our initial WordPress course. Your blogs are great and this is particularly familiar as we live so close by. I love your pictures. I have one question. How do you avoid getting ads in your blogs. WordPress has so far been unable to help. I have the Personal Plan which should mean ads are avoided. Stay well – regards Rainbow Nomad aka Sue


    1. I have the personal plan as well so you shouldn’t have ads. WordPress should be able to help. I have enjoyed your blogs as well. I can’t believe that we’re still going after all this time.


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