2020 wasn't the best year for any of us, trips cancelled, being unable to see family and friends, birthdays and special occasions spent indoors, a few months of a bit of freedom before it was taken away again, trying to deal with our mental health the best we can and unfortunately losing some of our loved ones.
2020 for me was a year of dealing with my mental health issues from not being able to see my friends and family, one or five breakdowns and in October, after a month in a hospice, my dad passed away. I don't know how I would of got through it all without the amazing help and support from my nearest and dearest.
Before Covid, I had a brilliant start to the year with a tipsy Bottomless Brunch at Turtle Bay, I went to New york for a week with my sister where I am pretty sure I got Covid but it was before anyone really knew about it so when I went to the hospital, they thought I had a chest and ear infection.
I went to London for the weekend with my best friend to go to Comic Con where I totally fangirled when I met Jerome Flynn haha.
I had 4 crazy weeks from the end of February where I got made redundant from my job, offered a new job as an Office Manager for a plumber, started the job and then we all got put into lockdown so I went from working in an office to my living room. It was hard to adjust at first but being able to stay in bed until 8:30am because I started work at 9am and then being able to stay in my pyjamas until lunch time really helped haha.
I did have some good times during the pandemic. It was my 10th wedding anniversary at the end of March and the 19th anniversary of me and my husband being together in the May so we had cheese and wine nights. Sean's birthday was a lockdown birthday so even though we couldn't do anything, we did our best to make it special.
My husband did up our garden seeing as he had so much extra time on his hands being on furlough and at the end of May, we brought ourselves an above ground swimming pool. Seeing as there was a super heatwave going on, the pool was a god send.
My husband took up home brewing, it got very interesting when a batch was "ready" and we tried them. We also experimented making Vimto and Ribena wines, they taste nothing like wine by the way, more like a flavoured vodka.
One big thing that happened was that we changed cars. We did have a Volkswagen Passat and swapped it for a Toyota Rav4. The Rav4 was my favourite car ever but in October, it failed it's MOT and it was just too expensive and unrealistic to fix so we got a Mercedes B Class. In the process of looking for the Passat's paperwork, one of my husband's guitar amps fell off a speaker and landed across the toes on my left foot but mainly the big toe. I am not going to lie, I cried and wailed like a baby for at least an hour. 3 of my toes were dark purple for over a week and 2 months later, I pulled the nail off my big toe seeing as it was just hanging off. The nail is still not the same haha.
We came out of lockdown and restaurants were allowed to reopen just before my birthday so I went out for a meal with my husband to Turtle Bay and got very merry on their Bottomless Brunch. We got to get all dressed up and feel a little bit back to normal. It also meant that I got to spend a few days with my parents which was lovely seeing as I hadn't been able to see them properly for months.
It was super weird being able to do things like going to the pub again. It had only been a few months but it felt like forever. It was also around this time that I went to Nandos for the first time in months with my best friend, another weird and wonderful first.
When the cinemas reopened, I was over the moon. I have a monthly pass to Cineworld so I was on the website and booking tickets to films the first chance I got and lucky enough for me, it was a Back To The Future marathon. I had a wicked time and managed to go and see a few more films before the cinemas were closed again.
Our government decided to roll out a scheme to help cafes and restaurants called "Eat Out To Help Out". If you don't know, this was to encourage people to eat out and get 50% off their bill but it was only if you eat in, not take away. A lot of people believed this was the reason that the UK infection rate spiked and sent us into another lockdown. I do agree with this, I know the scheme was trying to help businesses which was good but I feel they could have done it so that it was take away so that people weren't all going into these businesses. I know they did their best with social distancing, making people wear masks and cleaning after each people leave, but I don't think that everyone was as careful as they could have been.
With the hot weather, seaside towns became packed with people wanting a day in the sun. We took a trip to Leysdown with my husband's nan to have a day out and couldn't believe how packed it was. We did our best to social distance but there was just so many people. We managed to find somewhere to have something to eat and then decided to go up to the pub where they had spaced the tables out the front so that everyone could enjoy the sun but social distance. It was so lovely being out in the fresh sea air doing something that was slightly normal.
Out of all our trips that we had booked, we had one that we still went on and that was to Kos in October. It was meant to be in June but the trip got rearranged in May and then the day before we left, our travel agent called to say that our hotel was closing early but she had booked us into another hotel so holiday saved! We had an amazing week in the sun, I wish it had been 2 but at least we got to go away.
My dad passing away completely broke my heart, he had been in a hospice for a month before passing and during most of that time I had stayed with my mum to look after her. I was very lucky that I worked from home and my boss was extremely accommodating as I was only allowed to visit my dad once a day for an hour between 10am and 6pm so sometimes needed to finish work early in order to go for my visit. When he first went into the hospice, my dad made me promise to still go on my holiday no matter what happened. I struggled with this promise as I felt guilty going but my dad said to me that he would feel terrible if I didn't go because of him and everyone kept telling me that I should go because dad wanted me to. I did go on the holiday and did my utmost to have a good time like my dad told me to. I video called my mum every day after she had been to visit dad, she said she had showed him my pictures on Facebook and he said he loved them. My dad actually passed away while I was on my flight home, I found out when I got to my mum's house and she told me he'd passed.
The funeral was heart breaking, so many of my family wanted to come but only a few were allowed. It had been the first time I had see any of them in months, for some it had been at least a year and it was hard for all of us that we couldn't even have a wake for dad after the funeral. Everyone had to go home afterwards.
Going through everything with my dad made me think a lot about what I wanted to do with my life so I went straight out to Blue Ocean Diving in Maidstone and signed up to do the PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Drysuit courses. I loved scuba diving when I did it on holiday a few years ago and kept wanting to do it again so I went for it. Due to lockdowns I have only done the first half of the Open Water course but hoping to get the rest done as soon as possible.
At Christmas I was all over the place. We had made sure we really careful with regulations so that we could go to see my mum. It was our first Christmas without my dad and I just couldn't bare the thought of my mum being on her own. We managed to stay strong most of the time but it just wasn't the same.
We had only been in 2021 a days when we were all put into another lockdown. Once again we just don't know when we will be out of it but I have a feeling, deep down, that as long as we all watch out for each other, we will get through it and all start living properly again.