• Tarnie Simms


I haven’t written much since that day we took off from Spain, I think the enormity of what has happened this year, and the grief of what we lost has had so little time to sink in. Now we sit in our house, a place of our own for the first time in 9 months and for the first time, in that time the stress lifts, the enormity of the year sinks in, closely followed by exhaustion and a need to write it down.

Two weeks in quarantine passed surprisingly fast and everything still felt much like it was passing in a blur. Watching the state of the pandemic unfold has been a shock for all of us and the constant unknown are a state of being that is difficult to sustain. It has been a strange mental battle between knowing how very lucky we are but also grieving for what we lost. Some people may say it was just a holiday but it wasn’t to us. Africa 2020 was the start of something new for us, a new direction and what we hope would be the start of new careers for us.

We moved between my parents' place, a friends’ in-laws and a close friends’ apartment. It is horribly stressful and tiring not knowing when you will be out on your ass and we were so lucky to have some amazingly supportive people around us who made sure that did not happen. We spent the majority of the days in a strange mix of trying to enjoy this freedom we would unlikely get again for some time and stressing that we really did need a job if we were to not burn through all of our savings in spectacular fashion. So we found an uncertain balance between the middle of the two.

The effect of the government and media narration of the dire situation we are in and that the unemployment rate would only rise on set tensions on edge even more. The strain this puts on a relationship is undeniable and we felt it. I was stressed, Rich was stressed and all the while we just wanted to unpack our fucking suitcases!

So we both got jobs, which was something neither of us will take for granted. They were in Melbourne, exactly where we were wanting we were ready to move! Like all things this year that went to hell in a hand basket as Melbourne had wave two of COVID. Into lockdown they went! We held off for three additional weeks, enjoying the freedom of having a beer at the pub but eventually the need for a home of our own became stronger than any negative of only an hour outside

your house a day. And we got a puppy!Meet Laphy, fondly named after my favourite whisky. So it was decided, Melbourne here we come.

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