Like many of you, my family are scattered around the globe. I doubt anyone in the world was unaffected by this year.
A year fraught with so much pain, fear and loss by so many people; I feel the need to share, not the sad times myself and my family faced, rather those magic things both large and small -- those which brought us joy.
At the beginning of 2020 my daughter and her partner bought their first home together. They were so excited. Cornwall where they live in the UK is a beautiful part of the world. With her partners family living in Cornwall too, they decided this would be the perfect place to settle and grow their family.
Move in day was on again/off again, because of restrictions, and many things came into doubt, yet they successfully moved into their home a couple of months ago. My two girls are now enjoying all the ups and downs of a first home.
Then there was Airbnb.
Airbnb managed our cancellations with aplomb and not one of my guests suffered financially, and for this I was tremendously grateful -- as you're all aware, many other companies around the world basically up and kept their customers money. Not our Airbnb, they gave every cent back. Not least their own fee's.
Airbnb handled this and other unprecedented situations so well, I'm proud to continue on with the platform. Especially as they continue to support me with how best to safely continue maintaining my, now open, listing.
Sadly, other companies around the world showed no such decency. Unbelievably, many kept their customers money which had been entrusted to them for safe-keeping, until the date of travel or accommodation.
That's basically theft, and I'm so grateful that we weren't part of any such disgusting behaviour. Even though financially, it hurt.
Yet Airbnb gave us cash towards each of the cancellations we had suffered. I read in the community forum that many were not impressed by this, but for us, this was an unlooked-for blessing and once again, we were able to put a little food on the table.
We also learnt to plant and grow food again. This is not something I've done for years.
Now I look out the window and see the passionfruit hanging pendulantly in the breeze, waiting to ripen.
Not all the seeds I planted nor all the plants I bought, survived or took.
However, we have strawberries, tomatoes, rhubarb, kale, cucurbits -- both sweet and savoury and so many other leafy greens I planted, that we're looking at a great harvest -- so much so that I'm looking forward to sharing much of it with our neighbours.
This year I also did something I have long wanted to do. I built my first apiary (bee home) and obtained my first nuc or nucleus of about 250 bees. Most of them young and much of it unmatched brood. This hasn't been a fabulous year to do so, as there is little flower in bloom. We've had a rather strange winter, much of it spring like, with our actual spring being quite barren. However, I am aware I will eventually obtain that golden liquid called honey, and I am exceedingly excited by the prospect.
Each morning I check my hive and watch my bees come and go, bumbling along as they do, and occasionally checking me out -- "who is this large, lumbering being and what is it they're doing?" I imagine them saying as they buzz me and pipe their wee voices querulously.
What many of you may not be aware of, is I live in Western Australia in the Southern Hemisphere. So when COVID hit, our Premier (he's our head of state) closed the border. Further, anyone coming into our state was immediately placed into quarantine.
Luckily, just offshore of Perth, our capital city in Western Australia, is the beautiful resort island called Rottnest. You cannot live on this island, you can only visit or holiday upon it. Well, our Premier Mark McGowan decided Rottnest would be the perfect place to host our quarantine. Having to go into quarantine isn't a laughing matter, however, if you had to quarantine, what a perfect place to do so! Fresh sea air, self-contained accommodations. I haven't been to Rottnest Island since I was a teenager, but I remember it well to this day.
Currently as I sit here, the sky is so blue, we just had a couple of days of light rain which, for us, is always a blessing at his time of year. Spring is nearly over and the hubster has already attended five grass fires and one property fire. We've been told our summer will be a wet one, and for this we will be most grateful.
With 2020 coming to a close, I wonder what the New Year has in store for us. Hopefully a better rapport with the rest of the world; a vaccine safe for all; tourism to be better everyone, including how we transport our people en masse. I look at the new ideas some plane manufacturers are thinking of providing for long-hail flights and can only hope they're brought in soon. The idea of a lay-down flat seat in economy, which is one idea I read up on, is something I think we can all be excited about.
For the future, myself and my family are determined to hunt for the silver linings in every cloud. The glass may carry 500 mls and only have 250 mls of water available, but it is drinkable, and the rest is oxygen -- the basics have been met and so long as we have those we can continue on.
