2021: Another wild ride

By now we've all said our goodbyes to 2021 and, for better or worse, have started a new year. Looking back at 2021 I would say it was another wild ride. Perhaps not quite as bad as its predecessor but it still blew us and buffeted us every which way. Like every other year, it had its highs and its lows but the pandemic was still very much with us and our lives had to revolve around its whims. So here's my roundup of the year we've just left.

Sincerely Loree: Waves at Ghar lapsi

2021: my year in pictures

In January we were forced into another mini-lockdown here in Malta as the numbers started to rise after the Christmas festivities. It was also the month that I turned fifty and I had taken you on a small tour of my life in Fifty years of me. Since all the restaurants were closed we celebrated my half-century very quietly and the dream I had made long ago to spend my fiftieth in Venice had to be given up.

Sincerely Loree: Moi

February and March were equally slow and quiet months. We spent most of our weekends out in the open, hiking and discovering new-to-us places like Blata tal-Melh and Irdum tal-Vigarju. These off-the-beaten track locations helped us appreciate nature and gave us a sense of freedom. In February I attended the last day of the Darkness At Noon Exhibition at The Splendid

Sincerely Loree: Blata tal-Melh

Our lockdown was lifted in April as the number of vaccinated individuals started to rise and the amount of positive cases started to dwindle. The first tourists made their way back to our shores and we were able to go out to restaurants again. The weather really started to warm up and we took our last hike as, from here on, it would get too hot to be enjoyable.

Sincerely Loree: Irdum tal-Vigarju

In late April and May I discovered a love of gardening that rather surprised me as I never had felt a keen interest in plants. But just being outside in our little garden, digging up the soil, removing weeds and planting seeds made me very happy. I didn't really know what I was doing, so some things thrived while others didn't. I've a lot to learn.

Sincerely Loree: Dahlia

In June my husband and I celebrated out 18th anniversary and we took the day off and went out for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk. We found it much changed from the last time we were there a few years ago, Like many other places, modern apartment blocks have risen in place of the small houses that characterised this village which has spoiled the aesthetic somewhat. But lunch at La Capanna restaurant was very good and it felt good to be out in the sunshine. On the summer solstice we were hit by a heatwave that would last for 6 weeks. It was certainly one long, hot summer.

Sincerely Loree: Lunch at La Capanna

Due to the intense heat, we didn't do much of anything in July and August. Beach days were definitely the best days. Strangely, the weather started to turn by mid-August and, although it was still hot, the temperatures were normal for this time of year (in the low 30s rather than the high 30s to low 40s we had been experiencing).

Sincerely Loree: Golden Bay

My friend Henni and her daughter visited us in September and we spent a nice few days together, catching up and visiting some of the popular places around Malta. We also got the first rain of the season and I couldn't have been happier to see the black clouds and feel the cool rain.

Sincerely Loree: Gnejna Bay

In October, with the number of infections still very low, my husband and I decided to plan a quick trip to Tuscany. We were there during the last week of October and had a really wonderful time. Tuscany is just beautiful in autumn. I've already written about our week in Tuscany and about visits to Pienza and Monteriggioni. I have more posts planned and will share them soon if you're still interested in reading more about this region of Italy.

Sincerely Loree: Siena, Italy

November went the way most Novembers do and was pretty unmemorable. We were planning on having Thanksgiving dinner, as we do every year, but developed a leak in our water system and had to shelve our plans. But I still managed to find a number of things to be grateful for. After the plumber fixed our leak I decided it was time decorate the house for Christmas.

December is my favourite month but, last year, something just didn't seem to be right. After getting all our decorations up by the first few days of December I fell into a slump. Work was super busy and I just didn't seem to have the energy to shop or  bake, two tasks that I usually enjoy very much. Instead I kept postponing from one day to the next. The number of infections kept rising and I couldn't shake off the feeling that things were going to precipitate. 

Sincerely Loree: Valletta at Christmas

To cut a long story short, our teenager had an aching back and runny nose on Christmas eve. I didn't think too much of it but took him to do a rapid test (to be on the safe side) and it came out positive. So we had to spend the holidays locked inside and  in isolation. It wasn't fun but we were together and still tried to make the most of the festive season (and Santa was very kind and left 22 books under the Christmas tree). The year seemed to end with a whimper and we were not able to drive to a beach to say goodbye to the last sunset of 2021, as has become our tradition.

And, as of today, we are 11 days into 2022 and I tested positive last week so we had to stay in quarantine and will be 'locked up' until next week. It's hard not to feel a bit down sometimes but I know that so many people have had it so much worse. So I am doing my best not to complain. But I will admit that I really need to get out of the house now and hope we can make that happen in one more week. I hope you are all doing well and have slipped into some sort of routine now that a new year has started.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Prayers for good health and a very happy New Year

A young and handsome couple you two are. You at 50 is surreal because you look 30. Malta is a lovely climate.

Debbie Nolan said...

Loree sorry to read that you have the virus and your son did as well. It seems like this plague will not leave us alone. Here in our rural area we have had a terrible surge. Several have died. Hope you will soon be able to get out of the house. Such great photos dear friend. I will be "looking up for you." Hugs 0

Loree said...

@Salty Pumpkin: thank you for the compliment. Malta's climate is nice until July and August come along :)

@Debbie: I am sorry to hear you are also having a bad surge and that people have died. We have had several deaths here lately too. Just hoping and praying this will all be behind us soon. Thanks for your good wishes. Both my son and I are doing much better.

La Contessa said...

GOOD GRIEF.............I HOPE SOON IT WILL BE ALL OVER FOR YOU!
YOUR HUSBAND IS VERY CUTE!HAVE WE SEEN A PHOTO OF HIM BEFORE?
I DO NOT THINK SO!YOU TWO ARE AN ADORABLE COUPLE!
NOW SEND ME A PHOTO OF THE SON!I WANT TO SEE WHO HE LOOKS LIKE!
VERY JEALOUS of your trip to TOSCANA.......YES MORE POSTS PLEASE!
I AM STAYING VERY CLOSE TO HOME NOW WELL I WAS BEFORE TOO.........BUT WE KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WITH COVID!
XXX

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

Loved this recap of your year. You have a way of writing that just draws me in and I love seeing your life on Malta. Funny your year wasn't much different. I have never spent so much time outdoors on hikes and things. I loved the photo of you and your husband. What a great idea to take the day off and enjoy it together. Malta looks beautiful at Christmas. Love that photo of the cafe on the steps. I am so sorry you have the virus. Take care of yourself. I feel like it's only a matter of time before one of us gets it too- or we had it and didn't know.
Here's to a better 2022 and finally being over this in some way. Sending hugs. Kim

Mary said...

Super-duper post dear Loree, all the lovely photos and descriptions of your year now gone brought back memories of my very short visit to Malta.
Really sorry you have ben hit with COVID, but glad both you and your son are doing OK. I'm sure you be will be well again soon and ready to enjoy the coming spring season.

Sincerely, Loree. Theme by STS.