The heart of Melbourne is the people. Not the empty city streets., but the crowds who turn out to shop, to cheer on sporting teams, or to throng for some cultural presentation.
There is a magic to the air then; the pride of being a Melburnian is palpable, and infectious.
We are happy people in a gloomy climate.
Perhaps that is why there are few smiles now. The weather has been horrid, the news from around the world is dismal, and just when we were doing so well in the pandemic, the numbers rose, the borders closed, and the rest of Australia - and Victoria - began pointing fingers at us.
These things happen, and in reality it was travellers from outside who brought in the infection and a few careless actions that set it loose from the quarantine.
Those of us who had isolated, and social distanced and masked like our lives depended on it, instead of being rewarded, we were sent back into imprisonment. How is that fair?
The weather is improving, the days are getting longer, the numbers are going down, and the spirits rising.
Slowly, slowly, and everyone wonders about the first Tuesday in November, which is always a public holiday here and a day for ridiculous excess, over-indulgence, and heaven for taxidrivers.
Yes, it's grey and glum. But my heart is lifting. I'm writing, feeling productive, feeling positive. We'll beat this thing if it kills us!