Monthly Archives: December 2020

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2020 in 40 questions

1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
Bought a bunch of face masks, including two awesome Star Wars ones the day before mask rules were relaxed in Melbourne. I definitely don’t love wearing them (who does?) but they do help me feel less anxious about going to the supermarket or other crowded places.

2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
To repeat what I always say… I never bother with them. You can decide to makes changes any time you want. It’s up to you if you stick with them, the time of year makes no difference at all.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Remarkably in this year of global pandemic, no. How lucky am I?

5. What countries did you visit?
Bit tricky to go anywhere when your federal government closes your country’s borders. But regardless of that, there were no plans to go anywhere anyway as no one has a valid passport at the moment.

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
I’m actually a bit stumped by this question. For me personally the last three months of 2020 were actually pretty good (got a job, excellent grades in my Masters subject) so I’m not sure what I could add to make 2021 better.

But for society in general, I hope that we managed to get Covid-19 under control and that a degree of normality returns. However, I hope it’s movement towards a new normal where there is equality and fairness for all.

7. What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 26. On my birthday (Aug 25), I had a job interview and I wasn’t expecting to hear anything for a few days. But at about 9:30 the following day, I got the call to say I’d gotten the job. It’s the fastest I’ve ever heard back about a job. It was very gratifying.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a job. Also, riding up Falls Creek and Mount Buffalo back-to-back. Usually I’d put a day between two big efforts like that but this year our trip to Bright was shorter so there wasn’t much choice if I wanted to do the rides.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Juno probably watched far too much TV when we were in lockdown. But we are definitely not unique in this. Sometimes, you just have to take the path of least resistance.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Couple of weeks ago I developed a middle ear infection. Blimey, they hurt! I didn’t feel sick, have a temperature or anything else. My ear just hurt, a lot. A round of antibiotics made it go away.

I also got probably the worst cold I’ve had in ages in July. My head was ridiculously congested and I was sick for 11 days. But the thing I’m most annoyed about is the cold finally broke my six month run of consistently riding every week.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I went on a bit of a splurge when I got my job and bought myself some new cycling kit. There was stuff I actually needed (like new gloves and bib shorts) but I did indulge myself a bought a new jersey too.

I also finally bought a new pair of red heels from the brand who made the shoes I got married in. I love my wedding shoes but I have accepted they are now a size too small so I shouldn’t really wear them as they’re bad for my feet. (But you all know I do occasionally right?)

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Every single essential worker who turned up for work this year. The staff at our hospitals did such an amazing job in what could have only been incredibly frightening and stressful circumstances, especially when they started to get sick too. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like trying to save people who they knew deep down weren’t going to make it. But they tried anyway.

Also mad props to the cleaners. They faced the same risks but they still turned up to work at a time when their work suddenly got far more complicated and necessary.

I’m gonna go there… Dan Andrews. Yes, massive, massive mistakes were made. The Victorian Government is responsible for the second wave here. However, Dan had the guts to force change at the federal level when it really did look like ScoMo was going to follow Trump’s direction and downplay it all. We owe him because if he and Gladys Berejiklian hadn’t acted as one in March, I imagine there would’ve been so many more deaths and people in hospital – but that doesn’t excuse him for passing the buck when it came to hotel quarantine.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Our federal politicians haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory. The political point-scoring against what happened here in Victoria was disgusting. Both Greg Hunt and Josh Frydenburg are fucking Victorians but neither of them could help sticking the boot in. Apparently it was “We’re all Victorians now” until it became more politically expedient to attack. It was truly vile behaviour and I really hope the constituents of both Flinders and Kooyong remember this when the next federal election rolls around.

14. Where did most of your money go?
See question 11.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The day Juno returned to childcare at the end of September. It had been two and a half very, very long months and I was about to start my new job. She was sick of us, we were sick of her. Going back to childcare was such a blessing and she’s thrived being back there.

16. What song will always remind you of 2020?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Right now, happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Tiny bit thinner I think. But you wouldn’t know it.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer! Well, I’ve gone from having no money to having some money which is quite the novelty.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I probably should’ve spent more time playing with Juno but I’m more than aware that I’m simply not interested in doing so. Some mothers are totally happy to get down on the floor and play to their kids’ heart’s content but I am not one of them. Is this a bad thing? I’m not sure but I also think that her learning to entertain herself is good thing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being so irritated with Juno. A large part of it is because I’m now most definitely peri-menopausal and it can be really hard to manage my emotional responses when she’s being a pain in the arse. Like all five year olds, she can be incredibly irritating and seems to know how to push all of my buttons. Having said that, she’s a child and I’m meant to be the adult. Flying off the handle doesn’t help anyone.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas with my mum, dad, sister, brother-in-law and their three kids. It was pretty great to see them all after not seeing my sister and her family since the start of the year. Juno has really missed her cousins.

