What has the limit of 5km distance from home done for you?

How are you managing “lockdown?”  The five kilometre limit on travel from home is particularly irksome, but there are sorts of solutions.  Google has an app (doesn’t it always?) that will draw a radius map of any limit from your present position.  The issue is that a five kilometre radius isn’t very large.  From our address we can get to the Macleod Shopping Centre and at a pinch some of the Burgundy Street shops and on the other side we could get to Bundoora Park, but we can’t get out of the car. There aren’t many essential services there.

So, what has a limit of five kilometres from home done for you?  Now the fact is there aren’t many vistas in this circle to be enjoyed through the windscreen.  There are panoramic views of Shopping Town on the horizon.  It’s evidence of a world outside the circle, but it’s hardly inspiring. Closer to home but closed for the time being is Heide Museum. John and Sunday Reed lived there and gathered around them a who’s who of Australian artists during the 1950s. They all lived in a bohemian lifestyle that scandalised the surrounding neighbourhood.

As an alternative, or addition is the first Heidelberg Cemetery in Hawden Street.  (spooky music here) I’m reliably informed that the original cemetery was larger than the pocket there now.  There are unmarked graves under surrounding houses and even under the road. Some headstones have been located and propped up against the fence. You could read the inscriptions as light relief.

Do you know the Victoria Cross estate in Macleod? It’s in an area bounded by Waiora Road Cherry and Ruthven Streets and McNamara Road. Each street is named after a V.C. winner.  There’s a memorial reserve in the north eastern corner.  You could ask the kids to “look up” the winners.  Maybe even write something about each one as an alternative to “work from home” exercises. Regardless of your own attitudes to war the stories tell of the exploits of some remarkable young men.  If you really want your kids to be curious you might ask, “Why are there no women there?

As an addition, be warned.  There are dangers in this travelogue too.  A daily trip around the block, maybe less than half a kilometre, and more to the point, what has it done for your car and its beating heart, the battery?  Short trips with the headlights on, the wipers going and the radio playing may need a call to the RACV.  (I plead guilty your honour). Please be aware of where you are if you stop and have to restart your car.  No matter how soothing and reassuring the receptionist is, or how cheerful the young man who finally arrives to give your battery a “jump.”  It is profoundly humiliating.  I know!

John – Editor