Well what a bastard of a year was 2020? A really shit time for the planet.
Whoever stated that a single person could not change the course of the world had never met that Chinese guy who ate that bat!
Turning the clock back.. this time last year, we were looking forward to 2020 with a lot of enthusiasm. The studio had been busy in November and December and I was pleased with its progress. I caught a note in the paper about some virus in China and thought not much of it.
My year's plans were being laid out on my yearly planner. Because of the bushfires in NSW my late spring trip back to the Snowy Mountains had been cancelled and I was keen to mount up and head off on the BMW. But by late February, it was pretty plain to see that a trip down there might find me locked out of QLD. So no trip and the big bike was locked down along with us in the house.
|The big German girl in the Snowy in 2019|
Debra's asthma issues meant we had to avoid at all costs her coming down with COVID-19. At the time it had the capacity to put the fear of God into people. And so we were locked down for around 6 weeks. Her beautiful staff member Helen, held the fort for us and boy did she work hard. Finally Deb felt confident to go back to work, lots of hand wash and face masks followed. Customers would steal the hand wash from her fitting rooms. Talk about living in weird times.
One noteworthy event was that on a drive down to Redcliffe during all of this, Debra's mighty Z4 turned over 20,000 km. Now at 22,201 km. Not bad for a car 16 years old.
As the year rolled on we did have lots of political candidates through the studio for the head shots for their corflutes and that kept the wheels of industry ticking over. All managed in our small studio with social distancing in mind too! Plus some on site images too!
|Many thanks to Bobby Pearson Electrical|
Now Debra had intended to fly to the USA in July to catch up with her dear friends Len and Pat who live in Pennsylvania. Well that plan sure went west. And right now we have not made any plans to go anywhere... (our last trip was Bali in 2019) well how can you in light of all of this ongoing drama?
So July rolled around towards us and we usually have a "Clayfield Studio says G'Day USA" lunch around July 4. It covers my birthday (July 3) and also gives us a chance to drink American beer, eat ribs and hotdogs etc. And we also get a USA themed cake. Usually in the shape of the Stars and Stripes USA flag. Usually our token Yank, Monte Hubesch does the quality control and counts all the stars to be sure it is correct in every way. So should we do one this year?
What would John Wayne do? Hell yes, let's do this.
So off we toddle to order the custom cake... many $$$$, but worth it.
|So you got to have a US Muscle car and flag on the day!|
And then God starts to laugh again.....
The next Sunday after we place the order, I head out for a ride on Maxine and I end up at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Bang! A lady in a Toyota hits me on a roundabout and I end up in hospital. Poor old Maxine is a write off and I come out with just a lot of thankfully relatively minor injuries. Still trying to sort my head out, I am terrified still when driving or riding. Working on that. Cannot go into too much detail as a third party case is pending. I rang Debra from the ambulance....
"Hi honey, guess where I am?"
"In a coffee shop drinking coffee?"
"Um.. I am in an ambulance"
"WTF? S*&(*) **&%$ *&^ etc etc. (Cannot write it here.)
The treatment I got from everybody, the coppers, the ambos, the nurses and Doctors at RBH was amazing and they were all very kind. Cannot say enough good things about them. My protective gear worked well and even the good Doctor commented on how much the jacket and pants had saved me. I did get gravel rashed on the arms and face though plus a good dose of whiplash.
|I felt so very old when this was taken.|
Deb takes care of me at home and I get to enjoy lots of (painful at first) physiotherapy for many months. And then there is the story of making an insurance claim. Bloody hard work. Eventually I get some cash from the insurer and order a new bike. And that is interesting too. First bike arrives ex south and is assembled. Seems to be short in height. Thankfully good friend Paul Hughes can interrogate the BMW Motorrad VIN code and yes.. the bike has lowered suspension. With very helpful input from Jason Anderson at the dealer, the bike is exchanged for the correct one. And I changed the plate from MAX20 back to MAX11. Superstitious am I. Just need to learn to get back on the big thing and ride it.
|New bike R1250 GS Adventure. Maximus Obesus.|
Slowly as the year gets towards the end I shoot some small jobs in the studio although I struggle lifting cameras, tripods and lighting gear. My right biceps appears to have been damaged in the prang. Had to forfeit some big jobs as I was simply not up to them. But Debra's boutique is humming along well.
We mange a long weekend at Noosa but the roundabouts leading into the place terrify me after my accident. Deb is cool and calms me down. It was good to spend a day with our holiday friends Mark & Libby. Just like being on holidays with them again.
Debra rings her elderly father every Sunday. A few weeks back she gets off the phone and tells me he seems much more confused than ever. Five days later he is diagnosed as having had a stroke. Debra jumps in the Calais and in heavy weather drives to Gympie. She sits by his bedside for three days as slowly the life force goes out of him. Right before Christmas too.
Just when things were grim, God laughed again...
The afternoon Deb leaves we are promised heavy rain. So I go out to drain some water from the pool. The pool pump assembly explodes and showers me in water. Luckily another great mate Brian Wakefield lends me his submersible pump and all night long I go down and pump water out of the pool in torrential rain every hour. On the Monday the thick end of $900 sees a new pump installed. It's only money.
The sun comes out, Debra returns and all is well as we cruise into Christmas. Then the solar system spits out another panel. That will be two panels and one inverter this year. Really green suff this Chinese PV junk. On the upside, still covered by the 20 year warranty. So there is that. And also I have managed to catchup with some old friends from the FCCQ from over 45 years ago. Geoff Frohlich Wayne and Lyn Porter, Peter Scott etc. And I find my half sister is still going and going well at 99! Catch up coming! All good stuff there, so I guess that is a bonus.
My late dad always said to me, "These things are sent to try us!"
And RB, wherever you are, ain't that the truth.
Happy New Year everybody.