Pros Are we there yet

One of these things is not like the other

teapot
That’s either the most advanced pair of knickers I’ve ever seen, or teapot design has had a radical overhaul.

Being worn by a lady but it's 100% food grade!

I was shocked to hear on the news today that the UK has instituted a travel ban on its citizens, and anyone returning to the UK from overseas must quarantine for 14 days. We have not been able to leave Australia since March 2020 without extenuating circumstances and I assumed other countries would be doing likewise.Same with hotel quarantine. Tennis players in Australia at present for the Australian Open have been whinging about being locked down in quarantine for 14 days; I'm actually surprised that the event is proceeding.

Now I  understand why I found it so hard to convince booking.com that I couldn't actually travel to Scotland last July. Airbnb were really easy to deal with - I just had to point them to the Smart Traveller website and they could see the travel ban was in place, and my booking was refunded almost straight away, but booking.com kept insisting I could travel. Right up until the hotels where I was booked to stay cancelled the bookings themselves.
Pros Books

The Witcher

Has anyone read any of The Witcher books? I bought the first one, expecting it to be all blood and gore, and was surprised to find it was much more than that. This led to me buying the next book The Blood of Elves which I also enjoyed. I plan on reading the rest of the books once I get through my current TBR pile.

 And this is weird, but over the last few months I've had a few people start following my reviews on Goodreads. Now considering that I didn't post a review at all during 2020, and my previous reviews weren't that great, I just don't understand this. Is it some sort of scam? The followers are generally people who haven't set up any sort of reading list.  Not sure how they'd find my reviews, let alone think they were worthy of following.

Speaking of TBR pile, I've just started in on <i>His Dark Materials</i> and it's hooked me from the start. I love it when books do that.
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ST we invented slash

(no subject)

So the govt is saying that due to shortages, the Pfizer vaccine may not be here as early as next month as originally proposed, and we may need to wait a bit longer. I don't see that as a drama - it's not like Australia has a pressing need at this point, and the govt has already said that it's unlikely that the ban on overseas travel will be lifted before the end of the year, and anyone coming into Australia has to go into mandatory quarantine. So I'm prepared to wait. As much as I'd like a vaccine, I figure the longer it takes to reach our shores, the more likely it is that any issues with the vaccine have been dealt with, or at least announced.

At a Little Paws Kitten Rescue meeting this morning, and one of our commitee members' phone started ringing - her ringtone was the theme from Star Trek! So then we started talking about various Sf shows etc and she pulled out her face mask, which was made of Dr Who fabric. So I showed her my carry bag which is also Dr Who. Instant bonding!

Also if you're not sure how long you should be washing your hands for - try reciting the Star Trek Intro "Space - the final frontier." It takes approximately 20 seconds to recite with appropriate gravitas, which is the time you need to spend soaping up. And how many times have I then found myself humming the rest of the theme song? Go on, you  know you want to!

On another note, I bought a kayak today. Time will tell whether this was the biggest waste of money ever or the best lifestyle decision I've ever made.

Random Violin

Bits and pieces

It was nice to see that John Barrowman dropped in on Ianto's shrine at Mermaid Quay last weekend - <a href="https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/16/torchwoods-john-barrowman-breaks-hearts-with-visit-to-iantos-shrine-13914288/"> story here </a>. Nicer still to know that the shrine is still there, all these years later.

Bodie-cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism recently. He'd been losing weight yet ravenously hungry - meds have now helped stabilise things and he's slowly regaining the weight he lost. He put on 430g over the last three weeks, which I'm pretty pleased with. And I'm NOT feeding him Swiss Roll *g* .
Sherlock Want to see some more animated

Basically TV themed

For the first time since 2012 I couldn't get a Sherlock calendar from amazon.com this year. There was one on the UK site but they won't post to Australia, and it wasn't available on the Australian site. I thought I'd be clever and went back through all my old Sherlock calendars until I found one where  January 1st was a Friday, and 2016 seemed to fit the bill - but that was a leap year, wasn't it, and it will only be good until the end of February. Then I had the bright idea of looking up the company that produces the calendar - and bingo, it's in stock and they ship to Australia. One new Sherlock calendar coming my way.

The Dr Who special was interestingCollapse )
Pros BD table

A black day

What terrible scenes coming out of the US today; the result of a total narcissist stoking the cult of personality to the limits. I've heard that the US economy was doing well until Covid hit, and that a lot of people believe Trump made their lives better - but to try and overturn the principles of democracy is just shocking. I sincerely fear for the country's future, when it is so divided; I don't see how it can start to heal.

And bad news in Queensland today too. We had gone 113 days without any local community transmission of Covid 19 but today a cleaner at one of the quarantine hotels tested positive to the UK super-infectious strain. There are warnings out for anyone who caught the same trains or visited the same places as she has over the last few days to get tested and isolate for 14 days, even if the test is negative. Fingers crossed that there is limited spread and brought under control very quickly.
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Pros I need a holiday

2020 - what I DID do

Which - wasn't much, actually. It must be something to do with my occupation and the people who are attracted to it - when lockdown started and we were all asked to work from home the majority of us were only too happy. I'm a bit of a hermit and am  not looking forward to the day when we have to go back into the city permanently; since August we've been going in once a fortnight and that's quite enough thank you.

