2020 was a year of milestones in my family: Ian’s 50th in January, my mum’s 70th in April and my parents’ golden wedding anniversary in October. It was set to be a year of celebrations, neatly spaced throughout the year. My brother and his family had booked to come from NZ to celebrate at the glittering birthday party, arranged a year earlier, for my mum, her brother and her sister, (she’s a triplet). We were looking forward to meeting Rose Bear, my (then) 5 month-old niece, our own little kiwi, for the first time and were going to spend Easter together.
Ian and I were due to go to Savannah and Charleston back in March; a brilliant job opportunity. . And we booked a holiday to Nerja – a beautiful mix of our blended families. My happy place that I’ve been desperate to share with Ian since our very first conversations. Poppy secured a coveted place on an anthropology field trip to South Africa. She should have gone in September.
So many things couldn’t happen this year. And so much changed.
I was furloughed during the first lockdown for almost three months. I returned to work in mid-June, during the hottest week of the year. Those first few days were exhausting. Wearing nylon scrubs, a mask, a plastic apron and medical gloves for an 11-hour shift are not conducive to keeping one’s cool. My safety goggles, despite their anti-fog claims kept steaming up. I tried a visor instead but that made it impossible to get close enough the eyepieces of the optical instruments. Thank goodness for Optifog spectacle lenses. Now, I work three consecutive loooong days with half of the usual team. The other half picks up the baton for the subsequent three days. It’s still gruelling but I love my work more than ever. It really is the new normal.
Poppy returned to Durham in September to begin her second year which has so far, been taught entirely online. Like every student, she missed the summer ball and end-of-year celebrations. Harry submitted his UCAS form without setting foot in any of the universities to which he’s applied. Lockdown and knee surgery have conspired from enabling him to start driving lessons despite him turning 17 in March.
But so many things DID happen…
Ian had a fabulous 50th birthday party at the start of 2020 before we even knew of Covid-19’s existence. And 100% Optical shortly afterwards was a huge success. Ian and I had a wonderful, and very fortunately-timed holiday to Crete. We booked a photographer, a florist and a fabulous live band for our wedding. Poppy and I said yes to the first wedding dress I tried. I had my eyesore of a garden transformed into a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired space and I learned how to “share my screen” to deliver a PowerPoint presentation via Zoom. My cooking mojo returned. I revolutionised the way in which I do the food shop and have significantly reduced food waste, courtesy of a fascinating collaboration with Arla Cravendale. I wore A LOT of gorgeous dresses. There has been so much to be grateful for.
Health, happiness and time are priceless commodities so I’m taking a few weeks off from writing the blog to spend as much time as I can with my most-loved ones.
Thank you so much for reading and for the lovely comments. I raise my glass and wish you good health and a very happy Christmas and I bid goodbye to 2020.
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