Promise in the desert
In news last month, the final Qantas 747 aeroplane flew its last flight in Australia, to the Californian desert, to rest amongst other retired planes in a plane graveyard. This event occurred six months ahead of schedule due to the decrease in long haul flights as a result of travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. On its departure, the plane left a memorable mark, drawing a flying kangaroo in the sky with the path it flew on its way out.
This was a new concept to me; I had never heard of retired aeroplanes being abandoned in the desert before. So, I did some research on ‘airplane graveyards’ and discovered that the Mojave Desert in California is one of many plane graveyards used for this reason because of its dry climate. Apparently, it takes longer for the planes to rust here before their parts are reused or they are melted down – there is promise in the desert.
In other news, it has been determined that global weather forecasts during the COVID-19 period (so most of 2020), have been ‘less accurate’ due to a reduction in the number of international flights. It turns out that planes help to predict the weather by measuring outside air temperature, humidity, air pressure and wind. This inaccuracy of data is likely to influence the ability of scientists being able to predict extreme weather events and the stability of the electrical grid. I haven’t been taking too much notice of the weather forecast lately, except for occasionally checking the radar for clear skies so that we can walk the dog without being rained on, and the on the spot forecast has been pretty accurate.
Last weekend we were out for a walk, when my husband observed that the weather was similar to a cool day in Taipei, Taiwan. I looked around and saw the light fog and still trees and felt the cool air on my cheeks and agreed, although we have never been to Taipei in Winter. Winter is almost over here in Australia; and being confined to our homes has meant that it has gone by without affecting us too much. We haven’t found ourselves caught in a storm without an umbrella, hurrying home from the train station when it’s dark, or watching the rain fall from up high in our office towers. Instead we have been venturing outside during the day to walk the dog or go for a run, but rather than being restricted by a tight schedule (other than the one whole hour we have to spend outside).
As the days (slowly) become longer and the air warmer, everyone in the world is hoping for good news. Scientists have been doing all that they can to bring an end to this catastrophic disease, and although some are saying that there there may never be a vaccine, there will be a way to beat this. In the meantime, we need to absorb the information around us without getting overwhelmed, and stay as healthy as possible, both physically and mentally.
Now is a great time to challenge yourself with a new hobby. I have rekindled my love for baking and taught myself to sew. I have been keeping myself busy on weekends and between these newfound hobbies and spending time outside with the dog, there hasn’t been much time for anything else. I don’t know how I managed to squeeze so much into my weekends before lockdown; but I do know that when this is all over, I’m going to make an effort to slow the hell down.
If we can appreciate the things that are close to us, and challenge ourselves with new ideas we will be much more likely to feel accomplished. It’s in our nature to crave satisfaction and if this can be fulfilled by learning something new, why not put our minds to the test?