THE shackles came off a little more at the weekend giving the state the first taste of comparative freedom (without feeling guilty) in what has seemed to many to have been an eternity but has really been just two months (what do you mean 'just' do I hear you ask?)
In Greater Lithgow as elsewhere in NSW the changing situation was greeted with mixed reaction, with the more cautious amongst us who have by now grown accustomed to life with limitations adopting, perhaps wisely, a wait and see stance.
With mild Autumn weather doing its best to entice ventures out of doors, the smaller cafes were the busiest they have been in weeks but larger venues predictably could see nothing to be gained in opening for only 10 patrons at a time and elected to continue with their takeaways that have proved so popular during our isolation.
With limited table service now allowed café staff will no doubt be discouraging the social tradition of one coffee followed by an hour long natter among friends before moving on.
Bar trade in pubs and clubs remains non existent for now.
But away from the café society there was more evidence of just how eager we have been to break out with a very noticeable increase in traffic movement on our highways and byways.
The challenge is now to enjoy the new found freedom but don't take it for granted.
The sniff test
THERE are some out there who still don't get the message on looking out for their fellow man (or woman) during this pandemic thing.
In the fruit department at Coles in Lithgow at the weekend a youngish woman attracted disapproving stares as she picked up oranges, sniffed at them then put them back on the stack until she found something acceptable to her nose test.
"Just as well we don't eat the skin', was the appropriate overheard comment.
COUNCIL's very competent concreting crew has been on the job in recent days replacing hazardous footpath slabs in Hassans Walls Road near the southern end of Queen Elizabeth Park.
While they were right on the spot it's a pity their bosses didn't take the opportunity to do something about those useless concrete columns on the park entrance that have been giving a four finger salute to the sky for decades.
They formed part of an ornamental archway 100 years ago but these days are just another reflection of neglect - just like the adjacent vandalised mesh boundary fences.
It's not a good look
HERE in Lithgow's Main Street the sidewalk supervisors who take an interest in these things are wondering with a degree of concern just how long it's going to take for the library's badly wounded faade to be restored to some form of respectability.
The awning and upper faade were demolished back in 2019 after a structural defect was located. Now it's arguably the CBD's most prominent eyesore and that's really saying something in a very competitive field.
Meanwhile mystery surrounds the plan for the old Black Rock Cafe in Main Street that disappeared behind construction site hoardings way, way back last year. Perhaps somethings not evident is happening behind the scenes.