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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?