Another meaningful number – the answer to life, the universe and everything. Thank you, Douglas Adams, it's a good reminder not to take ourselves too seriously. And it's a bright, crisp day. After my usual start, I walk down to the cafe on the waterfront for a coffee and drink it looking at the sea. When I get back, one of my Wednesday cafe friends phones to catch up. It's good news - she's finished her thesis and her partner is feeling much better. I like that we've kept up the routine and we agree that it won't be too long before we can meet again at our favourite cafe, perhaps even as soon as next week.
I settle in for the second lunch-time Zoom meeting that the Psychological Society has offered. It's an online presentation from a Wellington psychologist, Sarb Johal, who has been advising the government's communicatons team on the psychosocial aspects of the Covid-19 response. Sarb is an enthusiastic and articulate speaker. The information is familiar to me and well presented. The webinar format is a first. It's well organised with participants' mics and cameras turned off so that the only sign of others is the chat running along the bottom of the screen, some of which is trivial and distracting along the lines of 'Oh, Sam is that you? Nice to see you're there!' but I can ignore that. I take notes, even though I may not end up with any role in dealing with the after effects of this major event. It's good to feel like a psychologist again.
I feel proud of my profession and the useful knowledge that psychologists have. The previous day's Zoom meeting was a social catch up of local practitioners who were bemoaning the way psychologists are overlooked in situations where they have a lot to contribute, but here is someone who is involved in an important way. Sarb said in his presentation that he had committed to researching and presenting a YouTube piece for every day of Level 4 and at the end of the session I explore some of the 33 three minute talks. He's good!*
After lunch I catch up with my sister who is on a Zoom call with a knitting friend but happy to chat a while. She's had a sad morning because it's her 48th wedding anniversary and with her husband in a rest home she can't even see him let alone give him a hug. It's made it hard and she coped by going for a drive, feeling that she had 'escaped' for a while, even though the places she drove to, her husband's rest home and the cemetery where our parents and grandparents lie, are locked up. She's regained her equilibrium and she goes back to her knitting friend while I set off for a walk.
When I get back from a sunny, windy walk round the waterfront I feel bold enough to tackle my tax. I had thought it was due on 7th May but it's not until I'm into the process that I realise July is the deadline. Never mind, I click through the screens, remembering from being talked through it by phone last year that there are a lot that don't apply. I go 'next, next, next' and suddenly I'm asked to put in the numbers I had worked out previously and lo! the job's done. How satisfying!
My sister posts a photo of her husband surrounded by a huge frame decorated with roses and a note celebrating their anniversary. It's a kind gesture from the rest home staff and I'm pleased she was able to see him. Friends and family respond with congratulations and the day comes to a happier end.
* Sarb Johal The Useful Psychologist