For you and yours I wish you all the very best. That your life and those you love can turn the corner and leave 2020 behind carrying only the best of memories with you -- I know deep in my heart, 2021 promises to be so much better.
Lots and lots of memorable moments in your post @Deborah82, but what stuck with me the most was this: "For the future, myself and my family are determined to hunt for the silver linings in every cloud. The glass may carry 500 mls and only have 250 mls of water available, but it is drinkable, and the rest is oxygen". My wish for next year is for more people to be able to focus on what's right in their lives, instead of what's wrong.
Oh @Nick I would love to visit the beauty that is Morocco, however holidays are something other people have. When you foster as many cats as we do, finding someone to look after them for an extended period of time just isn’t possible. Even if it were, I dare say my daughter would have something to say about me scoring off to other countries when I have yet to visit her in her new country.
I can tell you Morocca is most definitely on our bucket list though. Perhaps we will win the lottery one day and be able to hire a couple of professionals to cat sit? It’s a thought.
Thank you also for appreciating my scribblings.
‘Both thoughts are truly appreciated.
Thank you so much for sharing @Deborah82, you’ve had some great highlights even in the face of 2020’s wrath!
Sounds like you’ve been getting very green fingered - I had never heard the term 'cucurbits' before today, so I’ve learned something new! I managed to grow some tomatoes this year and herbs, but you’ve given me some great inspo for next year: I’ll be coming to you for tips!
So exciting that you’ve got bees now too - are they a lot of work to care for? I’m pretty impressed that you built the aviary too 🐝
It seems like your 2020 activities were very well thought-out as they should grow and prosper and ‘bear fruit’ in the years to come as well 😊
@Deborah82 Thanks for sharing! So many people I hear complaining about what they "can't" do, when we should all be focusing on what we "can" do. How wonderful to not only reconnect with what you haven't done in awhile, but start a new hobby as well. Beekeeping sounds fascinating!
Beekeeping is fascinating. It’s the most fascinating hobby I believe I’ve ever taken up. The more you learn, the more amazing it is. All the bee keepers I’ve spoken with had warned me how addictive it is, and they’re correct. It truly is a wonderful hobby and I’m simply amazed at some of the places I have seen hives installed. Balconies in apartment blocked, rooves in the inner city. Backyards in suburbia and all containing one or more hives.
An Aussie by the name of Cedar and his father were apiarists but believed there had to be a better and more gentle way of obtaining honey, So they invented a new hive. It’s called the Flow Hive. Check it out if you’re curious. You tube have some amazing videos on it.
Thanks @Deborah82 for your positive post! To be human is to hover in the hardship of this year, as well as its sadness. But we can’t allow Covid19 to define us as individuals or community or as nations.
We can all look for the blessings through the isolation and the sadness. Sometimes they are just harder to find. But as humans, we are very creative species - we just need to be reminded how to go about it.... baby steps 👣 🎄
@Deborah82 good to see others that have explored new ventures and share the joys involved in that.
I'm so curious about your rescue cats.......how many do you have that you can't travel?
We have friends that have 15 dogs, 3 cats and chickens (which I love naming for her) a donkey, peacocks and gardens that are fantastic - bee hives and fabulous honey which we are so thrilled to purchase.
Love hearing about the new things folks are learning, adopting and trying a hand at.
I too look for that silver lining - no matter what.
Hi @Clara116 , thank you - 15 would be a lovely number and yes, we also have chickens (they’re mandatory aren’t they? Lol), my girls are all Pekin bantams. They have fluffy feet and are just the cutest. I adore them. I also love their eggs. So much yolk, so little white. 🐣 I’d love a couple of peacocks and a few geese, however I don’t think my neighbours or guests would appreciate them somehow. A little noisy. If we ever have our fences replaced I’d really like to get a rescue donkey and a couple of alpacas though.
I’d love to hear some of the names you have gifted them with? My favourite cats name is Smudgalicious Velveteen, aka Smudge or Smudgie - or Smudgie-Budgie. Ha.
May you continue to find the joys in every day.
Blessings and white light to you and yours.
I hope you realise you opened Pandora's box and now we'd love to see every one of them Especially Smudgalicious Velveteen, aka Smudge or Smudgie (can't even pronounce it hahaha)