Written 14 July, 2020.
A fire roaring all night, rain pattering on the iron roof. We’d feared we wouldn’t have put aside kindling, but GG had, a whole yellow bucketful sitting in the cabin. It pours almost all day.
A day of many colours. A fierce storm.
The Professor of Music at ANU rings and says that my course, teaching creativity to composers, is going ahead. Many courses have been cancelled because of the disastrous state of the universities, but he’s fought hard for this one. I mention to him that I’ve discovered my pin up hero neuroscientist has written a personal reflection about composing music. I’m putting it on our reading list.
Invite her to speak to our students.
Won’t she need to be paid?
Ask her if she’ll accept a delay.
I dither. I can’t do it. I must do it. She can only say no. I bite off a chunk of chocolate and take an hour to write a three line email.
The answer comes back within half an hour.
I’d be honoured.
I forward the email to my Professor.
Then the storm clears, and we see Dy’s work on the communal power station:
The box is Dy’s old inverter, and it converts the sun to electricity but in its robot voice, it whinges
Beep Beep Beep
which translates as
where’s the grid? Where’s the grid? where’s the grid?
Dy’s found a second-hand inverter that knows there’s no grid anywhere. But he’s busy with paid work, so we all wait.
He’s connected the inverter to a power cord that runs the length of the jetty
along the shore
to the pergola where he’s installed a switch.
It’s all very ingenious. However, we need to install batteries to kick off the system. We don’t have any spare. We will, one day. Soon.
We offer to pay.
I’m just trying things out, he says.
We want to subsidise his trying things out.
All right, I’ll do a reckoning, he says, in a voice that says he won’t.
As he walks away, I call out
Trying to, he calls over his shoulder. But all the wood’s wet.
I run behind him with a good chunk of wood from our woodshed, about as big as a huge old-fashioned load of bread.
You’ll need more, I say.
I’ll come up and carry it, he says.
So at least he’ll be warm. He’s to go to a clinic soon. and tomorrow, his doctor will ring, I fear with the results of tests, but I don’t ask.
We listen to every news broadcast on the o’clock. Is the virus in Casula getting worse? We’ll whip to the city and get K if it is. She’s already packed. An expert in tracing says it’s a huge job, because you have to go 360 degrees around each case.
Two hundred cases today in Melbourne, and 30 in Casula. Liverpool is to be ring-fenced. Liverpoool’s a long way from K in Darlinghurst. With agoraphobia, she doesn’t go out much. She doesn’t put herself in danger. We’ll leave her in the city for another day. She’s better off there, more independent. Here she’ll expect me to cook and do her washing. I’ll start off saying no, but I’ll end up doing it.
Late afternoon, I go for a quick walk around the settlement, but as I pass T and S’s house, they’re in a pool of warm and light. S comes to the door and beckons me in.
Come out of the cold. We’re so glad you’re back.
And so am I, so am I.
Much laughter and talk. A G&T – only one – and an hour later, i stand up and worry about GG.
He’ll think I’ve fallen into the creek!
S asks if I I have a torch and T walks me back because i’ve come without one, but on the bottom step, GG’s set a lantern to shine my way back home. Sometimes lantern looks like love.