Covidversary

Covidversary

Earlier, on my commute back from work, I realised that it was precisely last year-to-date, 16th of March, that we went into self-isolation/quarantine/lockdown/confinement.

Three hundred sixty-five days ━ with the majority of those days feeling like the Groundhog day. If you read this blog long enough, you must have read enough of my complaints about it. I did it here, here and here. And then here, here and also here.

Today, I am going try a different approach 🍷 the sedated (I have downed a couple of glasses of red) and reflective kind.

Though the energy that dominated our Covid-year collectively was inevitably The Hanged Man ━ with the long stretch of static and the perpetual of postponing and waiting cycle; now, reflecting back, I can’t help recognise some things have shifted in my Universe.

I went into the lockdown delighted knowing I could sleep an extra hour before starting my WFH-days. But these days, I wake up earlier than ever to write my morning pages, draw my tarot card and journal. So yes, Covid might have Tower-ed the routines and rituals that I held on to for most of my life, but it also single-handedly changed me into a morning person.

Speaking of Covid Tower-ing my life, it also forced me to curb my goals. I had to cancel my non-refundable flight to Sydney last March, and I have no travel plans this March. Other travel plans including to see Aurora Australis, kayak in Fiji and hike the Kumano Kodo had to be postponed.

First to 2021 and now realistically and hopefully, to 2022.

In the meantime, I rerouted my goal to run a local marathon, pass the CPA exam and print a 35mm film photobook. Simpler and not-so-Covid-depend doable goals. With that I put my goals-obsessed-Virgo-mind in peace.

I miss my parents, cousins and friends terribly, but I am so grateful the lockdown gave Fafa and myself the space to strengthen our relationship.

I didn’t bake sourdough nor make the Insta-famous Dalgona coffee; instead, I found a new bakery during my weekly walk-and-talk date with Liz and bought a Nespresso machine. I also didn’t cook nearly as much as I wished to, but I managed to come up with my Come Dine With Me menu:

Indonesian cuisine – crab pastel for the entree, prawn tauco and sayur lodeh for main and either kue lapis or es cendol for dessert.

I also didn’t get to ring the new year in the Japanese shrine, which would likely happen in the sans Covid world; instead, I celebrated it with chickens and cows on a farm and it was lovely.

Also, during Covid-year:

I meditated for 845 minutes, experienced Zoom fatigue, let my eyebrows grow, celebrated my birthday on FaceTime and survived 112+ days of lockdown. I deepened my connection with tarot and found new obsessions, including natural Australian honey (my current fave is Blue Gum) and hot-jam doughnuts from Queen Victoria Market. I also cut my hair twice and regretted both cuts. Now it’s back to the original length, and I am thinking to get another haircut. I guess there are things one will never learn 🤷‍♀️.

Meanwhile:

I still write. And this year, I have written more than I have written ever before (I am on my second Moleskine journal for the year). And I still blog. But instead of dragging my feet on KultureKween, like I had been doing the past few years BC (Before Covid), during my Covid year, I started this blog, pressed publish like a madwoman, with zero care about the SEO or the niche. I write about whatever I feel like writing, which made me feel like I turned back blogosphere time to the Live Journal era.

I entered my Covid-year by excessively checking the Worldmeter Coronavirus info every single day, and now I am in the midst of completing my #100HappyDays challenge. For that (kind of shift) I am grateful.

Most of us have adjusted to the new normal. I also know we are not out of the woods just yet. Still, with the rolling out of the vaccine and the discussion of travel bubbles, I want to think that we are nearing the end of Covid-saga. We are, dare I say, almost there.

Here is to the first and last Covid-year-versary! cin cin 🥂

Best Days

What Was The Best Day of Your Life?

What was the best day of your life?

The question popped out on my phone. Sent by Jik. It got me thinking. The thing is, I have many.

The days I spent with my cousins, driving around Jakarta to buy the best road-side food.

The weekend I went to Malaka with my Uni friends and made more friends by the time we went back to Singapore.

Our three weeks honeymoon in Japan.

The weekend I went to Goa to attend my cousin’s wedding.

The first time I saw the Autumn colours IRL.

The many moments I shared with Cheryl when we worked together.

The day I went to the theme park as a kid with just my parents. I was wearing a red dress, and they let me do water rafting. It was so fun. I felt so happy and excited, and a bit of a grown-up.

The day I got a salary hike.

The day I got approval to move to Australia.

The day I stood in front of the sixteen floors National Library in Singapore.

The day I noticed Vi entering the classroom wearing her purple pyjamas.

The days I spent in Phi Phi Island, wearing a bikini for the first time and learning to be confident in it.

The day I bought my first MacBook.

Birthdays.

