Another week in iso

As far as living in iso goes, this has been an interesting week. I’ve actually got out of the suburb twice, experienced a power failure through most of the daylight hours, been crook, and even lost my glasses before miraculously finding them again. On top of all that I’ve got a go-live tonight (and I’m working today because of it).

Last Friday night, I took the train to Richmond and met up with my manager for dinner and beer at the Richmond Club Hotel. Had a chicken parma, a pint and a glass of wine, on top of metaphorically rubbing shoulders with a broader community (we’re very careful not to rub shoulders literally). We chatted about work and life in iso, before popping across the road to the Corner Hotel where we were ushered into Bandroom 2 and sat at a trestle table where we had another pint.

Most years, most Friday nights, the pub would have been heaving with people and real-life bands would have been preparing to perform before a packed and boisterous crowd. On Friday, we sat at one end of the table while a middle-aged man with his Asian toyboy sat at the other end (they objected to our presence, but spacing rules were enforced). At another table, a group of tradies in fluoro caught up for an end of week beer. It was pretty empty otherwise, and pretty antiseptic too – a far cry from the frenetic, sticky carpet days the Corner is known for.

That was last Friday night. Yesterday morning, I ventured into the city for the first time since leaving it in March. Usually, my train is standing room only, but yesterday there would have been 30-40 empty seats in the carriage. It was sparse in the city too, and the building where I work seemed almost deserted. I caught the lift to my floor to find that there were tarps everywhere and two of the doors closed off and tradies painting and renovating the toilets. Good time to do it, I guess.

In the office itself, there were only two other people. One had been working there throughout this period. The other had only returned the day before and was planning to come in a day or two a week, lockdown permitting.

I was there in part out of curiosity, but the main reason was to pick up the dock for my laptop. I was very diligent when I packed up my desk a few months ago. I thought I’d taken everything with me I needed, but I left the dock behind. At that time I thought we’d be gone 2-3 months and I could live without it. And, mostly I have, outside some flickering on the second screen. It’s coming on to four months now since this started, and with recent outbreaks in Melbourne, I don’t know when we’ll get back into the office – September t the very soonest, I would guess, and that presumes that the current outbreak is contained. That’s a big if at the moment.

So anyway, I figured if I’m going to extending my work from home, then I may as well set up properly. And so into the city to pick up the dock.

I was about an hour in the office, during which time I attended a couple of online meetings.

On the way out of the city, I stopped at a couple of stores to replenish stuff I can’t get locally, then caught a near-empty train home. Strange times, indeed.

Otherwise, had a low-level stomach bug most of the week, which was enough to prevent me from writing sooner. I just felt a bit off, and enough that you can’t be bothered doing things you don’t have to do.

On Wednesday, I was in the middle of a meeting at 9.35 when my internet crashed. I returned to the meeting using my phone, then went and investigated.

Turns out a fuse had blown. Replaced the fuse, but no-go. The fuse had blown so severely that the wiring leading to it had burnt out too. A strong scorched odour permeated the air. That meant that while my lights worked, nothing else did – no internet, no fridge, no stereo, no oven, no TV, no microwave, no coffee machine, and no anything else that plugged in. I worked from my phone and iPad but had to charge them up with a battery to keep them going.

A sparky came late in the day and put in an interim solution, but needs a new fuse box. No matter, with darkness coming on I had a heater that worked and a TV I could watch.

That same day I went for a walk with Rigby late in the afternoon. It was a sunny day, and I wore sunnies with my usual glasses clipped over my shirt. On returning, I went to exchange my sunnies for my glasses and found they were missing. I had a fair idea of what might have happened and so retraced my steps – twice. I figured that after cleaning up after Rigby the glasses must have come loose, and I was confident of finding them. Nup. As you’d expect, that pissed me off, especially since they had a graduated lens and old ones don’t.

Then yesterday, walking to the station on the way to the office, what do I find on the pavement where I was looking the night before? My glasses. I was confused. How did I miss them? I wasn’t checking the nature-strip mainly, but I’d have walked past the glasses had they been there. Did I not check the pavement? But I was sure I did. No explanation, but the good news is that I can see again and don’t need to cough up for a new pair.

I’ll take it as a sign.

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