Fitting the year in nine boxes.

My review of 2019:

4 out of 5 stars. It started out really cold and concluded on a slightly chilly note. I took one star away because I would not relive it. Moving across Canada by car with the cats in the backseat once was good enough.

The masses over at Instagram have been sharing their top 9 posts. I do not understand the appeal of this: why would your followers want to see the same photo they liked three months ago again, at 1/9ths the size?

I was curious to see what my top nine would be: my face, my face again, the back of my head, my face, Gingerbread St. Basil’s, my face, my face yet again, the back of my head and finally, my face partially obstructed by my giant green sunglasses. The usual.

After the app churns out your top nine with a watermark, you have the option of paying $2.50 to remove the watermark OR save the individual photos that made it on your top nine and then putting it in a grid yourself. Wow, making my data available for mining wasn’t good enough for you, Top Nine app?!

I opted for option C: I made a collage of nine images that I hadn’t already posted on Instagram.


My green sunglasses make an appearance three times, which is the correct number of times.

Here are nine moments of glory from 2019 (all links below lead to blog posts):

1. Moving from Montréal, QC to Victoria, BC. It was stressful. It was scary. The cats hated it. It took considerable money to pull off.

For just over a week, we did not have a home. I remember making a phone call to Revenu Québec to update my address and being asked in which province I was living during the last week of March, as I was eligible to receive the Solidarity Tax Credit, and telling the agent that I lived nowhere in particular. WEIRD.

The experience of moving to a new province wasn’t new to me, but I haven’t done it so often that it now holds little significance.

So, for the fourth time in my life, I successfully relocated to another province. I am happy to have reassumed my British Columbian identity.

Also, my cats have now been in six different provinces. That’s more provinces than most Canadians have seen.

2. Settling on visiting Patagonia, then visiting it. I wanted to squeeze in a trip before the move, but it took my friend Mélissa and me almost a month to decide where in the world to go. Upon a suggestion by the label on Yann’s puffy jacket, Mélissa and I ended up booking a flight to Patagonia.

Okay: the jacket had nothing to do it. Patagonia was one of the few places on Mélissa’s travel bucket list that she hadn’t already checked off. Also, we had to book multiple flights: 8 in total. It took 24 hours to get there, and longer to get back home.

Then, there I was: in the desert, by the Argentine sea with thousands of penguins, in the water with sea lions, seated by growlers in a lagoon in front of Mount Fitz Roy, and on a platform opposite the biggest glacier I’ve seen in my life.

Patagonia was pretty alright.

3. Trips to Port Renfrew. I’ve seen some of what many online lists consider the most beautiful places on earth–including Australia’s Whitehaven Beach and Lake Louise, Alberta—and wonder how Botanical Beach keeps getting overlooked. Honestly, I’m glad it doesn’t get mentioned.

It’s close enough to where I live that I could ride my bike there in a day. (Could… but haven’t!)

4. Water sausage sightings. I live a five-minute walk from the beach (whaaaat) where sea otters play (awwwwww). THEY ARE SO CUTE. Help.

5. Mount Albert Edward backpacking trip. A visit to Strathcona Provincial Park gave Yann and I another reason to be happy about becoming islanders. I am excited about going back and taking a whistle with me, thanks to the lesson the Albert Edward trip taught me.

6. Rock climbing outdoors.My four years in Montréal were spent pulling on mostly plastic: I did not have the right circle of friends to pursue this hobby outside a climbing gym. Since moving to Victoria, I’ve already jammed my fingertips in crevices full of spider webs more in one summer than I have during my Montréal years.

7. Showing off my new home to one of my few international buddies, Ed. I may have gotten sick during his visit, and the weather may have been mostly crappy, but seeing a foreigner admire the beauty of my homeland so hard was sweet.

I am slightly proud of myself for riding my bike in the pouring rain for as long as I did during his visit. Not that I had any other choice, but my overall attitude about it was mildly commendable.

8. Made an edible miniature replica of St. Basil’s Cathedral with Tammy. This was only three weeks ago, but what a strut-worthy achievement.

9. Fly on my bike. My bikes didn’t see as many kilometers as in 2018, but I started time trialing myself and noticed an improvement that suggested that I could be very good if I applied myself more. Additionally, I did not fall off my bike or smash my fingers riding knuckle-first into a bollard (ah, 2017).

Last year, I also listed nine moments of gloom. I don’t feel like doing that this year, nor do I want to share nine goals I may or may not have lest I don’t achieve any of them. Instead, here are nine fake goals that I definitely won’t achieve:

  1. Get a miniature dairy cow and learn to make my own cheese.
  2. Become a life coach. Take my team all the way to the championship.
  3. Turn one of the living room windows into a sunroom extension, for the cats. Specifically for Bubble.
  4. Invent a new flavour.
  5. Become a respected handbag designer. (As opposed to a disgraced one.)
  6. Trade my miniature dairy cow, for a miniature diary cow, which is a cow that I can record my thoughts and feelings on.
  7. Sell my life story, which I’ve written on the diary cow, to a film producer who will then cast the cow to play the part of me. This cow will go on to become much more successful than me, but I’d be okay with it. After all, I’d have my handbag line.
  8. Redesign the Canadian banknotes, and if I have the time, the Euro also. (The Queen gets to stay on the Canadian $20 bill, but her hair is now in a ponytail.)
  9. Solve the world’s problems one by one by popularizing various hashtags and posting photos of myself making the peace sign.

What are some of your fake goals? Or real ones?

Happy New Year!

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