I think Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, has done it harder than the rest of the country with lockdowns. Last night three community cases were reported and a Level Three lockdown was announced yesterday evening and went into effect at midnight, a few hours later. At least we managed to get through Christmas and New Year and summer holidays without lockdown. Just ten days ago I was dancing in a marquee filled with hundreds of people at the Auckland Folk Festival. So grateful we got to go to the Festival. It felt odd to be at an event of that size when friends all over the world were in lockdown. Now it's our turn again.
NZ's Level Three means a lockdown with only supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations open, schools closed, everyone working from home and only essential workers out and about, with roadblocks on roads in and out of the city. Even though we've been there twice before and we can see none of it from our little house on the hill, it's still surreal.
The rest of the country is at Level Two. Restricted movement and limits on gatherings etc.
All the info is HERE if you need it, or if you internationals are curious.
My heart goes out to everyone whose travel plans were cancelled, those who can't be with whanau who need them, folks living alone or with mental health wobbles, work-life turned upside down and those small businesses who are just surviving and aren't sure how they're going make it through this lockdown. You folks are doing it tough. I hope it eases for you soon. Remember to reach out if you need to.
Meanwhile, every kid I know who goes to school is super pleased to get more home time, homeschoolers not so much!
We're focussing on making good food, baking bread, audio books, podcasts and read alouds - Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain atm - my favourite when I was a girl. I'm quietly stoked lockdown means more writing time for me and we're super lucky to live near a beach for long walks -once the inclement weather passes and we get back to summer!
Also - check out the Folk Festival photos - Troy Kingi, aka The King of Swoon, wins the 'most unusual pairing' prize with Delany Davidson, Polytropos were cute as, super fun and won the 'best connection' between performers prize and The Eastern were stage jumpingly good - Reb Fountain joined them just like the old days. She did the APRA Songwriter Speaks session on the Sunday - which was 'SUPER YAY'. It's one of my highlights of the Festival. Reb is fab.
Disclaimer: All prizes are imaginary but no less poignant.
Lockdown photos would be a bit grim, it's rainy, the garden is barren, the house is a mess and even the dog is grumpy today. I thought you'd enjoy the festival photos more.
Photo credit for the happy crowd shot goes to the talented Eve Manning.