Yes, I’m still buying here and there, and thanks to Kim’s Op Shop and Elke, I’m still adding to “the pile” (which now numbers 105), cheaply for the most part. I managed around 21k of pieces this year across 18 puzzles (biggest was 3/4s of a 5400 piece masterpiece), down a bit from previous since I truly did burn myself out on that Degani 8k a year or two back and couldn’t face anything too large and long again.
I’ll call 2022 the year of the missing pieces since 6 of my puzzles ended up being short a piece or more (including 2 brand new ones). Luckily the polish Puzzle Manufacture one was able to be replaced. I started using the Picker Wheel website to add drama to the selection process (so far I’ve obeyed its command without question), and have finally created “to do” and “done” Google Photo albums.
The biggest surprise to me is the amount of baseball stuff I listed to, since I definitely started souring on the topic after my disastrous foray into collecting cards via the swindling, yet polite John Heckert of Swanton, Ohio. The long story cut short was he stole $1000 dollars of cards from me by refusing to mail them to my U.S postbox address.
Amazingly, the Phone Hacks podcast has continued to be fantastic, and I’m so happy that my friend Michael continues to listen with me year after year to these deviants!
An up and comer I’m really enjoying lately is the NZ duo of Guy Montgomery and Tim ? In The Worst Idea of All Time, so watch for them to rise in the ranks in 2022…
Thanks to my pusher Elke Scheepers in Perth, I’m continually being tempted by art puzzles. She messages me once a week with “Ooh, not far from you” and leaves it up to me to disappoint her by saying nope, I have enough, it’s too far, I already have it etc.. Since I gave my piano away to Ben and Oui In November, I’ve rejigged the hobby room, so that I can finally do larger puzzles, but due to circumstances (later dinners and then regular TV with Kim, CoHousing Zoom calls, after work jogging, you name it) I’ve actually done less puzzling since. Hope to pick things back up next year. but here’s the slideshow from 2021. About 34k pieces this year, although many/most of the smaller <1500 ones I did completely without looking at the box, the mystery of which I found a real love for.
I can hardly think of any major changes I made in my life through the strange year and a bit that is/was March 2020 till now. I’d already stopped running because of my heel (turned out there was nothing they could do for me – even surgery was unlikely to fix it), but I guess I’d begun riding into work in the summer of 2019/20 – maybe 3 days a week? That certainly stopped.
The one thing that ramped up (in opposition to the drop in clothes buying and work trips to NZ) was my buying of baseball cards and jigsaws. I probably spent 3k on those over the year and suspect that the obsessional eBay and Facebook Marketplace searching I did up to 10 times a day were a reaction to the boredom felt and general powerlessness. At least it wasn’t alcohol or promiscuity! Those buying urges have eased off and been replaced by a new one of course. The great caravan hunt ensued, starting in September 2020 and culminated in a somewhat worn Bailey Unicorn making its way from Leeds to Wollongong via a 2.4m wide shipping container. The old van sold and was towed out the door in about 5 hours in early December, giving us a driveway back after 7 years (felt wonderful too).
We did a recent trip to Maryborough and found the van to be beautifully insulated and warm ( Kim’s primary concern) but it wasn’t the smoothest tow and had us searching Carsales in a panic for a 3-ton- capable car before sanity prevailed and we’re now checking a few suspension options and loading ideas. There’s always something to make you worry I think.
Fergus has been yelping a little in the night, having trouble settling and it’s like a baby crying even though he’s not seriously distressed. The tablets don’t seem to work at all, so we’re resigned to lack of sleep as his decline deepens. He got disorientated the other night and weed in the bedroom which is extremely rare, and I think we both looked at each other and gulped. I don’t particularly want to take him to Woolgoolga this year as he is right near the end and the slightest touch will topple him and the inevitable weeing and restlessness doesn’t make for a fun holiday really. Let’s see how we go I suppose.