500 people: Week 26-28

See this post for a brief description of my 500 People challenge.

Lockdown continues. I’ve restrained myself a number of times from yelling at chin-mask wearers, and I’ve been sharply reminded to put my own mask on twice. None of these count as warm communication with strangers. I have been communicating with people on line, including some new people, but it’s been slim pickings in the non-virtual world.

1. Saturday 21 August. There’s a circular patch of grass in the grounds of our complex of 43 units. Nothing much else can grow there because there’s just a shallow layer of soil on top of the cement roof of the garage. As I went out for my state-sanctioned daily walk to the shops, I passed two young women reclining on the grass, playing cards and chatting. Seizing the moment, but keeping my mask on, I stopped and said how good it was to see the space being used. ‘Yes,’ one of them said. ‘It seemed a pity not to take advantage of it.’ It would have felt rude to prolong the conversation, but this was warm and neighbourly.

2. Monday in Callan Park, which is just inside our 5 k radius, we passed two young men doing extraordinary feats on a low overhanging rock, probably what’s called bouldering. While one of them clung to the underside of the rock and found handholds and footholds to pull himself along, gecko-like, the other moved a couple of thick mats to catch hm if he fell. Then they swapped roles. The Emerging Artist and granddaughter weren’t diverted from their mission to find the little beach, but I was transfixed. In a break in the action I expressed my awe. One of the young men invited me to have a go. He may not have been joking, but there was no way. I again expressed my awe, and one of them said, ‘There are a lot who are better than us.’

3. Tuesday afternoon – I don’t know if I should count this – I had my first session with a cardiologist. (Nothing to be alarmed about, as far as I know.) We managed some non-transactional chat, partly because that’s clearly her approach as a medical specialist, but also because I was open to it. She commented on my bright striped socks. I said I mostly wore them to please my granddaughter. She, on the other hand, changes into woolly socks as soon as she gets home from work, partly because they’re comfortable and partly because they were a gift from one of her teenage children and she wants (needs?) to show her appreciation.

4. Thursday morning, as the Emerging Artist and I were walking in Newtown, we were hailed by a man emerging from a house across the narrow street. Because of mask-related hearing impairment, I wasn’t sure what he said, and thought perhaps he’d mistaken us for someone he knew. As I moved towards him questioningly, he said, ‘I said buon giorno, good morning,’ and was hunting around with German-sounding words when I said ‘Buon giorno’ back to him. Then I said, ‘Buona giornata,’ and he gestured to indicate that he was pleased I understood enough Italian to muster a reply.

Running total is 209.

5 responses to “500 people: Week 26-28

  1. Lockdown is hard when needing to meet strangers. Have some of mine! 😀 Lots of love and a hug from here xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2. “Emerging Artist and granddaughter weren’t diverted from their mission to find the little beach, but I was transfixed.” This made me laugh. In our case it’s more likely that Mr Gums would be task-focused (getting to the beach) and I’d be the one transfixed by something interesting on the way – though, bouldering might have captured his attention too.

    3. I’m glad you mentioned the cardiologist because that reminded me that I saw a dermatologist this last week EXCEPT I have to be honest and not say “a” but “my” which tells you she’s not a stranger now so I can’t count her. However, I did have a few words with her receptionist who was new, and I also had a few words with another receptionist in the next door building when I was trying to find my doctor. (She’s moved since last year). The receptionist told me I was the second person that morning to ask for the dermatologist’s location!

    Now, hmmm … we are in lockdown still too so we’ve nodded to people we’ve passed walking; we’ve spoken to our favourite cafe owners when going for our takeaway. Oh, and we did meet our new across-the-road neighbours while returning for a walk. The mum was in the cul-de-sac with her 6-year-old twins so it was good to meet them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “mask-related hearing impairment” – Yes. I do find that wearing a mask seems to impair my ability to hear and see. I know this is irrational. But I feel it is true nonetheless.

    It will however NOT prevent me from wearing a mask.


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