60before60: 2022 status updates

january 15 08:12pm

I’ve not been stellar with updating the 60 list consistently when items have been completed, so while I was reviewing it seemed a good time for a status update – and an visual overhaul because it was looking a little hideous.

I’ve now completed 14/60, or roughly 23% of the items on the list. I’m rather astonished it is that many – given how disengaged I’ve been with pretty much everything in last two years of pandemic times!

I feel quite motivated to tackle some more. I’m trying to change my relationship with work this year and I think it will help to keep the list top of mind!

07. Make something from clay (50)
It took a long while to get there, but I finally stopped putting obstacles in my own way!

+ first class 1
+ first class 2
+ second class – hmmm, I wonder if that 4th small bowl is still there?

I also faced my fears (and terror) and completed 3 lessons (throw, trim, glaze) on the wheel at the pottery shed** in Surry Hills in December and January.

I’d originally booked these for July, but then lockdown happened and many, many months passed. The studio is wonderful and welcoming and everyone is delightful. As with most creative endeavours I have even more intense admiration for the professionals after I’ve had a crack! My small wobbly bowls should be ready to collect at the end of next week.

After the 3rd lesson, I grabbed a 10 session pass – these sessions are mostly self-directed, but lots of friendly help on hand to give advice. My plan is to take time off work and visit on weekdays.

I’m also considering signing up for slip casting in June.

I’m never going to be great at this, but I’m really enjoying the learning!

** neighbours to the most excellent James O’Brien, which is where I first became aware of it

26. Grow my hair long(ish) one last time
I’m currently resembling Rapunzel, so I think we can consider this one complete.

+ 12 months
+ 22 months
+ 48 months

I have no intentions to go short again, but definitely need a trim.

42. no fast fashion in 2020
This morphed into “buy no new clothes for a year”, but wasn’t updated on the list.

I did it, and I learned that I definitely had sufficient clothing, but almost 2 years later still have major regrets about not buying that gorgeous blue COS jumpsuit at day 81.

+ day 2
+ day 40
+ day 62
+ day 81
+ day 200

What I really learned that setting myself challenges to deprive myself are actually more a sign of much deeper issues that I would benefit from dealing with!

47. Record all personal spending for a year
This was actually pretty useful on a number of levels. Excellent for tracking down oddly described bank transactions in the joint account. Also comforting to see that I wasn’t spending with too much wild abandon.

I kept it up for 14 months until I ran out pages in the excellent small journal I used.

The key to success (as with most things) was reducing friction – going analogue, having a good routine for recording, and somewhere with nice paper and a good layout to physically write it all up.

Am considering starting again, just for the sheer usefulness of it. Need to track down a similar small book.

60before60: 2022 revisions

Much like the 50before50 list, the 60before60 list isn’t static. Everything is up for revision as my interests and circumstances change.

I last changed the list up in November 2019 in very different and much more innocent times!

The vibe is now less Stretch Goals and more chilled, low-key and, dare I say, achievable?

I do also need to update the list with the items I’ve crossed off. Given the past two years, I’m astonished there were any!


02. Learn to complete a cryptic crossword (50)
I really admire the type of clever and witty person does Cryptic Crosswords. I have accepted that I will never be this person and will be sticking with the Quicks.
Replaced by: Hire an e-bike and commute to work for 3-6 months

05. Cook something ridiculously complex (50)
Honestly, I could never actually define what I intended by complex.
Replaced by: Visit the AGSNW Member’s Lounge once per quarter 2022-2024
Thanks to Bessie for the Membership!

06. Go indoor climbing (50)
My injury-prone, slightly unfit, wobbly mid-50s body knows it is a very good idea to cull this one.
Replaced by: Join a choir

22. Take a camera class
I’ve now sold the insanely-heavy DSLR, and plan to keep to lightweight point and shoot cameras – or the phone.
Replaced by: Take a first aid class

35. Have a skiing lesson
See injury-prone, slightly unfit, wobbly mid-50s body.
Replaced by: See snow. Marvel at snow. Romp in snow.
For new players: I have never seen snow (apparently once when I was small, but I have no recollection)

37. Get back to running – 5km MAX.
This is the one I am having the hardest time letting go of. But injuries, and a less than cooperative body mean I need to say goodbye.
Replaced by: Make a set of drinking vessels

41. Learn to pick a lock
Sure, it seems like a cool party trick. Do I need a cool party trick though?
Replaced by: Short holiday in a van / campervan #vanlife

45. Do something momentous for each birthday
This one was inspired by spontaneously climbing Satan Mountain for my 50th.
These days I’m definitely more about the quiet, relaxed and restful. Maybe a quiet lunch somewhere nice?
Replaced by: Take a photo of the sky every day for a year

49. Cook one new recipe from each of our cookbooks + 10% of recipes I’ve bookmarked (currently 154 in bookmarks)
Have culled most bookmarks and quite a few cookbooks. I want to try new recipes when I’m inspired by them – not to some sort of insane regular schedule.
Replaced by: Learn to weave

56. learn to tie complicated knots
Another of those “why did I want to do this?”. I think it was just making up the numbers.
Replaced by: Get a tiny tattoo – this one is 99.97% certain not to make it through the next review!


