Today marks the public holiday where we get a day off – the "Mondayisation" of Anzac Day.
It feels like I've started many columns off with "This time last year..."
It's because the past 12 months or so have been surreal, I feel like I need to keep comparing what I was doing this time last year, to make sure I didn't dream it.
However, Anzac Day last year, we were in lockdown – services across the country were cancelled and people were encouraged to commemorate the day in their own ways.
I stood at the bottom of the driveway, decorated with homemade poppies (thanks to New World's reusable shopping bags that are the right shade of poppy-red).
We listened to the service on the radio, the Last Post was played and the Ode of Remembrance was recited.
Anzac bikkies were baked and eaten, and the day was spent in quiet reflection.
I've been to many Anzac Day services both here and in Australia, and last year's would have been the most poignant for me.
There's something about the solitude of being in lockdown that made me think about the solitude of the sacrifice of our Anzac soldiers.
While many of them died alongside their mates and countrymen there would have been something about the utter loneliness some of those men faced just before their deaths - far away from their home, their families, in a strange country.
I think this year's commemorations had more significance than others.
The transtasman bubble has opened, linking us once again to our Aussie neighbours.
Both countries have battled hard and sacrificed so much to keep Covid-19 at bay, with varying degrees of success.
The Bay of Plenty last week saw the first quarantine-free Aussie tourists for more than a year.
They were welcomed with open arms.
I think it goes well beyond the fact that Aussies, one of our biggest tourist markets, are again able to travel freely and spend money in our country.
To me, it's more about how the Anzac spirit has endured, it transcends the petty squabbles, the sports rivalries, political spats and shows the unbreakable ties our two countries share.
And while yesterday was Anzac Day, I think we should spend a little bit of time today to reflect on and recognise the sacrifices those first Anzacs made so we can live how we live today.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.