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‘Butch’ Norman Grant– 1974

The lockdown, my experience…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”  …with apologies to The Tale Of Two Cities but real thanks to Mr Jefferies (again) is maybe the best description of this time for me.

I was so grateful I could get back to work at stage 4, after the lockdown was again extended, ‘5kg’ later!

In the beginning, we were all united and striving to save ourselves, our family, friends, and country…but by now we have all been drawn into the problems and the big vision has been diluted. It is worthwhile trying to see what changed for each of us

The “best of times” was reuniting and spending quality time with family, doing things that I just never got time to do… including that vegetable garden at last. After years of neglect (no excuse, it really was just choices and priorities) I reunited with the Marist Alumni via WhatsApp and made some new friends as well as reunited with some people I had not seen in decades. There are far too many to mention, but I got to appreciate Pepe’s ( Guiseppe) taste in music, Rees for his insight and caring, Nondas for his selfless work on the site and so may more…

My biggest thing I am the most grateful for, was that I even got to say “Thanks” to Mr Hardy and Mr Jeffries…I would never have done it as a rebellious teenager but it was something I meant to do for at least 25 years. I missed being able to say the same to Mr Luddick and that is my loss and maybe a lesson to those who see this.  Maybe say “tanks”- (but rather say “Thanks”)  while you have the chance! A Covid lesson well learnt!

The “worst of times” was just not knowing what to do next. My belief in the Master Creator gave me comfort to know that this was not a surprise to Him and that SOMEHOW this was part of a perfect plan. We are required to be stewards of what we are given, and it was extremely hard not being able to do ANYTHING and just leaving it in His hands. Another Covid lesson learnt!

Some of us are ‘fidgeters’ and busy bodies. Lockdown is hard for us who are of that persuasion. Again, using a lesson from Mr Jeffries, the lockdown really felt like I was living the book we read “Of Mice And Men”… sometimes I am Lenny, (minus the schizophrenic side I hope! but ….. …) just idling along and dreaming of the next windmill and next hill to climb and then sometimes, George… now wondering how to deal with all of this, needing to make plans and just “Be Busy”.  I really never found the balance between “occupy and redeem time” and “trust and obey” but it’s hardly the problems I saw many people face. Another Covid lesson that I am still learning!

I am grateful to say we were back at work at stage 4 already and being in a research environment, we have an overload of work to do.

My overriding lesson and memory of this whole unfolding drama is that there are many people with real pressing issues and that we all need to work together and somehow support each other. Nothing to do with governments but one on one, needing to do what we can, and not stop, even if it seems we can do so little!