Ridiculously late. I have so much to catch up on.

We started the month by Scott falling off the front step and spraining his ankle. We were on our way to Betty’s Burgers with his parents for his dad’s birthday, which we still went to (I drove), but when Scott couldn’t walk back to the car afterwards we knew something was really wrong. I dropped him off at Monash ED and he found out he had an avulsion fracture, which is treated like a very bad sprain. It took him quite a while to recover from that. He was most sad about not being able to do all his weekly sports.

We went to the Melbourne v Collingwood game on Queen’s Birthday. Nice crowds and sunset, but Melbourne lost and that part wasn’t that fun.

We also went to the Melbourne v Brisbane game at the MCG with cousin Shaun and his family. Maybe you can tell from our faces who enjoyed it more.

Our June SMAJ activity was portrait painting and charcuterie. It was silly and fun. I accidentally painted a very smug version of Scott and I couldn’t fix it. It really makes me laugh every time I see it.

We drove really far North one night to try Dingo Ate My Taco birria tacos. I loved them. Would eat again but hopefully closer.

We went out for pizza at Deep End with Sophie and Joel. It was all of our first time trying deep dish pizza, which we found ok but maybe a bit… wet. If I was going to have it again I would order one that didn’t have vegetables in it and maybe that would be better. We also had a Detroit-style pizza which I enjoyed more. It was like pizza made on delicious oily focaccia.

On the way home from the restaurant Scott got pulled over. We were very surprised because he hadn’t done anything sketchy. But turned out his license had been suspended for like 3 months because of a pending medical check that he never received notice for. Thankfully Scott doesn’t drink so he blew a 0 breath test and they let me drive home instead of impounding the car.

It took a week or so to get that sorted out before he could drive again! It’s all because VicRoads know he has sleep apnea and now apparently he has to get a doctors note every couple years. Such a pain.

Scott’s ankle was finally good enough to play hockey again but the poor guy wasn’t allowed to drive. So I drove him all the way to Reservoir and attempted to take a few pictures while I was there. It was not the most interesting hockey I have ever seen…

My next knitting project after the scarf was this basketweave headband. It was originally going to be a bag type thing but I got pretty bored of it.

I was making overnight pizza dough but our house is freaking freezing in the winter and our oven light was burnt out. I couldn’t think of anywhere warm to let the dough rise so I took it to bed with me and my electric blanket. Worked perfectly.

A super rich slow cooked beef stroganoff. Love how tender cheap beef becomes if you cook it for long enough. This was extremely delicious and made about 10 servings so I was able to freeze some for later, which Future Katrina was very pleased about.

A deconstructed chicken shawarma and garlic potatoes. Needs pickled turnip.

Unpictured things:

  • I pulled off a minor unintentional vacuum repair scam and managed to get our vacuum repaired for $30 instead of the $400 the dude was quoting.
  • Trivia in Knox with Ash and Charlie with very strange service from the bar staff.
  • A free screening of Jurassic Park Dominion care of our mortgage brokers. Terrible movie but excellent (free) snacks.
  • An amazing pizza brunch party at Naomi’s with the old EH gang. Her new house is amazing.
  • Saw Top Gun: Maverick and really enjoyed it!!! It was like a movie version of a roller coaster. Very exhilarating. If you want to know what sliding skeleton in Whistler feels like, watch the valley sequence of the movie.. I’ve never heard anyone else describe the feeling before, outside of skeleton. So fun.
  • Bach and I helped Doreen compete at Victorian Masters Championships. I loaded her warm ups for her and tried to make her sit still and rest (very difficult).
  • Scott started his new job. He has more support in this job and doesn’t have to do as much of the annoying things like spending hours on the phone with Telstra. He is also doing less work in the evening. He seems overall happier!

This will be a short one.

We got back from Canada, had a few days extra holiday at home, and then I ended up going back to work on Monday instead of Thursday because everyone at work had covid and they were desperate for help.

We went to Dean and Vanessa’s wedding celebration in Mornington. I rented a dress that was like a blanket and it was actually great. Lunch was very very nice, and we got to catch up with some friends that we haven’t seen in a while. It was a very nice afternoon.

The Tuesday after the wedding I started to get a sore throat at work. I get sore throats from hayfever all the time, and we still wear n95 masks at work, so I still finished my shift. When I got home I did a rapid test and it was negative.

Wednesday is my day off. I still only had a sore throat so I still went to the gym (it’s not busy in the mornings), but I cancelled my dentist appointment.

Thursday I was coughing a bit in the morning while getting ready for work so I did another rapid test and it went positive immediately!! Isolation begins.

Friday – Sunday I didn’t do much. Although I didn’t feel tooooo bad, just sore throat and cough. Energy was fine. The sore throat was relieved by eating things so I just snacked all day.

