Editorial August 21st 2021

Welcome to this week’s editorial, From all accounts it appears as though our Lock Down will be continuing for some time. Starting on Monday it will be mandatory to wear a mask at all times outdoors if you are not exercising. From 12.01am Monday, 23 August, the following additional rule will also be introduced for Greater Sydney (including regional NSW until 28 August): Mask wearing will be mandatory when outside your home, except when exercising. As with any notice we receive of late it is important that we consider every word and go directly to the source to establish definitions. I did this for the word 'Exercise'. The question I put to myself was whether walking my dogs twice daily was exercise. Fortunately the NSW Covid page provided clarity:

Based on the above I have determined that walking my dogs (that requires considerable physical effort to prise me from my chair, my book, my laptop, my kitchen) will maintain, and possibly even improve my health (possibly even burning off any additional Lock-Down calories). My twice daily dog walks are a joy, all the moreso as we approach Spring. To have to do so with a mask would remove one of the most pleasurable elements of the walk away—the smells. My home is surrounded by stunning old gardens filled with the perfumes of flowers from yesteryear. Old world fressias and jasmine fill the air and mix with the fragrances of the reserves that are now coming into native flower. As you approach the shore the scent of salt on the air is like a tonic for the senses as you inhale deeply of the Tasman breezes. The old expression of “stopping and smelling the roses” has never been more important than now where we are being swamped from everyside with stories of gloom and doom. I have my own remedy for this which is to take two playful, joyful dogs for a walk and join them in their quest to explore the day via their noses. While I can enjoy the smells of flowers and the sea they enjoy discovering what dogs had passed by and what they may have eaten in the past 12 hours. I try to forget the world for an hour a day and give myself over to the very reason I live in this little corner of the planet—for the silence away from the NOISE, for the birds, the nature, the sea. My Time, shared with two dogs that remind me to smell the roses and wag for the small pleasures that one might find. Until next—lei

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