The year of WTF

My friend Sue tagged me on very timely inspirational quote yesterday. It said: “A strong woman never gives up. She might need an extra coffee, a good cry or a day in bed but she will always come back stronger.”

I am a strong woman, so I will put my faith in that, wipe my eyes and get myself a strong flat white, because I ain’t got time for a day in bed.

Someone else on Instagram posted a tweet by a bloke called Santiago Mayer yesterday, who noted: “A year ago this was our last normal week and nobody knew it.”

Fark, yeah.

I remember when the reports started coming out of Wuhan in January 2020 about a strange virus and never for a moment did I imagine it would have such a devastating global impact.

I was still blithely booking airfares to Ottawa for the World Skipping Championships and Air BnB accommodation for a week in Hawaii. I was so naive.

By early March I was rolling my eyes about someone pulling a knife during an argument over loo rolls at Woolworths, police tasering a guy who went nuts and started attacking someone in the Big W toilet paper section and Mount Druitt Coles stationing a security guard permanently in their loo paper aisle to monitor panic buying.

Then the youngest went to a yoga class with a girl whose school subsequently got shutdown due to the outbreak and my new reality started to sink in, as we contemplated whether to self isolate for the first time.

I scraped into New Order at the Hordern Pavilion on March 11, where there was absolutely no evidence of coronavirus panic in the throngs. The queues at the pub across the street were 10 people deep at the bar and the Hordern was a sweaty, heaving mass of humanity.

On March 12, Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife Rita Wilson had the coronavirus and had been hospitalized on the Gold Coast, Donald Trump banned travel between the US and Europe, the International Jump Rope Union cancelled the World Skipping Championships … I started to wonder is this how the world ends, not with a bang but a sniffle?

Oh, and my husband texted me to ask for a divorce. Finally, after six years of separation.

By March 16, the eve of my birthday, the coronavirus was officially on my shit list.

I was supposed to be going to Comedy Steps Up for Bushfire Relief at Sydney Opera House that night to see Arj Barker, Carl Barron, Urzila Carlson, Joel Creasey, Kitty Flanagan, Tim Minchin, Julia Morris, Becky Lucas, Harry Shearer, Lawrence Mooney and Steph Tisdell. And DD had booked a night at a fancy hotel so I could wake up on my birthday in five-star luxury.

Cancelled.

We had tickets to see Tim Minchin at the Enmore Theatre on the Thursday night.

Cancelled.

I was feeling a bit gloomy about it all, but there was still a faintly shining light.

We’d also booked a mini-break in New Zealand in early April and were hesitating to cancel because the South Island seemed relatively virus-free.

Then New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new restrictions requiring travellers to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry into the country in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

So that was cancelled too.

The rest of the year was a series of lockdowns and sad news, including a flying visit to Melbourne to see my friend Lorrae before she passed away. I took half a day’s leave on the Friday afternoon and half a day’s leave on the Monday morning to make the trip and returned to an annoyed message from my boss – who had forgotten that I’d gone to Melbourne and the distressing reason why – because I hadn’t replied to a request she’d made on the Friday afternoon. That added to my tears. Then Melbourne locked down and my other boss told me I wasn’t allowed back in the office … when it reopened in two weeks time … three weeks after I’d been in Melbourne … until I had a COVID test.

That was an indicator of how the test of the year was going to roll for me in the lead up to my retrenchment.

Yep, 2020 was pretty much a shite show. And 2021 hasn’t been much better so far. I am tired in every way it is possible to be tired as I search for my new path in life. But I reckon the only way is up.

Something awesome is bound to be around the corner. And I am so bloody lucky to be living in Australia right now. And my Family Tax Benefit came through yesterday.

And there is laughter in every single one of my days. And heaps of love too. A little more money would be great, but I am getting by, thanks to that tax payment.

Every lunchtime I regale my workmates – who insist they will miss me – in the kitchen with my trevails – my skipping daughter, my friend in prison, my alcohol website. I sound like my own mini-soap opera. But you already knew that if you’ve been following the blog for any length of time.

My life is a mad, crazy whirl, filled amazing highs and blah lows, but it is never, ever dull.

It keeps me on my toes. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And, hey, I’m not fearing for my life in jail …

Speaking of which – following the Kathleen Folbigg developments yesterday, the phones have been running hot with journalists wanting a piece of the action. Over at the Justice for Kathleen Folbigg website I’ve asked: “How much longer can the NSW justice system chose to ignore growing medical evidence that supports Kathleen Folbigg’s innocence?”. Click here to read more.

I would also urge you to also read this article at The Conversation: Kathleen Folbigg’s children likely died of natural causes, not murder. Here’s the evidence my team found. It’s been written by Carola Garcia de Vinuesa, Professor and Co-Director, Centre for Personalised Immunology, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence, Australian National University.

She writes: “As a scientist and trained medical doctor, I found the procedure of the [Folbigg] inquiry bewildering. Even before we made the genetic findings, there was credible medical and pathology evidence to indicate the Folbigg children had died of natural causes.”

But it seems the legal system is using emotion rather than fact to inform their decision making.

OK, I’m off into the Friday fray. Have a good weekend. I’m hoping for a little ocean therapy in mine. Fingers crossed.

Song of the day: Bon Jovi “Sleep when I’m dead”

2 thoughts on “The year of WTF

Add yours

  1. sadly it appears that our legal system did not learn from the azaria fiasco.
    that poor baby, and kathleen’s poor bubs, making sad history.

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