Soon

5 Jun

ADiaryofaPandemicMaster

June 5,  2020

Day 76

This morning I set up a ladder outside the kitchen bay window and climbed up to inspect the roof tarp where it is secured to the main house roof overhang. I brought with me a homemade rake made from a long, thin strip of plywood with four wood screws set in the end like the tines of a fork and bent at ninety degrees. Using this impromptu tool, I patiently raked out a couple of pounds of leaves and debris. The little implement worked perfectly and when I had cleared as far as I could reach, I swept the troublesome pile off the tarp and down to add its component parts to the ever growing humous layer of the forest floor. To the extent that I could, I eyeballed the tarp surface for cracks and then climbed down to wait for the next rain so that I could check to see what puddles appeared.

For the entire two-month span of lockdown the dumping of refuse at the council-run tip was governed by constraints that made trash runs a real pain. I took some bags down  there in the beginning to see how it worked, but when I discovered the hoops I had to jump through I elected to store my full trash bags along the eastern wall of the shop container. Then I watched the numbers fall and waited for the end of lockdown. Now that we’re at level 2, my personal collection of rubbish bags has assumed an elevated priority. I decided to consolidate bags by packing them tightly before loading them into the car for the trip down the mountain. I built a frame to hold open the bags so that I could transfer the contents from other bags into them and set about turning twelve bags of garbage to eight.

While doing that I did a load of laundry only to find that the mysterious leak beneath the washer is back. Threw a towel down to soak up the small puddle that crept from beneath the whiteware. Roseanne Roseannadana came to mind as I thought about the one-step forward and two-steps back dance I’d been doing around the homestead during the last few days. If it’s not one thing, it’s another… Sometimes it’s like that. You just have to put your head down and drive on.

After lunch Valerie and I drove over to a friend’s lot about three-quarters of a kilometre down the valley. We’d been invited to inspect a pile of timber scraps her builders had amassed during the construction of her new home. We pulled in the curved and muddy drive to find our friend Rosie getting out of the car after the long drive from Auckland. She’d come up with a friend to spend the weekend kitting out her new digs with books and planters and the usual home furnishings.  We sorted out social distancing while commenting that it was strange how we still clung to routine despite there being only one active case in all of New Zealand.

Rosie bought her lot about two years ago with the idea of it being an off-grid hideaway far from the madding crowd where she would be able to put down roots, grow a garden and commune with nature on  weekends or holidays. She has a caravan and has spent a long time on site planning her home. The design she came up with makes the most of a small building area perched at the edge of a precipice that affords a wide-open view down the valley toward Whitianga and the sea beyond.

Working with an innovative construction firm, she’d opted for five twenty-foot shipping containers to be placed on huge wooden piles driven into the clay and arranged in a wide ‘U’ shape with the open end facing the view. The builders had cut out walls and installed huge sliding glass, double paned doors and combined two of the units into a large and open kitchen/living room with bedrooms forming the legs on either side. The fifth container was tacked on in back to form a mudroom/entrance and an enclosed storage room. The site was chewed up and muddy but will recover and blossom and her house is going to be divine.

Rosie had pulled the trigger on construction a month before Covid-19 showed up and seen most of the work finished just as lockdown started. She then had to endure the uncertainty and frustration of two-and-a-half months of everything being shut down. No work could be done and even traveling to the site was impossible. Mice took up residence in her caravan and the shell of her new house was exposed to the full brunt of the onset of winter. Since lockdown ended almost a month ago the majority of the work has been completed and the open lines and sweeping vistas are a testament to her imagination and patience.

Rosie showed us around and then offered us the off-cuts of the piles that were used for the corner posts of each container. There were fourteen in all, twelve inches in diameter and ranging from four to eight feet long. I asked her if she was sure, because if I had to buy them at the timber yard it would cost a great deal. She was adamant she wanted them gone and that I could have them. I accepted gladly, but only after showing her how she could use two of them split long ways to make a nice temporary set of steps up and into her house. Her eyes lit up when I showed her how to do it and she said she’d ask her builders to knock it together. I can’t wait to see how it works out.

