There’s a bloke who seems to drink most days at one of the pubs here in Lismore, who seems to have also drunk the Q-Anon Kool-Aid. He’s a big bloke, always wearing hi-vis, and he has a friendly face. But every time I’ve been there lately, he’s been talking rather loudly about various conspiracy theories.
“Trump will return to power within a couple of months”, I’ve heard him tell people. “Big changes are coming”, he’ll add, seeking their affirmation. The looks on the faces of the people he’s speaking to suggests their disbelief.
The other memorable overheard conversation this week was at another pub. “All they have on TV, these days is f…ing COVID, so I’ve learned how to use Netflix”, I heard a bloke say. Yes, I know it’s incredibly important to know what’s going on, but it’s also true the constant media coverage can get you down, and explains why people are looking for distractions.
Maybe the two conversations are linked?
Being home with family in Lismore, I’ve started to spend most nights watching “Neighbours” and “Home & Away”. At first, I found it hard to identify where one program finished and the other started.
But then I’ve started to notice one is set in Melbourne (Neighbours) and the other is set in Sydney. One is mostly set in loungerooms (Neighbours), and the other is set mostly in coffee shops.
“Neighbours” is also way “gayer” than “Home & Away”, with the program currently featuring two gay couples. I know more about these two shows than I thought possible when I came home back in June.
For the most part, I’m working from home, though on two days each week, I’ve been heading in to work at the local office of the ABC. Three days this week, actually.
Most days I’ll catch the bus to the office, and generally speaking, I’m often the only person on the bus.
And then in the afternoons, I’ll walk home, which affords me some exercise (about 3km, 45 minutes) and some lovely views.
I took a break from work yesterday to catch up with my cousin, Barry O’Brien. We have the same great-great grandparents, Peter O’Brien and Mary-Ann Goward. https://jamesobrien.id.au/genealogy/peter-obrien-and-mary-ann-goward/ We both have an interest in genealogy and that’s how we first met, when he was living in Muswellbrook.
At the time, my radio program was heard on the local ABC Radio station, and he heard me one day mention my ancestry. We met a few months later at the ABC in Sydney, and I vividly remember Drew (who worked at the coffee shop) asking if we were related. There’s definitely a physical similarity.
He was on his way to Queensland for a funeral, and called in to Lismore along the way. We chatted about lots of family history stuff, and I also took him for a walk around “the block”. He was amazed by the signs indicating how deep the flood waters were in the record-breaking 1974 flood.