There was a slightly surreal tinge to this week, here on The Homestead.
We kiwis have, we know, been living a very different life than many of you. Our Covid lock-down came and went and, slowly but surely, we slipped back into the old routines. Admittedly, I still don’t enter a new building without partaking of a hearty squirt of the proffered sanitiser and I usually remember to turn on bluetooth when heading out of the Homestead driveway, but generally we’re pretty much “back to normal” (unless your normal was regular overseas jaunts). We were a bit behind the times, only becoming aware of a new “community transmission” in Auckland when The Resident Engineer’s boss text on Sunday. The Prime Minister’s announcement half an hour later confirmed it; Auckland was moving to level 3, the rest of the country to Level 2, and so EMEx (engineering, machinery and electronics expo) our RE and her boss had been looking forward to attending was no longer. In the grand scheme of things, we know this was but a teeny tiny blip but it was a wake up call for us all. For three days it was back to masks and gloves and social distancing; Whatifs are scary beasts!
The conversation round the dinner table this week has centred on our country’s collective brush with the virus. We spoke of being thankful, and mindful, and living simply and cleanly. We examined ways we could become more robust as a unit, less buffeted by the happenings of “the outside world” while still maintaining an active part in it (like Auckland bound work jaunts). In fact, we turned this conversational pebble so much, polishing it to a gleam, we nearly missed a landmark moment in Union Homestead history.
When we took our first tentative steps down the Homesteading road, our often voiced dream was to eat entirely from our own land. Often in the past we have got close but this week
Okay, a purist would argue the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cornflour in the gravy let us down, but we felt it was a moment worth opening a bottle for.
Colin took all this table talk (from his vantage point underneath it) very seriously. How could he do his bit to keep the Homestead running smoothly? Maybe he could get in the washing?