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2021 in Review

──── 4 mins

Last Updated: 4 February 2022

What a year, right?

It was an exhausting year for me. A lot of uncertainty still remains.

On the physical front, I moved houses 4 times (during a pandemic), which was no fun at all. I hope that I’m done with boxes and suitcases. On the plus side, time flows by when you’re busy.

On the mental side of things, I’m as tired of the pandemic as everyone else. But I’m extremely thankful to be in one piece. I’m in good health, I’ve not been ill, and I’m aware how great that is.

Vaccination has changed the game. I’m very lucky to have gone from zero to triple vaccination in one year. That said, the risk of Long Covid still feels real. Real enough that I’ve still not been indoors and unmasked with strangers.
Update 2022: This Thread by Dr. Nicole Bedera is a great explanation of my current feelings on the topic.

I have been indoors and unmasked with friends though, fortunately. It turns out that you can eat outside for most of the year, even in rainy European countries.

To continue the tradition, here’s my best of the year again. I can’t believe it’s my 4th ”Year in Review” article. I’ve explored more subjects than ever this year, the Internet is amazing.

Best of 2021

Cinema

The Dig: I would never expect to be so enthralled by a 2-hour movie about an archeological dig during WW2. This film deserves oscars. For Carey Mulligan, the lead actress; for Archie Barnes, the child actor; for the photography; for the music. Best Picture and best Sound at the very least. It also manages to captures the ambient tension of the war. It’s beautiful, it’s somber, it’s philosophical at times, I loved it. 10/10.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings: I wasn’t excited about this one at first. I saw the trailer, and the hip-hop and fast editing didn’t appeal to me. But I loved it when came out for free on Disney+. I watched it twice in like 7 days. The story is great, the characters are great, and the fight scenes are spectacular.

Squid Game anyone? 🐙

Albums

Hotel TV by Lawrence: I discovered the Lawrence siblings this year from Jon Bellion. Jon is one of my favourite artists (featured in last year’s review) and he was a producer on their latest album called Hotel TV. It’s funky, and Gracie’s vocals are outstanding.

That’s life by Willie Nelson: So, Willie Nelson made a jazz album. That’s life is a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and it’s very good. It’s Willie’s 71st album. Let that sink in for a bit. Enjoy!

🎙️ Podcast

Miracle in Galway Bay — RTÉ Radio 1: This is one of the best audio documentaries I heard in a long time. It’s about a rescue mission in Galway bay. Sara and Ellen head out on paddleboards, and then don’t come back (happy ending, don’t worry 🙌). It’s riveting, I just couldn’t stop listening. Listen Here.

Where the Streets Have No Name — Behind the Song: Behind the Song is a fantastic new podcast that I discovered this year. It goes into the origins of songs and their performers, in less than 15 minutes. Some episodes don’t have enough music, unfortunately. My favourite episode was on Where the Streets Have No Name. Listen Here

The story of “The Central Park Karen” — Honestly: What a shock. This is a very important episode that investigates the damages of cancel culture on people’s lives, beyond the headlines. Listen here

Best Purchase

A skipping rope, it paid itself off 10 times over already.

Resolutions

New year’s resolution:

✅ Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself when we’re still in a global pandemic and everything is very uncertain.

— Mind (@MindCharity), Jan 1, 2022

Onwards to another strange year!