21. What was your favorite month of 2020?
This is one year where no one could possibly have a favourite month, especially those ones we spent in lockdown that felt like they were about billion days long, each.

22. Did you fall in love in 2020?

23. How many one-night stands?
Unsurprisingly, none.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Binge-watching The Mandalorian was pretty good. Turned it in my favourite Star Wars movie.

And along with everyone else, I really, really liked The Queen’s Gambit. Still don’t understand chess at all but I found the story fascinating. There were cries of it not properly showing the degree of sexism she faced but I actually thought they did it in a more subtle way by her constantly being underestimated by her male opponents (and their petulant behaviour when they lost). Better than being beaten over the head with the message. There is definitely a touch of “black saviour” in Joelene but I loved, loved, loved Moses Ingram in the role and I think she did brilliantly with her limited screen time, so much so I felt she totally stole the scenes she shared with Anya Taylor-Joy.

Also quite liked His Dark Materials. I’m a huge fan of the books but it took me quite awhile to watch this. The casting of Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter was pure genius. I also really like the casting for Carlo Boreal which was the exact opposite of how he was described in the books (kinda brilliant move there). More importantly, they got the panserbjørn right.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
The fucking morons who decided the Shrine of Remembrance was a great place to stage a protest are pretty low in my good human being stakes. One thing I found particularly abhorrent was how all the anti-mask protesters were bleating about living in a dictatorship. Uh, no. Just… no.

26. What was the best book you read?
This year I’ve really needed the comfort of favourite books and favourite authors so I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett novels for pretty much the whole year. His books are so comforting to me whilst also being hilarious, well-written and quite snarky.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
See question 16. And also this.

28. What did you want and get?
A job! I got a well-paying, part-time job in the middle of a global pandemic. I was rather chuffed.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Hhmm… fairly certain I didn’t even make it to a cinema this year. But I’ve already got my ticket for Wonder Woman 1984. It’s getting some pretty uneven reviews but we shall see.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had a lockdown birthday so Richard cooked me dinner. We had eye fillet with mushroom and red wine sauce, potato gratin and I think it was broccoli for greens. Richard also bought a tub of ice cream from Messina (pistachio praline and choc chip). We opened one of our Crittenden Estate 2012 Cri de Coeur Pinot Noir – turned out it was a little too early for it be opened but it was still pretty good.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
For there not to be a global pandemic?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Strong in the tracksuit pants and t-shirt vibe, just like everyone else.

34. What kept you sane?
I know I always say this but yet again, it’s been my bike. Cycling is my main way of managing my mental health so if I don’t ride, I go a bit wonky, brain-wise. I guess I’ve learnt that everyone has a thing and cycling happens to be mine.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I took a real interest in the US elections but I think everyone did but the political issue that stirred me the most was Josh Frydenburg tweeting about how worried he was about the mental health of Victorians during lockdown. What an absolute joke. The federal government has done nothing to help Australians with mental health issues. If anything, they’ve actually made it harder for people to get treatment by consistently under-funding the mental health sector and, in some cases, cutting funding to services. It was disgusting to see Frydenburg in particular tweeting about this when he’s from Victoria and should’ve been doing all he could to help us. But he didn’t. He used the issue for political point scoring, which is reprehensible.

And then there was ScoMo all the way back at the start of year, using the bush fires as a photo op. Forcing people to shake his hand so he could attempt to sell the idea that he actually gave a shit about the people who’d lost everything when we all knew he didn’t. Because remember… “I don’t hold a hose, mate”.

37. Who did you miss?
My parents. It’s been a very long year without my mum’s regular trips to Melbourne and not being able to go see them. If nothing else, I’ve learnt this year just how much my mum’s level of involvement in Juno’s life matters.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Khanh, my team lead and the rest of my team. They’re all really nice people and Khanh is so supportive.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.
That when we want to, a large metropolitan area can actually act as one community. Around five million people live in Melbourne and the majority did the right thing to protect the more vulnerable members of our communities. It was an encouraging thing to experience.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: