2021 very much felt like a continuation of 2020. The year ended in yet another lockdown here in Wales and so 2021 began in lockdown. Life felt a little more normal for me though; my new job meant I was working from the office rather than lazing about at home on furlough as I had done for much of 2020.
I continued my Supporting Small Businesses series, adding another 9 to the list (totalling 16 so far) – From candles to soaps, stationery (lots of stationery!) to pin badges, and more. I even tried to do much of my Christmas shopping through small businesses. I treated my niece and myself to wax melts from a small business I follow on Tiktok, I found some wax melts for my sister-in-law on Etsy and picked up a gingerbread latte chocolate bomb from a local Christmas craft market for a friend.
I’ve got more Supporting Small Businesses posts lined up. It’s so important to support small businesses in these uncertain times.
Out & About
I tried to get out and about with my camera as much as I could. For the first part of the year we were under “stay home” orders and then “stay local”, so for the first three months, I was limited to the area around the village (that seems so long ago!).
By April, we were allowed to get out and about properly. I was able to see some wonderful and interesting old buildings on my travels. The National Garden Scheme gardens were able to open too. I volunteer for our local area of the NGS – taking photos and helping out with social media. It was great to see the gardens open again and floods of visitors attending them.
I’m hoping to get out with my camera sometime over the Christmas/New Year break, but the weather has been against me so far.
The garden flourished this year. The dahlias seemed to take over the garden, flowering over and over again. We had so many of them that we were cutting bunches of them for the kitchen window, as well as giving them to family and friends. Bees and butterflies were plentiful too. It was brilliant.
We lost Nan in February at the age of 91. She followed Grandad, who we had lost a few months before. Lockdown restrictions meant I last saw Nan, with glass separating us, on Christmas Day 2020. It broke my heart to have lost precious time with both Nan and Grandad.
Once again, predictably, shows were postponed or cancelled during much of 2021. For my birthday in June, a friend, her daughter and I went to see Bon Jovi live at the cinema. It’s not quite the same as a proper live show, but at that point, we were very grateful to see them at all! All three of us sat in our masks, singing along, only pulling the masks down to munch on popcorn and sip on our drinks. A strange experience!
Hollywood Vampires cancelled their August 2021 shows in the UK, having already postponed them from September 2020. It was gutting, but understandable. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before they’re back.
My first live show of the year was comedian Jason Manford at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury back in September. The show had been postponed a couple of times already. Jason had two shows to do in Shrewsbury and so he ended up fitting them into one evening. Ours was the later show, but it was well worth the wait and the late night.
Rick Astley’s tour was postponed twice in 2020 and once again earlier this year. It finally went ahead and I got to see him on 2nd November 2021 in Birmingham. We had front row tickets and nobody in the seats around us, so we had an amazing view and plenty of room (which was great as it was my first concert in 18 months!).
My final show of the year was Gary Barlow on 10th December 2021 in Birmingham. Again, we had great seats and the show was incredible. The last show of the tour ended up being cancelled, so we were very lucky to see the show!
I’ve already had one show for 2022 postponed (Kiefer Sutherland), so who knows when the next one will be. I currently have tickets for Bryan Adams (May), Rhod Gilbert (June) and Sarah Millican (December), so I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
My friend Lisa got married on the weekend of my birthday in June and was kind enough to invite me, despite being very limited to the number she could have at the wedding due to covid restrictions. I booked a hotel and made a weekend of it. It was great to be able to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for ages, as well as meet new people.
This year I also reconnected with an old friend who has been having a rough time. I have tried to provide a shoulder to lean on and generally just be “there”, despite there being a fair amount of land and sea between us. You know there are just some people with who you can strike up a conversation after a long time, but it feels like it was just yesterday you last spoke? That. Is there someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time but would like to? Pick up the phone or send them a message!
How has 2021 been for you?