Roger Bara

As I feel a trifle festive, for a change, let’s look at the good first. Without doubt, seeing family again, in real life, not just on a screen, was one of the great things to happen to me this year. At the end of September, our youngest son and his Danish family managed to get to North Cyprus from Copenhagen for a 2-week visit. To actually feel physically close, after over 2 years without a visit, was incredible. And the timing was terrific, as Denmark right now is in more than a spot of bother with Covid infections.

As much as I detest Boris and the increasingly fraudulent and corrupt Conservative party, I have to give them great credit for the Covid vaccination roll-out, which has made so much difference. I know that there are still huge problems, but I dread to think what the situation would have been without those vaccines.

Now to the two baddies. This year saw the United Nations declare 2021 as the International Year for “Peace and Trust”; “Creative economy for sustainable development”; and “Elimination of Child Labour.” Yes, I hear you say, why bother? A complete waste of breath and paper. But of course, they have to be seen to doing the right thing at the right time……

Grumpy Roger Graphic

But my biggest “bad” is reserved for……Me. Looking back at what I’ve written in the last 12 months shows I am but an angry old man. It seems I am angry at just about everything. I’m angry at the anti-vaxers; (do you realise, if the internet was around in the 1950s, Polio would still be rife?); I’m angry at Boris and his cronies, and I’m angry about life, the universe and just about everything else. I must learn that the world will always contain idiots, conspiracy theorists, losers, and tin-pot dictators. I have to learn to accept it and get on with it. That way 2022 might turn out to be an ok year, which I sincerely hope it will for you all.

2021: 2 good, 2 bad things

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

This year has been full of various events, both good and bad to me. It was really very intense. It is pretty hard to pin point these without getting into things that are probably not important to others. Still I’ll try…. 

Bad thing #1: 

I’ve had COVID back in January. I don’t think it was really bad though, but I’ve had hard times experiencing the coronavirus. It was… sticky. Usually, I’ve been sick for 3 or 4 days before recovery during my adult life. I’ve kind of got used to such schedule: no big deal. Just some disease. This time it was much harder. The biggest thing was that I didn’t expect it to take so long. Still, I managed to beat it. So, this was a silver lining of the cloud.  

Thumbs Down

Bad thing #2: 

I quit my job at the Shopping Live TV channel as the corporate blog editor-in-chief. It has been 4 years there and I liked it: doing interviews, both In Russian and English, writing feature article or essays, etc. It was my project done from scratch. This wasn’t me professionally doing something wrong, they just decided they don’t need the company blog anymore. I think that was wrong. OK, fine, I switched to other projects but still miss it. 

Good thing #1: 

My elder daughter, Lisa, went to the first grade of elementary school in September. I was pleased to see that she smoothly went into school after her kindergarten period. She even seems to like it and that’s great. 

Happy Boy

Good thing #2: 

Just recently, in November, I returned to my karate training in a very active way. I’ve been doing it for a very long time, since 2002. Still, the last couple of years I was practicing it very occasionally, like once in 2 months – almost nothing. Now I go there twice a week, like in the good ol’ times and my sparring skills seem to be back. There’s a guy in our group, he is 25 now, who just spent a year in the special forces. He’s been in our group before joining the army, too. We’re now practicing kumite (sparring) together every Thursday and I’m glad to know that I’m fully fit against such a tough opponent, being twenty-two years older than him at 47.  

This is very good to me not just physically but psychologically, too. Still live and kickin’.

This is how it went for me in 2021. What’s up there in 2022? God only knows; it’s like Tupac Shakur put it: life goes on. 

2021 – 2 good, 2 bad

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Sometimes these things are easy to write… then there are topics like this one where I’m supposed to find not one but two good things to say about this crap fest. 

  1. 2021 is over
  2. It didn’t last thirteen months

There… done. 

Meanie Graphic

At the end of 2020 I thought things would turn around. The US got a new President; one who would lower the temperature. The Donald called him “Sleepy Joe” and thought that was a slur. I thought it was perfect. I assumed if someone was President who wasn’t calling people childish names and whipping up anger, things would slowly calm down. I was wrong, the far right is even more angry. If Sleepy Joe is too wild for your taste, I have no clue how to help the situation.

Listing the bad is no problem at all; Taiwan, Ukraine, Afghanistan, United States, Turkey, this is a long list and the problem is picking the worst two. Just to throw out one example: China is committing genocide, now. Hey, I have an idea. Let’s give them the Olympics and throw a big celebration! Did you see that opening ceremony? We Love China! Maybe I do have one good thing to say about 2021: at least it’s not the shit show 2022 is going to be.