Rosemarie’s time in Australia continues. We went to Wilsons Prom and Fraser Island in February as well but I’ll save those for their own posts.
I have this amazing friend at the gym named Doreen. Every once and a while she randomly gives me fresh fish. We were already going to have a nice dinner of mom’s hot & sour soup and fried rice, and then she gave me two snapper! We steamed them, covered them with garlic, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, and then poured hot oil over it. It was delicious, this was an epic dinner.
Phoenix Open weightlifting comp. I didn’t have the best preparation, I had a week of crippling back pain, which really made me consider withdrawing from the comp. Thankfully that resolved itself after I was finally able to get some physio treatment. But then we also went on two holidays right before the comp too. Anyway my coach helped me through all of that and planned a conservative comp for me where the goal was to get 6 out of 6 lifts. Which I did, although the judges were far too generous with my last snatch and probably shouldn’t have actually given it to me. I snatched 43/46/48(1 kg PB, sorta), and clean and jerked 53/56/58(equal PB, but much more solid than the first time I did it), for a total of 106kg, which was a 1kg PB too. I liked having Rosemarie there to load my warm ups for me and fan me and stuff. :)
Sophie came over for dinner and games. We made homemade gnocchi and played Azul.
Lots of Winter Olympic watching.
Trivia with Scott’s work friends. We won.
Gina’s hens party dinner.
An epic last dinner out at Deeds Brewing. Many delicious share plates. Definitely want to go back.
Rosemarie leaving. :( Unpictured because she had to leave really early in the morning and I stayed in bed while Scott drove her to the airport.
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.
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:
Oh and a cheddarupdate 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.
Not the best month tbh. Still in lockdown. Everything still closed and still can’t see anyone. Although it was exciting when our radius doubled from 5km to 10km. :/
I still decided to take a week off from work, and Scott took a few days too. Even if we can’t really do anything it’s still nice to have a break from working. We spent the week cooking elaborate foods, doing a lot of crafts, watching ER.
Here is a bunch of jumbled pictures from the last month.
Making chicken wontons in my dumpling sweatshirt.
At home hotpot with leftover wontons, lots of mushrooms, tofu puffs (didn’t like them though), and veg. The broth was sooooo spicy.
Rice paper rolls with basa, mango, lots of veg, rice noodles, coriander and mint, with peanut dipping sauce.
I decided to paint the wall in the garage on my week off. I wasn’t sure how hard it was going to be so I kept my plan pretty simple. I kinda think it looks like a public library now though…. I’m not that happy with it. I might add a bit more to jazz it up a bit more maybe. Or maybe I’ll just paint over it and start again.
Scott’s parents sent us a card and some money to buy something to make us feel better. We decided to spent it on Caverna, a board game we have been wanting for a long time. It’s a bit like Agricola 2.0. I like it so far.
Scott trying to attract birds?
We were trying to find tawny frogmouth but all we found were a lot of rainbow lorikeets and mynas.
I fell off my bike. By biking straight into the boom gate at work. It really hurt.
However the Dees winning the Grand Final cheered me up after my accident. It was a great game. We started off strong in the first quarter, then the Dogs pulled ahead in the second quarter creating some tension, then part way through the third quarter the Dees kicked approximately 1000 goals and absolutely dominated for the rest of the game. By mid way through the fourth quarter we actually could relax because we were so far ahead.
Of course I’m sad that we couldn’t go to the game either here or in Perth. I’m really hoping that they are still good next year and we can actually go and experience the excitement in real life. The games should have great crowd atmosphere next year with all the Melbourne supporters coming out of hibernation.
The fam sent us an awesome charcuterie box for the game.
What I thought was going to happen when Maxy hoisted the cup with Goody after the win. (Or that Goody’s arm would get ripped out of its socket.)
I sewed myself an apron because I splash food on myself while cooking all the time.
I ordered a cheapy weaving loom off ebay for fun. It is pretty relaxing to use and works up way faster than a lot of my other types of craft hobbies. Dunno if it’s my new favourite thing or anything but it’s alright. Anyone need any coasters?
Nice flowers on a walk around our neighbourhood.
SITTING IS ILLEGAL.
Scott figured out how to crochet adorable baby hats! He has a new project in mind but the yarn is backordered and the postal system is paralyzed at the moment so it might not happen for a while.
Other unpictured stuff:
we planted some of our summer crops: carrots, zucchini, herbs, spinach, lettuce, sorrel, chinese eggplant, beans, chilis. It’s all started ok except the eggplant still hasn’t sprouted.
I did an online trivia night with my internet friends. It was fun. We won.
Still squatting a lot in the garage. Strength program is going pretty well.
I actually got called in to work. My third time in three years, lol, super different than my old job!! I just need to get called in three more times and then I can buy myself the RF 100-400mm lens I have my eye on. Might take three more years….
We had five days of freedom at the beginning of August and then have been in strict lockdown (#6) since then. :(
My weightlifting friend gave me a snapper! Her husband likes to fish and stayed up all night fishing between lockdowns. It was so fresh and smelled so good. It was my first time cooking a whole fish, so I kept it simple and just stuffed it with lemon and herbs and roasted it. Served with a side of pasta puttanesca. Fingers crossed for more fish in the future!
I spent a lot of the beginning of August in this position, quad-screening the Olympics. I have never watched so much summer Olympics in my life. But we didn’t have much else to do.
This is golden wattle, Australia’s national flower. Wattle in bloom = engage antihistamines, spring is here!!
