2020 Review of the Year

OK, so let’s join the band wagon of a review of the last year. After all, its been a very different kind of year. Every aspect of every part of life has been impacted one way or another.

Career – started the year thinking it was going to be another year of same old, same old. For the first 3 months that’s exactly how it was. When covid hit it put a lot of things into perspective and I made a decision that, to be honest, had been brewing a while. An opportunity came along to get back into project management, albeit on a secondment. I had to take it for my own sanity. Even though I didn’t start in the new role until December, the thought of it being there was enough to see me through some really horrible months.

Ringing – various ups and downs along the way. Normal routine of Sunday service, monthly quarter peals and weekly practices turned into nothing at all, then maybe 5 people of a Sunday but no practices, then down to just the 2 of us. It looked like we could have gone back up to 5 again for Christmas Day but at the last minute it was not to be. At first I didn’t want to embrace the virtual world of #bellringing. It just didn’t seem worth it. But by May I was running my own weekly practice for family and friends, joining in the odd other online practice and starting to run a monthly district practice and organise a monthly 10 bell practice. Taking full advantage of ringing methods that I wouldn’t normally get to ring in a tower.

Home life – I suppose this is where its hit hardest. We haven’t been able to gather as a family for all the usual events. Mum’s 80th birthday, the May “counting”, R’s birthday, Dad’s birthday. No holiday, no ringing weekends. No visits to North Lincolnshire or Hemel Hempstead or Nottingham. No Cake International Show. We did manage to get a couple of day trips to see R when we were all allowed to mix in small groups again but towards the end of the year it became impossible again. We did set up a regular fortnightly family Skype so we could all keep in touch and at least see each other on a screen if not in person.And of course Christmas was very different. No car boot present swap, no drinking Baileys with R. Just a low key day with C, and chatting with family on Skype.

Cakes – as we haven’t had the usual gathering I’ve not needed to bake as many cakes. I did make a small one for mum’s 80th, a friends 60th and Dad’s birthday, but they only needed to be small ones. I have tried some other bakes instead and been mostly up to date with my BakedIn boxes. I’ve tried a few other recipes too, and did manage to get to a socially distanced class with my favourite teacher at @thecupcakeoven to learn how to make cakecicles and heart gems. I didn’t need to make a Christmas cake as we’re not massive fans of it and we got so much food in the hampers that people sent us. I’m hoping that there’ll be more opportunity for cake in 2021.

I suppose I’m quite fortunately really in that I’ve still been able to go to work and keep some semblance of routine. I’m reasonably tech savvy so have been able to embrace video conferencing and Ringing Room. And of course, the most important bit is that I have managed to stay healthy, as has the rest of the family.

Nothing is going to dramatically change as the clock strikes midnight and a new year starts. But there is hope on the horizon. My colleagues are going through an incredibly tough time and are on their knees trying to keep everyone else healthy but with little support and those idiots that flout the rules and put everyone else at risk. But I do have a sense that we will come out of this the other side. Things will be different and we won’t go back to the way things were, or at least I hope not. We have proven that we can work and play differently.


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