“How was your pandemic?” I question the taxi driver. I’m returning household to region Victoria just after 6 months absent.

“Horrible, terrible,” claims the taxi driver. “Winter, and everyone worried about the virus and businesses shut.”

We generate through city. The vegan cafe is long gone, as is the generate-by means of bottle store.

People today have started out likely out all over again, he tells me. “The concern is going.”

Previous Saturday night time the taxi provider was busy using people today to pubs and functions.

“You look like you have been someplace pleasant,” says the driver. I have a tan. I want I could notify him that I was someplace awesome for noble reasons: fruit picking or doing the job in a PPE manufacturing facility. But as a substitute I’ve been in Sydney, performing on a television exhibit the quintessential inessential worker.

I inform him about Sydney. Not a lot of people donning masks – nicely, they did for about two weeks in Ubers and on public transportation but then just sort of gave up simply because it was a little bit uncomfortable and was not required. What else? QR codes almost everywhere, little dwelling get-togethers, Covid marshalls telling you to sit down at the pub, limits of 10, limits of 15, limitations of 20, limits of 30, the seashore active on a weekday with people “working from home”.

“Welcome dwelling,” says the driver as he drops me at the entrance gate.

I experience a little choked up – but for all the completely wrong explanations. My garden. What has happened? Has anyone arrive and napalmed it? How could it be so extensively and fully useless???

I splashed out on a gardener and put in the initial lockdown planting a yard back garden – with anything from massive trees to tiny bouquets.

But now the grass is dry, bald in areas, the potted crops choked by thistles, and the tiny, tender vegetation that were placed so with any luck , in their beds are long gone – eradicated. It is like the garden in no way existed. Truly it is worse. The yard appears to be bestial, angry, raw.

I’m just about too fearful to search inside the dwelling.

Fortunately, all is standard … until eventually I go to the bathroom.

What has happened to the toilet? It is not the identical toilet I left behind in June. The seat has been changed – obtained by some panicked Airbnb guest most likely, who experienced broken it. The only difficulty is the new seat does not fit. Like a child’s potty seat, it’s around the bowl but with a substantial gap involving the seat and the bowl.

Brigid Delaney’s alternative rest room seat.

My mate Erik who saw a photo of it, observes, “With the underbite, it sort of appears like Woody Harrelson.”

Every single time I wander into the bathroom I have far more thoughts: did the guests actually assume I would not see a new, unwell-fitting bathroom seat? How did they split it? Where’s the previous rest room seat? Why did they not just inform me it’s broken?

But now, until I work out how to get it fixed, I’m trapped with this undersized monstrosity, and an outsized thriller.

There is a canon of scatological mysteries that haunts this region. Eighteen many years afterwards individuals are nevertheless talking about the Coogee Bay resort dessert thriller (a single guest claimed there have been faeces in her ice cream, the lodge denied it, a private settlement was achieved).

Then there was the 2018 Brisbane “poo jogger”. The motivations of the male, who “went” even though on his run each and every day, exterior the same block of flats, is also a secret.

Could the scenario of the lacking toilet seat be section of the canon? Almost certainly not. Although there are unanswered queries, it lacks the legitimate filthiness of the other mysterious excrement-relevant incidents.

In the meantime, publishing a photograph of the unusual toilet seat on Twitter, followers urge me to glance on the dazzling aspect. At least the visitors changed the seat.

Other people question about the conditions – was the seat wrenched off in sheer rage? (But if you have been enraged, would dismantling a toilet really be your go-to?) Or was it cracked immediately after an individual plonked down much too hard? Or did it have things on it that was difficult to cleanse off?

Some with plumbing know-how questioned if it was even a new seat, speculating that it may have just moved backwards.

“Pull it forward and tighten wing nuts less than back of seat. Clean palms,” instructed Andy Barrow by way of Twitter.

There was even some discussion about regardless of whether rest room seats occur in different designs:

“Toilet seats only occur in one particular sizing. There are two wing nuts at the rear of the bowl (beneath the hinges). Loosen them a pair of turns, wiggle the seat into the ideal location and then re-tighten,” recommended “Cam O’Flage” on Twitter.

“Nope nope nope. I get the job done in plumbing profits. Theres a ton of range with toilet pans these days and some have specific seats to match,” replied “Daisy 88”.

As I visit my nearby hardware retail outlet to discover the diversity of toilet pans, I depend my blessing that it’s just the bathroom seat (and my backyard garden) that are a bit off soon after so extensive absent.

Take into account what took place to “Tracy Trips” when she Airbnb’d her dwelling:

“We not long ago experienced another person repaint a total wall! A little wall, but a wall even so. It was a very poor color match and a botchy job all-around the edges”.

It’s possible I need to rely myself fortunate … Anyway, it feels great to be property.