So, yesterday… And now it’s Day 2 of opening up.

Ziggy’s House of Nomms — Wollongong’s wonderful Chinese tea-house — didn’t open yesterday, but just posted on FB:

And we are all cleaned and polished ready to take your bookings, phone only, no online bookings please.

Yesterday 106-7 days of lockdown came to an end in NSW. Those days were rather like this. Remember?

For some getting a haircut was the greatest priority. I saw such a queue outside the barber shop in West Wollongong, and the Illawarra Mercury captured the early morning queue at the Figtree Centre.

The Illawarra Steelers Club opened their doors right on the stroke of midnight. I wasn’t there but did decide to make it my first stop when I went to town yesterday morning.

Alas when I got there at 9.30am there was a note on the door saying they were reopening at 11. So I walked up to City Diggers which opened at 9.30.

My friend Colin rang soon after to say he would join me there, but didn’t show up! The explanation: they would not let him in because he had no proof he had been double vaccinated. He had been. I got in with the paper given to me by the Medical Centre recording each jab. No problem.

But at lunch another Diggers and Illawarra Leagues Club friend, Maurice from Peru, had some news:

The tyranny of the app and the smart phone? OK, I had no problem at City Diggers with my old-fashioned and absolutely authentic vaccine documentation from the Wollongong Medical Centre — on paper.

But at Diggers an old Diggers and lately Collegians/Illawarra Leagues friend told me that Collegians was only accepting app and smartphone vaccine documentation. If so, this is absolutely deplorable! What are they? Sales agents for tech and smartphone interests?

If they try that on me then they will lose a member!

There have been big changes at Diggers, good changes. But not the bistro menu. You may recall it has never impressed me — in fact it was a prime reason why I (and Maurice and others) took to going the to Leagues instead. So lunch was one of the more edible specials, grilled fish, chips, and something rather laughingly called a salad.

And the Illawarra Leagues?

COLLEGIANS ILLAWARRA LEAGUES IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED.

Unfortunately as we transition into re-opening our clubs Collegians Illawarra Leagues will remain closed.

We hope we can open our doors in the near future and will communicate an open date as soon as we possibly can.

At this time Collegians Wollongong & Collegians Balgownie open from today Monday 11th October.

But all things considered it was great to be back yesterday! I summed it up just before lunch on FB:

Just said HI to Philip from Croatia — a Diggers regular. So nice to talk to actual people face to face after all this time. Sadly my friend Col MacDonald was supposed to have a drink with me this morning but — despite being one of the most tech-savvie people I know — he had no proof of vaccination, so Diggers would not let him in!

On the other hand my old-fashioned paper statement from the Wollongong Medical Centre was accepted, no problem!

Great to chat with some random people too!

And comparatively good news when our Local Health Area’s Covid stats came through:

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) confirms 38 local residents have tested positive to COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Of the new cases:– 17 are from the Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) – 8 are linked to known cases Postcodes – 2500 (2 case), 2502 (4), 2505 (1), 2506 (1), 2515 (2), 2518 (1), 2525 (1), 2530 (5)

— 11 are from the Shellharbour LGA – 3 are linked to a known case Postcodes – 2527 (6), 2528 (3), 2529 (2)

— 10 are from the Shoalhaven LGA – 1 is linked to a known case Postcodes – 2540 (1), 2541 (9)

— There are no new cases from the Kiama LGA

Oh yes — also had a good phone chat with Sirdan in New Zealand.