Keeping in Touch, April 2020

Hi. Julie Wilson from Kyneton here.

In this current situation of self-isolation and self-distancing, I thought that maybe we members of K&DOTDC and the local dance community could keep in touch and offer support and care to each other, to keep our friendships alive and our connections open. I think that our dancers throughout the area are such a close knit group that some of us may like to maintain contact as a group. Some of us will have more social networks than others, some will really miss the social connection that dancing enables, some who live alone and are restricted by self isolation may feel quite lonely and alone.  We all need social interaction, that is part of what makes us human, so maybe we can keep in touch and help each other through this unnatural isolation in these unprecedented times.

We miss dancing and meeting up, as I know most of you do also. I reckon “Keeping in Touch” would be nice until we meet again. I thought that a K&DOTDC newsletter could serve a purpose and be helpful to some folks. If it is a flop, we will just drop it.                                     

The K&DOTDC committee was very sad and sorry to have had to cancel Tuesday and Friday dances because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is hoped that all of our dancers and dancing friends will emerge healthy without serious illness or loss of family or friends after this horrific catastrophe, whenever that may be. Please take care, keep positive, and keep in touch. One evening at some future time, we will have a wonderful reunion at St Mary’s in Kyneton.

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One disaster that could have happened but didn’t – because of the close down at Kyneton – was that the Club discovered by chance a couple of days prior to the cancelled March dance that the kitchen at St Mary’s had been completely dismantled to have an entire makeover. What chaos it would have caused to have found out when the committee members arrived on the Friday afternoon to prepare the hall for the evening dance – nowhere and no way to prepare supper? What a disaster that would have been!

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There are a few things that have happened, which you may or may not have heard, since the last time we met at Kyneton In February.

A very sad announcement is the sudden passing of Jerry Colvin, whom most of you will know, as he was a member of the Kyneton Dance Club who attended dances all around the Bendigo and Kyneton areas. Jerry was an unassuming man, who was always one of the first to arrive for a dance. He would sit quietly watching and listening and sometimes dancing, being friendly when he was spoken to but rarely instigating conversation, just enjoying being part of the dance community.                              Rest in peace, Jerry Colvin.

It is also very sad to report that Lenny Bowen, a long term and loyal member of the dance community, passed away a couple of months ago. He had been a resident at Ray M. Begg Aged Care in Kyneton for some time, suffering from dementia. He and his partner, Netta, were well known at Trentham and Kyneton as regular dancers over many years.

Many of you will know Jack Dalton, a Dance Club member and regular dancer. Jack has been in Geelong Hospital having heart surgery, which was thankfully successful. He is now back at home again. He is not enjoying being an invalid and not being able to do very much at this stage. He agreed that we could pass on this information and his phone number. If you would like to give him a call to say hullo, he would like to hear from friends, his phone number is 0421 654 262. Keep positive, Jack.

One cause for celebration was Bill Hickey’s 80th birthday on April 8. Of course, he was not able to have a birthday gathering, but it was a really important milestone for him. So, happy birthday wishes and congratulations, Bill, no party possible but enjoy your day knowing that your friends are thinking of you and wishing you well. We will celebrate whenever we are allowed to meet up again – that’s a promise.

I know there are several ‘sickies’, but I do not want to mention them without their permission. Please, if you are unwell, update me on your own health and that of anyone else who is affected by illness, check with them and let me know if I can pass it on. It is no fun being socially isolated and also ill. Knowing people care can help, especially someone you may not expect to hear from. If you have a joke, a poem, any news or messages that you think others may appreciate, send them to me.

Just to start the ball rolling, here is an update on my own health situation, which some of you are aware of having been a problem, thank you to those of you who have enquired how I am going.  For some years, I have had a wound that wouldn’t heal, which has been a real nuisance with infections and dressings constantly. I finally found a surgeon who was willing and able to persevere over several months to get it sorted. In January, he attached a medical vacuum machine (we called it Henrietta) to the wound 24/7 for several weeks. Three weeks ago, using plastic surgery, he closed the wound and, a couple of weeks ago, ‘Henrietta’ was removed, I had the stitches out and the wound checked. My surgeon was really pleased with how well it is healing, he told me later that he had been concerned as to whether closure would be successful, so I was thrilled. It is great to be free to do things without the hassle of the machine hanging around my neck. Hopefully, it will continue to heal nicely and I will be a ‘new woman’ soon. I think Steve is looking forward to that. Maybe he is expecting too much!

