Welcome to my annual end-of-the-year chronicle. Here I reflect on the passed year, the media I’ve consumed, the trips I’ve made and other personal stuff. My first focus is this blog: Stray Bullet.
Last year, after seeing less activity from my part on the blog, I set a goal that I would write at least two new posts every month and that five of them would be in German. I have failed miserably!! 😔 I’ve only written eight (!) posts in 2021, and only one of them in German. What a total collapse! However, I have no intention of letting this blog die. I’m proud of what I have written so far and there will be posts next year too. That’s a promise!
Blogging and music
Now let’s talk about what I did write this year.
My reviews of “The Live Series: Songs Under Cover vol 2” (one in English and one in German) were the most read posts. The Live Series are official Springsteen releases of archival live compilation playlists for streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon. Installment no.9 was released 5 March, 2021.
I’ve also written two album reviews; Foo Fighters’ “Medicine at Midnight” and Blackberry Smoke’s “You Hear Georgia“. One album review I never finished writing was The War on Drugs’ I Don’t Live Here Anymore, a brilliant album that I play over and over again.
Another album I play repeatedly is, of course, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts that was released 19 November. The concert film and live album, from the charity gigs No Nukes at Madison Square Garden, showcase Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at their rise to stardom. As seen in the film Springsteen is remarkably pumped, passionate and youthful (however already 30 years old). The passion translates to the album and it makes me want to dance every single time.
I’ve seen two live concerts this year; The Bowie Tribute (3 September) and Luke Elliot (16 september). Both concerts were shows that had been postponed from 2020. Although there were corona precautions (the audience of around a hundred people had to be remained seated at the tables throughout the whole concert), I truly enjoyed hearing live music again.
Films and series
Due to Covid, the cinemas in Gothenburg were shut down during the 2021 Gothenburg Film Festival (29 January- 8 February) and almost the whole year, so the festival was arranged digitally instead with an online cinematic experience. I saw lots of films: Another Round, Tigers, Tove, Gagarine, Limbo, The Killing of Two Lovers, Undine, Rosa’s Wedding, The Father and Dating Amber.
The advantages of being able to see the films from home were that you could catch more films, since you didn’t have to transport yourself between various movie theatres. The films were never sold out and you could also pause a film to go to the bathroom and you could even stop it and continue watching it the next day if you wanted to. However, there’s no making up for the real cinematic experience. A TV-screen and a sound bar can’t beat a real movie screen with surround sound.
I actually saw two films in a real cinema during the year too;
- The Many Saints of Newark – A prequel to HBO’s crime drama series The Sopranos, that takes place during the 1960s and 1970s in Newark, New Jersey.
- No Time to Die – The twenty-fifth film in the James Bond series.
Speaking of 007, my boyfriend and I have started rewatching all the old Bond films. So far we’ve seen 11 out of 25. It’s really remarkable how old, almost ancient, the oldest ones seem (they date back to the beginning of the 60’s). It’s not only how bad the special effects are shot, but mostly how women are portrayed. [Here I started to elaborate on the theme of Bond Girls, but I quickly realised that to do so would make a whole other blogpost😜.]
Other media I have consumed this year are series. I’ve seen the latest seasons of Chernobyl 1986, The Handmaid’s Tale, Lupin, The Squid Game, Sex Education and Shtisel. I also started watching Ted Lasso and liked the first season but got bored after a few episodes of season 2.
For a while I had a Marvel period, so I watched the Punisher, Luke Cage and the film Birds of Prey. I’m currently watching The Good Doctor.
At the end of June I went on a 13-day vacation to Majorca, Spain with my boyfriend. El Arenal is a lively resort town on the Western Coast of Majorca surrounded by beautiful waters and palm trees, which makes it a wonderful place for rest and recuperation. We’ve been there before and I really love to stroll along the beach and stop every now and then for a coffee or a beer. An activity we did was the Majorca Island Tour, which included travelling by coach, the antique wooden Soller train, tram and catamaran. The village Port de Poller was cute and so was Cala sa Calobra. However, the “scenic” bus ride that zigzagged through UNESCO-listed Tramuntana Mountains was terrifying.
My first trip to Malmö was in July 2018. I was there to see Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul , one of the sweatiest shows I’ve ever been to, and there was almost no time to see the city. In the beginning of August this year I decided to go there for a couple of days. I was pleasantly surprised by what a nice city Malmö is. I liked that you could walk everywhere and that the beach was so easy to reach. I really recommend a visit to Malmö.
In the end of September we came back to El Arenal, Spain for about week. This time we went on a hot air balloon journey, an unmissable and unique experience. Apart from the flying experience, you got a bird’s eye view of the rural parts of Majorca – really cool.
In the beginning of 2020 I started following a bodybuilding plan and ever since then I’ve been totally into building my body. Fortunately in Sweden, where I live, the gyms have been open throughout the pandemic and for me it has been very good to be able stick with a normal routine when so many other things are restricted. I’m in the gym five days a week and I keep a journal where I pedantically write down every set and every change of weights and I find it very rewarding to follow my progress. I’m curious to see how far I can go.
That concludes this marathon blogpost. I’d like to congratulate you for getting through it and also thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog. I’m very honoured and pleased and I hope you’ll stick with me for another year. As 2021 comes to an end I realise that I’ve experienced a lot and that I’ve learned more about myself than I thought. I hope in 2022 that the pandemic will be under control and that people will be able feel som kind of normality (whatever that is). I hope the things we/I miss, like for example live music and concerts, will return and that I will be able to travel more.