I’m back. Let’s catch up.

Our March #smaj activity was clay target shooting in Carrum Downs. I was worried about it! I don’t think I have very good hand-eye coordination, and I’d never even touched a gun before. But it was actually super fun! I did better than Scott!

We got to do three rounds. In the first round, they shot one target at a time and they told you where it was going to come out. In the second round they shot two, but told us where they would come out from. And in the third round they also shot two, but you didn’t know where they would come from. I think I got about 70% of my targets which is WAY higher than I would have guessed.

The guy standing next to me in the picture who ran the whole thing went to the Commonwealth Games! Maybe it’s a new hobby for me when I retire from weightlifting. :D

We went to a AFLW game. We got to see the goal of the year!

Terrible picture but Da Boys came over for lunch and games. We played Tiny Towns and Camel Up, and ate sausages and mac and cheese.

I was doing regular, uneventful back squats and thought “Hmm, my finger feels kinda weird” and then watched it turn purple right before my eyes! I must have burst a blood vessel or something?

Waiting after jab #1. My work got us vaccines very early. We all thought we were category 1B, but we got them nearly straight away with category 1A. We got AstraZeneca, then literally the next day they started having all these news articles about how you could get blood clots and they were going to stop using the vaccine in many parts of the world. Felt great man. But we all survived (so far) and I’m due for my second dose this week.

It has been reassuring being half vaccinated while still seeing lots of patients, many of whom are immuno-compromised. (And also don’t wear their masks properly.)

Just a random tasty meal. Honey gochujang baked salmon with green beans and rice.

Other things not pictured:

  • Scott played A LOT of lawn bowls. He got promoted to the club first team, and they made it to the finals.
  • He also made it to the grand final in his basketball league.
  • We had a few family lunches.
  • We went to this progressive dinner thing in Kew where we had entree, main, and dessert at different restaurants within walking distance. I didn’t take any pictures but it was fun. We ate so many different things and also way too much.
  • We started pottery class. I think I’ll make that into its own post.

Traditional New Years Day dip in the ocean. Beautiful day this year. And not too busy, probably because a nearby restaurant was deemed a covid hot spot a couple days before.

Ben Folds with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. This concert was supposed to happen March 2020! Luckily Ben just stayed in Australia the whole year so we still got to see him, eventually! We got REALLY good seats. The website wasn’t working during pre-sale so Scott tried calling the box office and he got second/third row! (They only used every second row of the theatre and also put two empty seats between each group, so everyone was suuuuper spread out.)

The orchestra was very cool. So much to look at and listen to. Ben was chatty like usual. The singalong songs didn’t work very well though with so few people.

January SMAJ was an intro to pottery class. Jemma came too. It was very fun! And challenging! Scott was the best at it, he made a bowl and a cup. I made two soy sauce dishes and Jemma made a bowl type dish.

I actually got to go pick them up this weekend. I was super surprised at how much they shrank, everything is so tiny. Scott and I have signed up for a 6 week term so there will be more, hopefully larger, pottery coming in the future!

I went to a crafternoon with my new internet friends (some overlap with old internet friends) and got Ash to re-teach me how to join granny squares together. After literally years of procrastinating, I finally attached all the squares that Scott and I made into an actual blanket shape. I plan on putting a black border around it, but that will be a winter project as it’s not pleasant to crochet in summer.

Unpictured:

  • I went to another meetup with those internet friends at a bowls club and tried lawn bowling for the first time. I wasn’t great at it, but it was a fun activity. It was nice to meet some new people, and see my old trivia friends again after over a year.
  • Speaking of bowls, Scott has gotten very involved with our local bowls club. He’s played in a few games now and they’ve won every one!
  • He is also back playing basketball, and doing hockey lessons, and subbing for futsal every once and a while. I’m glad he’s having fun outside the house and also I’m enjoying my Katrina-time.
  • I did a weightlifting competition around Australia Day. I was worried that I used up all my PBs at the Christmas comp only a few weeks before, but still managed to get a solid snatch PB and maintain the same total.
  • A bunch of the weightlifting ladies went out for drinks that evening and I had more drinks in one night than I’ve had in the last six months combined lol. (Four.) Interesting how easy it is to slip right back into old habits, especially with things like HAPPY HOUR! It was a fun night even if it took 2 nights to get my overnight recovery levels back to normal.
  • We went to the pool on a hot day and I got a bathing suit tan after 5pm. Insane.
  • We did one of MEPs online Rotary trivia events with Rose and dad, and Scott and I won!! We won movie vouchers… which we sent on to dad.
  • I went down to 4 days a week at work and it is GREAT. I truly love it.
  • Couple family meals/visits with Scott’s parents and nana.

Oh yeah Melbourne had a Snap Lockdown for 5 days because of some covid cases that got out of hotel quarantine. They put us right back on to the strictest lockdown level where you only got 2 hours of outdoor time, 5km radius, can only leave the house for 4 reasons, everything non-essential shut, etc. I didn’t have much planned that weekend anyway, and still went to work, so it didn’t affect me that much other than having to do a few training sessions back in the garage, but Scott had a few things cancelled. And it sure ruined poor Jill’s trip to Melbourne.