30. Knit a hat for each member of the family
Make something special for each member of the family
The knitting vibe has left me. It may return, but I’m allowing myself some flexibility.

I’m keeping the spontaneous holiday at #60, because who knows where the world will be in 2027?

too the moon!

Currently a covid shitshow here.

Numbers are increasing rapidly, people have been queuing for 8-10 hours for PCR tests and often being turned away. Results have been taking up to a week or more to get back.

Now there’s been a pivot away from formal PCR tests to self-administered Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) because the systems just can’t keep up. It used to be that if you had a positive RAT, you were required to have a PCR test to confirm and you’d be monitored by NSW Health. No longer – now you just kind of manage yourself. And positive cases from RATs aren’t currently recorded – though this will change next week.

eeep – numbers don’t include those self-administered tests

To add extra spice, there is a shortage of RATs – they sell out quickly and are almost impossible to locate. And when you do manage to find them, they cost quite a bit – 2 for AU$30 is probably the cheapest I’ve seen.

In NSW we’re required to use a government app to check in wherever we go. The app then alerts you if a positive case was in the same location so you can watch for symptoms or take other actions as directed. Given the current numbers, everywhere you go there’s a case, so checking in will be phased out at the end of the month.

when too many supermarkets are barely enough

Two guys in my team have now had it, both double-vaxxed super-fit gym bunnies – the first was wrecked and very, very ill; the second “luckily, not even in the top 20 worst colds of my life”. Most of Bessie’s boyfriend’s family tested positive during the week.

Surely only a matter of time before it visits us. Hopefully will be mild when it does.

Boosters have only just become widely available. Most people were not originally eligible because of the huge delay in rolling out the first vaccinations. Don had his booster yesterday, I have mine next Friday and the Babies in early February.

Of course all this has started to impact supply chains and empty supermarket shelves are starting to reflect it. Surely a very bumpy January and February ahead.

Lots of “Ride the Wave” and “Let it rip” and “Live with the virus” rhetoric from the Federal and State leaders and not a teensy bit of planning or preparation to actually “live with it” – just kind of hoping it will all magically go away? Or that we will be distracted by lunatic tennis players?

There’s a point that you realise that those governing us have even less idea of what they’re doing than you could ever have conceived.

I definitely need to remove myself from the news for a bit.

2022 not-resolutions: bessie

And next up in the family not-resolutions: Bessie!

2021 review:

1. Complete a difficult bake (i.e. trifle)
I don’t think I did a “difficult” bake this year because there was so many lockdowns and no one to feed. But did learn to a lot of Dairy Free baking, which has a learning curve to it

2. Take better care of my skin, teeth, and hair
My skin, yes. Have started a good skincare regime and I’ve been sticking to it. The other two I have had to do self manage more than I would like because of lockdowns but I think I’ve still been doing a good job .

3. Every 2 months do something I find challenging (cooking, creative, problem solving)
I have no idea whether I did this or not, I think starting a new job in lockdown, was the most challenging thing I did this year. And have had to do a lot of creative challenges in that.

4. Once a month do something creative that isn’t related to work
Probably not once a month, but definitely did creative work just for fun or as presents, especially since getting my iPad

5. Journal once a week
Definitely not.

And for 2022

1. Embrace Analog (take film photos, journal/scrapbook, crafting, etc)
2. Move apartments
3. Go on a holiday that’s longer than a weekend (I haven’t had one since 2017)
4. Learn some more dairy free baking recipes
5. Actually go to the doctor about different issues I’m having instead of just dealing with it

Bessie’s previous not-resolutions:

2022 not-resolutions: joan

It wouldn’t be January without the Family Not-resolutions! Now in Year 12!

Explainer: At the beginning of each year, I coerce everyone into nominating 5 things they’d possibly, maybe like to accomplish in the coming year – no pressure.

Some of the family are ever-so-slightly more willing to participate in this than others, but we get there in the end.

First up – it’s Joan!

now a mrs

Maybe we will get to finally see her in 2022? But who knows in these uncertain times?

Hopefully it’s not another 3.5 years!

