mrtns blog


a real human being writing about infosec, coding and other stuff. maybe.

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2020 in review

10 Dec 2020 - mrtn

So, it’s that time of the year again. It’s getting dark, cold and the people start(ed) decorating their houses and gardens funny. With the strange addition that a global pandemic is going on - which kinda kills the mood a bit.

Buuuut, that’s already the end of the year. We should start in the beginning - at least i like to do it (this year) in a more chronological order.


The year started great. There were news from China of a new strain of SARS - but that was still far, far away. I spent the days and nights with my wife and our newborn daughter. Still feels weird thinking about how little she was.


I spent only three months on parental leave, so i had to work again from february onward. In retrospect, the first three months were very relaxed - and she started demanding way more from us parents when she started moving around. Should have taken the leave there - but yeah… Luckily i work from home since the beginning of 2019 already, so i managed to witness a lot from her. And help my wife whenever necessary.

The new strain of SARS started to move around the world - from now on, i kinda expected an impact on germany, but i seriously underestimated the intensity and duration of it. Kinda by accident, I started to research stocks, concepts and ideas for early retirements and how-to save/invest money for your children. Turned out to be a good time, as the markets would drop soon.


With the beginnig of march, several things hit me. On the one hand, we got a huge project at work which challenged me quite a bit. I worked a lot, thought a lot about it in my free time and worked on (some) weekends. It was intense - i learned a lot - but it was a weird time.

In parallel to that putting some strain on me, the covid numbers in germany were rising. Some sort of lockdown was inevitable, yet the people around us did not seem to care. The thought of not being able to leave our apartement finalized our decision to move. We wanted to have a garden. Having a BBQ and being able to relax there made the thought extremely attractive. Especially as we grew tired of the city over the last years.


Our little monster was growing and started to talk, move and tried to eat - which was great to witness. Work was still a lot, especially as the lockdown was happening and severely impacted the activities during leasure time. Even grocery shopping sucked, because somehow people thought that buying toilet paper for several years was necessary.

We actually made some progress with our plan to move to the countryside - we finally have found a neat old house in the middle of bavarian nowhere and made an appointment to check it out, as soon as the lockdown was lifted.


Time to check out the house - although it looked great, we decided it wasn’t for us and we keep looking. Seeing the house, the garden and the nature around it was a nice reminder that the city-life will not last for too long…

After some more research in houses, we decided we’ll have a look at houses in the north of germany. It seemed to be a bit cheaper, we both like the general attitude of the people there and also nature is nice. Plus, we would be able to just drive to the sea in summer.


Started looking for houses in the north. With a small vacation upcoming, i made some appointments and we were able to check out five or six different houses. Decided to take one kinda on the spot - the owners were nice, the house looked as if it will be nice (when it’ll be finished at the end of the summer) and it was within our budget. Perfect!

We already started to prepare for the move - after speaking to some trucking companies about the costs for moving, we decided to severly down-size. So we started to sell clothes, furniture, gadgets, etc etc.


After several months with the pandemic, it still feels weird seeing masked people everywhere. Luckily, the warm weather enabled the restaurants to open again - as they could serve outside - and they also developed working concepts for opening indoors as well. It still felt weird to sit in a restaurant again. The more important part was that contact to others was kinda possible again… Although i’m not much of a people-person, it was nice to meet with friends and talk to someone who was not living in the same house.

Work got a bit quieter through this time, which was a great opportunity to read up on some stuff and do a little bit of ctfs again. FeelsGoodMan


Summer. No garden. People everywhere in public places. Holy shit, good that we already have a date when we can move. People seem not to care at all about the pandemic. Walking through the park looks like everyone is getting together and sharing beers. Festivals, yeah!

The flat starts to get empty - Great for the lil one who enjoys the copious amounts of space to crawl and roll around.


It is getting colder. Winter is coming and the covid numbers are probably rising soon again. With most of our stuff already sold it already feels a bit like an ending. Empty flat, new house far away, the days get darker. Ironically, work got busier again with several things going on in parallel plus the need to organize moving through the whole country.


It is time. For both the move as well as the second wave of covid. So we had to do it alone. While i looked daily at the numbers provided by the RKI, i hoped to get away as soon as possible - hopefully before we have another lockdown. The numbers in the new area seem to stay low - great!

700km to get to an area with less infections gonig on? Count me in.


Arrived in the new place. Covid numbers stay low here, which is great. Especially considering the fact, that not everything was finished when we moved in - so the occasional handyman was here to fix or finish several things. During november we mostly unpacked, ordered and started to settle in. The neighbours seem nice. At least from the distance that is necessary right now.

We already started to plant trees and bushes in the garden. As soon as the winter is over - we’ll have some (more) BBQ and be able to enjoy this way more.


Here we are. What a weird year it has been. Thinking about it, the most things are either related to Covid or the move. These two things have dominated my 2020. Luckily, no one from my family had it (yet). And with different vaccines on the horizon, it hopefully stays that way.

Witnessing this whole ordeal has shown me the importance of health and family again. Also: I’m glad when the year is over and i look forward what 2021 will bring us.

if you made it this far - thank you and i wish you all the best for you, your family and the year 2021. Feel free to share your past year with me. You can find my email here.