Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Frugal Friday: Lockdown #6 edition.

Rose - apricot coloured blooms.

Oof. It’s hard when a state is only 9 days out of the last lockdown and then has 4 hour’s notice before being thrown back into the next one. I’m sure all 6.6 million Victorians would like to thank the family from Sydney who broke the rules and precipitated this for us all.

For the first time, I was caught on the back foot and didn’t have a specific project lined up to do. I spent Thursday driving to Moorabbin to get my car serviced, then a went for a walk with Tom29, who is waiting to start his new job next week. He jumped jobs and earned a 40% increase in his wage, so I’m very proud of him.

Then I went into work. I owed Alice a bottla champagne on a bet we had in the series finale of ‘Celebrity Apprentice Australia.’ I also needed to give my $2 to the sweep organiser for ‘Survivor.’ WHAT a cracking season it’s been so far! We have a Whatsapp group going so every episode we’re chatting away.

(I distinguished myself by logging on to chat one night and not noticing that I was on the wrong chat. I was making remarks about the show and wondering where all the others were, until I realised that I was actually sending these weird messages to James, my Irish friend that I met when we went to North Korea 3 years ago. He thought it was hilarious…)

I spent a lovely couple of hours chatting with people and catching up on what’s been going on. So many people would walk into the Danger Zone, the area of staff room 2 where I always lived, glance at me, then do a double-take when they remembered that I don’t work here anymore.

People kept asking if I was still enjoying being away from work. My reply? Something along the lines of, “Retirement is fucking fantastic!!!!”

Still, the general atmosphere was pretty glum. It’s hard on both the teachers and the kids when remote learning comes into play and they’re all pretty sick of it. The announcement of the lockdown hadn’t yet been made when I was there but it seemed pretty obvious that it was going to happen.

On the way back to pick up my car, I received a phone call from Mum. She and Dad were having computer problems. Ugh! But as luck would have it, I was 5 minutes away from them so I dropped in after the car was done and worked out what was going on. Lucky – otherwise it’d be ages before we could clap eyes on each other again.

Even though I’m fully vaxxed, I kept my mask on the whole day. I don’t like the sound of Delta… both the virus and Goodrum. (Just a little joke.)

So it was after 5 when I eventually arrived home. Ryan26 met me at the front door after the little woofs had finished their hysterical greeting. Fair enough – I was gone the whole day. Clearly, I was never going to come back and they would be all alone with only Ryan26 to love…

“You’ve got a parcel. Live plants.”

I blinked. I thought all my plants from Diggers had been delivered…?

Look at the picture at the top of the post. Six years ago when I fulfilled my lifelong dream of going to the UK and Europe, a reader of the Frog blog contacted me and asked if I’d like to stay at their place for a few days and she’d show me around. I spent 3 beautiful days with Deana and her family, and she took me to Hever Castle, Jane Austen’s house and Canterbury.

In the Canterbury post I mentioned shopping at a quilt shop there. Last year one of my lockdown projects was to turn some of that fabric into a quilt for Deana as a surprise. Anyway – she got me back.

She sent me a bare-rooted rose bush called “Lady Gardener’, which is the rose in the photo. Fortunate Frogdancer strikes again! Now I have a project for lockdown #6 – I’ll be getting Ryan26 to dig another hole in the orchard and I’ll plant it beside the fence. The blooms will look lovely this summer in front of the dark grey.

It’s somehow fitting that an English rose has given me an English rose. 🙂

Dad Joke of the day:

I’ve accidentally swallowed some Scrabble tiles. My next crap could spell disaster. 


  1. Mandy

    Haha if my younger boy had an English teacher with jokes like that I reckon he’d actually enjoy, and be engaged in the subject. No wonder your students loved you.

    • FrogdancerJones

      If I ever forgot to put the day’s joke up on the board, they’d always remind me. I’d apologise for being so unprofessional as to forget!!

  2. Budget Life List

    That sucks about lockdown #6 but I’m sure lockdown during retirement is waaaayyyy better than lockdown with remote learning.

  3. Maureen

    Things are going sideways with COVID here in the States too, even with a decent vaccine rate. Scary stuff. Luckily lockdowns seem unlikely, but rational folks have started to implement social distancing again, like myself. I’m getting tired of protecting fools though!

  4. Kathy Aylward

    The rose is such a lovely surprize. I feel for Melbourne as you have carried the most lock downs in Australia. In Brisbane we have only done snap 3-4 day lockdowns and this one rightly so is longer. Given Melbourne numbers today I’m not keen for the lockdown to lift for at least a week. We are grateful that most of the cases people are already in lockdown so community transmission is minimal but it’s still Delta and one case in the community can mean more cases. My concern is that most of these cases are school children and it’s very concerning given they are not in line for vaccination. I have a year 12 son however I think things will be okay in Brisbane unlike Sydney who I think will be in lockdown for months to come with the year 12 students. I just got my delivery of “Cornersmith” books from Sydney this week. I have been reading through these stunning and inspiring books all 3 of them that I ordered with 40% off for my September birthday. Have you heard of this beautiful cafe/store/workshops and the husband and wife story who set it up 8 years ago. The book titles are “Salad & Pickles”, “Use it All” and “Cornersmith”. Have a look at the IG page too. I got to and made some marmalade jam late one afternoon and some of the recipes make 2-4 jars of things so not a massive preserving effort and costs too. Have a good week.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Preserving sounds like a brilliant lockdown activity.

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