Sunday, August 8, 2021

Genealife in Lockdown - Empty Pages.

Genimate Alex Daw over at the Family Tree Frog blog has challenged fellow geneabloggers to write about their lockdown experiences in a series of blog posts on Sundays during National Family History Month in Australia.

See what Alex has to say about the challenge here: 

As someone who is always up for a challenge I will try to post on the topic Genealife on Lockdown each Sunday in August. Following is my second post of five.

Thanks to Carmel Galvin's voice typing post from the first week of the Genealife in Lockdown Challenge I have dictated the draft of this post on my Android smartphone. It seems to be working rather well so all I have to do when I have finished dictating is to open the draft on my laptop, edit the text and add a few images.

We had to renew our last passports before their expiry date because we had filled all the pages with stamps and visas from the wonderful places we had visited over the previous few years. When we renewed those passports in 2016 we opted to pay the extra fee to have not just the regular 32 page passport but the frequent traveller passport with 64 pages.  We anticipated doing lots of travel in the ensuing 10 years and thought that, with 64 pages, this document would last the distance.

In March 2019 we were getting ready to go on a three week cruise from Auckland around the Pacific Islands but, as Covid-19 was rearing its ugly head, we cancelled the journey a few days before our scheduled departure. The cruise did manage to sail from Auckland but was forced to turn back after just two or three days at sea. 

Since then we have had a number of journeys cancelled, we have missed a river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow, a small group tour of Scotland, a genealogy event in the UK, a cruise from Oslo to London,  a cruise from Tokyo to Toronto (postponed, rescheduled and postponed again), two short cruises out of the US followed by a road trip to Death Valley and a trip to Norfolk Island for a genealogy conference this month. Most recently we have postponed our September cruise from Darwin to Broome which was to be followed by a motoring trip down the West coast of Western Australia. During the last 18 months or so, as our wings have been clipped,  our lovely fat passports have not seen the light of day. I fear they will reach the end of their 10 year life with many empty pages.

Early in 2020, when preparing for our Pacific Islands cruise, I armed myself with a new lightweight camera (I can't be fussed with heavy cameras with interchangeable lens). I regularly take up to 300-600 snapshots a day when I am out and about on tours from the ship or when wandering around a new site/sight. Sadly, thanks to Covid,  my new camera hasn't felt much love recently as it's just so easy to grab the smartphone when I see something exciting happening in the backyard. 

Checking my digital photo album I discovered that I have only taken 1236 images with my new camera which will be outdated before I give it a good workout. That's a lot of empty pages in my digital photo album.

I have previously blogged about the diary that I keep in a Google spreadsheet. Sadly since mid March there hasn't been much exciting to report in my digital diary. My social life seems to consist of zoom sessions and a few face-to-face meetings at a local family history group. We have been lucky enough to see a few family members on their birthdays and celebrate with them in between lockdowns but we have also missed many family events. 

Christmas morning smiles
We were scheduled to have our family Christmas Day gathering at my son's home but unfortunately Covid restrictions at that time only allowed for a maximum of 20 persons in a home. There were 22 people in our immediate family group so Mr GeniAus and I passed on the family event so the younger generations could celebrate together. We managed to see all the descendants over Christmas but in small doses. It was lovely to share the excitement of Santa's visit with two of the grandchildren who stayed overnight with us on Christmas Eve. 

Another place where I have many empty pages is my personal blog jillballau. Currently my children aren't too interested in my antics but I imagine that, in coming years, they will want to know more about their parents' lives. I have been using my time at home to dig into my photo albums and memories to add some retrospective posts to this blog. 

A retrospective posted yesterday at jillballau

While Covid has created blank pages in my life the good news is that my forced incarceration has given me time to concentrate on my own family history. Although I haven't managed been inspired to tidy and toss things out in my geneacave I have been slowly going through my database and updating research done last century with new sources and information. 

In spite of the restrictions placed on us during Covid we have been able  to live in comfort . We live in a beautiful environment with access to services and enough money in the piggy bank to sustain us. 

BUT....when the Covid curse is tamed we'll be grabbing our passports and cameras and taking off in an Olympic effort to fill those empty pages.


Crissouli said...

I would love to have done even half of the travel that you have done... and thoroughly enjoy reading about your travels.
Who knows when life will be a bit more relaxed? I somehow think that we we will have to learn to live in somewhat different ways, but there will always be dreams to follow.
Hope that passport gets a lot more entries in time to come.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Love your take on blank pages though not the cause of them. You’ve certainly missed out in a lot of trips in the past 18 months. We went down a similar path this week with our topic.

GeniAus said...

I wonder what you have planned for week 3 Pauleen? I'm thinking along the lines of From Designers to Daggy but with a week to go may change my mind.

Alex Daw said...

Hi Jill - great contribution to the challenge this month. Yes this is the reality of COVID. They talk about vaccine hesitancy but I think vacation hesitancy is a real thing too! I've finally finished my 2nd post and am ashamed to confess that I am still in my jim jams. 2nd day this week past midday. That's lockdown life!!

GeniAus said...

Alex, I get dressed as soon as I rise but don't ask when that is!

crgalvin said...

Long distance travel with all that time in the air as we age no longer appeals but of course, we would love to visit our daughter in the UK or better still have her come here! Many opportunities missed by many over the past year but we're grateful to live in our corner of the world. You certainly are an avid photographer and what memories the photos must bring as you recall all those places you are lucky enough to have visited.

Jennifer Jones said...

It’s sad that we haven’t been able to travel for so long Jill.In recent years I haven’t travelled as often or as far as you do But I still feel the frustration. I would dearly love to be able to get to Noosa to visit my son and grandchildren. Like you I’ve been reviewing and adding to my research during lockdowns this year.

GeniAus said...

Thanks all for your comments, I know we are all grateful to be living in the Lucky Country.

Jennifer, Carmel and Pauleen my heart goes out to you. Our farthest away child is less thn 2 hours away so, when we emerge from lockdown, it is easy to visit.


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