2021 review:

1. Add five new dishes to my cooking repertoire
I think I did this, there are some new meals in my repertoire. I made my first potato gratin and pumpkin soup last month!

2. Do some sort of physical activity at least every second day
Erm, depends on how you define physical activity

3. Earn some money, somehow
I think I get about A$6 of interest from bank accounts each month so I’m kind of rolling in it

4. Sort out my photo library
This was a complete fail

5. Go to Australia at some point

And for 2022

1. Become a cat mum
2. Reach B1 level in German
3. Find a job
4. Take a nice trip for my first anniversary in August
5. Sort out my photo library

Joan’s previous not-resolutions:

22 for 2022

january 03: 8:53am – spot the tiny plane

I’ve been spending a little time ruminating about what I want from this year.

I touched on this last year, but I’m kind of over my very internal harsh task master – depriving myself of things and KPIing my life. I want more ease and joy.

With that in mind – 22 small and simple things I want to do in the coming year.

01.   Use the things!
        The crystal, the china, the stuff I’ve made – don’t save things for best.
02.   Put my feet in the sea
        I’ve been wanting to do this for over a year.
03.   Buy more indoor plants
        For a long while I was an indoor plant hater, now I’m not.
04.   30 days of Yoga With Adrienne in January
        Non-culty and joyful.
05.   Achieve Big Financial Goal
        Mortgage milestone in August / September – keep eyes on that prize!
06.   Use my dremel.
        Don bought this for me over 15 years ago.
        Don has used it, Joan has used it, I’ve never used it.
07.   Choose the loving action.
        Resist my inclination to deprive myself in the name of self-improvement.
        Quell that negative and extremely critical inner voice.
08.   Try/learn one new skill each month
        Can be big, can be tiny. Definitely can’t be work-related!
09.   More music through speakers in ThePalace(OLove) on working days.
        I’m so over wearing headphones!
        I love music, I don’t listen anywhere near enough.
10.   Show support financially to creators I believe in
        via patreon or paid newsletters or buying music on bandcamp.
        I want to live in a world where creative endeavours are supported!
11.   Take myself on an adventure in the goget (car share).
        I signed up at the beginning of 2021 to get out and about when Don has the car.
        Didn’t get out and about. This year I will make it so.
12.   Attend another sound bath
        I finally did this in late December after wanting to for ages.
        It was quite a ride.
13.   Take a photo of the sky every day.
14.   Stay in the country for a weekend.
15.   Update supportive footwear.
        Part of my quest to regain physical health. That ankle needs all the help it can get.
16.   Have a serious crack at meditation.
17.   Go for a morning swim in the local pool
        I’ve lived within walking distance for almost 10 years and have never been.
        Just one swim is fine.
18.   Have a Reiki session.
        Because why not?
19.   Disrupt the daily routine at least once a week.
        While there is comfort in it, it becomes boring and I feel stuck.
20.   Cultivate a healthier relationship with work
        Work takes up way, way too much of my non-work brain-space.
21.   Get a haircut/trim
        As much as I want to see how long it will get, it’s becoming pretty unwieldy.
22.   Experiment! Tiny experiments with all sorts of things!

and on we go …

I’ve a mind to take a daily photograph of the sky this year.

january 01: 7:04am

As with many projects, this may not last.

Well here we are, 2022.

2021 really was a bit of a blur – obviously this was not because of the action-packed, rock-and-roll lifestyle I led, but more because one day was very much like another. Especially those 110(ish) days in lockdown.

If (when?) we’re locked down again, I hope to come at it with a more intention – embracing more nurturing activities like reading fiction and crafting, rather than numbing myself with endless doom scrolling and hate reading.

The break so far has been quite peaceful and restorative – unfortunately there’s been a distinct absence of naps though, which obviously needs remedying.

adventures in concreting home edition #1: results

My first experiments in concreting left me with a bunch of lessons learned, much room for improvement – and some actually useful items!

Using cling wrap was a disaster – it was far too delicate and got quite stuck into the concrete and then took an age to remove. Next time I’ll use thicker plastic, oil up the interior pieces or use items I’m happy to throw away.

On with the reveal …

Reasonably successful:

I’m quite pleased with the tealight holders – they are a little more organic than I was anticipating, but I kind of like it. Had to go hard with the sandpaper because of the cling wrap, but will definitely make another set.

I love the bases and am plotting how I can make these the tops.

The house! I really love it. Again I thought I wanted sharp, clean edges, but I kind of dig the imperfections.

And I absolutely adore that completely unintended line separating the roof!

I’m planning to keep it in this ikea cloche for a bit and gaze at it.

Ooooh – seeing it like this makes me think I could surround it with wee lights!