In the meantime I’ve got twelve huge posts to move to our lot. Looks like two at a time in the back of our station wagon. Lots of levers and work and straps and tarps and fun, and then I’ve got to find a place to stow them neatly until I can use them in the construction of the upcoming new bathroom/storage room and kitchen expansion. I don’t want to mess up the forecourt but at the same time I want to store them as close to where I’ll be using them as possible. I decided on the way home to make Rosie a bell for her driveway as a house warming gift. Luckily, I’ve got an extra SCUBA bottle around somewhere so that will be easy. Another adventure underway.

Checking in with the numbers I found that there has been no change in twenty-four hours…

Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 10.31.18 PM

Zero New cases. Zero recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active cases and probable cases (plus 22 deaths) is 99.93%.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/05/cant-quite-believe-it-new-zealand-tiptoes-towards-elimination-of-coronavirus

 

PH

 

Soon.

 

 

5 Responses to “Soon”

  1. rochellewisoff June 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    Funny (not really) how over on this side of the planet COVID 19 is suddenly old news. The numbers are still high but…need I say more?
    How lovely to have a neighbor like Rosie. No doubt she feels the same about her neighbors. Hope all your leaks are plugged up soon.

    Love and then some to you and Valerie,

    Rochelle

    • dmmacilroy June 5, 2020 at 11:46 pm #

      Hi Rochelle,

      I spent a few minutes with a writer I know going over my addled blog with a fine-toothed comb thanks to your keen eye and kind comment. It is better now. Thanks.

      As I mentioned in a few of my earlier posts, people are bored of Covid-19 and are taking their chances, each according to their intelligence and awareness levels. It is a mundane equaliser. Things are looking depressing and chaotic there. Perhaps the feeling I’m getting is the product of the ‘dirty laundry’ aspect of the talking heads and the twenty-four hour news cycle. I hope it gets better soon.

      Stay low, stay safe and I love the yellow door. Happy swimming.

      Love,

      Doug

  2. sustainabilitea June 5, 2020 at 11:56 pm #

    Roseanne Roseannadana. Haven’t thought about her for some time but it brings a smile to my face to do so. So thanks for that.

    We have friends who want to do a container house in Illinois. Your friend’s house sounds beautiful and what a wonderful gift she gave you…and then you gave her one in return. I like it when things work out that way.

    COVID numbers have gone down in some places here and up in others. After the protests, we’ll see what happens. Now WHO has gone from masks only if treating CV-19 patients to cloth masks but saying they don’t really do much. Sigh. I’m underwhelmed by WHO anyway.

    And it’s quite true that there’s lots of rubbish out there these days. 🙂

    janet

    • dmmacilroy June 6, 2020 at 12:21 am #

      Hi Janet,

      I thought Roseanne would resonate with some readers. I think of her often when I’m in the middle of a few setbacks.

      Feeling sorry that the Covid-19 contagion will keep moving around and through the U.S. and other countries. It is still a terrible disease and still has dire outcomes for those who contract it. The boredom factor and short attention span of many, coupled with the feeling of inevitability, means that many more will die in the middle of all their protesting and/or normal living. It’s sad that people’s chance of survival depends upon the intelligence, or lack thereof, of others.

      My rubbish is lined up and ready for staged withdrawal from these premises. Happy to see it go.

      Stay alert, stay below the parapet and hang in there. Virologists are going to get a Nobel Prize for finding the magic bullet so work will continue even though Covid-19 coverage is morphing to a back beat against the mad symphony of every day life in the big cities.

      Hi to Bill and hugs to you both,

      Love,

      Doug

      • sustainabilitea June 6, 2020 at 12:24 am #

        If you every have a sweat ball on the end of your nose, think of RR. 🙂 I’ll pass the message on to Bill when he gets back from his bike ride and hugs, et al, back at you two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: