Dire Straits, dire days and dire prospects if you’re hanging out for a mammogram. In lockdown, it seems like another “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE.
Here I am again in this mean old town
And you’re so far away from me
And where are you when the sun goes down?
You’re so far away from me
THIS week’s ear-worm – “So Far Away” – came compliments of last week’s two-more-weeks (at least) edict.
I was whimsically trying to think of good lockdown anthems (“Stuck in the Middle” by Stealers Wheel tied with Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” for second) and came up with the Dire Straits track from its classic album “Brothers in Arms”.
Given it’s number one in my head this week, there was a shock in discovering the song only made number 22 on the Australian charts in 1985. Weirdly, the Norwegians got it to number 4; maybe they saw this pandemic coming!
IT’S probably too early to tell if September 17 is it, but I was having a conversation with an eminently sensible person who has an arithmetically gifted mate who was able to convolute the Chief Minister’s (I thought positive) mention of the covid “reproduction number” being below the figure 1 into a sign that we won’t be sitting, drinking cappuccinos in Caphs any time soon.
It was a thought that coalesced in a subsequent press conference when the headminister said the ACT would only gradually ease restrictions as the vaccination rate increases.
Dangling the carrot of a “great Christmas with family and friends”, Andrew Barr said: “The next few months, while we fully vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Canberrans, are going to be difficult.”
And no breath holding for freedom day at 70 per cent vaccinations. “It’s not safe. But does allow some relaxation of restrictions.”
“HOW come women can’t get a mammogram, but we can go and see a chiropractor?” wonders one of my lady snouts.
“I just realised this when my chiropractor called to confirm my appointment. I was shocked to hear that they could still see patients but women can’t go to a breast screen appointment.
“Seems wrong to me, given that even a month’s delay of a breast screen could be the difference between treatable cancer and cancer that has spread into lymph nodes and is a lot harder to treat. Life and death, really.”
She’s right about BreastScreen ACT. They say they’re not making any future appointments at this time but that “all clients who have had a mammogram recently will have, if required, further assessment completed”. Everyone else will have to wait or see their GP.
THERE’S nothing that gets letter-to-editor writers into a lather more than when the grass grows too long in spring.
Steeling himself, so to speak, City Services Minister Chris Steel said it’s going to be slow mowing until the lockdown lifts as his directorate is obliged, thanks to covid, to take a staged approach to ramping up operations as more mowers return to work.
For now irrigated parks and sportsgrounds, which are getting extra traffic as locked down Canberrans exercise, will be an initial focus for mowing crews, as are roadside intersections.
“We ask for the community’s understanding and patience as our crews work to mow priority areas across the city while also complying with current health directions,” the minister almost simpered.
But it won’t stop the letters…
LET’S finish with a warm glow. The other day “lovely listener” Sue won a $100 voucher on 2CA’s breakfast show to spend at The Butcher Shop (there’s actually five of them). Sue asked that her voucher be donated to Garry Malhotra, the driving force behind Ken Behrens Helping Hands, which is a group of volunteers rustling up 7000 meals a day to feed needy people in the ACT and surrounds.
Nice, but it gets better: Ian Turner, a The Butcher Shop owner, heard about Sue’s donation and upped the donation to 100 kilograms of chicken thighs and beef mince. That’s about $5000 worth of meat.
SO, just another week to go then…
I’m tired of being in love and being all alone
When you’re so far away from me
I’m tired of making out on the telephone
Cause you’re so far away from me
- Ian Meikle is the editor of “CityNews” and can be heard on the “CityNews Sunday Roast” news and interview program, 2CC, 9am-noon.
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Ian Meikle, editor