I always feel a bit guilty taking pictures while out for a walk. Technically we’re only allowed outside for exercise, not for leisure, so I feel bad when I stop for more than a minute.
More illegal activities: eating sandwiches in a park. We walked to Saul’s in Carnegie for porchetta and cubano sandwiches and I didn’t want to walk all the way home before eating. They were both very delicious.
Scott made profiteroles, filled with custard. They were very very good. It’s a good thing I still work with other people because there were a lot. My coworkers were very pleased, except for our receptionist who exploded one all over his shirt.
We finally finally finished our joint granny square blanket! I think we started it in 2017!! The most procrastinated step was tucking in all the yarn ends. THERE WERE SO MANY. I like that (I’m pretty sure) there are no exact repeat squares.
Scott’s really into crochet now. He made a simple hat for himself, and then immediately started another hat: an adorable baby hat with ears!
Sophie dropped Gelato Messina goodies on our doorstep. That was an especially nice treat as we are outside their delivery radius but I still follow their instagram account… to torture myself?
Our backyard is like 2 meters wide. I’M SO BORED OF IT. At least we have one though. UGHHH.
Sugar snap peas are growing like crazy. They’re the only thing left at the moment, but we just planted a bunch of new stuff for summer: lettuce, spinach, sorrel, carrots, zucchini, Chinese eggplant, beans, herbs. And we started tomato and chilies inside.
I also went on an illegal walk with TWO friends. Wow this post is a real confessional. It was an emergency walk for mental health… essential care… don’t arrest me please.
Our boardgame friends organised a virtual birthday party for two of them. We played Jackbox games which I was mostly terrible at. I need like 5 hours to come up with funny things, not 5 seconds!! :P
We got Lune delivery croissants again. They were amazing. I dropped some off at Sophie’s. I’m watching and waiting for Mork delivery next.
Training is going well. I am on week 3 of a squat program and surviving so far. It feels like a good use of garage time, less overhead stuff, more growing my tiny legs. Hopefully the program gets me some gains.
We were supposed to spend the first half of June in the Northern Territory and South Australia, but ended up being restricted to a 5km radius from our house instead. Lockdown 4.0. So the month started off pretty bad, but I tried to make the most of it.
Instead of watching the Melbourne Demons vs Brisbane Lions game at Traegar Park in Alice Springs, NT, we watched it at home in our freezing house. :'( Dees won though. And we had delicious sushi bowls.
I had two weeks booked off work but cancelled the first week and worked instead. We were in strict lockdown so there wasn’t much I could do anyway. I actually got pretty depressed. It was just extremely frustrating that I was back at work, not on holiday, couldn’t reschedule the holiday, couldn’t go to the gym, couldn’t plan my training, couldn’t see my friends, couldn’t look forward to anything.
So I decided I needed a project.
I used that quiet week at work to plan and gather supplies for the following week.
My Saturday gym sessions currently have two exercises from blocks: block snatch and block cleans. I am very lucky that I can train in our garage, but I didn’t have blocks, which meant that I have to do the exercises from a hang position instead. I HATE HANG SNATCHES SO MUCH. Enough that I decided that I wanted to make my own blocks for home.
Originally I was going to make very simple criss-cross ones like I’d seen on the internet, but 1) I wanted to them to have two height options, and 2) I calculated that it would need around $150 worth of wood. So I emailed dad to ask if I could make them without the center supports because I don’t actually lift that much weight. He wrote back with a few questions and then 24 hours later he’d made me a brand new design in OpenSCAD! I could edit the dimensions to what is available here and it even generated a list of supplies. Very cool. Thanks dad. The new plan only used about $70 of wood!
It took me three afternoons to put them together, but I honestly found it very satisfying (other than stripped screws, which was remedied by replacing my screwdriver bit). I had fun using my new drop saw and circular saw, and didn’t even lose any fingers. Thanks dad for reminding me of when mom had to go to the hospital after a drop saw accident at the cottage AFTER I had finished cutting all of the pieces.
They work great! They nestle together perfectly and they don’t bounce or move at all. I’m very happy. I’ll probably add strips on the top to stop the bar from rolling off when I’m not holding it. I only used them one time so far though because the gym re-opened the next week lol. But there is covid in NSW at the moment so it’s probably just a matter of time before we are back in lockdown again. :/
Hide The Pain Harold Katrina.
If you’re in lockdown and don’t bake bread, DID YOU EVEN LOCKDOWN?
I made this bread with leftover whey instead of water, because the internet told me you could do that. But it tasted weird, I don’t think I would do it again. Or at least I would use 1/2 whey and 1/2 water.
Another lockdown cooking project: beef bourguignon. It took 3 days!!! And an entire bottle of wine!!! But it was dang delicious, and made like 8 servings, so in the end I think it was worth it.
One very good piece of news was that my citizenship test didn’t get cancelled. At that point we were allowed to go 25km from home and I guess they decided that it was essential enough that they could let the immigration officers work in the office.
They told me it would take 2 hours, and I had to bring in all sorts of documents. But the dude only asked for my passport and drivers license and I was out of there in 15 minutes, including doing the test TWO TIMES… because I failed the first time….. OOPS. (I got 95% but I failed one of the essential questions because apparently I am a monarchist. I got 100% the second time btw.)
So I spent a couple hours wandering the quiet city with my camera. I went to the Lululemon outlet, got bubble tea, borek, and popped into a whole bunch of shops too. It’s a good thing I didn’t get covid because my exposure site list would have been very long, haha. Most of my pictures didn’t turn out very well. I am definitely still learning how to use my camera.