A look back on the last 12 months

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

It seemed appropriate for me this week to take a look back on the last 12 months and see how things have changed around here.

What a year it has been

Of course, we can’t start this without looking at the pandemic and how it has affected everyone. We have all been challenged by it in some way. Here in Melbourne, it feels like we have spent the last 10 or so months with lots of lockdowns and restrictions.

Thankfully, the last hard lockdown did what it was meant to do and I think Victoria has now gone 24 days with zero new cases and zero deaths. Every Victorian deserves a pat on the back really. We are looking at having a fairly normal Christmas. Well, I say that, but perhaps more a Covid normal one. We will see.

We also had the really bad bushfires or wildfires here last summer. They are telling us to expect a wet summer, so hopefully, that means there will be less chance of a repeat of those fires.

A look back on the last 12 months

Around my house

This is probably where most of the changes have really happened for me. Around 12 months ago I made the decision to give up the photography business. I have not regretted that decision. In many ways, the timing was perfect for that too.

With Covid, I would not have been able to run any workshops or teach anyone anyway. It worked out for the best.

Of course, that has also meant that I haven’t really been able to get out to take photos either. Or I haven’t wanted to. It was a decision I made that I would try and stay home as much as possible and I have. For the last 6 or so months, the only reasons I’ve gone out have been to do grocery shopping pretty much.

Now that many of the restrictions have lifted, I might actually have to venture out to take some photos. I am kind of missing it.

A look back on the last 12 months

Being a housewife

This is something that I have absolutely enjoyed. The house is looking so much better, as is the garden. I love being home and for the first time in many years, I can say I really love my house. We have cleaned out 25 years of crap from most of it. There are still a few places to do, but most of it has been tackled. I am so happy about that.

My kitchen is now a place I love to hang out in. Whereas before I used to hate it. I was always cleaning up after others, now, it is just me.

It has been set up to the way I like and so far it is working really well. Perhaps one change has been that I am not baking as much as I was. My husband complained he was putting on too much weight.

I do still bake all our bread. We haven’t purchased bread since about April. That is something I am really proud of. Now with restrictions being lifted, I can start trying baking more because I can give it away. Perhaps it is time to try croissants again.

Trying to follow June and her bread making

The garden

The garden has been a massive surprise to me. If I think about it I can’t even really say when I made the decision to start growing vegetables. Previously I had been so adamant that I wouldn’t do it.

Last summer I grew some tomatoes and herbs, and so this summer I was going to do similar. Now there is a full veggie garden in the front and back of our house. I am a little surprised at that, but also so proud to see what I have achieved. We are slowly being able to eat things from it, but I can’t wait until most of the veggies we are eating come from it.

Trying to be more self sufficient
Small tomato plant

Working from home

Dave, my husband, has been working from home since March and it has been really good. I never thought I would like him being home all the time, however, I have actually enjoyed it and not sure I am looking forward to him going back.

Thankfully it won’t be for some time and many businesses, his included, have found that their workers are more productive. His workplace has told him that many of them can continue working from home after the pandemic, but they will still need to go into the office about two days a week. I think he can handle that.

One of the biggest things about him working from here is that we are saving so much money. Around $125 a week as he isn’t paying for public transport, buying his lunch each day or his daily coffee. I make the coffee and lunch now. Bonus.

About being a vegetarian

So if we take a look back on the last 12 months

I’m not complaining. It has to be said I have felt happier within myself. My mental health has been really good. I think that is because a lot of the pressure I had put on myself to earn money is gone now.

Life is good now.

What you can expect

There is no way I am giving up photography. Though having said that, I do want to explore drawing and painting again. I feel there is leeway to try other things again.

So if you do like my photography that isn’t going to disappear and I will be getting out there again to do more. My husband is using my desk and monitor now, that has made it hard to do anything. We are getting another desk for another monitor, so I can set myself up there to do some.

If I’m being honest, there won’t be as much as there was before. I love being home too much now.

That’s a wrap on me as I take a look at the last 12 months. I hope you didn’t mind me taking a look back on it. It has been fun in some ways. Well, it has been good in my house, not so much outside it.

This blog has changed a lot too. I really enjoy sharing more of my life with you too. It is my hope that you have enjoyed that too and want to see more.

A look back on the last 12 months

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  1. So pleased to hear you are more settled and happy. What a great look back on 2020. I too took a break… sometimes we push ourselves far too hard… we must make that post, we must do this and we must do that… that we forget that what we do should bring enjoyment not sorrow and torment. Loving the new food photography…

    1. Thank you Bren, I really am. We do do that. I think I have decided to retire now and just do photography for fun now. Good to hear that you took some time too. It is important to do that, and I think especially this year too. Take care Bren lovely to hear form you.