Monday – Wednesday I actually felt fine, and if it was just regular sickness I probably would have gone back to work. Instead I just hung out at home and did some chores and finished up some projects.

Scott managed to stay healthy! He was allowed to keep doing whatever he wanted as long as he did a rapid test every day and wore a mask while out of the house. The first few days he worked from home as we just assumed he was going to test positive soon, but by the end of it we figured he might as well go back to work. He’s feeling pretty invincible now.

At the moment I feel fine. Not coughing much. I think I had very mild covid. We’ve been very cautious with my return to weightlifting and it seems to be going well, slowly coming back to normal levels.

I finished my scarf! My first knitting project. Many people had to help me with it. I’m working on a basket-weave circle thingy at the moment, and have ordered yarn to make a sweater next. How hard can it be?? :)

Unpictured stuff:

  • I voted for the first time in Australia! Voting here is very different than Canada. It’s mandatory, and also preferential voting, so you have to rank every single candidate. Which meant I had to do quite a lot of research to figure out which parties are actually secret racists/crazy people. We had 8 candidates on our ballot, and then the senate one was the length of about 4 pieces of paper and probably had 100 people on it? That one you just had to pick your top 12. Anyway it was a pretty successful election, in my opinion. The good guys won.
  • Scott’s aunt Kathy had a bbq, which was supposed to be at a park, but then the bbq wasn’t working so we impromptu moved it to Scott’s parents house. So many children running around. Maybe one of them gave me covid.

We started March off with a double wedding weekend. One on Saturday in Ballarat with work friends, and one on Sunday in the Yarra Valley with board game friends. Big weekend of driving and canapes. Both fun. Took me three more days to recover.

Home invader.

We went to the opening game of the AFL season: Melbourne Demons vs Western Bulldogs. A Grand Final rematch. The first time that us Melbourne Dees fans got to see them play since they won everything last year while we were stuck at home in severe lockdown.

The first quarter was so good it brought a tear to my eye. Then the second quarter was very bad. Then in the exact same way as the grand final last year, the Dees pulled ahead in the last half of the game and got the win. It was great.

(Belated) January #SMAJ was a meal at The Boiling Crab. It was… OK. Partly because I don’t think boiling in a bag is necessarily the tastiest way to cook seafood, and partly because we really do not know how to break down crab. So much work with so little pay off. Also food gets cold quite quickly when it’s just poured onto the table.

I went out to do trivia with my pals at a new place in Ringwood. We won three out of four $20 vouchers and none of us were drinking so we decided to order the “Celebration Brownie Tower” because why not. When the staff brought it out it had sparklers on it and they all started singing Happy Birthday and everyone playing trivia joined in and the host asked us whose birthday it was and we were like “umm… no one…”. It was pretty funny. We also won second place overall which had a prize of six take home cocktails. Very good haul.

I went out for noodles and bingsu with internet friends. Yum.

OK apparently all we did lately is EAT. (Belated) February #SMAJ was a dinner out at a Japanese BBQ restaurant. We splurged and got a set meal that came with delicious fancy beef and a bunch of other stuff. It was very very delicious.

I did a weightlifting competition in Geelong. The timing of the comp worked well to squeeze in one last max out before our Canada trip. I really wanted to snatch 50kg and clean and jerk 60kg for a while now and have been sooo close to getting to do it. It was a bit of a drive to get to Geelong but my coach actually lives there so at least that part was convenient.

However I missed my second snatch attempt at 48kg so I didn’t get to try 50kg on my third attempt as planned. :( Extra annoying considering I snatched 48kg really nicely on my third attempt. Clean and jerks were better, at least I got to try 60kg on my third attempt but unfortunately I didn’t catch the bounce well and didn’t stand up the clean.

I snatched 45/48x/48, and CJ 54/57/60x for a 105kg total. No PBs. Next time.

When I signed up for the comp I assumed that I would be in the first session like usual and have to weigh in quite early in the morning, so I booked us an Airbnb in Ocean Grove to make a weekend of it. Turned out I lifted in the last session and I probably should have just cancelled the Airbnb booking so I could have slept in my normal not-extremely-squeaky bed and eaten my normal food but that didn’t occur to me until it was too late to cancel.

So we ended up with a lot of time to kill and the weather wasn’t great. We went to a CHEESE TRAIN, like a sushi train but with plates of cheese. We drove around Queenscliffe. We tried to find things to take a picture of with my new telephoto lens. We ate burgers. (Much nutrition, maybe this is why I didn’t lift the best.) We watched two games of footy at the same time. We met up with Scott’s school friend for coffee. We went to the Geelong Art Gallery and were amazed by this lino print art piece that went around a whole room. We went to the library and read our Kindles.