I caught up with Sarah Hargreaves (from out Tylden way), whom some of you will know. She has had an interesting experience. She was on an overseas trip, firstly in UK and then horse riding in Spain when the coronavirus struck. She luckily caught a flight home from Madrid on 16 March, the day that city was completely locked down. After arrival at home, she was six days into an isolation period at home when she developed a head cold. This resulted in a positive test result, following which she spent 22 days in self-isolation at home, until she tested negative on 9 April. She was on her first outing from quarantine when I saw her. It was so good that she was able to get back to Australia and great that she is now free of the virus. Quite an adventure, good onya, Sarah, we will celebrate with you and hear your full story when we meet again.

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Joke!

”I heard a doctor on TV say that, to get through the boredom of self-isolation, we should finish things we have already started, thus giving us more calm in our lives. So I looked around the house to find all the things I’ve started but never finished………. and now I’ve finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bottle of Bailey’s and a bottle of rum, the remainder of my Valium scripts, and a box of chocolates. Ya have no idea of how feckin fablus I feel right now. Send this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum. Hic! Burp!”

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I think I’m Going Ga-Ga

I think I’m going ga-ga, I’m going round the twist,                                                                           I’m dreaming now of Bridge games and all the gold I’ve missed.                                                         I used to see my family, I used to see my friends,                                                                         I used to go to movies and criticise the ends.

I think I’ve had a phone call from rellies everywhere,                                                                         I know it’s good to stay in touch but I no longer care.                                                                          The garden’s looking tidy, the plants have all been fed,                                                                 The paths have all been swept, the chooks are in their bed.                                               

Holidays are cancelled, from caravans to cruises.                                                                        We’ve washed our bloody hands so much, they’re covered now in bruises.                              We’ve isolated, distanced, we’ve kept our fridges stocked.                                                     We’ve learnt things now on YouTube from people we once mocked.                                    

We’ve sent a million emails, we’ve learnt to use WhatsApp,                                                      We’ve even mastered Face Time, we feel our brain’s been zapped.                                       The question we all ask now is WHEN WILL IT ALL END?                                                                           And will I still be safe and sane? Or totally round the bend?!!!

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Steve and I have been enjoying a program on SBS Channel 3 during this stay at home lockdown. If you are a country music fan and interested in the history of country, you may enjoy it also – if you haven’t seen it already. The early episodes are currently available on SBS on Demand, the later ones are still showing. It is titled “Country Music”, compiled by Ken Burns.

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I would appreciate feedback as to whether you think a monthly letter, until our world gets back to normal, is a good idea. What I would hope is that, if you like the idea enough to give it a go, you would let me have any news or anything else that you would like to share. That way, we could keep in touch until better times again allow us to meet again. Hopefully I can get Daryl and Nerine to put this onto the K&DOTDC website, where you could read it. I will email or post it to those for whom I have addresses.

If you are interested in ‘Keeping in Touch’, please let me know any news about yourself or someone else, after checking with them whether they mind sharing it. If someone is unwell, check whether they would like people to know and have their phone number passed on to make contact and offer support.  If you have any sad news that one of our past or present dance friends has died, please let me know, so the Club can share the information and offer our sympathies even if we cannot attend the funeral, and share the information. If you have a funny or interesting incident or piece, a joke or your thoughts on the current situation (or anything else) let me know so I can include it next time.

If you agree that a letter would be a good thing to do regularly, please send it on or pass it on to others and let me know of anyone, with their address, who would like to be connected.

My email address is juliewilson40@bigpond.com and my mobile number is 0400 126 870.

As Dick Green ended our last Tuesday social evening, with everyone singing along –                       “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when,                                                 But, I know we’ll meet again some sunny day”    

Thinking of you and missing you all. Keep safe and stay positive –                                                         (BUT PLEASE DON’T TEST POSITIVE).

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