The hours I spent in the bookstores. And the hours I spent in Spellbox.

The night of the New Year’s Eve when I met Fafa.

The drunken night walk with my cousins in Copenhagen.

The day I ate MSG ridden fried-rice in a Chinese restaurant in Italy after not having rice for more than a week for the first time in my life.

Japan days.

My first snowfall day.

The days where Fafa kindness was the only support I had.

The weekend in Uluru.

The hours Jik and I spent in coffee shops in Hong Kong.

The time with LOL memories.

Quality times I spent with Amma and the moments of hugging her.

The day my Amma complimented me on my cousin’s engagement day.

Drinking Karak Chai in Dubai.

The nights I sat on the beach.

The hours I spent in the kitchen with my workmates – having lunch or just taking breaks.

The days I spent with Erwin and Vivi, rediscovering Jakarta.

The days and nights I spent with Thu just messing around while trying to figure out life.

My days in Singapore.

First dates. Second dates.

The days where I do very little but don’t feel guilty at all. The days when I do so much and feel a sense of accomplishment.

My post-grad days.

Sleepover nights.

My wedding days.

The day I realised I had all the support I needed in life.

The afternoon in Brisbane when we took an hour Uber-ride to eat good Indo food.

The day I discovered Serial podcast while travelling in Europe, which led into the true-crime rabbit hole.

The day I took Shinkansen for the first time, the second time and every single time after that.

The day I set up my blogs excitedly.

My last working day in Singapore.

Those are some of my best days—the ones I would love to redo. I realised now that most of them involve being surrounded by my loved ones, travelling and discovering myself. Here is to creating space in my life for more of those kinds of days.

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2021

I wish you a happier, easier and more magickally precedented year 💛

Today we checked out from the lovely farmhouse airbnb we have been staying for a week, leaving Echuca behind and went back home to Melbourne.

On the way, we stopped at Bendigo where we had not-bad-for-a-town-lunch at Cantina Mexicana – though having to pay $3 for their bland AF sauce pinched me a little bit. Before leaving Bendigo, I went inside the Bendigo Art Gallery gift shop to almost buy a jewellery which I thought was made by an indigenous artist. It wasn’t. I didn’t get it.

3 hour drive later, we were back in our cozy Melbourne apartment. I was tired enough to take a short nap before the Japanese dinner we booked to continue the tradition of eating Japanese food and drinking sake on the new year’s day, even though we weren’t in Japan.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good experience. The food was below standard, especially for the price they charge. Oh well, at least we got to eat Japanese food and tried a new thing (we had never been to the restaurant before and definitely never coming back) on new year’s day.

Back at home, I called my parents to once again wish them a very happy new year and promised that I would come ASAP once I got the vaccine. Then, I called Jik and we went on talking about everything under the sun that went on for more then two hours. After that, I listed down a few things I am grateful for today and with that I drifted off to the la la land.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Color 400 New Year Rituals Winery Meletos Melbourne Victoria Australia

New Year Rituals

  • Eat 12 grapes right before the time turns 00.01
  • Make a list of the New Year resolutions and goals
  • Celebrate with my loved ones
  • Put $3.65 on the altar for the God Juno
  • Do a New Year tarot spread
  • Write down intentions, goals and resolutions for the year
  • Make a list of things I want to do, see, write, read, experience and eat throughout the year
  • Plan my holiday/vacation/study/travel period and my admin days
Rustic Bedroom Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 6

Hello from the last day of the unprecedented year.

Today I woke up from yes, another great night sleep. After slathering my face with the pure luxe face oil I got as a free sample, I started reading The New Parisienne by Lindsey Tramuta in bed.

I was in the middle of writing the annual post of “The Year I..” when Fafa called me for brekkie. Today he only made egg on toast anticipating the delicious lunch date in the town.

I published the above post, pulled a card representation for the year-end (King of Cups), went running, clocked 150km for the year, and sat to do one of my new year rituals; writing my new year intentions and goals, resolutions, and sharing the process with Jik.

2021 Intentions, Goals and Resolutions

By then, it was almost lunchtime. We got ready and drove half-hour in the scorching heat. We had lunch at the Monkey Coo & Asian Kitchen. My order wasn’t as good this time, but the crab spring rolls appetiser was yummy!

Before leaving Echuca town centre, we made a short stop at Candle Scents as I wanted to give a small thank you token to the farmhouse owner who has been so courteous throughout our stay, even when we broke the bathtub yesterday.

It was past 3 PM when we were back in the farmhouse. Since it was too hot to do anything and it’s a liminal space day anyway, after feeding the chickens, I changed into Pjs, opened a new bottle of wine and started journaling.