Unpictured stuff:

  • I did a lot of on call and extra shifts because of people having covid. This meant I reached my budget target for a telephoto lens much earlier than predicted! Pretty exciting. I haven’t really gotten to use it much yet.
  • We saw the new Batman movie with Jemma. It was very dark, literally. Apparently if you are rich you never turn the lights on. Also I giggled every time thinking about how he would have to put his eye makeup on super fast every time he had to get dressed up.
  • We had a family dinner! On a Sunday with everyone there like the olden days!
  • Scott went to Ballarat to see his school friend who is visiting from Scotland.
  • We were supposed to go to another wedding this weekend, but it has been postponed because they have covid. Oops.

I actually haven’t been doing that much lately besides work and gym because we leave for Canada this week and I am paranoid about getting covid and ruining all our plans. Only a couple more days to go!!!

Sophie and Scott and I paid a ridiculous amount of money to spend approx 4 seconds ziplining across the Yarra. It was silly. We went for ice cream after.

I took Scott out for a fancy meal for his birthday. We had the seasonal menu at Gimlet and it was amazing. We had mocktails and bread and radishes and asparagus and seafood pasta and an epic rib-eye with fries and salad, and two types of dessert. Everything was great. We also enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching everyone cook.

Garden is doing ok. We have two types of zucchini: the regular Black Beauty type, and another paler type that has grown a three meter long vine but only one actual zucchini. We have harvested one lebanese cucumber… hoping the plant keeps going. And we have heaps of green roma tomatoes but none have actually become ripe yet. Silverbeet and other salad stuff still growing fine, and I’ve planted another round of carrots. Hoping for good harvests soon.

Scott actually hates this pasta maker. He was probably swearing while I took this picture.

I did another weightlifting competition, the Phoenix Christmas Hit Out. I never posted any videos because I don’t like how I lifted. I snatched 45/47x/47, and CJ’d 53/56/58. My snatches were gross and I’m annoyed I missed my second attempt because I was very confident that I could snatch more than 47 (my old PB) and I didn’t get to try. Clean and jerks were better, and 56kg was a PB and 58 is a 3kg PB, but they were doing a bit soft judging and I don’t really think they should have given the 58 to me because the jerk was a little press-y. So that’s that. Hopefully next comp is better. Should be the Phoenix Open in February.

I got a haircut! I liked it at the time but actually it is extremely incompatible with having to wear n95 all the time at work now. My hair is too short to put in a proper ponytail so bits fall out all over the place and then my goggles pull more bits out around the sides so I just look even more disheveled than usual all the time. My coworker says this makes the patients feel sorry for us and treat us nicer so maybe it’s ok.

My friend Jen made this.

I finally got around to making reusable fabric gift bags this year. I remember mom and I making tons of these to sell as a fundraiser for one of my Girl Guide trips! I hope we can use them for a long time.

Ava and charcuterie.
Harry using his glasses to see what was over the fence.
Da boys and their presents.
Christmas lunch on Vicky and Pat’s new deck.
I’ve got the whole family hooked on Nanaimo bars.
Boxing Day/Christmas Day video chats with the fam.

We had a nice Christmas this year. We spent the afternoon playing with children and eating lots of delicious food. It was a pretty chill day. I got Scott a video game and that polar bear, and he got me a fish fileting knife and two more bird shirts.

Unpictured stuff:

  • I went to my Melbourne Discord Christmas party. I made my secret santa person a custom Kick Ons hat. I think he liked it because he wore it for the whole rest of the night. My secret santa gave me a cute little Australia-Canada hybrid cross stitch and some knitting accessories. I had some good chats and managed to get away with only having 2 drinks and Scott picked us up afterwards so all in all a very fun night.
  • I got my booster. I’ve had AZ x2 + Pfizer booster. I felt ok after however I got a nasty cold a few days later (not covid, was tested twice), not sure if related or not.
  • We had a week-before-Christmas lunch at Shaun’s house. Shaun told all the kids that there were no rules at his house, so they had a lot of fun pounding juice boxes and walking on the top part of the play structure.
  • I had the days off in between Christmas and New Years this year for the first time and it was great. Unfortunately Scott still had to work so we were only able to squeeze in a quick one night camping trip away (I’ll make another post). But it was still a fun relaxing time for me and actually filled up with quite a few activities so I’m glad I didn’t have to work. Plus I only had to use two days of annual leave to get 10 days off so it was extremely leave-efficient.
  • Steph and Soph had birthday parties. Nice to see Steph again and catch up with my old coach Adam, and splash around with Sophie’s kids in their kiddie pool.
  • I was in bed at 10pm on New Years Eve, as usual.

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:

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.