17 Now!

Well here we are, May already. Kyah’s 17th birthday has just passed this week; not without lots of celebrations, loads of yummy food and cakes consumed,  and some fantastic memories made. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Kyah feel extremely special; simply by contacting her, spending time with her, giving her a gift, or making her favourite meal and/or cake and spending time with her. The last few weeks have been very busy with birthday celebrations and socialising. We are fortunate that restrictions from COVID-19 have been lifted even if only slightly, which have allowed us to spend time with close friends.

 

Time flies by. We are almost into June of 2020. But even the years are moving by quickly. I can remember Kyah  starting out dancing as a two and a half year old. It really does not seem that long ago. But it must have been. Oh, how she has grown and matured since this photo.

Kyah 2006 – her first year of dance

Everyone around the world is still feeling the effects of COVID-19. It has been at least 9 weeks that Australia has been in lock down of some sort. On March 23, I removed Kyah from face-to-face classes. This was because I was not sure what to expect; the unknown of the new virus, its contagiosity, the incidence and it’s location in Australia. Add to that the fact Kyah was catching public transport to ballet and back home in the afternoons from school. I did not want to put her at any risk of getting sick. Thankfully, both of us have escaped from catching the virus and we managed to stay sane while confined to the home.

Over the holidays Kyah was pretty good with doing strength, cardiovascular, flexibility and prehab training on a daily basis. Her Pilates classes were put on hold  due to the lock down, so Kyah made use of the gym equipment we have at home.

Once term two started Kyah did ballet online. Queensland Ballet gave all students a 1x1m piece of tarkett flooring if they wanted / needed it. Because this is what they dance on we thought it best to take up the offer. They also offered to lend out a barre for students who wanted / needed one. Again, we took up the offer and borrowed a barre. This allowed Kyah to work at home with dance-specific equipment.

Classes happened on line every weekday and Saturdays from the start of term 2. It was obviously very different to face-to-face training; there was the very occasional glitch in the system; which is to be expected , but overall it worked quite well. Kyah did her ballet and dance requirements every morning, then got in and did her school work. She had priority for the gym at home – so when she had classes on and I had a client online, I taught in another room. It was only for a short period of time and we managed. Everyone has had to make sacrifices through this pandemic. Our sacrifices are nowhere near as inconvenient / devastating as some people have had to deal with.

Kyah is so close to finishing all her school and diploma requirements. She is really looking forward to having it all done and graduating from school at the end of this year. It is a bit frustrating for her having to wait over three weeks for feedback on some of her diploma work, which tends to slow her down a lot. But she seems to be filling in her time productively while she waits. She has just about completed her anatomy course, so she can then start the online Pilates course. There has been lots of work happening, but also lots of rest and relaxation. It is amazing how much spare time you have when travel is taken out of the equation.

We managed to get out of the house a couple of times and did some shopping. It is birthday month for us, on top of Mother’s Day. So we went out and did a bit of shopping, for each of us. We obviously practiced social distancing and good hygiene.  (Sorry, but who doesn’t normally practice good hygiene?) We got Kyah’s hair cut and put a colour in it; there’s no time when she is back in to her busy schedule, so we have made good use of her time. We did massive cleaning, culling and sorting of stuff in the house. I know this has been a very popular activity with a lot of people, during this lock down period.  We both had our ‘flu injections so we are ready to go out into the big real world again, feeling slightly armed against viruses.

Kyah has really missed doing her Pilates sessions. I can imagine when they are open again, which apparently is June 13, she will be booking in 4-5 times each week, if she can!!! She is really looking froward to getting back into those classes.

We have had friend’s birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, farewells, all observed keeping the recommended distancing and number of people regulations in the forefront of our minds. Thank goodness for the internet. Again lots of food consumed and good times enjoyed.

Easter was a kind of non-event, as I think it was for most people. It kind of seemed to come and go for us. It was a blur of days at home, doing much the same thing each day. We caught up with friends we haven’t chatted to for a while – that was lovely. And, we did some online shopping. So we did pretty much what the rest of the world did for the last nine weeks.

ANZAC Day celebrations were significant for us. We stood out on the driveway with our neighbours on theirs, remembering those that made os many sacrifices for our country. ANZAC Day is also a significant day for us, as Kyah lost an uncle in 2014 on ANZAC Day. His death was health related, but even still we stop and take time to connect with family and remember Vincent.

Two weeks ago the Queensland Government allowed the two senior years to go back to school, which meant Queensland Ballet Academy resumed face-to-face classes. Kyah really enjoyed getting back to the new facility and having like-minded people around her. She much prefers the interaction and instruction she receives when they are in the same room, as I imagine most of the them would.

Once restrictions were lifted here, we started going over to friends’ places. A few dinners, lunches and simply catching up with people. it’s been a very social last three weeks. We are now settling back into the safe confines of our home. We do not want to see this virus start to spread again, so we are trying to stay indoors as much as we can.

The neighbour’s cat loves to come over and visit. He is such a nice cat – definitely made me realise there are actually cats that can be affectionate and nice!!! Kyah enjoys playing with him and having the occasional snuggle.  Who needs a pet, when you can borrow the neighbour’s???

Restrictions have now been relaxed so it is possible for us to visit Dad in the nursing home. We plan on going down tomorrow to see how he is going. It has been a couple of months since we have seen him so we are both very much looking forward to seeing him tomorrow. We speak to him regularly on the phone, but that is not the same. So tomorrow will be nice to actually see him in person.

We were recently notified that there will be no Gala Performance for Queensland Ballet Academy at the end of this year. This is very sad, but to be expected. The dancers are still required to practice social distancing and there has been no pas de deux at all for almost the entire year.  This means dancers have had limited time to dance together and possibly will not perform at their best. Also considering the fact there is a high chance there will still be restrictions on numbers in auditoriums it would make performances possibly less than less than ideal to organise and conduct. This is such a shame, but I am sure something positive will come out of the decision.

So for the time being, life is slowly returning to normal as we knew it. Let’s hope and pray there is no second spike in the numbers of incidents of COVID-19.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. NASB