A day with even one appointment is a busy day. Today I have two! My video-call music lesson goes well and I have some things to work on. I was hoping to return to in-person lessons but the teacher isn't ready for that, even if we move to Level Two this week, so I'll have to persevere this way.
Then I have a VSA debrief. These restarted last week and I have always done them by phone from home so the routine is familiar. I enjoy talking to returned volunteers about their experience and most find it helpful to review what they achieved and what they learned personally from their time in the Pacific. A key factor lately, of course, is the sudden end due to the pandemic and VSA repatriating all the volunteers somewhat hastily. The abruptness and for some the lack of opportunity to say good-bye, causes grief and a sense of unfinished business which I do my best to help with. I'm always a little in awe of the volunteers. I imagined for a long time that it would be something I could do but the call for the skills of a psychologist never came and my contribution is from home in this way.
By the time I write and send my report and get some lunch the sky is darkening. I grab a coat and set out for a walk, my usual route around the waterfront. I'm sure the streets are interesting too but I never tire of looking at the sea. There are far fewer people out today, no families and those who pass me look as if they're over it. There are no smiles or greetings. As I come back past the Richardson St steps there's a black towel on the pavement and yes, down below a man is swimming. He smiles – or is it just bravado because the water's cold?
I'm home to hear the four o'clock briefing. We are to go to Level Two which has far fewer restrictions. School will go back on Monday 18th May, we can swim, have haircuts and go to cafes with our friends. The pubs are to stay closed for another week but in many ways life will resume as people go back to work. The ways in which it won't will emerge over time, I guess. In anticipation of the good news I had already booked a flight to Wellington in a couple of weeks so I'm relieved that my confidence was not misplaced. It wasn't even expensive.
So here's another gift – a little freedom for us all.