Sunday, January 02, 2022

2021 :: a second plague year, in pictures


it started off ok. a quiet new year's with friends, some baking - homemade sausage rolls, cardamon buns, quite a lot of working from home. we were able to hold a couple of croquis sundays before everything shut down in earnest. we bought a greenhouse on the blå avis and spent a saturday dismantling it and carting it home. and our child turned 20 halfway across the world! so we gave her valentino sneakers in neon pink. as one does.


working from home meant my coworkers were mostly lounging around on the bed or staring out the windows. i was jealous of them. we had actual snow and enough cold temperatures so that the lake actually froze and though we oddly didn't skate, we spent a whole weekend down there, enjoying being on the ice, grilling sausages and loving that there was some actual winter. a week later, temperatures were mild, so we dug the foundation for the new greenhouse. i started a 100 days of payne's grey project, but quickly fell behind and abandoned it in a kind of malaise brought on by the monotony of working from home with shitty internet.


i bought a bright pink sweater and some ceramics from a local artist to cheer myself up. there were signs of spring. working from home continued and it was nice to live in the countryside to alleviate feeling so confined. making good food and baking were definitely things i chose to do to cope. we finally put the windows in upstairs on the front of the house. i bought an unusual color palette in linen for making a quilt. and check out how badly husband needed a haircut - we fervently hoped for the hairdressers to open again soon!


a white papa kitty, who was surprisingly friendly, showed up, signaling the advent of spring in earnest. we found a second greenhouse for only 500kr and moved it home on a trailer via the back roads, rather than totally taking it apart. a lot of april went to working on the greenhouses. i'm not sure i ever got dressed in proper clothes - i may have spent the entire month in sweatpants and a hoodie.


things tentatively began to open up and we were able to go back to the office a couple of days a week. i realized that i preferred working at home because the coffee here is much better than the swill that passes for coffee at work. the greenhouses were completed and we planted a few things. weaving at the museum started up again as well, which was very welcome. i attended an embroidery course at the museum in kolding. we hung our spring exhibition, but didn't hold an opening, as larger gatherings still weren't allowed. billy, the prodigal cat, made his annual return (he definitely has another family somewhere) for the summer. the swans built a nest at our end of the lake, but alas, i don't think they ever hatched out any babies. 


summer days came - we had a department outing on a colleague's boat, which was on the most perfect sunny day. flowers bloomed, the garden took off and we had our annual sankt hans bonfire. husband ran a 4:18:4 mini triathlon and seems to have been bit by the triathlon bug. i prepared the warp for my crazy striped tea towels and husband worked on the siding on the west side of the house. 


i finished the rainbow quilt i had made in early 2020, just in time to give it as a gift to friend's daughter who was graduating. we enjoyed the garden bounty that was the reward of all that hard work on the greenhouses in the spring. i made a second quilt, using the funky linen color palette - planning it as a picnic quilt for my work in the exhibition. we spent all the time we could enjoying the garden. i only took a week off, saving my holiday for a hoped-for november trip to the us.


life was essentially back to normal. we were in the office again full time, though we all took days working from home here and there because we had grown accustomed to it. the garden continued to give generously, both veggies and flowers. husband decided to extend the house a couple more meters since he had a new plan for where the stairs should be. an old bloggy friend came to town and explored copenhagen in the rain. husband's eldest ran the copenhagen ironman, which was an absolutely amazing feat of which i am still in awe. i finished the quilt and at our exhibition opening (which was really the closing), i set up a picnic, complete with snacks and cocktails that everyone attending could sample. it was a good month and didn't at all seem like it was in the midst of a plague year.


i resolved to grab all the chances i could for creativity, starting with a lovely weekend down in højer with my creative group. it was absolute bliss and i even got a pair of green sandgren sandals in a little shop run by a lovely woman who i believe made up prices for each customer individually. i made an artwork of a focaccia with all kinds of goodness from the garden to take along for sharing and we made quite a lot of linoleum prints while we were there. then, a few days later, i went to fanø for a very enjoyable day with my weaving group. then, our team had a much-needed trip to copenhagen together and went a long ways towards repairing the damage wrought by too many months of working from home and a boss who had gone down with stress. the coffee continued to be much better at home and the garden generously provided flowers for all the vases in the house.


i attended a gourmet knitting day where i met some lovely and talented knitters and thoroughly enjoyed the company of women. we saw the latest james bond in a posh theatre with reclining seats - the first film we'd seen in the theatre in several years. a hard frost came and stopped my dahlias in their tracks. i brought the mango plant inside, along with all the avocados that i'd been growing as well. my first sweet potato crop was a bit tiny, but it was fun to try growing them. i'm not sure our climate is warm enough for them. i finished four tea of my crazy striped linen tea towels, in time to take them as gifts to the us. just before we left, i found two kittens i didn't know about in the greenhouse. they were absolutely adorable and we quickly found a new home for them.


finally, that longed-for vacation came and we headed for arizona and some sunshine and warmer temperatures. it was a great trip! we went to a sorority gala, the asu-usc football game, we climbed south mountain and we saw the grand canyon and visited sedona. it was so much fun seeing husband see the grand canyon for the first time. back at home, we went to husband's aunt's 90th birthday and i played with shibori in the dye pot twice! once with real indigo. i decided to take a new job in the new year and we put in the windows on the other end of the house. it was yuzu time and i got all that i could and made loads of delicious things with their fragrant goodness.


december started with the discovery of a charming little gin bar at halmtorvet and two visits to jah izakaya with colleagues. i find the food there so inspiring and delicious! we did a small belated thanksgiving gathering. husband made me a christmas calendar, giving me a new holey stone every day - he had collected them last summer as he spread stones from a big bag we had ordered in front of the house. when he was doing it, i asked him if he had found any with holes and he laughed at me. but he was secretly saving them to do the christmas calendar. he's a keeper. mid-month, the child came home and that was wonderful. we've been making her favorite foods and taking care of all the things she needed to do - like going to the doctor and getting a pfizer booster to go with her johnson & johnson vaccination. we had a wonderful white christmas with snow on the ground and the most sparkling, beautiful frosty walk. we should have celebrated husband's eldest's 30th birthday on new year's eve, but she got covid and we all had to isolate until we could test negative (we have all tested negative multiple times now). it wasn't the end to the year we expected, but maybe it was fitting anyway. 

* * *

i wasn't going to do a full month-by-month mosaic post, but i found myself perusing the ones from previous years and decided that it's nice to have them to look back upon. so, as always, this one's for me. and what's nice is that as i looked back over the photos and wrote the words here, i realized it may have been a second plague year, but it wasn't really all that bad. 

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