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A Christmas Message and a Roadmap for 2022

This year's Christmas message turned out too big for the news page, so I decided to write it in this blog post instead. I might later integrate it into the Covid Chronicles, but for now I'll leave it here for timely visibility.

Despite everything that's been going on I managed to put out a reasonable amount of work in 2021, wrapping up with the Quantum Reliance review and the Saltiga-Z anniversary article in just the past 3 weeks. I didn't meet my target though, and at the time of writing I still have a backlog of at least 6 reels, most are in the final phase of testing or very close to it. After the upheaval of 2020 I had high expectations that this year would see a gradual return to normalcy, but things only became worse with lockdowns severer than ever and restrictions on movement that make 2020 look like a walk in the park in comparison. Even worse, since the Omicron variant appeared many countries reimposed quarantine for all travellers, and tragically days ago the US reduced the validity period of pre-flight virus test to only 24 hours and extended that requirement to everyone entering the country whether they were vaccinated or not citizens or non-citizens.

I think it's safe to say that any hope for a return to normalcy has been thrown out of the window, and I believe for good this time. We're transitioning slowly and permanently into a new reality the ugliness of which would've been completely unfathomable just 2 years ago. Images coming from various parts of the globe look less like events from this era and more like things we've only seen in history books and old grainy documentaries. It feels silly to worry about fishing as we stare into the abyss and watch what increasingly looks like a rapid civilisational collapse that has metastasised to the pillars of civility, rights, safety, common sense, good taste, and even basic facts and science. Yet fishing is what you're on this site for, and it's what I'll talk about until no one is listening any longer.

Everything considered, for at least the first half of 2022 I'll make no plans to take new releases on fishing tours, and will instead focus on finishing up the reels I've already been playing with in the past 18 months to clear the backlog. Have interesting reels from Okuma, Penn, the non-mainstream, and will take another dip into Shimano's freshwater pool. Also the Daiwa BG MQ will be coming. Been asked about it more than any other spinner lately, and always answered that important sizes in the series were only released a few months ago, more than a year after the mid-sized reels became available. I was just waiting for the complete release to begin the serious work, but under no circumstances was I going to skip that reel. Actually the sharp eyed ones among you could spot a mid-size MQ being put through the paces in the Saragosa SW-A's review. I just need some time and a lot of luck, and good things will be coming. Being shore-bound, with the rare inshore outing every once in a while, makes things hard and slow but not at all hopeless. We'll take it one day at a time and see what fate has in store. 

Finally, on the lighter side of things, I used the downtime to convert most of the site to responsive pages that self-adjust for optimal viewing on your specific device (PC, tablet, IOS, Android, etc.). Not yet comfortable enough tinkering around with the code, so I'll play it safe and won't do the Christmas theme with the snowflakes and background music this year. Instead I'll just post my chosen festive song here for you to get into the spirit!!

I was very much torn between two choices, and kept going back and forth between an Irish choral singing Auld Lang Syne on one hand, and the courageous and talented Lizzo chanting her masterpiece "I took a DNA test turns out I'm 100% bit*h" on the other. And since I couldn't make up my mind because both songs have identical artistic values, I tossed a coin and left it to luck, and it landed on the choral. Have a listen...

One can't help but feel a pleasurable sensory overload listening at the 00:53 mark of this video, and when the eyelashes flutter at 01:05 my heart just flutters along. I hope it has given you similar joy, and wish you all a glorious Christmas among family and friends.


Alan Hawk

December, 13th, 2021