Yesterday Melbourne reported its first locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in two months. Today we found out the common link… a restaurant two suburbs away from me, back on December 21st 😐 Considering all the gatherings that’ve taken place since then, I’m suddenly a lot more nervous…

📷 Haven’t had the chance to walk down to the nearby beach lately, but I might have to plan on changing that soon, because it makes for some great views! Here are some pics I took back in early November.

a view from a coastal cliff; greenery and a white structure to the right, sand and ocean to the left, and cloudy skies above view of a small cliff from below, on the beachdifferent view of some short cliffs seen from below on the beach

Thoughts on gender and (my) pronouns

Recently I’ve been spending a little more time browsing Mastodon, and one of the things that’s caused me to think about is why I don’t feel comfortable nominating some preferred pronouns on my profile (which is a popular thing to do over there). Part of me just feels like my display name – “Jessica” – is already pretty obviously gendered, so the “elegant” thing would be for the viewer to infer my pronouns from that.

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Christmas was a busy day this year! We had lunch with (predominantly) my mum’s side of the family, and dinner with my partner’s family (although, while I say “dinner”, I personally was so stuffed from lunch I didn’t end up eating anything 😂). Below have some photos I took at lunch. For my mum, it was her first excursion out of the house since her mid-year health crisis, so it was a big relief that it was a resounding success! For the rest of us, it was a welcome chance to catch up after a very long and difficult year. Today we’re off to a Boxing Day picnic with my dad’s side of the family, which I’m also looking forward to.

a woman sits in the passenger seat of a car, with a small white dog in the driver's seata white dog curled up on a couch, looking directly up at the camera
a young woman and young man on a couch, both on their phones; the woman has a dog on her lapthree middle-aged to older adults sitting around a dining table, chattinga young woman in a VR headset and a slightly older man bending over to check an (off-camera) screen

📷 Even though the weather was cold by Melbourne summer standards, Viv and I went on a walk last night to admire all the Christmas lights up in our neighbourhood.

a modern blocky house completely decked out in flashy Christmas lights an older house with lights on the roof and treea house close to the street with bright snowflake lights and a 'Merry Christmas' lighttwo older-style houses side-by-side, the left one with a moderate row of white lights on the eaves, the right one completely decked out in blaring lightsa 1920s house with white lights hanging from the eaves and colourful ones on the fence

Upgrading my iPhone

After using my trusty old iPhone SE for 3½ years, yesterday I took the plunge and switched over to an iPhone 12 mini. The phone I replaced was my first-ever iPhone, and while I don’t think I was immediately like, “Wow, iPhones are so much better than Androids!” over time I came to be super impressed by how its performance never deteriorated (except the battery capacity, but a replacement fixed that) and the steady stream of security and feature updates, all direct from Apple and not held up for months, years or maybe forever by whoever keeps doing that for Android updates.

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Apparently there’s a water outage in my local area and it’s doing my head in. Gotta ration toilet trips. Can’t wash my hands. (At least there’s hand sanitiser 😖) Can’t drink any water with my lunch. Southeast Water estimates it’ll be back in three hours… so far away, ugggggh

Every year I find Christmas shopping so stressful, but now that I’ve actually bought some nice things for the people I love, I feel so much better. Even… almost… excited? Like I’m looking forward to seeing them open their gifts, and hopefully liking them as much as I imagine 😌

🐈 When I’m feeling unwell (like today), my cat likes to curl up on my lap and administer the “cuddle cure”. But she’s also very impatient, so after 2–4 hours she decides I must be fully cured after all that, leaps up, and starts meowing at me to do all the jobs she’d been letting me slack on “while I was sick” 😂 It’s funny and cute, but at the same time, come on Gidget, let me rest!

📷 Today was a humid, overcast day, but the wind was fairly still and we enjoyed a scenic walk at the local dog beach!

a view of a beach from a clifftop, a marina in the background a view of calm ocean water, a pier to the lefta view of calm ocean water, cloudy sky abovea view of calm ocean water, with some sand visible on the right-hand side and green hills behind

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society. See her homepage here.