Saturday 25 December 2021

2021 - my year in review.

Linking with #WeekendReflection


With Christmas now done, and many friends in isolation, I feel a little adrift from the year that was. I'm feeling like all my plans might be snatched away at any point. I'm wondering if heding off to a movie might be the stupidest thing I've ever done...what a world we live in at the moment!

One thing I like about the blog, is that it's like a diary, and I can, at a glance, see where my head was at in a point in time. So the annual year in review is probably more for me than you, if I'm honest.

I was off the blog for quite sometime at the start of the year, a hiatus in Canberra. I did write a lovely little story that has yet to gain success, but I loved the experience of it and the Intrusion of the character as he came into existance and demanded my attention.

With COVID still affecting the borders and interstate travel, while trying to work out a holiday, I coined my now much used saying 'May the borders be ever in your favour'. In April we had a weekend in Katoomba for the sculpture amd Night Lit Walk and at Easter a few days in Hobart and a near miss seeing Orcas but the travel blog fell silent after that. I hope to rectify that soon, but I'm not feeling confident.

The Opera on the Harbour was sensational as always and I'll definitely be going to Phantom on the Harbour this year. We finally used our vouchers from 2020 at iFly and the joy it gave me inspired me to purchase more for this Christmas, as I'm chasing that feeling and it's a sure fire way to get it! I was estatic as I headed to Summer in the Domain, even though at that point we still weren't allowed to dance. I've my fingers crossed Field Day goes ahead but I'm dubious.

I was reminded by my ageing body that I am not as young or agile as I once was when taking the kids on a ropes course. The memory still makes me chuckle, but enough time has passed to make me think I should try it again!

April saw one of the longstanding bloggers retire from the blogging world. It really shook me, to be honest. The landscape has changed so much and it felt like more instability in this fragile universe we live in at the moment.

In May I discovered Share Four Somethings, a monthly link up I really enjoy - a quick point in time recap. May also saw me take over the #Allseasons link up rather reluctantly. It's dwindled a little but there's a small core of regulars. For those interested, it's weekly usually, but over the break is open until my return.

We were lucky enough to have an night in Canberra for a wedding and while I couldn't spare the weekend away, I still got to the Gold Coast for lunch with friends. It was fabulously decadante and rejuevenating all the same.

I was quite philosophical not realising that we were about to have all our slowly gained .normality snatched away again.  Goodbyes, change, what nourishes me and motivation were all discussed.

And then in June, just as we hit the school holidays, lockdown smashed all our plans. I struggled to find my groove this time and the months of lockdown were quite grey and subdued in my posts. The abundance of  time and stillness invades daily life. The limitations and uncertainty really messed with me, probably aided by menopause ticking away. Of course some small surprises really buoyed my spirits - like the red balloon or mystery flowers and of course forcing myself to write Furious Fiction. Reaching out to friends became more concentrated.

There was uneasy jubilation as we inched out of lockdown again, and picnics became the new 'freedom'. The HSC was already a mess with ever changing rules and expected COVID disasters. Spring was heralding not just the warmer weather but all the hopes of COVID being under control. The uplifted mood in Spetember saw the start of my monthly rainbow post of gratitude. Lockdown seems to have heightned my awareness of ageing due to all the wasted time.

In October we started cycling as a family - it's a lovely new routine that I hope we keep in the future. Lamenting that 'lost time is never found again' I jumped in to all the galleries, concerts and shows I could. Then numbers crept up. We managed a covid safe party that was elating. a boat day and many other joyful occasions. However perhaps due to irresponsible decisions, or perhaps it would have happened anyway, we are in shambles again due to theis virus. We hit a very slippery slope in a period of two weeks.

So regardless of the rules, wear your masks and check in whereever possible. If they say 'do nothing but monitor for symptoms' do a home test before visiting friends or goiing to shows. Get your boosters. We need to get this under control as it appears the government might not be capable of it. Let's do everything we can to avoid another lockdown. If you have friends needing to isolate, make sure you check in with them and offer food drops. We need to get systems in place to help housebound people as it appears that is the new normal.

May the arrival of 2022 be able to be celebrated. That's as much as I'm prepared to wish for at the moment. 

Take care everyone, and may the borders be ever in your favour, may your flights be operational and may your tests all be negative.

Note the photos are from our weekend in the Hunter Valley for the Christmas Light Spectacular (on until late Jan). Insta here. Linking this old post with #SaturdayCritters

Thursday 16 December 2021

Slippery Slope

What a strange fortnight. Saturday two weeks ago, I was thrilled to be back at The Factory and starting the rounds of Christmas parties. Not worried about Covid at all. We were pinged the next morning so I used my first home test (I was a 'do nothing, wait for symptoms' but I think that requires you to do at least a home test).

A week ago I went to town to see the Hot Potato Band for their opening of Sydney's Open For Lunch - the long lunch on George St. 

