Wednesday, 9 December 2020

My year in review - 2020

Linking this old post with #WeekendReflection because I really like this photo


This is a year best forgotten. While I sincerely hope it is done and dusted,  and 2021 brings joys and peace we can barely remember, it hasn't been all bad. There's been plenty of fun and accomplishments along the way.

January saw the end of the fires, we travelled through Norway chasing the Northern Lights and being chased by a polar bear. I managed to catch the fabulous Lizzo and Max Frost and bring in the New Year at my last Festival, Field Day (feels an eternity ago) for Disclosure.





February we had tourist fun with friends visiting from Greece, many plays and concerts, including one of my all time favs, Parov Stelar. 





March saw COVID and hoarding creep into our lives, and then suddenly lockdown was upon us. I am so glad I snuck in Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama and Grace Petrie in the first two weeks. Then it was a lot of cancellations and confusion.





April and May fluctuated with new fun at home, getting lost in music and memories, and a deep sadness at the pain of the world and the death of great musicians and artists, and numbers....lots of numbers.

June we were out again but a little stressed and unsure how to behave. What was safe? What were the rules?
July we got more confident, found comedy gigs and some live music. Little by little a sort of normal creeping back. We even managed a night in the Southern Highlands!
August saw some success with stories being published and moving through to later rounds of writing competitions (and long listed in Furious Fiction) plus a weekend in Culburra with the Champagne Club.
September and October raced along with weekends in Canberra, Culburra, Currawong and Whale Beach. And all of life resuming tentatively in person.



November saw me back at the Opera House and I've been there many times since.

















I am wrapping up December with this post so I can fully enjoy the parties (yes! Outdoors, and under 50, with COVID safe food and hand towels), the school farewells and the Christmas traditions.















I wish you all a merry Christmas, or holiday break, and may 2021 be the miracle year we all need it to be. I've been out every night this week and feel elated and energised. Next week is focused on the kids and their things, so it's like my xmas season came early. 










I will be gone until Feb as I have much writing to focus on. My Insta will continue as usual.






You may have noticed the 'snaps' aren't related to the words (the links in the text will lead you to those photos) but I did enjoy taking these, and I don't think they'd made the blog yet.

Bones

 

Last post for the year for #WeekendReflection and #WeekendinBlackandWhite, but it's a beauty, if I don't say so myself. I was at the doctor and taken by the cheeky smile from the guy watching me from the corner...


Stay safe and here's to a much improved 2021 for us all!

See you in Feb.

Linking with #PictorialTuesday #KeithsRamblings  #WordlessWednesday #WWOAT #TheRandom #SundayBest



A Christmas Story


This is the last #XmasLinky for the year, as I'll be off until Feb as of Wednesday.

Stay safe, both on the roads and in the air, don't forget to wash your hands regularly and all the other COVID jazz.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and here's to a better 2021 for us all!



A little Christmas tale I wrote many years ago - 100 words exactly:

She knew Santa looked at who was naughty or nice and gave gifts accordingly. She'd been good all year, not a cross word, always helpful and kind. Yet the Christmas tree was still bare, not a single gift at the base. The stocking hung by the chimney with care was also empty. Disappointment and confusion would reign yet again on Christmas morning.

He could think of a present for every single child on the face of the earth but didn't ever remember to leave something for her. Mrs Claus looked at her exhausted husband and wondered if he'd ever change. 

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo

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Sunday, 6 December 2020

“Friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have.” ― A.A. Milne

 I have had an emotionally stressful week. After let’s face it, an exhaustingly stressful and confusing year. Last night I went to my Mah Jong group Xmas party - these women I have known for 12 years (one of them much longer as they’re technically her friends). Within half an hour the stress and sadness was washed away and it felt festive and ‘normal’ (that long forgotten life we used to have). I am so grateful to have people in my life that can elevate me without even knowing they need to try.




My Random Musings




































Lucky

 

We are so lucky to have got our community transmission down to zero. We all slowly breathe a sigh of relief. Masks disappear though we still madly sanitise and check in everywhere....I am relieved my tickets to STC still require spacing (though that has now changed for any new tickets - bit mistake in my opinion) and I've fingers crossed my Pippin tickets will be isolated by chance. I'm not ready to sit crammed in with strangers. Crammed in with anyone really.

As we have seen, however, it's only a matter of time if we don't take care. How we still haven't sorted out International Quarantine is beyond me. And as for when we stop hotel quarantine, that will be a HUGE mistake. 

I look at countries in Europe who got it under control and are now facing lockdown again. I hope we learn from them, but I don't think our powers are even paying attention, which worries me.

So for now, I am making the most of it - theatre, concerts, possibly even DANCING this week! A xmas party with up to 50 friends outside (need the weather to hold for me!!) and all the other end of year festivities. I am 'on the clock' as I like to say, regarding making the most of eased restrictions. I still wear a mask and have sanitiser with me at all times.

I'm trying not to hug people (though I'm finding I have to recoil as they approach me, which is causing all sorts of embarrassment).

I am happy, and feeling very lucky. I did give a number of family their Xmas presents on the weekend 'to put under the tree', partly to avoid getting stuck with it in case we go into lockdown. So while I am revelling and congratulating Australia at our good fortune, I know the minute we open the internal borders, we risk our contact tracers becoming too slow to contain spread (due to too many people moving around, not their competence. They get 'over run' too). 

We still need to do our part. Don't assume it's over. Over the next few weeks we need to keep vigilant and as Clint Eastwood said "You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" And for now, the answer is thankfully YES!


Linking with #Lifethisweek

Crazy pink sky the other night. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

More Gift Ideas for the hard to buy for...(the ISO selection) #XmasLinky

It's been a strange year. For some, they're still keeping a low profile. Here's some out of the ordinary gift ideas for them!
 

1. Bottle Rocket is doing 2 drinks and a movie for $35 (each cocktail comes with a complimentary pass to rent a film on Movie Night, their curated streaming platform featuring the best new releases, cult gems and classics)  the perfect way to make the holiday season special (delivery costs apply). As an aside, they are also showing a Christmas season at the Golden Age Cinema for those needing some help getting into the spirit this year.

2. Give them a night off - you will need to take the surprise out of this by sorting out delivery, but The Grounds have great meals, desserts and sides so you don't have to lift a finger to feed up to 6.


3. Dinner ladies can go in the freezer, so give a few nights off  kitchen duties!

4. If they're in the war against waste, and really have anything, save them some bucks and hook them into Zero Co - a fantastic way to reduce plastic consumption with great cleaning products to boot!

5. Give an Audible subscription - 1 month, 3 months or a year. You can even just give a title!

6. Two Good has some luxe items, and for everyone you buy, a second one is donated to a woman in a shelter. A double win in giving!

Don't give clutter this Christmas, give something a little different!


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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Antidote

 On Sunday, I spent the day at Antidote - at three talks from midday until 9pm at night. We had a leisurely lunch at Botanic House and I saw 5 different friends across the course of the day. It was fabulous to spend so much time at the Opera House and Botanic Gardens, while also learning and thinking a little.


It was the perfect antidote to many of the COVID blues.

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What did you love this week?