  2. What a beautiful post, I enjoyed reading your look back on the last 12 months! I’m glad all turned out okay in the end! Silver lining! 🙂

    1. Hello Julian
      Yeah, definitely a positive from all the negative. It has allowed me to make many changes.
      Thank you Julian

  3. What a wonderful recap, Leanne. I’m happy for you to have had an opportunity for a re-set. We all need to take stock and determine what’s most important in our lives. Sounds like you are happy with the changes you’ve made. That makes me glad for you!
    I wish for you and your family a safe and joyous holiday season.
    I wish for all of us a safe and sane 2021.

    1. Thank you Sheila. I guess I saw an opportunity and I took it. YOu are right I am very happy with what is happening and where my life is going. It has been interesting.
      You have a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021, let’s hope it is much better.

  4. It has indeed been a strange year, some say challenging…. whatever it has indeed shaken us out of our normal live style patterns. But as far as I am concerned, despite all the issues, the year has seemed to just disappear….. is it really Christmas in one months time. 🙂

    1. Very strange, I know what you mean David, I can’t believe Christmas is almost here and you are right, it has gone quick.
      Thank you David.

  5. Hi Leanne, thank you for your post. It seems like you have found joy in doing what you always wanted to do, or maybe you never knew that you would take so much joy of what the last 12 months have offered to you as a good change in your present live. It’s wonderful to watch your growing into this change…. of course your photography will always remain as a passion for you, but I guess just in a different way. Enjoy what you are doing.

    1. I have always loved the idea of gardening, but not really sure it was something I would get into, but I am loving it and I Hope it stays that way.
      You are right about the photography, I don’t think I could stop doing that, but it feels good that I can now experiment and do what I want. Thank you Cornelia.

  6. I am impressed and inspired by the way you have used this crisis as an opportunity to reevaluate what has true value to you and is worth investing time and effort in and to tackle some projects. We have also made some changes that we will aim to continue even when the pandemic is over – which is going to take longer here because America apparently sucks at handling a public health crisis.

    1. Thank you Laura, that is really nice to hear. It has been a year for changing lives really and I hope that many of the lessons we have learned will continue. I must say I watch what is happening there and it isn’t good. I really hope come Jan 20 that there will be some positive changes.

    1. Thank you Dorothy, it is good to hear that people have enjoyed it and yes, it is nice to see some positives from this year.

  7. Thanks for the year in review! I liked this comment: “My kitchen is now a place I love to hang out in!” Glad you have adapted and are love the way it is.

  8. I was 70 years when I shut down my writing business and started photography as a hobby. It was such a freeing feeling. When I started my blog, I didn’t take the time to write it well until one day I thought, “You can do better than this!” Now people are urging me at 77 years to sell my photos. I don’t want the pressure of another business. That will take the fun out of something I enjoy so much. When you start shooting again, it will be because you want to not have to. I can’t wait to see your photos again. And I’d like to see your other art forms too.

    1. Freeing feeling is a great way to put it Anne. I know just what you mean. I will do it because it is what I want to do and I really like that.
      Thank you so much Anne.

  9. This year has been so unexpected, and reading this post it really sounds like you have come out of it okay – and that is amazing. I haven’t been too active blogging this year as I wanted more time in the real world. From time to time I’ve popped by and read about your time at home, such as baking and seeing your indoor photography and I enjoy these photos as much as I enjoy your other work. There’s just something very peaceful and calming about your images now, or at least within your images you’ve taken this year at home. Maybe it was because of your decision to give up photography as a business – and really perfect timing indeed given what is happening in the world.

    Like you I have been staying at home more this year, only going out for groceries. Sure it was an adjustment at first but these days I don’t miss going out taking photos for the sake of taking photos. Working from home has been great for me, giving me more time to work out and eat more healthy. Definitely am in a good place in life right now. Moving forward I think next year will be picking up from where 2020 left off…who knows what will happen but I guess for most part for many people, it will be another year of change or trying to adjust to another kind of normal. But who knows really.

    Take care, Leanne. Glad to still see you around here 🙂

    1. Very unexpected.It has been quite the year. You are spending time in the real world and I feel like I’ve been hiding from it. The timing was perfect.

      You sound just like me, I’ve been feeling exactly the same. Next year will be interesting, I’m not sure what will happen, but I am sure many things will continue. A new way of living for many of us I think.
      You take care too Mabel, wonderful to hear from you thank you.

  10. Sounds perfect! I think (hope) a lot of people have taken similar journeys – I certainly have! I enjoy being home, dealing less with people on a daily basis, growing veggies and tending to my garden. Writing blogs, knitting and crocheting. I think humankind needed to get back to basics, and realize what is really important. 🙂

    1. It seems to have been a good year for it really. Good to hear you like it too Zelmare, I find it so peaceful.
      I think you could be spot on, a time for reflection and introspection perhaps. Thank you Zelmare.

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