Wait here …

yes! though possibly needs twinkling lights

And the less successful:

I love the pink swirl in this one. I also love the exterior shape. The inside, however, was a complete disaster. I used a toilet roll insert wrapped in cling wrap, the cling wrap didn’t hold tight and the cardboard cylinder pierced the base and is still half embedded and impossible to remove.

I’ve been wondering what to do with those too large bangles from my resin class – they could top a concrete pink swirly vase pretty nicely I think. I’ll be experimenting to take this idea a bit further!

I thought I’d love the shape of this next one (right of the right image), but I really don’t.

Wrapping the candle in bubble wrap and cling wrap was much less successful than I had hoped. Despite my efforts at wrapping, water seeped in and damaged the candle I was using to shape the hole. And the bubble wrap left it pretty misshapen.

I do like the shiny exterior though.

Lessons for next time:
+ do not use cling wrap!
+ do not use objects that could be damaged by moisture for the hole shape!
+ experiment with shiny tops
+ more pink swirls
+ tape totally works to hold milk cartons together
+ you like organic shapes than you think you do

Onward to experiments #2 …

xmas 2021

I still have no recollection of last year’s Xmas Day in ThePalace(OfLove), but it would have played out in very similar fashion to this one.

We generally keep it pretty sedate – food prep, hanging about, some low key feasting, maybe some pottering.

When searching for some clue to the mysterious 2020 festive season, I found a message on the family chat from 30/12/20 expressing concern that daily covid cases had jumped from 6 to 18.

Such innocence! Yesterday was 6,288 and will undoubtedly climb over the next weeks.

For the longest time I’ve avoided using wrapping paper on family gifts, but there are a few rolls hanging about in a cupboard accumulated over many, many years, so I’m now slowly using them up rather than continuing to store them.

+ Bessie’s birthday gift hiding underneath

We feasted on spiced lamb, hummus and pinenuts, with fatoush on the side – or is it the other way around? And fried pita bread – truly food of the gods.

When our food processor died late in 2020, we replaced it with a Magimix. It was horrifyingly expensive and honestly worth every single cent – spectacular results on the hummus.

And of course, we scoffed the traditional pavlova.

I have resolved to delight Future Me by writing up this pavlova recipe in a less narrative form.

I cannot express my complete and utter loathing of this type of recipe writing.

In the afternoon I potted up the wee succulent from my concreting class (which to my astonishment is still alive), and another I’d grabbed from ikea earlier in the week.

I’m very pleased with the results! Many lessons learned from my first solo efforts, which I’ll regale you with separately.

strange festive bug

I spent the evening watching a couple of episodes of 2016 Landscape Artist of the Year on the youtubes. I was delighted to discover this as our streaming service has had only the one single season available for over a year. I’ll be quickly devouring this as I’m sure it will be vanished before much longer.

There’s really something delightful and soothing about watching people make art.

Today I think I need to brave the supermarket and hopefully source a heavily discounted turkey to shove in the freezer. Winter Me will be very appreciative if I can do this.

Bessie and Hansel over this afternoon/evening for Boxing Day feasting. We are highly envious of Joan’s freezing weather and extensive Christmas Markets – it all seems extremely festive and magical.

17 more days until I return to work – how totally wonderful!

tiny project: salvaged hats

Don plays as much golf as is humanly possible and has a large collection of caps to keep him safe** from the harsh sun.

He was reconciling these hats last week and was planning to bin^^ a couple of favourites that definitely had seen better days.

They’d originally started life as deep navy hats coloured, but sweat and sun had done their work. And if the sun does this to hats, imagine what it does to our skin!

I knew they were favourites, so asked for them to see what I could come up with project-wise. Good for the creative muscle.

I’m out of the habit of taking a billion progress photos, but below are post project remnants. Behold the difference in colour from the visor – and they look really very grody, but be assured they have been cleaned!

I had several ideas and experimented quite a bit. In the end I grabbed a couple of small inexpensive frames from ikea (GALLBODA), some cheap black felt from Diaso ($2.80 for a small roll) and I was away.

I’m really pretty pleased with the outcome! Very vintage and will go well in the Manhole (which is how we refer to Don’s music-listening room, which I realise I’ve only referenced in passing)

perspex removed for photo – way too much glare

Must get more of those $5 frames as they are scheduled to leave the range!

COVID case numbers are increasing wildly here. We’ve cancelled some of our planned activities because the last thing we want is covid and/or isolation for the glorious 19 day break.

So no Julius Caesar for us tomorrow evening and probably fewer of those planned meals out.

Boosters scheduled for January.

Stay safe!

** well, safe(ish) – lashings of sunscreen still required.
^^ we don’t have textile recycling that I’m aware of.