Winter Coronavirus Sunday Arvo

World Heritage Site. Exhibition Buildings, gardens and fountain. Not much to do with the text but the day before. A very pregnant woman and her partner dressed in skintight white clothes were having their photos taken in various sculptural poses in/near the fountain.

11.6. Feels like 7. Clear. Still. But with that icy note in the air.

I stretched out a mid-morning trip to Essendon to deliver some newly-made medical scrubs to a Pakistani Australian (nurse? aide? doctor?) with his two gorgeous young children who lived in a recently constructed suburban mansion. As always Essendon seemed Catholic and hilly and in the morning cold, and despite the endless family muscle cars, slightly frozen and surreal. Weird for weird times.

At the coffee shop the Greek owner stood just inside the door and directed traffic as owners might but rarely do. A young woman with two rather clever patches of dyed yellow thatch in her otherwise jet black hair (I did say it was Essendon) sorted out everything else with such deftness it was gripping. The conversation in the coffee shop had dints in it, assertive but stop-start declarations about what you could and couldn’t do. ‘No mate. No way. You can’t. They won’t letcha.’ The BMW SUVs kept up a steady stream going past, broken by the occasional Porsche Cayenne. Essendon. Plenty of money out there. Plenty of money spent out there anyway.

In the afternoon, it’s Sunday, we decided to go over to the Uni tram stop and take the first one that came past to its terminus and then walk home. It’s the busiest tram stop in the world with eight lines running through it, so there were options. It turned out to be a Number One, East Coburg to South Melbourne Beach. Wasn’t my first choice but who cares. We put our masks on and climbed aboard.

The terminus of this line is at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Beaconsfield Parade. We were at the beach. The cafes and coffee shops were full, the paths along the beach heaving with active wear and kids on scooters. Beaconsfield turn right along the beach to Station Pier then turn right up the light rail reserve back to the city.

Myrna needed a location for a Zoom dance so for a start we thought we’d bother the fishermen on Lagoon Pier.

We crossed the river over Webb Bridge, a bundle of modern architecture near Charles Grimes Bridge, Charles Grimes being the Surveyor General of NSW and the first European who ever saw the Yarra.

I looked down the river and it wasn’t Melbourne as people usually imagine it. Perhaps ever. But there was something about the whole that seemed to capture the afternoon. This place that time. Monumental, but vacant.

Then it seemed like wherever I looked it was the same.

This track takes you past Docklands Stadium where there was a game on. And the crowds had gathered, he says with heavy irony.

The forecourt warning about kicking the footy — ‘a no no. No punts, no big torps, no droppies or even bananas’ — was entirely unnecessary.

Dyse couldn’t even remember what to believe in.

Some kids were playing basketball watched by Ben Simmons and Liz Cambadge.

But the restaurant overlooking the forecourt was like a lot of other restaurants.

Food was coming from other sources. (The dominant form of traffic in our neighbourhood.)

It’s probably important to say Myrna did find a place to do her dance. It wouldn’t be coronavirus times if there wasn’t something slightly weird going round on video. All I can do is apologise we didn’t have the light rail passing in the background.

You may have noted the careful washing of hands (0.02-0.09) before the show really gets on the road.

Strange days.