Posted: Jan 1, 2021
Well, this crazy year is almost behind us. I know for many that it has been an exceptionally bad one.
I don’t believe that we are all in this together. Some have died from Covid, some have been affected by their friends or relatives passing, and others have lost their jobs or their businesses. Many have had delayed surgeries or critical diagnostics on other medical issues. Yet some have prospered or hardly been affected. There is a lot of inequity in the world and that has been highlighted over the last nine months. So, I don’t really think we are all in this together, and for most of us it is difficult to look back at those nine months with any fondness.
But I am wired as an optimist and because of my circumstances in life, both good and bad, that silver lining seems to just jump out at me. Most real friends have become closer. In most families and friendships, petty differences or old grudges have been put aside and most of us have shared in this experience, not equally but shared some common experiences.
It is at this time of the year that I report on the various emails I have received and answer some questions that come up. I do respond to every email I receive, but the one-off types of questions I just respond to individually and if something comes up that has been raised by two or more readers, I respond here. If you look at my last emergency post about two weeks ago, that was a time sensitive response to two people looking to make Christmas dinner for the first time.
The questions below are my rewording of questions that have been posed by more than one reader, and in some cases rephrased to capture the general topic.
HOW DO I PRONOUNCE DJANGO AND CIARA?
This only comes up with people who have only seen this website as anyone I meet in real life hear our names pronounced. Django has a silent D, so it is: JANG – GO
Ciara is Irish and her name has a fine heritage in Irish Gaelic as dark or dark haired, and to some a warrior princess. That is certainly how I think of her as well. Ciara is pronounced: KEE – RAH. The pronunciation of it is significantly enhanced and more authentic after a couple of pints of Guinness.
YOU ARE GETTING BETTER AT PUTTING IN PICTURES BUT WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE OF YOU, CIARA AND EN PLEIN AIR ?
When I worked with Sven, and Justin and Amy, we were involved in activities that had us placed on lists by some pretty questionable countries and those lists don’t go away with time. This all predates 9/11 of course, but the events of that day just made things worse for anyone who had already been flagged. I was just the cook and general helper in the whole operation so was not a target for these countries we had smuggled people out of, but I still have problems travelling and my experience with this has me keeping as low a profile as I can reasonably do, while still functioning and growing as a person. So, in my case when I have had to supply a picture for writing contests, Jim has stepped in and supplied his photo. I appreciate him doing it, but it is a bit insulting as he looks a lot older, and more tired than I do, but it’s not for a fashion shoot. LOL.
Ciara for the longest time was hiding out from her abusive ex-husband and kept a pretty low profile for that reason. He is now gone but his family are still pretty focused on her demise, so she has continued to keep her exposure low as well.
But there is a third character here that you mentioned. En Plein Air has the same problem I do – She is a very distinguishable boat in design and scale, but we try to keep her identity confused by changing her name periodically, and when I show the rare image of her here, it is not in a colour she is currently wearing.
So, I will continue to try to have photos, but that’s why you won’t see many of Ciara, En Plein Air or me.
WITH COVID, A LOT OF US ARE STUCK INSIDE, BUT YOU CAN SAIL AROUND. WHY ARENT YOU DOING THAT?
Ah this is an easy one. Yes, its true that this is the longest we have ever been moored in one place. There are two reasons for this. First, while we made some very good money when we did the run with the doctors at the beginning of Covid (see posts in March and April, 2020) and that put more money in the bank that I have ever seen, my finances have always been for immediate consumption to put a polite spin on it. I am rarely ahead by much. With this situation of Gerhardt and Gabrielle buying our groceries and Malcolm and Martha paying for wine in exchange for me doing the food prep and cooking of the lunches and dinners, our only costs are for our moorage and a few incidentals. To offset those costs I give a demonstration cooking class each week and Ciara does a little med clinic for people living at the marina on a pay-what-you-can basis. The result of all this is that at this point we are not eating further into that lump of cash we got for the doctors job, so at this rate could live here indefinitely!
The second reason we are here is because these are emotionally scary times, and we have a little community we are now part of and that feels really good.
WHATS IN STORE FOR 2021?
Well, some things we can say with certainty and some, well not so much. But here goes.
- Stay healthy. At the end of most of the big wars, there were both military people and civilians who died after peace was declared. There are now some vaccines about to be administered and I don’t want to step on a land mine before I get the vaccine. So vigilance will continue to be practiced.
- Roll with whatever Covid dictates. I don’t know when I will get a shot of the vaccine, when lockdowns will stop, and when I will feel comfortable hugging again. But Covid sets the agenda and the schedule, and if it turns out that we are in a hot zone and can move to an area that is not, perhaps that’s what we will do, or will just lock down again.
- At one point in 2021 Ciara has to go back to Ireland – something to do with her medical accreditation and several months ago I agreed to drop by the police station in Cork to do a statement regarding her Ex’s suicide. But that depends on Covid as well.
- In terms of posts, I am working on some book reviews – Jamie Oliver Seven Ways and Jacques Pepin’s new cookbook. I miss getting to move around and so I am going to do a few more pieces on travel – the first one will be on Cap Brun. Beyond that I have some more stories and poetry I am working on.
- Sales in the Django store have gone much better than planned, and I am working on two interesting additions for 2021. One is in a trial production run right now but a little held up because of Covid. Stay tuned for that.
PICTURES FROM READERS
Now I don’t get a lot of emails, but every now and again someone will send me a picture or two of images of things they have from The Django Store. If you have bought from there and want to send a picture, please do, and next year I will post them here. If you want to write you can find me at email@example.com
So that’s it for 2020. Stay safe and see you on the other side. My buddy Jim’s new favourite saying is “2021 is going to be a real shot in the arm.” Well even a blind squirrel finds some nuts sometimes, so perhaps he will be correct.