(Yes, it worked Tourism NSW. I went, watched and then shopped - even treating myself to a  delicious sit down lunch at David Jones). I was masked but relaxed and not particularly worried about Covid. 

Literally 7 days later, we are up the back at Furnace and the Fundamentals, deliberately on the raised balcony, away from everyone with no one behind us. It made me sad as I like to be up the front in the crowd. It was fun but felt weird. And now I'm just waiting to be pinged.

Grown from my seed bomb

I will be home testing for the 5th time, before my Mah Jong Christmas party tonight (there's only 5 of us), as another local school has had a case but I'm feeling conflicted about what we are meant to be doing. 

I'm slightly confused that the rise in cases is due to Omicron when that variant is not even a tenth in total of the cases reported yesterday, so doesn't that mean Delta has blown up? I've booked my booster when it falls due in Jan but still keen to get it in before xmas should they shuffle it forward.

Am sticking with the masks in all settings and trying to create spacing where possible.

Having missed two school holidays this year, wondering if this is the beginning of the third one snatched away?

Most of all, may the smart doctors and scientists nip this thing in the bud. Stay safe everyone.

Sharing an old #Allseasons post because I like the first two photos a lot. Linking with #WWOT #WWOAT  #ThruMyLens #WordlessWednesday #HappyTuesday #MySundayBest #TheRandom


Sitting on a dock of a bay

Took these on a morning walk the other day for #WeekendinB&W and then forgot I took them. 

I am now wondering with the rise of cases if I should be going up to the Hunter. It's the second time this year the trip will be cancelled (which is not a reason not to cancel it) and technically in that immediate area there are less cases than in my local area. The Government messaging is very confusing. 

I guess we watch and see and look at the numbers again before jumping in the car....

Linking with #MySundayBest


Monday 13 December 2021

Share Four Somethings - December

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo
Something Loved: We had the party and it was so fun and uplifting. I danced for a good two hours non stop and felt wonderful for it. Laughs with friends. Like the old days. About 30 people had to cancel last minute due to covid tests, including one poor couple who walked to our house and three doors away got a phone call from their child who'd been called as a close contact. So they turned around and went home. I had emailed a whole list of rules, it was predominately outside, food was individual covered serves (looks dumb but saves from aerosols - compostible to try and reduce waste). It's a whole palavar but it does make people feel better about coming. A number of people said the next day that it really lifted their spirits. I think we've all been carrying a weight that we've become so used to, we don't even really notice. I'm now nervous I'll get a call from someone and have to then call the guests to tell them I may've infected them. It's just one long stress really, but so far, still worth it.

Linking with #BlueMonday

Something Read (or Said): Reading Ralph Ellison The Black Ball and finishing listening to Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris. My summer line up are Tove Jansson books. Both a thriller and The Summer Book. The thing I want to share though, was something I saw on the internet. It's 100% my vibe at the moment:

Something Treasured: I sent of a story to a Canadian competition and got 4th - it's a story that I need to fix but don't know how so I just sent it off anyway. The characters and story are good, but the structure is shambolic and a mess. I edited it into stupidity and then didn't know how to get it back to something normal. Anyway, the pat on the back felt good, even though I don't get prize money. I'm just named as the 1st Honourable mention (ahead of over 700 others). It's made me think I need to use some of the time off the blog to write again. I've become very demotivated since lockdown. So I treasure the encouragement. It's so easy to lose drive without it from time to time, creatively speaking.

Something Ahead: I will be off until mid Jan (or late Jan) - a few trips away so watch the Insta, and a lot of Festival outings. I am stoked to be off to Furnace tomorrow night as I miss the postponed gig now due to not keeping up with the 5th date change....

I need to warn you there is oddly some state of undress so NSFW. 

I want to wish Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. To everyone on the globe, may there be peace and good health in your neck of the woods, may there be food on the table with good friends and those you love. To the Australians in particular, may the borders be ever in your favour!

See you next year.

Linking with #ShareFourSomethings #WedBlogShare #WonderfulWednesday

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday 12 December 2021

White Rabbit - Share my snaps!

I got caught in a downpour so ran into White Rabbit, thinking I could see the new exhibtion and wait it out (no hand dryers to dry off with, unfortunately). The works are big and glorious, so make sure you head there over the break. It's free too, so get some tea and dumplings while you're there with the money you saved!

The works are gorgeous. Very reflective, in both senses. 

 I could have spent hours there, framing up images in my lens.

There's also a video game installation like Mario, based on The Long March. I was hopeless but it did make me laugh.

 The image above is easily recognised, but the side one is predominately Angry birds and Smurfs.

I love the image below but no matter how I straighten it, one part won't line up. I've obviously a crooked eye....

 I'm shutting the blog this Friday, back Jan sometime (yet to be decided). Have a wonderful holiday and stay safe everyone. 

  Linking this mishmash with #Lifethisweek  #MCoW  #TheRandom