So our opening up after lockdown has been tentative really…

After all, we are now officially “living with the virus” — though well vaxed considering the messy start to that process. In NSW yesterday these were the main stats.

And our local data:

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) is urging the community to get vaccinated and come forward for testing after recording 17 positive COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Of the 17 new cases:

— 7 are from the Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) – 4 are linked to known cases Postcodes – 2518 (1), 2519 (1), 2526 (1), 2530 (4) None in my postcode 2500 for 3 days!

— 8 are from the Shellharbour LGA – 5 are linked to a known case Postcode – 2527 (7), 2528 (1)

— 2 are from the Shoalhaven LGA – 0 are linked to a known case Postcode – 2540 (2)

— There are no cases reported in the Kiama LGA

There have now been 2,304 local cases of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District since the start of the current outbreak in June.

I have only ventured out to the Clubs twice since 11 October, and that because I also needed to visit the pharmacy. I posted on the first visit, to Diggers, on 12 October, having first tried Steelers which had opened at midnight, but “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 second excursion was last Monday.

I stayed for lunch. Now you may have gathered I am not overfond of the current menu in the Diggers Bistro — in fact this is why I and a number of others migrated to Illawarra Leagues for our lunches. See my post Changes in clubland here in The Gong from January 2021. I ordered chicken schnitzel, overpriced at $24 but also in far too large a portion. It did not come with gravy — you had to ask for that. There were too many chips, and the standard salad is a rather revolting shredded cabbage affair, and not much of it. I could not finish the meal, though the schnitzel was in itself OK. But I so miss the Illawarra Leagues $7.90 specials!

Monday Chicken Schnitzel⠀(bottom right)
Tuesday Beef Lasagna⠀
Wednesday Sirloin Steak⠀
Thursday Chicken Parmigiana⠀
Friday Fish & Calamari⠀⠀

But, alas, Illawarra Leagues has not yet re-opened. I do note though that Steelers has a much more promising menu than Diggers, and better than they have had until recently. I may give it a go soon. It is a bit expensive, but choices are there within budget.

A plus on Monday though was that Bob turned up, and we had a good chat. He didn’t order a lunch… We had talked a number of times a year ago, and his is quite a story. He is now 80, a Vietnam veteran but for a while there homeless and spending his nights travelling the train to Sydney and back just to have a safe place to sleep. That after a productive life too. However, at the time I met him the Housing Trust had done him proud and he got accommodation in Corrimal, where he is still, and is very happy.

Finally, the tentative opening after 11 October is apparent in Sydney too, as this walk taken through Chinatown on 11 October clearly shows. This is a part of the city I know well. In the past it was always very busy.