Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2020 review

2020 was a bit unexpected to say the least. Here is a quick review from my perspective.

This is the second year we are living in the countryside and hour from Barcelona and over the year it turned out to have been a pretty good decision. 

January

Pretty uneventful. I mostly cycled indoors and met the BRCG crew once for a longer ride. A storm hit Spain and led to a bit of damage on our house. 

February

I started a project to hit every restaurant on Passeig de Sant Joan near our office. I would get too far. 

Beginning of the month I listened to an episode of the 80,000 hours podcast about the coronavirus. They are pretty reasonable people and I thought it was probably worth preparing a little bit. 

On our next shopping trip I bought a bit more pasta, canned food and hand sterilizer than usual. My girlfriend looked at me with the worry that I turned into a mad prepper.

March

Bill Bailey
3rd of March we saw Bill Bailey doing a show in Barcelona. It was brilliant. We were in a packed theatre and he was making fun about the virus. 

4th our CEO was in town for the week and I coaxed him into a deploy

In fact a lot of our team from the US office was in town and they planned to stay for a while. On the Friday we had a town hall meeting and I suggest we do a test run for the following week where everybody works from home. To my surprise this was accepted as a good idea. Little did we know that by that time the Americans scrambled to get back to the states as the US was closing borders for European flights. 

End of the week the supermarkets were emptied of toilet paper (surprisingly I didn't stock up on that, because we really had enough). 

We did a last trip to Barcelona to visit a Chinese supermarket and pick up stuff from the office. I haven't been in the city since then. 

This was also the day were the lock-down was really announced.

Lucas Hamilton
One highlight was a small virtual group ride with Lucas Hamilton from Mitchelton-Scott, which are my favourite team. It was pretty relaxed until everybody killed me in a sprint.  

April-June

This was a bit of a blur. 
I improved my workspace in preparation to working from home for a long time. 
The lock-down meant that I was not able to go for bike rides for a while.
We spent time on working in the garden and house. 
Enjoyed the nice weather.
Shopping habits also changed, before we went every couple of days and now we try to go maybe every three weeks.This also had the effect to go more vegetarian. You just can't keep animal meat fresh for a long time. 

July

I planned to cycle to Barcelona, but I only made it to my old village just outside for some ice-cream

picnic
My sister came with her daughther for a visit from Germany. For her it must have been like visiting a different planet. Germany didn't have any proper lock-down in 2020 and in Spain everybody was super careful and wearing masks.
 
We had a good time, with some road trips and picnics. All very social distanced. 


August

Devex has a company wide week off at the end of August. By some lucky chance some friends planned a cycling trip from Geneva to Nice . We would fly to Switzerland and then ride down to Nice and fly back. It would have been a brilliant trip with good friends and just cycling every days.
 
In the end I decided against it because of the virus thing. It just didn't felt safe to me personally to fly two times and then stay in a different hotel every day. The cycling itself is obviously pretty much perfect for social distancing. 

I decided something closer to home with meeting fewer people would be better. I rented a car and spent a few of days in Berga and a weekend in a fancy hotel in Peramola. I still was able to cycle every day, but met nearly nobody. People in Berga and in the Hotel were also very good at social distancing and wearing masks.

Weather was pretty good all the time. Sometimes so good that I had trouble to find enough water stops on the way. This area is just great for cycling.

September

We left the animals in the care of a friend and went on a camping trip to our favourite camping ground not far from Valencia. On the way to that one and back we stayed in some fancy hotels to get the chance to relax a bit.
The weather was "varied", but it was a a great trip. I do miss camping and holidays, but the animals do make this tricky. Our car and tent is also to small to take our dog.

October

I enjoyed the remaining long days and nice weather with some good bike rides. The lock-down limits for cycling were a bit larger at that time, which gave me the chance for some longer rides. Overall pretty uneventful though.

November

My birthday that I nearly forgot about just now. 
I finally gave up on Instagram, because it got to annoying with a new interface and non stop sponsored posts. This also meant that I don't post photos to Facebook any more, because I just used Instagram to do this. 

December

Usually we have some friends around for Christmas and New Years, but this time it was just us. We still had our traditional duck for Christmas, crispy duck for boxing day and hot pot for New Year Eve. I don't know if I ate more or less than when we have guests. Probably more.

Some Statistics

Books 

I already posted a summary of the books I read this year. I guess I expected to have more time, but I have no idea what happened to the time I saved commuting. 26 books including graphic novels is not bad though. 

Cycling

Not quite as much cycling as I wanted. Since we moved I am missing my daily all year commute. It was short, but pretty effective. And this year I didn't even have my long rides back from work that I did once or twice a week last year.

This winter I definitely increased my indoor cycling. With the current limited range I can cycle outdoors due to lock-down it isn't that bad.

I also managed quite a distance in dog walks, which is also reducing time for cycling. 

Hopefully a bit more for 2021

Blog

I did post 46 of my regular Friday Links, which is pretty good. In June I also changed the format to add a bit of a comment to each link and an image to each post, which was well received by the few people who are reading these.

My most popular posts in decreasing popularity:
Overall the visits to my blog are nothing worth mentioning ... so I won't.
 
Looking forward to 2021! How bad can it possibly be? 

 





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