It worked though, we never had more than ~6 new cases/day and it all cleared up within a few more days. We’ve been back down to 0 cases/day for a while now, and the active cases are pretty much gone again, so we can go about life without having to worry too much.

PS curling >>> lawn bowls

Whoops I’ve jumbled up my posts a bit. Oh well. Here’s the rest of 2020: a mixture of lockdown and freedom.

Spent a lot of time in the garage. Sometimes it was freezing, sometimes it was sweltering. Always lots of spiders. Even though it sucked training alone in the garage I am sooooo grateful that I had this set up. Not only did it keep me sane during lockdowns, I even managed to improve a bit. I think about it like my catch up time compared to the other much stronger girls.

SMAJs were more difficult during lockdown. September SMAJ was a hot chocolate tasting pack from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, which had 16 different epic ho chos. This is just one example: Zingy Chilli (chilli and lime dark hot chocolate with lime marshmallow, choc lime slice, and chilli leaf truffles).

Mega fried Ubereats meal from Hibiki. Was a nice treat.

I worked on bird paintings a bit. I really should get back to them.

Of course we bought the Wingspan Oceania expansion. It’s so nice seeing birds we can find here. The new expansion adds a couple elements but nothing too overwhelming. We like it.

We went to the beach one day for a walk and found the beach covered in these crazy jelly blobs. I was scared to touch them until I saw the kids playing with them, throwing them back in the water or making huge piles of them. I later found out they’re moon snail egg sacs.

I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an ice cream from an ice cream truck before. It cost a lot but I have to say it was pretty great.

November SMAJ was a pottery painting session with BYO food and drink. I found it very stressful to paint something on a time deadline with no pre-planning. I know I need to relax, lol. I painted a mediocre mug, and Scott made a craptastic (his word) leaf shaped dish.

I made Tres Leches cake for Scott’s birthday/a Christmas brunch. Such a tasty cake. I still need to get a more similar sized cake tin and rimmed platter though so the liquid absorbs better.

Our December SMAJ activity was boating along the Yarra in a Go Boat. You don’t need a boat license because they go verrrrry slowly. It was neat to see the city from a different perspective. I think these would be fun with a big group of friends.

Docked the boat for a quick riverside coffee to go.

Unpictured things:

  • Many many picnics. Man we got so good at picnics in 2020, lol. I still think they’re a pretty good activity, eating food and lying around… that’s great.
  • We bought a new couch. It still has not arrived. I think we are on week 12 of 14-16 weeks now. Getting there!
  • AFL Grand Final at home with no guests. Zzzz. Can’t believe I managed to lose the sweep.

How we spent our first lockdown. (Besides cooking, I’m saving that for a different post.)

Doing weird household tasks like going under the house to take a look at stuff and thread cables through the floor.

Re-learning how to use a sewing machine so my ears don’t freeze when I’m biking to work.

Finishing crochet projects that I started a year before.

Getting back into cross stitch and re-invigorating my Etsy shop.

Drawing cartoons for my weightlifting club’s newsletter: Isolation Edition.

Playing every single board game we have. I saved all of them to my Instagram stories if you’re interested. A forgotten favourite was Lords of Waterdeep. A forgotten loser was Tsuro of the Seas.

Doing yoga.

Crying that we didn’t get to go to Canada and having to get Rosemarie to mail us all our Arcteryx goodies.

Picking lemons. This doesn’t really fit the post but I’m just so happy with our lemon tree.

For a brief two weeks: Going out for breakfast! Going back to the gym! Having family dinner!

But then cases started going out of control again and we got put back in the strictest lockdown. :(

I guess I have finally gotten bored enough to get back to this poor neglected blog. So let’s catch up! We’re going way way back to… BEFORE COVID. Whoa.

My friend Pity from weightlifting invited a few of us over to do a still life drawing session. I haven’t sketched like that in ages. It was fun and I liked what I drew and I liked seeing everyone else’s take on the same object. Would be nice to do this again, some day.

I did a picture framing class at a framing shop near our house. Yes I have done this before but this one uses way better tools and once you finish the course you can go back and frame whatever you want and just pay for supplies. Except I haven’t been able to go back. Sigh.

I was supposed to do a weightlifting competition in March. Training was going really well and I was feeling good but then the competition was one of the very first things that got cancelled here in Melbourne. Everyone thought it was so stupid that it was cancelled because at that point I think we were still allowed to have 500 people at events and you’d be lucky if there were 20 spectators at the average local weightlifting competition.

Anyway my coach and I decided to just do a mock comp at Phoenix instead. I snatched 43x/43/45 and clean and jerked 50/53/55 (PB!). I was excited because it was the first time I got to use the blue plates. The 55 was so easy I got to do a Bonus Attempt at 57 but I just smashed it into my sternum instead of getting underneath it.

That same weekend we had Kyla staying with us for a mini break from her family trip around Australia. We took her out for a very Melbourne laneway pub crawl around the city. One of my very favourite things about this city is taking people down weird alleyways like the one in the picture and finding a super cool bar.

There were not that many people out so we didn’t have to wait to get in anywhere. We had parmas in a pub, then went to hidden bars, rooftop bars, bubble tea cocktail bars, speakeasy bars, and even tried to go to a floating bar (but got turned away for being too ugly[??]). It was a fun night.

And then that was it! We went into the first stages of lockdown that week.