Our son lives in Tasmania but works in Port Hedland in the Pilbara. This means firstly that we do not see him very often. It means travelling to Tasmania during the times that he is home. And during COVID, we could not visit at all. At the end of June, he flew back to work from Tasmania, stopping overnight in Melbourne. This was during the time when travel within Victoria was slightly eased, and shortly before complete shutdown. It was too good an opportunity. We drove into Melbourne to join him for dinner. While we did not see the rest of his family, it was a special moment in a year of restrictions. It was the first time we had seen him since the previous October…and the last time until exactly now. The date of the first “As Time Goes by” class coincides with our trip to Launceston to catch up with the family at our grandson’s 18th birthday! The first time we will have seen them all for nearly 18 months.
Our daughter and her family live in Queensland. No, we could not visit her either. A planned trip in May was cancelled. But that period of eased restrictions at the end of June coincided with the Queensland school holidays. People from Queensland were able to travel to NSW, and with a permit, able to return home without restrictions. Two road trips were quickly planned. Our daughter and family travelled to Byron Bay for a short holiday; we jumped in our car and joined them in Byron Bay for a few days. A special time spent with family, the first time since Christmas 2019 that we had seen them. We managed to catch up with other friends on our way back to Victoria, crossing the border just hours before NSW closed its border to Victorians. We could have stayed on the other side of the border, and not been in lockdown!
And our daughter and granddaughter will be in Tasmania with us. The boys will stay in Queensland as they had a trip south before Christmas to visit the other grandparents. So while this is being written before our trip to Tasmania, perhaps this will be a third special moment.