Not really the best year… we spent at least part of 7 out of 12 months in lockdown here in Melbourne. I got pretty depressed, especially when I thought about how long it had been since I saw my family, and how much longer it was going to be.
However we have really learned to take advantage of what you can do when you can do it and still managed to squeeze in a fair amount of fun stuff.
Some good things that happened in 2021:
- We still managed to find new places to explore in Victoria. We went to Bright, Echuca, Pyalong, Warburton, Little Desert, and Walkerville (post to come). I think the only corner of the state we haven’t visited yet is Mildura… maybe next spring? There’s a good birding area near there.
- I got to go to Adelaide twice.
- I made a lot of new friends through a Melbourne Discord group.
- I picked up a few new hobbies: photography, knitting, pottery, weaving, and bird watching.
- The Dees won the AFL Grand Final.
- I became Australian.
Work has been fine. We were pretty busy, but I am lucky that my hospital is a “clean” hospital and we don’t actually have any covid patients. Occasionally we have to put on all the PPE for unvaccinated patients, or lung scans, but in general I have it pretty easy compared to many other healthcare professionals.
Same questions as last year:
PBs: snatch 47kg -> 47kg, C&J 55kg -> 58kg. My back squat also improved a fair bit. Not bad for mostly training alone in the garage I guess. I’m glad my clean and jerk improved but I wish I didn’t waste a snatch attempt at my last comp and didn’t get to try for a new snatch PB. I knew I could do it! Hopefully we get to compete more often next year.
New board games: Only one… Caverna. Thank you to Vicky and Pat for mailing all their children a gift card to buy something to cheer ourselves up during the darkest part of lockdown 6.
Books: I didn’t read that much this year. I spent most evenings trying to get dopamine from endless Instagram scrolling. I have lots of books on my list to read next year though. Here’s the few I did read:
- Sins of the Brother: The Definitive Story of Ivan Milat and the Backpacker Murders – Les Kennedy and Mark Whittaker – disturbing, interesting, not the best to read right before bed
- American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins – page turner, people hate this book though?
- Anxious People – Fredrik Backman – hard to get into at first because writing kind of weird I think – didn’t finish
- Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton – writing a bit funny and hard for me to follow but then got good, Australian
- Nothing To See Here – Kevin Wilson – strange one, i liked it
- The Midnight Library – Matt Haig – corny, predictable
- The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller – someone on instagram tricked me into a reading a mythology book! I wish everything I had to read in school was written like this.
Great New Recipes: Again, didn’t really cook that well this year. Just didn’t have the energy. But here’s a couple:
- Ottolenghi burnt aubergine with feta and harissa oil – very tasty and not that difficult.
- Pinch Of Yum Crunch Bowl – not actually a NEW recipe but probably the meal I cooked the most last year.
Oh and a cheddar update for Rosemarie: I just cut open the bag, which had a disturbing amount of liquid squishing around with it… and NOOOO… it smelled like winey-cheese-barf. Did not try. I put it in the bin.
2020 Thoughts: Super grateful that we had our own comfortable house to lockdown in. Grateful that neither of us lost our jobs. Grateful for my home gym and remote coach. Grateful that the hard work all Victorians did during the winter lockdowns paid off and we actually get to enjoy our summer Covid-free (so far). Come on vaccine. I would really like to see my family again.
Well we got the vaccine at least… Scott and I are both triple vaxxed as of a few weeks ago.
Last years goals: Whatever man. Just survive. (yep, accurate.)
2022 Goals: I dunno. Not get covid?
2021 Final Thoughts: This year is finishing off pretty nice… the weather is great, we got to have a normal Christmas, and it’s summer fun times all the time. The government has completely changed their stance on covid and now we’re just letting it rip? We’ll see how this goes. I’m just hoping it lasts because we have a few big things planned in 2022 and I REALLY hope they don’t get cancelled.
Thank you for sharing! And I loved American Dirt. Happy new year from Saba!
Glad to see all those good things despite a ??? year!
I read 3 of the same books last year! My reviews:
Nothing to See Here: same! So weird and funny, and easy to read. Enjoyed it.
Anxious People: the opposite! Really liked it. It came highly recommended from Kyla (she listened to it, so the writing style wouldn’t have gotten in the way), so I had a positive impression going in. I found it so strange and funny and light despite it oscillating between heavy topics and silly dialogue, but it also made me think. I found the whole premise of an accidental hostage situation hilarious. And I think I might have read it with a Swedish accent in my head? Anyway, really enjoyed this one.
American Dirt: ughhh so frustrating. I don’t read much about books until after I finish them, and I listened to this one so I barely looked at the author’s name, let alone her bio. I agree that it was a page turner (page listener?), and a super compelling story, so it was super frustrating to find out more about the author. I think the controversy is because of who should be telling the story. She’s a white, non-Mexican lady who apparently had not spent significant time there, and used lots of unrealistic, negative stereotypes, and wrote from the perspective of America being the ultimate, ideal, safe destination. I have so many more thoughts about this (book and in general) but overall I agree that it was a page turner but in retrospect not one I’d recommend :( :(