Big trip to Scotland in June obviously didn't happen (tip - Airbnb is a LOT easier to deal with for refunds than booking.com) and my sister's cruise to Singapore was likewise cancelled. We decided to book a four day cruise to the Whitsundays in December - I mean, for sure the whole Covid thing will be over by then, right? Right? Yeah nah.... so when that got cancelled we looked for something we could do that was unlikely to be ruled out, and ended up booking a trip to Hamilton Island. It's in the Whitsundays, in the northern part of Queensland, so unless a full lockdown was put in place again we figured the trip would be fine.

Collapse )cockie (450 x 600)

Complete with cockatoo visitor. We got daily warnings on the TV to keep the balcony doors shut and all possessions inside, as the cockies had a bad habit of nicking items of clothing from the balcony and stealing food from the rooms.

And see those distant paddleboarders? Paddleboarding, kayaking and catamarans were included in room price. My stand-up paddleboarding session was more like get-to-shaky-feet-with-cellulite-wobbling-then-fall-off-backwards but it was still a lot of fun, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. We went down before breakfast each day and really worked up an appetite.

Then we'd play mini golf, or go back to the beach, or just wander about until lunchtime, when this would happen:

wine (450 x 600)

The hotel itself:

hotel (2) (450 x 600)

Those little golf buggies were the main mode of transport on the island. They were all booked out so we relied on the free shuttle bus which left the hotel every ten minutes.

On our last full day there we went to the wildlife park which was something of a disappointment, but we did get to meet Birri, who was obviously completely disinterested in us:

Birri (450 x 600)

Weather as you can see was great. The following week, the storms and huge rains that had lashed southeast Queensland had made their way up the coast; we were so lucky with our choice of time. We had just enough time there, too - any longer and I think I'd have started getting a bit  bored, although the beach is always an attraction.
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    relaxed relaxed
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Pros BD table

Already it's the second

Spent the evening last night working on a jigsaw puzzle - one of the guys at work wished me a safe NYE and I told him the worst danger I was facing was a paper cut. At least I saw in the new  year, with a few more hours afterwards.

Went to the cinema this afternoon and saw a really engrossing movie called The Dry starring Eric Bana as a federal policeman who goes back to the outback town he grew up in, after the death of his best mate from school. It was a mystery within a mystery and while there were a couple of loose ends at the finish, it was still intriguing and enjoyable.  Then tonight my sister popped in and we started rewatching Twin Peaks. When it first aired we used to ring each other after every episode, to discuss what we'd just seen. I am absolutely loving the rewatch especially as I had forgotten most of what went on.

LJ is being a dick tonight. A lot of entries are hidden under cuts labelling them not safe for under 18s, and when I click on the cut I get sent to a page where I need to click to confirm I'm over 18 but the entry won't display. I've tried two different browsers, tried logging out and logging back in, same thing. *shrug* I've no clue what's going on. Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow.
Aussie Aussie Aussie

Almost done

Just about ready to kick 2020 to the kerb and I'm sure just about everyone else is done with this year too. We've been lucky, in Australia, being an island it was easy to close the borders to international visitors, and anyone who did arrive in the country (expats returning home, mostly) found themselves in two weeks' mandatory hotel quarantine which helped limit the spread of the virus. There were a couple of mis-steps along the way - the disembarkation of the Ruby Princess, for example, where 3000 people were allowed to leave the ship in Sydney then catch domestic flights all around the country, even though there were over 100 reported cases of Covid-like symptoms on board, and the failure of the hotel quarantine in Victoria, necessitating that state going into a second hard lockdown for 100 days - but mostly the virus has been contained, after an early lockdown from mid March to the end of May.

Queensland, where I live, hasn't had a locally acquired case of CV19 for 102 days now. Other state premiers, and the prime minister, all had pot shots at our premier for putting up a hard border with the other states, but I reckon it was worth it. The state borders reopened in November and life is pretty much back to normal, other than having to check into clubs and pubs via QR code and registering your details, to assist contract tracing if need be. I still don't feel that great catching public transport but a mask helps, and I rarely need to now as we've been working from home since March.

You know, I never really understood Survivor's Guilt until this pandemic. I see what's happening all over the world and I feel a bit guilty that we've not been more affected.  Even when the country went into lockdown and the Centrelink  queues spiralled out of control, I still had a job and nothing really changed for me. I had a Covid test back in July when I managed to contract a cold, and of course my holiday plans were thrown into turmoil when overseas travel was banned; I couldn't visit my grandkids for a couple of months and had to rely on facetime calls, but otherwise it was Life As We Know It.

It will be a mammoth task vaccinating the whole world, but that is what needs to happen in order to fully get on top of this disease and prevent regular flare-ups in the colder weather. I'd like to think that by this time next year we'll be well on the way. I hope everyone and your loved ones are safe and well, and remain that way.
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    contemplative contemplative
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