‘The days are longer’: no footy, but a meditative Easter to remember

‘‘You’re up early and in bed early,’’ says Phillip Island resident Rosemary Thomas, who is living this Easter at a very different pace to a normal year, given the coronavirus restrictions.

For many Victorians, gone are big Easter get-togethers and trips to the football and markets are out, in favour of more-solitary pursuits.

A different pace: Rosemary Thomas, at home on Phillip Island on Saturday night.

Ms Thomas, of Cape Woolamai, said in a normal Easter, she’d be ‘‘out and about, visiting cafes, going to the market, and ‘‘having a glass of champagne with my friends in Venus Bay’’.

Ms Thomas would normally watch a local football match or AFL on the television, but they’ve been cancelled.

Instead, she has spent this Easter largely alone, albeit keeping in phone contact with her two sons, aged 17 and 12, who are with their father in Mount Eliza, her daughter, 24, in Brunswick and her mother, 81, who lives in Lorne.

Her mother was ‘‘quite isolated’’ and home help had stopped.

Cape Woolamai beach, Phillip Island, on Saturday aftrenoon,Credit:Rosemary Thomas

‘‘I ring her every second day. She’s got a little garden and just worked out how to use Netflix. She’s doing OK, I think.’’

Ms Thomas’s daughter had just lost her casual job working in a cafe.

Ms Thomas, a nurse and researcher into type-2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities who at present is working from home, said this Easter was ‘‘very different’’.

‘‘It is quiet; thoughtful and the days are longer,’’ she said. ‘‘I read Clive James’ poem Sentenced to life.

‘‘I lit a candle for Easter and ate fish on Good Friday . ‘‘I listened to the radio and cleaned my kitchen cupboards."

Ms Thomas noted that at the moment ‘‘you’re up early and in bed early".

"I don’t even have any wifi at the moment because it’s not working.

"I think the NBN’s struggling. I’ve got my phone and the radio and the TV.’’

The usual Easter routine had gone, Ms Thomas said. But on the other hand, ‘‘I‘ve decluttered the house, I'm painting a wall in my courtyard and walking a lot more.

Phillip Island was ‘‘not a bad spot to be. I walked 6 kilometres this morning over the San Remo bridge.’’

‘‘I’m just being constructive in the time, because there’s a lot of it.’’

This Easter was ‘‘much different" to past ones.

"I was speaking to a friend this morning. He’s on his own as well and he’s said he’s getting up really early and going to bed early.

‘‘He usually sails every day; now he’s going to his boat in St Kilda and cleaning it. ‘‘It’s a different pace, and I think when we get out of this [coronavirus], everyone will re-think the pace that we were going at beforehand.’’

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