What a year. Honestly. It’s been a stressful year for everyone, where the simple pleasures in life have become so much more important. I was inspired by Tanja to put together this 12 Months and 12 Photos – a 2020 retrospective as a journal of a tulumtuous year that has affected so many.
If only we knew in January what was in store. We started the year in a very special riverside suite of the Savoy Hotel, seeing in the new year in with champagne and old friends, which was more magical. We spent the first month booking all kinds of trips; New Zealand, Vegas, Panama, New York… and by the 3rd I’d slipped in my first train trip of the year to Bath.
This month we fit in a long weekend to Bilbao (Mr Kiwi and I), Valentine’s Day was spent over dim sum with my work wife, I caught up with friends all over the show and discovered the divine maple bacon scones of Frenchie’s in Covent Garden. Excitingly long-planned works are to began in our back garden – turning it from a jungle into an extra room filled with sunshine.
In March the horrifying reality of Corona virus began to unfold in the UK, and on the 20th ‘all unnecessary social contact’ aka a ‘lockdown’ has been mooted in Parliament, on the 20th the Prime Minister has closed everything including bars & restaurants . “Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been officially internationally declared a pandemic, we’re all sheltering in our homes to help reduce the infection rate and New Zealand’s Prime Minister offically declared the Easter Bunny a key worker.” Unbelievable and so true.
We’re ensconced at home, decorating furiously away, work was very up and down in this strange world, I spent altogether too much time on social media (which I’ve partially swapped out for a Terry Pratchett podcast & dug out all of his novels) and started up a spreadsheet to plan out dinners because I worry incessantly about going to the supermarket too often and taking up delivery slots of people who need them more.
We’ve ordered cotton masks to slip filters into and wear when we’re out and about (they’re meant to be washed every time you wear them – and it still feels strange to be typing these words). By now in May, wearing masks has become more normal – because we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe.
There is protesting and rioting across the US due to the racism still sadly alive – George Flloyd, a Black man who died because his neck was knelt on by a Police officer in Minneapolis – and awareness has been drawn to what shouldn’t be a 21st Century problem. We should have addressed this systemic inequality generations ago.
Highpoint of June first: I took my first trip into London for around 4 months to run a few essential errands, and snuck in a ‘socially distanced’ picnic with Angie and Sam – the government are saying that it’s very very low Covid risk to meet people from different households out in the open air (masks are mandatory on public transport.) The very low point is we lost our little kitty cat – crying in the vet’s car park while it rained was not the one.
Covid-levels were down so we quietly took the opportunity to break from the garden and support restaurants and in a socially-distant manner meet up with friends, I slipped away to Devon for a seaside break with another friend and I celebrated 3 years running my own business.
At this point I lost any and all mojo for documenting the months slipping slowly past, in juddery dollops; we slipped up North to see the elderly in-laws (one recovering from a shattered hip) – it was so wonderful to spend time with them, we caught up with friends who introduced their cat to the beach and we spent our first night in a hotel since February. Meanwhile, thousands of families have been torn apart because of Covid-19 and the inept handling of well, everything.
Work is still very up & down with the uncertainty of what will happen next, so Rich has popped back up north, I mowed the first lawn of my life and I scooted away down to Chichester to hang with a friend and her furry wee pup at the beach. Simple delicious bliss.
The threat of lockdown is hanging over us, so we’re sticking as close to home as possible; I was spoilt rotten on my birthday including a ridiculously lovely array of cakes and afternoon with my favourite lockdown buddy.
We were sadly back in lockdown again, but excitingly the work wife and I have launched a second joint business called The Social Media Tini. We are teaching people how to supercharge their social media platforms – our first free video masterclass had 90 people turn up thrillingly, and it’s only going to thrive.
Every year we buy a Christmas bauble to decorate the tree with, so it seemed only apt that I make one celebrating the DorSHEDster – our lovely new shed nicknamed by the girls. We stayed in lockdown for an extra two weeks, then shot up to see the in-laws for Christmas; and lucky we left so early because a few days later London was dropped back into Tier 4 lockdown. It was quite stressful because we knew it was a slim risk, but we took every precaution that we possibly could.
I write this, sitting on their couch & sipping a rum and coke as we watch TV together. A very simple, delicious pleasure that we absolutely are appreciating, especially in light of friends of friends and distant family sadly succumbing to Covid-19.
What a year indeed. (Thank you Tanja for the inspiration!) What would your verions of 12 Months and 12 Photos – a 2020 retrospective look like?