I wrote my last gratitude list for the year, tarot related goals for the next year and any random things I can think of in between, with the pink-sky backdrop which can be seen from the dinning room where I am writing this from. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

After this as my previous days’ routine, I am going to shower, watch Come Dine With Me on SBS Food, have steak dinner (Fafa’s new year’s eve speciality), drink more wine in the name of festivity, write a bit more, greet the cows, wish my parents an early Happy New Year, read, eat 12 grapes as another new year tradition, drink tea, watch Dexter, pray and go to bed early-ish so I can greet the new year in peace and gratitude.

Happy New Year’s Eve ━ hope you are celebrating it the way you want.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Mirror Selfie 2020 Meletos

2020 The Year I…

…Rang in the new year in Japan for the third time in a row. We had sushi and sake as the first meal of the year.

…Went to Bali for a weekend getaway. Now reflecting back, I am grateful we had the chance to travel outside of Australia this year.

…Started a new job in a new company.

…Practice with Miko, the first (second-hand) film camera I scored on eBay at the end of last year.

…Celebrated my friend’s, Liz, 30th birthday with a stay-cation in Mornington Peninsula.

…Self-isolated.

…Joined a witch coven.

…Bought my first ever indie tarot deck created by a female artist, then the second, then the third.

…Studied for CPA.

…Started liking black-coffee which no doubt is heavily influenced by Fafa.

…Finally enjoyed a good sandwich. It’s from Tivoli bakery on Toorak road which was introduced to me by Liz.

…Lived in lock-down for the most part of the year.

…Had a lengthy period of sadness from the combination of Covid and seasonal depression.

…Which made me pick up running.

…and cooking.

…and journal-ed as if my life depends on it.

…Got a tarot deck and oracle deck for birthday gifts from Fafa and Jik respectively.

…Had plenty of tarot readings.

…Deepen my tarot practice.

…Started a tarot blog then stopped because I thought I didn’t have that much to talk about in relation to tarot.

…Facetimed with my parents every single day from March onwards.

…Started this blog, a personal blog, but proceed to discuss mostly about tarot.

…Paid for a Google Photos account.

…Found out that Chiron has entered my chart since March and will stay there until the beginning of next year. Eek!!

…Finally read The Alchemist and generally read more books than last year.

…Stayed in a Mornington Peninsula airbnb.

…and in a Meletos winery in Yarra Valley.

…and in the farmhouse in Echuca where I took a boat trip along the famous Murray River.

…Went to an art gallery in Bendigo to celebrate our date-anniversary.

My Christmas To-do List

Merry Christmas ‘errbody!

I have a feeling that most of you are having at least a wee bit different kind of Christmas this year, as am I. Usually, I will be either on the plane on Christmas day or celebrating the festivities at my cousin’s house, eating my aunty’s delicious cooking, and taking multiple selfies with all my cousins in front of the Christmas tree.

Today though we went to St. Ali for a boozy brekkie and came home to a long list of a to-do list that I need to tick off before we leave to the farm tomorrow.

My Christmas day to-do list includes:

Organizing my perpetually messy closet and witchy drawers, major packing, update my bu-jo diary, research cocktail recipes, watering the eight houseplants, recover formatted pictures from the USB, update my goodreads (I have six more books to read this year to reach my 36 books goal), get a straw hat from Cotton-On (if they are open), upload Meletos staycation trip photos, wish people on my contact list a very merry Christmas, clean the house, research about Echuca (bookstores, cafe, Indian restaurant, bar, new-age store, winery and hiking trails) where we will be spending our new year holidays at and the trip tarot spread before we leave; which means I gotta start early (like immediately!), to tick off as many items as I can from the list before our “official” holiday tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I wish you a lovely to-do-list-less Christmas and happy new-normal-ish holidays!

A Small Celebration

First thing first, I passed my CPA exam! I was so stressed out about the result that I fell sick the day before.

Instead of acknowledging the, albeit minuscule, achievement, my immediate reaction after seeing the result was to book the next subject, which retrospectively speaking, was bad of me.

How could I not thank myself, Fafa and the Universe first for helping me progress in life and ticking off my goals. Especially after all the complaining, pre-exam stress and post-exam crash.

When I told Fafa that I passed the exam, he congratulated me and proceeded to book a table at Fonda, our favorite Mexican joint. I told him it seemed unnecessary, after all, it was just one subject. But then he reminded me of my own words:

“celebrating. small and big, things will breed more things to be celebrated”

Ah to be reminded of my own wisdom. I believe any reason to celebrate is a good reason to celebrate. And passing CPA exam that I paid more than $1k for, spent hours studying and stressed out over the result for seems like a more than an okay reason to celebrate. So we are off to Fonda in another 15 minutes — to celebrate both passing my CPA exam and the second anniversary of our second wedding.