THIS time last year we were going nowhere, fast.
We were told to stay home. Save lives.
This time last year puzzles were as rare as hen's teeth after Jenny Morrison called them "essential" items.
When ScoMo said Jenny had been buying up puzzles ahead of the national lockdown, everyone did the same.
Everyone, except me.
Luckily, my Danish girlfriend knows me better and sent a 1000-piece puzzle in the post to arrive just in time for the Easter weekend.
That weekend was a blur of red and yellow buildings with slate and grass roofs.
Red and white flags. Everywhere.
We learnt who puzzled loud and who puzzled slow; others like myself puzzled impatiently going by the wonky, blue skyline across the top. "It will all come together in the end!" This time last year toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pasta, flour and yeast were luxury items.
This time last year our actual essentials - toilet paper, hand sanitiser, pasta, flour and yeast - became luxury items.
When I failed to get toilet paper on two grocery trips in a row, I resorted to online shopping to seal the deal.
I put a pack of 12 rolls in the cart, crossed my fingers, toes and legs, and waited until the delivery day.
There were no emails all morning.
Then at the last minute, Woolworths emailed to reimburse me for two items no longer available at the time of packing.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Sure enough, one of them was loo paper.
Later my husband phoned them to see if they had any tips on how to best secure toilet paper. Apparently, timing was everything!
That was my first pandemic low; we've all had them!!
Even now, I still appreciate toilet paper, flour and tinned tomatoes being readily available during the weekly grocery shopping.
This time last year we all bought new pyjamas, knowing they were the unofficial dress code for the foreseeable future.
Had I known for exactly how long, I would have ordered more pairs for the kids.
They have worn their Peter Alexander PJs day and night for months on end, sometimes even under their winter school uniforms.
This time last year we were all glued to Netflix.
I couldn't make it to the end of Tiger King - I really did try - but I loved The Queen's Gambit, Enola Holmes and The Crown Season 4.
This year I've been hanging out over at SBS on Demand.
With on average one new Scandinavian series every week or two, it's all I need in small screen entertainment.
This time last year we ate takeaway meals like they were the best thing since sliced bread.
Suddenly restaurants and food stores pivoted to takeaway, meaning the choices were almost endless and it brightened up the week for everyone including the pivoting restaurant owners.
This time last year we were drinking $30 bottles of pinot noir or sangiovese on Wednesday nights.
This year we've discovered some for around the $9-mark that make a perfect hump day tipple.
Last year we couldn't imagine seeing live music again any time soon.
Even our theatres and cinemas had closed temporarily.
This year most of our favourite arts and entertainment have returned albeit with slight changes in the way we go about them.
This time last year we stayed home for Easter.
We lit fire pits, toasted marshmallows, did jigsaw puzzles and FaceTimed our loved ones, near and far. We may actually have seen more of our extended family - on screens - than ever before.
This year we can move about freely, making sure we check-in with QR codes as we go and wash our hands often.
A lot can happen in a year, reminding us that the situation is constantly evolving and nothing ever stays the same!
Happy Easter lovely readers!! Safe travels.