The what's on list of external events for this week has been whittled back significantly. Many activities have been limited or cancelled. Meanwhile, the option to head to nearby communities in Greater Sydney and Wollongong have been put on hold due to the lockdown directive. However, that doesn't mean there is nothing for you to do after work, on the weekend or in your otherwise plentiful spare time until midnight on Friday, July 9 (fingers crossed and touch wood).
Learn a language
You may not be able to travel overseas, but it doesn't mean you can't get a taste of touring by learning the language of the next country you want to go to. There are a range of language-learning apps and, while they may not be as comprehensive as immersing yourself on the ground, they will get you on your way. Indulge in Italian; natter in Norwegian; soak up some Spanish; or roll some Russian off your tongue. If nothing esle it will impress your friends. There are some free ones out there, like Duolingo, that even have Klingon on their rota.
Test out new skills
Whether it be cooking or a musical instrument, you probably started learning a new skill last lockdown. In the interim it may have been pushed aside for other activities, but now it can be dusted off. You already started (that's the hard part), now you can re-explore that skill and expand on what you know. If you're new to sourdough (I know, probably nobody by now) or want to branch out a bit from plain old white, have a look at foodbodsourdough.com.
Listen to a podcast
You probably do this already, but use your extra time at home wisely and choose something a little bit different, something that expands your mind. Or, catch up on that stockpile of podcasts you keep clicking on to listen to "at some point". We've got some great storytelling on our Vora Podcast - just search vora podcast and your local Australian Community Media website into a Google search. Good listening
It sounds trite, but you could do worse than to immerse yourself in TEDtalks and learn some new ideas from experts. Or, just people that you admire and who you' like to hear from. Why not try searching out a webinar on a subject of your choice, where someone presents to you as if you are at a conference (but you can pause them at any time if it's pre-recorded).
Whatever your streaming service of choice and no matter your favoured genre, there will be plenty of series available for viewing ... and plenty of time to get it done. Far be it from us to tell you what to watch, but if you're up for it, now is as good a time as any. You could give The Republic of Sarah (Stan) a go, catch up on Jack Irish (ABC iView), all three season of The Kominsky Method (Netflix), or hang out in Docplay for a wide range of documentaries. And if you're a sports fan, there is almost three weeks of the Tour de France to go (SBS live and SBS on demand) - that will knock out about four hours a day - plus Wimbeldon has been served onto our screens, starting just this week.
That increasing pile of "must read" books you have? Why don't you get started on that? If you're looking for some more to add to the pile, why not try A.K Blakemore's The Manningtree Witches, The Truth About China by the ABC's Bill Birtles, or Sam Van Zweden's Eating With My Mouth Open. Or check out the new thriller A Voice in the Night recently released by Bundanoon author Sarah Hawthorn.
For the calendar
Restrictions and lockdown won't last forever so it will pay to plan ahead. When the road is again open there will be businesses, communities and events aplenty eagerly awaiting your return. Search for events in your community and then start spreading your wings a little further each time to find at least one thing to do every weekend. Most communities have a what's on list so start by checking out council websites or simply googling "what's on in Southern Highlands."
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