2020 – A Review

2020 – A Review

12 months ago we couldn’t have foreseen what would happen. I would never have guessed I would ever live in a world where I was only allowed out for exercise, food or for medical reasons for weeks, months on end. A world where I couldn’t visit family or friends. Where police patrolled the roads and sent people home. That kind of thing happened far, far away in other countries. It didn’t happen here. But it did and it has. It seems never-ending.

At first, I thought there wouldn’t be much to put in a review of 2020. After all, most of it was spent indoors!



Wicked The Musical – Outside Apollo Victoria Theatre in London.

Whilst most events during 2020 were postponed or cancelled, I did get to see a few shows before life as we knew it changed. I went to see Wicked The Musical and comedian Frank Skinner in the West End in London back in January, as well as Kiefer Sutherland in concert in Liverpool in February. Every other event I had lined up for 2020 (and there were quite a few!) was subsequently postponed (and then postponed again) or cancelled.

Kiefer Sutherland at the 02 Academy, Liverpool in February 2020.

I did get to watch some music online though. Gary Barlow kindly did daily “Crooner Sessions” during the first lockdown with everyone from Alfie Boe to Kelsey Grammer, and these sessions provided me with something to look forward to each day. Take That (including Robbie Williams) also did a virtual concert in collaboration with Meerkat Music and in aid of Nordoff Robbins and Crew Nation.


In the space of a few months I managed to burn my wrist when the oven door came off one of its hinges, I fell over in the car park at work and injured my foot & ankle (so painful, I could barely walk!) and then I bit into a piece of dairy-free Easter egg and broke a front tooth! Here’s a tip for you: Don’t put chocolate in the fridge. Thankfully I’ve been injury-free since Easter, although the tooth still isn’t fixed.



We lost Grandad in September, just over a week after his 95th birthday. The circumstances of this year meant that we didn’t get to spend precious time with him and that broke my heart.

In March I was furloughed from my job in the printing industry. The work had quickly dried up in the weeks before lockdown. I left my desk for a week off work and never went back. I was made redundant in July, giving me 12 weeks notice which took me up until October. I had to look for a job for the first time in 20 years!

Stayed Home

I stayed at home like everyone else. Nothing on the news except COVID-19. If we went out for a walk, we crossed the street to avoid people, avoiding them like the plague which felt kind of rude! It meant that I had plenty of time to do stuff, but didn’t get much done. My reading suffered, I just couldn’t concentrate.

Butterfly on Coreopsis UpTick Gold Bronze.

I did spend quite a bit of time in the garden with my camera, and, when we could finally get out and about, other people’s gardens, taking photos and enjoying the summer sun.


Cards from Driftwood Designs
Cards from Driftwood Designs

I started a Supporting Small Businesses feature on my blog to help showcase small businesses who deserve our help and custom in these hard times. So far I have featured 7 small businesses and there are more lined up.

I also helped and supported a friend in getting her podcast, In The Spotlight With Sharon, up and running. So far Sharon has interviewed double Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell MBE and West End star Ahmed Hamad. She has even managed to bag herself a jingle by none other than BBC Radio DJ Scott Mills!


“Hello” postcard.

I sent lots of Happy Mail! With friends and family facing an awful time, I decided to send even more letters, cards and postcards than I usually do. Just something to brighten someone’s day. I’m still doing that now (although postage is getting increasingly expensive).


I found a job! In November I saw a job listing which I thought might be interesting, but the deadline was two days previous. I decided to send my CV in anyway and was surprised to receive an offer for an interview just a couple of hours later! I didn’t get that job, but I did receive a phone call from them offering me a different job. I took it! It’s in the charity sector and completely different from my previous job, but I’m enjoying it so far. It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire for various reasons (not least due to many of my new colleagues working from home, plus Wales being placed back into lockdown with just a few hours notice less than a week before Christmas). My new job has returned some sense of normality in my life.


Hope is finally here in the form of a vaccination. I had the first part of mine on Christmas Eve and have to wait a few weeks for the 2nd part.

With many events postponed from this year to next, I have quite a bit planned for 2021. However, we will have to wait to see what 2021 has planned for us!

How has 2020 been for you?


  1. Carol says:

    I’m sorry about your job lay off – I’ve had that happened and it felt terrible. Have my fingers crossed for a better year in 2021 – Happy New Year!

  2. Ann Thomson says:

    It was lovely reading about your year….even though it was like looking in the mirror even I wasn’t made redundant! Anyway with the vaccine on the horizon let us hope that 2021 brings us a much better year. Happy New Year to you and your family Nikki xxx

  3. Carol Petersen says:

    So relieved about the job! And thank you for including the photo of your grandad who was one good lookin’ guy, my friend! <3

  4. Kris P says:

    Given the circumstances, I think you’ve done well for yourself in 2020, Nikki, which officially made it to the top of my list of the worst years ever in December. But my husband and I’ve managed to avoid the virus, which counts as the silver lining. We’ve some struggles still to face in 2021 here but I think (hope, pray!) its possibilities will reveal themselves, even if more slowly than we’d like. Best wishes to you – you’re already on a positive trajectory!

