‘May you live in interesting times’

…..seems China is doing boffo at the box-office (translation: they are exporting 75% more through their usual shipments, Ali Express and Alibaba than before C-19). It is an ill wind that blows no-one any good and that illness is very much doing China some good these past few months.

It also seems that some companies in North America are also going ‘full-tilt’ while others have virtually shut down altogether. The pandemic closed a lot of businesses but it also put a lot more customers on to those businesses more suited to deliveries. Delivery is going to get even bigger.

To some extent, the ill wind blew us some good out here, too. By us, I mean the whole of the community. We got a couple of small grants to assist our seniors during this time of isolation.

Truth is, the old folks out here are isolated anyway. Truth is, most of their lives weren’t altered by the disease much at all….only made better by the small grants. They can now get groceries delivered for a small fee rather than a large one (the delivery fee is temporarily and partially subsidized). That has been enough of an incentive to build a small one-day-a-week bulk grocery delivery operation which saves town trips and whatever cost is still imposed is less than that of taking a ferry and burning gasoline.

Covid made our shopping easier and, as a bonus, more frequent (so fresher dairy, etc). When the grant runs out (this month) there should be enough orders every week from NOW on to support any ongoing effort with our own money. It really just needed a hand-up in starting-up and, once going, is probably working well enough to stand on it’s own.

We also got funds to continue our one-day-a-week home support worker. She does a circuit of the islands and visits and assists those who are in need. THAT is a real bonus since this year no one could host W’fers and thus a lot of scheduled physical work was falling behind for the senior seniors. I am pretty sure only Sal and I are totally ‘all-in’ for our wood-burning season thus far but that was primarily because my daughter and her husband came to visit last week and helped us. We kinda had our W’fers in them. This home support program will be a real help for many.

Since the food delivery program was a hit, we also added a monthly Costco delivery schedule using another ‘dedicated’ service. We pay for that one and it ain’t cheap (she does the actual shopping as well as the delivery) but it is a lot easier on the community and still less expensive than doing it ourselves.

One of the things many people have also mentioned but not emphasized was a drop in living expenses overall – especially gasoline. No one is going anywhere. We’ll travel a bit next week but I doubt that I have filled the tank of the car but once or twice in the last three months. And, even tho we restaurant a lot less than when living in the city, we are simply NOT utilizing the few open restaurants at all because we are not traveling anywhere – not even to the other island.  Costs are down.

But here is an especially odd thing……..everything is generally down.  Fewer whales.  No whale-watching boats.  Fewer prawns.  One prawn boat.  Fewer kayakers.  No tourists.  Way fewer visitors.  Hell, we are all doing less work around the homestead, too.  It’s weird.  It is as if the whole world went from 45 rpms to 33.  Even my readership is down….or you are reading slower, anyway.

Maybe this is the start of a generally slower-paced lifestyle…..?  I mean: really, who wants to go back to the pace of the old rat-race?

14 thoughts on “‘May you live in interesting times’

  1. The famous Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting timeS.” Expect the four horsemen of the apocalypse. One of the four horseman is pestilence or the virus. Things might be slowly turning Canada’s job Employment numbers are up by one million this June.

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    • It’s true. I AM lucky to live as I do. But having time to read is the first luxury of living retired OTG. One of the main reasons for getting out. I confess that sometimes I have just lain in bed for an extra hour and done nothing but think. Thinking was, perhaps, the real, first luxury that I didn’t even KNOW I wanted. But most of my life, I have thought hard and fast while working and doing in the rat race. There was never any time to just ‘float and surf’ the mind for random thoughts. As I write this, I know I still just ‘lay there thinking’ at least once a week. It is not so much a habit now so much as an appetite…I get needy for thinking time.

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  2. I’m surprised that wildlife has not increased. You would expect more whales because they are less disturbed by boats, and for sure more prawns because there are less fishermen’s boats to catch them. But we experience the same slower speed in our own lifestyle, it is as we care less to have a social life, a perfect manicured garden,….but there is also a huge psychological impact on everybody, and for sure this will have a huge impact the coming months and years…when unemployment will rise, more people being poorer, no more certainties at all, politicians who now really are struggling more then ever to set out a clear path for us “citizens”, national debts exploding, we “citizens” realising more and more that we will have to pay the huge bill for this….so slowing down is good, the outcome will be not so good I’m afraid…
    But I’m still reading your blog 😉

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    • Well, wildlife have not increased on the water and, on land, it seems much the same but there are no boats and such so it all just seems quieter and slower. There is an overall psychological aspect for sure. I currently see it as a relief but I can also feel it as a mild depression, sort of a looming day of reckoning, a harbinger of harder days ahead. There is a bit of grief involved…….

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      • perhaps there is less “noise” in the traditionally “busier” area that the marine life hunt…..so they are foraging elsewhere?

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  3. I don’t know if it’s the virus, the weather or just old age, but I seem to be content to do less these days. It started with the virus…I couldn’t go for a haircut, Now that I can, I don’t, preferring to put it in a pony tail. Gone are the days of cruising the boulevard with the top down. It’s too wet, my hair is all over the place and perhaps I’ve just outgrown that phase.
    As time, like the toilet paper at the end of the roll, runs faster and faster I wonder if I’m making the best use of my time remaining. Shouldn’t I be squeezing more and more into my time remaining?

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    • Maybe just add a bit of conditioner?

      I KNOW what you are saying….I feel the same pressure to maximize my remaining time. But….at what?! The only viable option seemed like exploring Chile and Argentina or even just Panama. But that is NOT an option in the time of Covid so what is an old man to do? I keep making lewd suggestions to Sal but she seems to be suffering from hearing loss as she gets older.

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      • Darn, or damn! My mind keeps coming up with those lewd suggestions, but my body is reluctant to follow through. So I sit here in Paradise. taking one day at a time, and the toilet paper keeps getting shorter and shorter! I’m still up for exploring Chile and Argentina, in spite of Covid, or maybe because of it. We, like you, don’t experience Covid here, but are fully aware of it’s presence elsewhere. Maybe we’ll be the only ones in Chile?
        I think, in spite of contemporaries dropping like flies, that I’m going to keep on keeping on, until I don’t. So, I’ll keep the top down and keep thinking lewd thoughts.

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    • I know the feeling, have the same feeling lately. On the other hand, the more you squeeze in, the faster it seems to go, thus increasing the feeling…so more fuel for the rat race. Maybe just lying in your bed for an hour…just thinking, does not seem such a bad idea a s David suggests. But I still love cruising with the top down, but not on the boulevard but in the country side…now that is a time when i feel out of the rat race

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      • The boulevard was only a figure of speech. I used to love cruising, anywhere, with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. But. as I said, my hair is too long and there’s no sun! I might as well face it, in spite of lewd thoughts, I’m just getting too old for the pace!

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  4. If COVID 19 reduces consumption it is good for the whole world given the lengthy assault on the environment. It seems all the networking and sharing going in your part of the world serves to illustrate how society might reduce its footprint by way of cooperation and common sense.

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    • I think so. Better lifestyle all ’round. Easy for me – I do not want much in the way of ‘action’ anymore but the young people do. And we have a great deal more old guys like me out here and not so many young people – though that is slowly changing. Still, even tho slowly, we are all doing our thing and still helping each other out. It’s good.

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