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2020 Half-Yearly Update. What A Year It Has Been So Far

covid-19, coronavius graffiti

It has been quite a while since I last posted here or on our Youtube channel so I thought it was about time I wrote this 2020 half-yearly update. To be completely honest I have felt pretty unfocused and unmotivated to do much since April when the full effects of the Coronavirus lockdown came in to place. 2020 has been a crazy year with so many intense events happening, one after another with no time to stop, reflect and analyse what has happened. Here I wanted to talk about some of the things that have been happening this year, what my thoughts on some them are, what I have been up to, and the direction Wanderwalkers will be heading in for the remainder of this year. This is our belated 2020 half-yearly update, I hope you enjoy.

 

2020 Half-Yearly Update

 

What a year 2020 has been so far

 

It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a year filled with intense extremes. The first thing I want to talk about in this 2020 half-yearly update is the devastating bushfires. At the start of the year, much of Australia battled with destructive bushfires that burned through more than 18 million hectares of bushland, killed 34 people, destroyed more than 9,000 buildings and killed more than 1 billion wild animals. It is now known as Black Summer.

 

Coronavirus

 

covid-19, coronavius graffiti

 

Just when it seemed that life could return back to normal the Novel Coronavirus hit the world. Australia was not immune to this either. We soon went into lockdown only allowed to leave our houses for essential reasons like going to the supermarket or pharmacy. Australia’s response to Coronavirus was fairly quick. Fortunately, Australia wasn’t hit as hard as other countries like the United States or the United Kingdom who are still dealing with thousands of deaths each and every day.

 

Black Lives Matter

 

black lives matter protests

 

The most recent events have been the Black Lives Matter protests. The protests were sparked by another black man dying at the hands of an American police officer. These worldwide protests have been going on for weeks now, with protesters wanting massive changes. Black lives most definitely matter and I believe drastic changes need to be made. Systematic racism does exist in our societies. Here in Australia, Indigenous Australians are more likely to be incarcerated, more likely to experience police brutality, live shorter lives, higher rates of unemployment and more likely to commit suicide, inflict self-harm and suffer from mental health issues like anxiety and depression than non-indigenous Australians.

It is a tragedy that those with a darker complexion can experience so many injustices. Equality does not currently exist and it is well past the time for serious changes to be made. As someone who is white, I haven’t had to face the same racial prejudices that many black people have had to face. I stand and support the worldwide black community and indigenous Australians because I believe black lives matter.

 

I have been very unfocused and unmotivated

 

Like I said at the top of this post, I have felt so unfocused and unmotivated. I have done absolutely nothing for Wanderwalkers since about April, no Instagram posts, no blog posts, no social media posts and no Youtube videos. To be honest, I have hardly sat at my computer and I have hardly logged on to my social media accounts. Taking a break from the online world has been good. There has been so much negativity in the world in the past few months that taking some time away has given me the opportunity to clear my mind and keep away from as much of the negativity as I could.

 

What I have been doing

 

1. Growing food and composting

 

I may have taken a break from the digital world but I have been busy doing other things. My interest in gardening has grown immensely. Since my last blog post, I have purchased a greenhouse and several bags of potting mixes and seed starting mixes. I also started a worm farm and am now growing many vegetables and herbs. My greenhouse is currently growing pak choi, spinach, beetroot, red onion, roma tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, chives, strawberries, zucchinis, pumpkins, silverbeet, garlic, potatoes, chillies, capsicums, carrots and various lettuces. The most recent addition is mushrooms. At the time of writing the mushrooms were just purchased.

In my previous blog posts, things to do from home during Coronavirus and how the Coronavirus is exposing our over-reliance on supermarkets I talk about how growing food and composting can be a great hobby and can be super important in getting back to nature, helping the environment, improving your mood and can decrease your dependence on someone else to provide your food.

Getting into the garden has done wonders for my overall mood and has just been so enjoyable.

 

2. Working and saving money

 

Like many others around the world, I lost my casual job when the Coronavirus kicked in and forced the temporary closure of the business. However, unlike many others, I was fortunate to find another casual job soon after. Since getting that new job I have been working fairly consistently since then. I also deliver food with UberEats for some extra cash. However, I decided not to deliver food during lockdown because of the potential of exposure to the virus.

The extra hours from the new job has allowed me to save money for various things, including future trips, a new camera, buying a house and purchasing new plants, pots, and seeds.

 

3. New Project

 

Something I have been plotting behind the scenes for quite some time now, well before Covid-19 was a thing, I have been secretly planning and starting a new personal creative project. The new camera I alluded to in the previous point has a lot to do with this new project. This is a new and exciting thing that I want to do and feel I need to do. This is something that will come to light in the near future when the time is right, so stay tuned.

 

4. Hanging out with Suki

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has left us with lots of spare time to hang out with Suki, our whippet. (You can find out more about her here) We have been able to teach her some new tricks, like spin and speak. The time has been great, however, we have at times felt like we have been spending too much time with her. She has also missed out on many opportunities. We planned to take her to an obedience school earlier in the year so we could get some extra training. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, we were unable to do this.

An important part of dog training is allowing your dog to interact with other dogs and people. Suki has been denied the chance to meet new dogs and people at local parks and at the previously mentioned obedience training. In 2019 we made the decision to not travel overseas in 2020. This has turned out to be a good decision in hindsight. However, we had plans for weekend adventures and camping trips with Suki. This has obviously not happened, except for a trip to Melbourne in February.

 

5. Learning new skills

 

With all the extra time we have had during the Covid lockdowns, Kayleigh and I have been trying to be productive and use the extra time to learn. We have purchased several video courses through Creative Live. We have been learning about the business of outdoor photography, editing with Adobe Premiere Pro and colour grading with Da Vinci. This has been eye-opening, we have learned a lot and will be applying what we have learned in the content we create going forward.

I have also been watching lots of Youtube videos and reading many articles on gardening and am continuing to learn new languages.

 

Thanks for staying patient

 

I am slowly getting back into good routines again and am looking forward to posting creating more content. I hope this belated 2020 half-yearly update has shed some light on our absence. Please stay tuned, make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel and follow us on Instagram.

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About Author

Daniel Walker is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from western Sydney, now residing in Melbourne, Victoria.