Almanac Life: The small things that really matter

After days of freezing winds and torrential rain, causing havoc in parts of Melbourne, the sun has decided to welcome us to our first day of freedom, after two weeks of lockdown.

I’ve spent most of the past two weeks in my warm dressing gown and furry slippers, only changing to shop or take a walk. Even then I’ve tended to leave my nightie (I prefer them to pj’s) under my jeans and jumper when venturing out. Why not?

Opening the blinds this morning, a very different light greeted us. Gone was the grey, dull, wanting–to–go–back–to–bed morning bleariness of the past week or so, and instead, there it was – the beautiful sunshine. It was so welcoming.

After two hours of work, Marshall and I set off to a local café, knowing they too would be welcoming, only too welcoming given their situation during lockdown. Not only was the café of our choice overflowing with grateful customers, the surrounding ones were also celebrating. Smiles were to be seen everywhere. And the sun still shone.

Marshall ordered his favourite café breakfast and I mine. We read The Age and relaxed. It felt different somehow to previous lockdowns. The tension from last year’s months of restrictions was less palpable, and today, Friday June 11th 2021 – another special day for Melburnians – felt freer. What really seemed to matter was what was happening right in the here and now. The past and future were nowhere to be seen.

Leaving the café, we strolled up Victoria Avenue in our beautiful suburb of Albert Park and enjoyed the sunshine. And the freedom.

Arriving home, I asked Marshall if he had enjoyed his breakfast and very hot latte. Even though I’m well aware that questions are a bit of a waste of time where dementia is involved – unless talking about something that has literally just happened – when he replied “What breakfast?”, it simply reminded me that living in the here and now is what really matters.



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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. hey Jan yes what a sweet reminder the here moment. the eternal now as i call it. how delightful a time you and Marshall enjoyed walking and breakfasting in your lovely suburb!
    thankyou for the relaxing reminder! here and now!

  2. Julie Cattlin says

    Jan dear. That’s a lovely story. How important to enjoy every minute – as it’s happening.
    Lygon Street Carlton – our neighbourhood – was very busy tonight. We had dinner at our favourite restaurant. So good to see people smiling and chatting, and the restaurant and cafe owners looking happy. And many people were sitting outside, some even without heaters.
    Go Melbourne! Oops! I’m writing in a football magazine. I don’t mean the football club.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Lovely Jan. While we are ahead of you in regional Victoria, this has been a tough lockdown to take.

    Enjoy each level of freedom, hope we can get back to where we were just a few weeks back very quickly!

  4. Lovely story Jan. As a fellow Melbournian I can relate well . I had lunch with a friend in a Swan Street pub. So simple, yet so delightful.

  5. So true so true.
    And even when the skies are grey, that is our here and now moment. Didn’t think much of the here and now moment of last nights footy game though!!
    Go Swannies next week!

  6. Marie Teague says

    Lovely reminder Jan to be present and enjoy the moment.

  7. Marie Teague says

    The above question marks were not supposed to be there!! Not sure how that happened. I put in 2 hearts – a red one and a white one. X

  8. Many thanks everyone, for your kind comments. Much appreciated.

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