My oh my, is regional Victoria excited to be open.
Pubs are throwing up marquees; beauticians are inundated with furry faced clients; family or friend bubbles are gathering outdoors.
Police are pictured in the local paper promising to enforce anyone who slips through the ring of steel.
I’m a half and half; a country living, normally city dwelling remote worker currently cohabiting with my parents after decades out of home. It’s been three months.
I’ve been asked when I’m coming home. The answer is, not before I can move without fear between country and city because I refuse to be separated from my family again for such an extended and horribly lonely, mentally and emotionally testing time.
The truth is, what makes Melbourne great for me isn’t there right now. I imagine it’s the same and worse for those in it, trapped in between the hours allowed outdoors.
Meanwhile, my two wishes for regional Victoria reopening involve a pub and a waxing appointment.
Slightly more normal or not, it’s still the simple things I’m looking for – leaving the house for any or no reason and not looking over my shoulder, and a takeaway coffee outdoors at Cannon Hill overlooking Lake Pertobe.
Mask on, nothing is to be taken for granted again.