A journey back to Middle Earth…

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Nilay’s Lockdown

We’re now coming to the end of lock down level 4, and level 3 will start on Tuesday. I’ve had online school and then school holidays in the past few weeks which has been great because I can sleep more because I don’t have to commute to school and back or wear uniform. I’ve had a lot of free time and have been using the old home gym here in Port Waikato and also running sometimes. I’ve also had a birthday in the past few weeks which was quite different to other ones, but still was alright. We had a video call with all the Ramas and I had a cake. Yesterday I got my haircut and he did a pretty good job. I’ve also been used as a tool by my parents helping them with building mostly and have cooked dinner a few more times. Lock down has it’s pros and cons but I think going back to normal will be good.

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B and B

I decided on a zoom call to join Peter in making his special bagel recipe, which didn’t turn out too badly for a first effort. Lockdown has inspired getting into a whole lot of self-sufficiency initiatives. The discussion quickly turned into how this could be turned into a sustainable business and so spawned the idea of setting up a B&B (Beer & Bread making Co.). It is all rather time consuming however, and a reminder of why it might have been difficult in making time for all this in the ‘old world’.


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Ride to Nowhere

I’ve been fortunate enough to have my bike with us and been able to go for a few rides around the area. Been able to rack up 115km since we’ve been here which isn’t much in the big scheme of things but given we can’t venture out too far, it’s been great to get out on the bike and enjoy some of the local scenery. My calf injury has also cleared after long last so have also been able to get in a couple of runs this week after work.


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Got a bit serious on Saturday with the renovations. Managed to reconstruct our bed, put up a shelf in my ‘study’ and have another go at refurbishing the old dining room table. Really starting to get into it now and it would be good just to have a week with all the tools out (without having to put them back at the end of the day because of the rain). We did however need to clear our workbench (aka table tennis table) for another match in which I was ‘smashed’ by Nilay.


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You didn’t listen

Wonderful write up by Vivienne in Spain 🇪🇸.

The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born…

I was not born to punish you..
I was born to awaken you..

The earth cried out for help…
Massive flooding. But you didn’t listen.
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.

You still don’t listen to the earth when.
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought.

You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
Non-stop wars.
Non-stop greed.
You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was..
No matter how many killings daily..

It was more important to get that latest gadget than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..
But now I am here.

And I’ve made the world stop in its tracks.
I’ve made YOU finally listen.
I’ve made you take refuge.
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things..

Now you are like the earth…
You are only worried about YOUR survival.

How does that feel?

I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues.. as pollution filled  the earth’s air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.

I took away your comforts..
Your outings.
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.

And I made the world stop…
And now…

YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.

Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you…

When all this is over and I am gone…
Please remember these moments..

Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.

Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting amongst each other.

Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbors.

Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.

Because next time I may come back even stronger….


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Good Friday


I was determined to have a productive Easter and maintain a level of distraction from work and the situation the world has found itself in. Again, recognising how fortunate we are not being in the front line or in the provision of essential services we were able to take advantage of what turned out to be a beautiful day. In addition to the above we also managed to move the garden shed from one side of the back yard to another which on reflection (and change of plan) wasn’t actually necessary…


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Happy Birthday

Turning 16 in isolation with only your two parents around you I’m sure was hardly the way the Nilay wanted to spend his 16th birthday, but there was very little choice. We hadn’t really prepared for this situation so the consolation was a collation of treats mainly of the chocolate kind. In the evening I had arranged a family zoom call to mark the occasion. I am sure there will be other opportunities later in the year to celebrate with a bit more style.


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One of the routines we established when Milan decided that he would stay in his hostel during lockdown was that we would do a daily zoom call at 8:00pm every night to check-in as a family to see how he was getting on and for us to share our experiences for the day. Given the list hasn’t been overly extensive on some days  we have decided to play a round or two of Codenames each night to keep the brain cells engaged.


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Social Distancing

Social distancing is a term which I had never really heard of but has entered the vocabulary of just about everyone in the world in the past few weeks. It’s interesting to observe how people around the world are putting this into practice. A recent trip to the supermarket felt like an unwinding of all the effort that goes into maintaining a safe distance the rest of the time. It will be interesting once we know the outcome, reflecting back on the approach Sweden has taken which has not demanded a lockdown but has focussed on isolating and treating the sick and a voluntary approach to social distancing. Being right in the middle of it now it’s difficult to tell the long term implications of the choices countries have made. Only history will tell…