  5. Kelly says:

    I love the photo of your granddad. What a handsome, dapper looking man he was!

    I’m so pleased you were able to find a new job. It can’t be easy in these current circumstance.

    Here’s to a wonderful new year!

  6. Alicia says:

    That’s great that you have gotten the first part of the vaccine! That must be somewhat of a relief.

    I’m sorry to hear about your Grandad, and that must have been heartbreaking not to be able to spend more time with him this year.

    That’s great about the new job, I hope it works out as well as the old one.

    That’s a gorgeous shot of the butterfly. Happy New Year, and here’s to a better coming year than this last one.

  7. Hi Nikki,

    Yes! It certainly has been a very strange year one way and another.

    Like yourself, I have found myself with plenty of time on my hands to do those little jobs that I never managed to fit in when I was out every day. Have I done any of them? – Not on your life. The time has actually flown by much faster than I ever thought and lack of concentration has definitely been a real issue.

    I think we have only just scratched the surface of redundancies and lay-offs, so you did really well to nab yourself a job, especially if it is one you are enjoying.

    I lost a couple of friends to Covid back in the early days, so I can understand how you must be feeling about your Grandad. The only elderly direct family member we have left is Dave’s mum, who is 90 in April. She has kept herself safe and is looking forward to getting her first jab tomorrow, so it will be really good to hopefully see her soon, after almost a year, although we have just been bumped up into T4 in our little corner of Somerset, so when that’s going to happen, who knows!

    Let’s hope that 2021 is kinder to us all and I wish you and yours Very Best Wishes for the New Year 🙂

  8. Sophie says:

    This year seems like it has been very eventful for you despite the situation. I’m so sorry about your grandpa and the circumstances. It’s awful that so many people haven’t been able to say goodbye properly this year. My nan passed away in late January and this year has made me very thankful that we managed to do everything the ‘normal’ way. Congratulations on finding a new job so quickly, that must have been stressful after so long! x


  9. Jo says:

    It’s certainly been a rollercoaster of a year but there’s been more downs than ups, let’s hope there’s many more ups this coming year. Wishing you all the very best for 2021.

  10. jeanie says:

    I love your year-end wrap and am especially grateful for your finding a job (whew!) and especially sad about your granddad. It sounds like a long, good life but how hard not to be able to be together during that last year. I have loved the gardens you shared here and the small businesses and like you, look forward to the return to theatre and live events. Stay well, Nikki. And all good wishes for a Happy New Year. (My wrap is on Marmelade Gypsy today!)

  11. LL Cool Joe says:

    At least you had some highs during the year, that’s good!

    We live in the South East of England so things are not looking good, in fact worse now than they were back in March. We are basically in full lockdown again, so not going anywhere or doing anything! Plus I can’t see it changing any time soon. I think it will be months before we get the vaccine too.

    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  12. I find it hard to be optimistic, but we’ll just have to grit our teeth and take whatever 2021 throws at us. This time last year we were out drinking champagne with no clue what was coming. At least we (including my 94 year old mum) have stayed healthy, and hopefully the vaccines will deliver what they promise. So sorry about your grandfather, but well done on the new job. Happy New Year!

  13. Helen says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather, the year has been S**t and sad to say I really can’t see it getting any better even with the vaccines.

    Have a safe, healthy 2021

    Bright Blessings to you and yours

  14. Nancy says:

    Happy New Year! I am sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather. Sending you and your family my best wishes. It is great that you started a feature on your blog about supporting small businesses! So important to get names out there. Congrats on getting a new job too! Wishing you the best in 2021!

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

  15. Anca says:

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your grandfather.

    It’s great that you found a new job and it seems that it offers a new exciting challenge for you. Well done for getting vaccinated, it must have been so exciting. I am looking forward to it, even though I doubt I will be able to get a vaccine before autumn, as I’m in the low risk category.

  16. Thanks for sharing this. Very sorry for the loss of your grandfather.

    2020 has certainly been a challenging year. Congratulations on finding a new job in amidst all this uncertainty. Fingers crossed 2021 will bring new hope and some brighter skies ahead. All the best!

  17. Wow Nikki – you really had an up and down year in 2020. I’m sorry that you lost your grandad and being made redundant must have been worrying, but the joy you spread in helping others has given you some purpose – and I’m thrilled to hear you’ve landed yourself a new job, which has helped with that normality that we’re all craving. I hope that 2021 will be a much happier year for you – and for all of us.

  18. That’s quite a review, Nikki – many of us (including me) can relate to so much in it. I have been seriously ill, twice, which was interesting. So sorry to hear about your granddad – what a dapper, elegant, gent he was! Congrats on the new job – here’s to a better 2021 for all! x

  19. Shybiker says:

    It sounds that despite the uncertainty of last year, you had your ups (new job!) and downs (injuries and losses). Life seems to always mix good and bad together. Best wishes for the New Year!

  20. Congratulations on your new job Nikki! I am sorry about your grandfather. 2020 was quite a year. I feel like 2020 was the toughest year yet. I am glad you started a supporting small business feature on your blog. That’s so nice of you. I hope 2021 is kinder to us all. Great review x!

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