Sunday, January 17, 2021

2020 :: a plague year, in pictures

january 2020

it all started off just fine, didn't it? a nice 70s themed evening with friends to welcome in the new year (i did this mosaic backwards, but didn't want to start over, so start in the bottom righthand corner), a resolution to do a creative act of some sort every day (i did that, but only because i count writing and cooking as creative acts) and of course, cats.

february 2020

experiments in baking, more creativity, some vintage finds and of course, cats. the pantry filled up with water because it never stopped raining, not even for one day. i went to louisiana museum of modern art with a friend, not knowing that wouldn't be possible again for much of the year. 

march 2020

despite reports about the virus, we still met sabin in barcelona and had a lovely week there with her. i came home and immediately started a new job the next day, and the day after that, they sent us home to work from home for the next few months. i kept up the creativity, cooked and hung out with the cats.

april 2020

spring came, despite the pandemic, nature just began to grow and burst forth, marching on. there was a lesson in that. we cooked a lot at home and even had a few chances to eat outdoors. seeking comfort, i began a rereading marathon of the mrs. pollifax books. and as always, i enjoyed times with the cats.

may 2020

still working from home, but the weather improved and we started to be able to go to the office at least part of the time. that was really nice. i discovered an app called too good to go, where local grocery stores and bakeries and even restaurants sell a "magic bag" for a song and you save food from being wasted. i plan most meals around these bags now.

june 2020

the strawberries began and i made loads of cordial from them and from the elderflowers. there was actual sunshine and i spent time in the garden - with the cats, of course. and i bought handmade items from individual artists. and i stitched up some masks for myself. there was no mask mandate in denmark, but i was headed for the states, where there would be.

july 2020

i went to arizona to help sabin move out of her apartment and into the dorm. we had quite some adventures and her car broke down while i was there and couldn't be repaired, so she had to get a new one. got a new small bee tattoo while i was there and we spent evenings cooling off in the pool. it was so nice to be together with her. and traveling in the pandemic meant my flights were pretty empty.

august 2020

home again to a new car - my first new car ever! a citröen cactus, which is a little baby SUV. we embarked on our big roof project and so i did a lot of cooking and the weather was beautiful, so we ate outdoors. the light meant that husband could work long days. he had help for a week and they got a lot done, but not everything.

september 2020

more berries, more cordial. i regularly bought myself flowers at a pick-yourself field nearby. the roof project continued and we got the actual roof on. weaving began again and i started on my latest runner for the kitchen. there was still a lot of cooking and baking.

october 2020

corona anxiety started coming into the picture again. numbers were rising. a good friend's kids both got it - being the first people who i know in real life who had the virus. i made great progress on my rug and we were back in the office regularly, though still not 100% of the time. i voted and sent it to chicago via DHL to be sure it was there in time. 

november 2020

the darkness settled in, and we began working from home once again. but sabin came home and we did two small gatherings for thanksgiving since it wasn't possible to gather in larger groups. it was so nice to have her here, but she was a little depressed by the darkness and the constant drizzle. i put up christmas lights on the house for the first time, both to combat the darkness and because we would be home for christmas this year. 

december 2020

a corona scare, frustrations with the isolation and not being able to see friends, and wearing masks and constantly being tested. but we made it through. we ate a lot of good food, i made yet another turkey and we did see family for christmas. sabin went back to arizona for the new year and arrived safely. i bought a sequined dress that i wore for both christmas and new year's, because we all need a little sparkle in this plague year. 

* * *

this was a bit of a belated review of 2020. i'm once again grateful to my daily photo habit, which hasn't let up since i began it in may 2008 when i got my first "real" camera. these days, i often take the photo with my phone, but since it's an iPhone 12 pro max, it's got a pretty good camera in it. having all those photos really helps me stroll through the events of the year, but it also took some time to get them uploaded and made into mosaics. it doesn't really look all that great so far, but here's hoping 2021 will be better. fingers crossed it will improve when biden takes the oath of office.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

lazy first days of january

this is just how it looks outside at the moment, i didn't do any processing to this photo. everything has that cold, nordic blue cast to it. the light should be returning, but i'm not sure i've really noticed it yet. on new year's eve, it actually snowed and accumulated on the ground, though it started out as slush. as you can see, it's mostly gone now, but it was nice to have the brightness it brought.

the new year seems ok so far. i haven't gotten dressed yet, there's no need. the stores are all closed (thanks, mette) and we don't need anything anyway. i've been editing an audio present that was technically for christmas and i finally drove down the road to get a proper signal and uploaded it. after i have a chance to give to the recipient, i'll share it here, as i've uploaded it and made into a little video version using headliner

husband is taking advantage of the click & collect that the diy stores are offering and going to get the supplies he needs for our never-ending building project. i baked a banana cake and it turned out strangely crumbly. it doesn't taste dry, but it kind of looks it. i'm always at a loss as to what to learn from such things.

we found out that our amazon prime video, which we have through, no longer works (thanks, brexit). i'm binge-watching the harry potter films, which luckily, i bought as a set on apple tv, so i'm not dependent upon amazon. i'd actually never seen them before, except in bits and pieces on a plane or in a hotel somewhere. i've always been a reader of harry potter, not a viewer of it. it's kind of amazing watching those kids grow up on screen. and i have the same obsessive desire to see the next one that i always have reading the books. it's such a shame that j.k. rowling has become such a terrible human. 

i'm lazily pondering finishing that quilt top that i made last january - it's a rainbow pinwheel and it would be nice to have a new blanket to snuggle under while we're watching t.v. i've got candles going all over the house and space heaters, but it's cold these days and i am currently regretting that husband disconnected our furnace last summer in the roof project. luckily up 'til now, it's been a mild winter, but it's a bit chilly these days. he didn't reconnect it because he's moving it to another building (which he's almost done building, right beside the house). but almost done isn't done and it's pretty cold around here. and it doesn't help that the fuses blow when i try to run two space heaters and the washing machine at the same time. so it's a good thing i'm just hanging around in the same pajamas these days and not generating a whole lot of laundry.

i'm doing some online research into archaeoacoustics - and ended up reading a couple of weird short stories featuring the notion of being able to play pottery like a record, and hear the sounds "recorded" when it was made. that's a really interesting notion, but one of the stories, a bit of science fiction called buzz from 1981, was super bizarre. the other story, called time shards, was more thought-provoking. the research is for our continuing novel project, which is progressing very nicely. we had a really great session writing together one day last week and we'll definitely be doing that again. it was pretty amazing what we each came up with in 15 minutes. 

these quiet, slightly lazy days feel like the exact right way to ease into the new year. 

i've read a bunch of end-of-the-year wrap ups on various sites and honestly, i just can't face dwelling on 2020 anymore, can you? 2021 is here and while it doesn't feel all that different, it just has to be different, doesn't it? and easing our way into it, with candles and a few days in pajamas, making some nice food with whatever's leftover in the fridge, and maybe going for a walk and catching another installment of harry potter, is exactly the right way to begin. 

* * *

the voyeuristic pleasure of tik tok homes

speaking of harry potter, did you know about snapewives?

put on your tinfoil hat for this one about q.

remember that ghost ship, the alta, that washed up on the shores of ireland last year? i found myself thinking about it. they apparently never did find the owners.