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  • Writer's pictureStjohn Axbey

The Covid Whoopsie-Daisy

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Firstly, I must apologise for being away for far too long from the blog - it has been over two months since my last witterings....

Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can't think of anything better

Mark Twain

So, where shall I begin........

It could all have been straight out of a Tom Sharpe novel: Government goofs and cover ups, bundles of bureaucratic blunders, cooped up raging nymphomaniacs seducing inept randy security guards, ineffectual fax machines, mask burning cloth-eared bints, social justice warriors, civil unrest, riot police, and a smattering of bad luck.

Such has been the mix that has contributed to the current extremely tough lockdown conditions we're experiencing here in Melbourne at the moment.

Thankfully the numbers of virus cases and deaths are falling, and it looks as though we could see the easing of restrictions very very soon, but now the focus is turning to the economic cost, and that unfortunately - rather like the initial Covid curve - is rising rather rapidly.

This blog looks at how the lockdown has impacted on myself and my partner and how we see the way ahead.. and yes, thankfully there is some interior design to talk about.

A Tom Sharpe novel in the making: although I'm sure that Tom would

have found a vastly better title!


When I penned 'Taking the Outside In' back in July things were looking up: it appeared we were on the roadmap to recovery. But the roadmap was flawed because along came a second wave - and it wasn’t just a case of bad luck: somebody somewhere was reading the bloody map upside-down and we went completely in the wrong direction.

What was meant to be a methodical containment process, a protection of the elderly and vulnerable and a competent track and trace system, turned into a rapid spike in numbers and as a consequence people have died.

Somebody, somewhere decided to employ Colin the security man, who apparently during his hastened Covid training course didn’t quite understand that social distancing guidelines actually extended to not inserting himself into infected people.

Perhaps there were mitigating circumstances? I mean, who could blame them if Colin from security looked like this chap - but I doubt that he did.

Seriously, there are no excuses for what occurred and how much truth there is in the whole story, who can say: perhaps it was a total fabrication just to make the government look completely incompetent. But one thing is clear – the rumour was substantial enough to make it around the globe: even my relatives in the UK new about it. Somewhere in the middle no doubt, is the truth, but one thing is certain: what has followed is a lockdown and border closure the likes of which has never been seen in this country.

Thankfully, restrictions are slowly easing and from the end of this month (September 2020) we will hopefully move to stage 3, but unfortunately the damage economically has been done and for the first time in almost 3 decades Australia has caught a nasty case of recession.

Invariably the political mudslinging and blame gaming has started - which really doesn't help fix anything at all - that has only fed the politician’s egos and has armed them with election-winning ammunition.

What is clear is that the current situation in Victoria - like the proverbial plane crash - has been caused by a seemingly unrelated series of mishaps, both from the powers that be and by a lack of common sense exercised by Joe Public. For once I actually wish that - in relation to the security guards - 'mechanical failure' had been a significant cause, because we may have avoided what has occurred.

Nothing like a good case of 'mechanical failure'

All we have now is a mountain of debt that we'll be paying off for the next 30 odd years, and a virus that we're gonna have to learn to live with because, quite obviously as we head to towards situation "Covid Normal", it isn't going away anytime soon.

So where are my partner and I in all this mess? Well basically everything is on hold:

Financially we have been impacted: The aviation industry has been hit the hardest by the pandemic, which means that my partner is still stood down and is now facing redundancy after a 26 year career as a cabin services manager.

The sad and rare sight of so many parked aircraft

My business has reduced to a trickle, but I consider myself fortunate (due to my lack of overheads) I don't have to lay off staff, beat off a greedy landlord, or beg for utility companies to keep the lights on.

Federal government assistance has without a doubt helped to keep our heads above water: both my partner and I are receiving benefits that enable us to buy food and pay our bills.

My own grand design shelved......for now.

For now, our new home will have to wait for its planned internal transformation (still the subject of a future blog).

Externally; the carport will continue to lean, the windows will continue to leak, the spider population of our cabin will continue to rise, and as for the conservatory, well that's shelved for now.

So about that trickle............

The Mosman Lounge Room

One of my loyal Sydney clients approached me to help with visualising her front living room. The final room comprises some rather lovely furniture: a Divina Softwall lounge, a Flemming Lassen Tired Man chair, or is it Fat lounge by Tom Dixon…. or maybe Ox Chair by Hans Wegner? The television sits upon a lacquered glass clad modular wall system by Rimadesio, kept company by Shane Cotton artwork.

I presented my client with several options and narrowed to a selection of three

The fireplace also came in three options: a New York marble surround, a square sectioned contemporary piece and a chunky curved frame both in Limestone. The chimney breast is mantelpiece-to-ceiling mirror and to complete the cool look for this room is a two arm Serge Mouille wall sconce.

The Wagga Wagga House

I have also been working in collaboration with Gpg Architects with the finishing touches for an extensive home renovation in Wagga Wagga: I'm helping to bring together a kitchen, living area, theatre room, a bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The clients have now signed a contract with a local builder and work will be commencing on the main build later this year.

The final cut (almost) for the living and sleeping areas of this large renovation

In other news......

The Rozelle Kitchen which started life in 2017 is about 2 weeks away from being installed. The client has also chosen to replace the existing 10-panelled glass doors with Bi-folding French doors – and I would be there to see this happen but the borders remain steadfastly closed between NSW and Victoria: so I have a webcam instead!

The webcam is primed and ready to record this kitchen fit out!!

The fit out of this laundry in Mosman that I drafted earlier this year is now nearing completion of the installation stage with just the stone and the mirrored splashback awaiting installation. I hope to be able to have photographs of the completed project available soon.

Nearly there - it'll soon be time to pop the champagne on this one!

in conclusion.....

Mentally it has been a struggle at times; Worrying about money and the lack thereof, the uncertainty ahead, not being able to see our Melbourne friends or to make new ones, not being able travel to NSW to see our friends and families, not being able to jump on the bike and explore the local area, not being able to go for a meal, not be able to get to the gym (both my passion and my well being medicine), not being able to get out to suppliers and carry out the all important networking - all have tested our resilience to the limit.

What the situation has tested - above all else - is the strength of our relationship; we're simply not used to spending so much time together, and so far..... we haven't killed each other.... and that's a good thing!

On that note, stay safe and well and thank you so much for your continuing support.

Please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, and share it with your friends.


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