So, 2021 already.
I was going to write a different post entirely from this one, but events have conspired against me.
Last year, we were worried, seriously worried, about smoke and bushfires, and even though New Year’s Eve seemed to bring some respite, a few days later brought thick smoke and watering the garden and damping down the mulch wearing an industrial anti dust mask.
This New Year had the makings of a better one.
Despite everything, things seemed to be improving.
We’d managed a little holiday in November and had had an almost normal dinner out a few days before Christmas. Yes, we’d had to do the QR code sign in thing, and tables were more generously spaced than normal, but there were people eating and drinking inside and out, people at the pub a few doors up, and the whole thing felt relaxed.
We had a pleasant Christmas at home, just the two of us, listening to jazz and just chilling out. We were slightly worried about the situation in Sydney, and whether it would affect J’s art workshop at the end of February, and our planned side trip to Forster, but we were fairly relaxed about things.
During the week we became a little more concerned with the growing case numbers in Sydney and the apparent reluctance of the NSW government to impose stricter regulations, but took comfort from Victoria’s imposition of border checks and restrictions.
(Living in a tourist town on the edge of the high country close to the border with NSW there’s an obvious concern about community transmission, especially since most people have stopped wearing masks in shops and the post office, except for the supermarket where they are mandatory.)
But we weren’t panicking. We went for walks, gardened, painted, and I even managed to get up early enough one morning for a bike ride before anyone much was about.
Yesterday. New Year’s Eve, we made an early morning dash to Wangaratta to buy seafood, and spent the afternoon making homemade sushi.
We were planning a quiet New Year, even the prospect of going out for a New Year’s Eve cocktail was off the cards, the only place in town that made a decent margarita had closed in August, unable to keep going in lockdown.
Then of course came the news that the border with NSW was closing due to community transmission from visitors from Sydney, and that the rules around mask wearing were again going to be enforced.
Strangely, we felt relieved that finally some decisive action was being taken, even though border closures are a massive pain in the backside.
So, on the last day of 2020, we drank champagne and gin, ate our sushi, and watched a blood red sunset and the lightning flashes of an incoming storm light up the sky.
Hopefully things really will get better this year, but if we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that nature, be it bushfires or coronavirus, doesn’t care about human hopes and dreams ….