Aloha, 2021

This year has been a strange one for all of us. It started off without New Year’s Eve celebrations. International travel has been decimated for the most part. Social distancing became the new normal. Then masks became mandatory and a statewide lockdown ensued. Cases soared to the thousands and there was a push to be vaccinated. I’ve written at least four articles centred on COVID, including a lengthy poem back in July. I wrote a post for every week this year, fifty-two uploads in total. There were times where I struggled with ideas and others where I thrived. 

Travels, highs, and videotape

Among them were ten reading lists, almost one for each month. Sooley by John Grisham was the finest fiction read while Eddie Jake’s The Happiest Man on Earth was the breeziest nonfiction text. The latter recently passed away at the age of 101. Furthermore, I had my first perusal of hallowed authors like Vonnegut, Murakami, and Chatwin. I had posts for Father’s Day and documented our jaunts from Bondi to Rouse Hill, Broadway to Top Ryde. More than chronicling my jaunts, I imparted my new threads and the new menus I tried. I shared photos of cuddly canines and offered suggestions for Long Weekend activities. I scrutinised green spaces like Hyde Park and the Botanic Gardens. I even examined the Hemingway doco. There were also the usual TV series and film reviews. Nomadland (2020) was probably the most lauded of them. I dedicated an In Memoriam post to PNoy. I made it a point to dissect a wide variety of topics and issues. I gave a clear portrait of our city pre- and post-lockdown.

2021: By the numbers

A review of Hunter Connection was the year’s most popular post, with thirteen likes. In total, there were 160 likes on WordPress this year, up from 139 last year. The per-post average has increased from 2.7 to 3.1. This represented the highest yearly figure on Mot Juste. Sharing stories remain an integral part of my blogging. Recently, I posted about ‘Banyo Tales.’ There were many others where I started off with a pertinent account before branching out from there. See also: ‘Mac OS Big Sur reviewed’. While the COVID reality inhibits our travel movement, we should adapt to the landscape. People have been beached and uprooted since the dawn of time. Humankind has always been on the move, in search of better conditions. Change will not end with COVID, so we must remain proactive.

Support across timezones

The support for my site has been kind of consistent. There were a pair of posts that hit double-digit likes while many got at least three. I must add though that the comments were down. I’m happy to share that I got support from different corners. These include the UK, Romania, UAE, Australia, South Africa, the US, Ecuador, Portugal. That these bloggers could take time off their day to show their appreciation, is galleons. That they could spare a few minutes of their time to peruse your work is comforting. Aside from the likes, I’ve received a fair amount of followers this year. Though I may not have a horde of followers, I feel reinforced. 

Sustaining the momentum

The next step is clearly to maintain the momentum. I need to keep writing and to share my stories. There will be tough weeks when the ideas don’t present themselves so quickly. Like professional athletes, I must play through it and continue to deliver. In the last few years, I have continued to read books. The total this year is down to about thirty-two. Indeed, unlike in 2020, I have been unable to proffer a list every month. All six of my last books were lent from the library and all were new releases. This coincided with the end of lockdown. With the reads, Netflix and DVDs, ‘the show must go on.’ We must continue to create in these uncertain COVID times. I look forward to another year of blogging, reading, manufacturing short stories, streaming, trying new experiences, and reviewing.

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