In the late summer of 2020 you may remember I wrote to you not long after the bush fires and confessed that if I couldn’t say something nice I better not say anything at all. So, I haven’t because let’s face it, it’s been a little bit challenging to muster up the cheer.
Fast forward a few months and I am as cheerful as a fistful of pom poms, lightly fuelled by seeing the locals out to lunch in Byron Bay and a sprinkle of a Barrio selected pinot noir. Now before you sneer or unsubscribe because we went to lunch please hear me out. My southern heart is broken for my hospitality friends and colleagues in Victoria – even more so for the Australian entertainment industries, the roadies, the agents, the stars, the venues and crews. For the extreme lockdowns and containment of Australians in the housing commission flats towering around the suburbs of which I lived most of my life – and beyond.
Finger pointing is not helpful and in my clinical experience, does not offer an effective remedy. What does deliver is a united, national compassionate embrace of the virtual sort to invite a place of healing and understanding. Right now, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. All we can ask for is acceptance and all we have is hope.
A few weeks ago, on the crest of a Victorian wave I was ambushed outside Woollies in Byron, just down the street from where I live. I was asked by an ABC TV roving reporter what I thought about it ‘all the Victorians landing in Ballina’. At that stage I was naïve to the new wave (unlike the 80s when I was all across it like a Eurythmic) and announced that I am a Victorian and they are welcome here because our tourism and hospitality industries are in tatters. Sadly, a few days later the situation deteriorated rapidly, and a new lockdown was imminent. Some of our extended southern friends and families have made it over the border – crikey that sounds like I’m Stephen King – and now the hardest part is not being able to give those mates a hug.
To my beloved readers – some family, some friends, mostly customers in the south – you are dearly loved and united, this too shall pass, I just can’t say when.