Local lass, friend, author and blogger, Roving Jay, is a remarkable lady – intrepid, resilient, resourceful, on-the-ball and bright as a button. Little seems to faze her. She just gets on with it. As it turns out, she’s also quite the artist too. Not a piss artist like Liam and me, though she can sink a few with the best. No, a proper artist in pen, pencil and paint. She’s good, very good, as in people-would-pay-good-money good. Our Christmas card this year was a classic and, unlike most cards chucked into the recycling, now hangs proudly on the wall of the office here at Pansies HQ.
Jay recently travelled from the UK to Turkey and was forced to endure the tortuous tedium of quarantine. As she did so with fortitude and good humour, a Valentine’s Day card dropped on our mat.
I guess it’s unusual for a couple of married old fairies to get a romantic Valentine’s card from someone of the opposite sex but then, Roving Jay is unusual in the best possible way.
Read about Jay’s witty and informative Quarantine Chronicles here.
I know it’s a remarkable invention and has really helped many of us keep in touch and stay sane during the pandemic. But I’m so over Zooming and by that I mean this video-conferencing malarkey in general. It’s like attending a séance.
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Is there anybody there?
No, you’ve gone.
The whole psychic encounter is made all the more spooky by the use of cheap digital backgrounds where participants appear and disappear like ghostly apparitions. First you see ’em, then you don’t. If only we could all hold hands to contact the living.
What a year. Who would have predicted that 2020 would have brought a pandemic to strike us down and trash the global economy? Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus dominated the pansy charts this year. And there was death too but not because of the virus. Professionally, I lost a fellow author in a horrific murder and, personally, I lost my oldest friend to a sudden and totally unexpected cardiac arrest. But then came the COVID-19 survivor close to my heart and a birthday milestone, both of which brought some hope and happiness to a tragic year best left behind.
Despite the hurricane that swirled around us, Liam and I have been incredibly fortunate and life remains calm and peaceful. We know how lucky we are. The pansies remain forever perked.
Ladies and gents, both, neither and all those in between, I give you top of the pansy pops for 2020.
The most popular image of 2020 was this fuzzy black and white photo of my old primary school in Malaysia during my army brat years. Usually it’s something smutty or a hunk in the buff.
2020 was a write-off but do I see more hopeful times for the New Year? I think so but then I’m an eternal optimist. Clearly, the vaccine will be centre-stage. With a bit of luck and a fair wind, life should start returning to normal. Wishing us all a safe and sane 2021.
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. We usually fit in a jolly to the big city just before Christmas to see family. But not this year. Instead we’ll be hunkering down and staying put. My old girl will be one of the first in line for the vaccine as it’s rolled out, so we’ll see her after she’s had the jab. She understands. It’s the safest thing to do.
In 2016, I wrote a little piece about my semi-colonial life as a forces child in Malaysia back in the swinging sixties. The post – Reflections of an Army Brat – featured a blurry old black and white image I found online of Mountbatten Primary School, the school I attended. It started quite a conversation between ex-pupils, a conversation which continues to this day.
The post from way back also took me to a Facebook group called ‘We are Terendakians’ – Terendak being the name of the army camp originally built for the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade which consisted of soldiers from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The Facebook group is a place to reminisce and interact. And reminisce and interact they do with some wonderfully evocative pictures of a bygone era. Sometimes it even gets up close and personal.
This might be me aged around 7:
And this is almost certainly my mother on the ladies badminton team: