2020 review – Not all bad

My review of the year 2020. Showing some of my highlights and lessons, the lows, the highs and things in between, I’ve happy to report is was not all bad.

January 2020 review

An optimistic start to the year. I had a lovely new years eve with a couple of the girls, gin, snacks, catching up, then a lie in new years day and a roast dinner. I then went to London to visit Jez and give him his Christmas gift bag.

In the middle of January I attended a Partylite conference weekend. We had such a fab time, information and celebrations.

At the end of the month I had another weekend in London with Jez. Had my first GBK. Went around Richmond Park – made imfamous by the ‘Fentoooooon’ video. I met some more of his friends at a house party for one of their birthdays. It was the first time meeting them but I think I passed the friends test.

February

February highlights consisted of going to my cousins for her to dye my hair red. That turned out to be the last hair appointment of the year.

I spent Valentine’s weekend with Jez in London. Lots of cuddles with Woody the Guide Dog. Went to The Noble Collection and Forbidden Planet for our nerd fix.

Sadly though in the February we also had a lot of flooding at home in Monmouth. Had to do some damage control at my Granny’s house.

March

For most of the month everything still felt ‘normal’ despite hearing about something called ‘corona virus’ spreading in China. I was still going in to the office to work and doing face to face meetings.

This is where the 2020 review goes into the lock down months. Still trying to see the positives and show myself and you lovely people that it was not all bad.

24th March I started working from home, doing meetings via Teams or Zoom. Got used to my new desk setup and office buddy aka Ollie the cat. Our first big birthday in lock down happened which we could only celebrate virtually. Became the norm by the end of the year…

We all started learning new digital skills and getting used to doing only virtual meetings with friends and family. There was lots of new terminology and common phrases created that we had to absorb into our vocabulary. Zoom quizzes. Song challenges. Shops being emptied by panic buyers. Baking, lots of baking! Lots of people assuming / hoping it would all be back to normal within a couple of weeks…

April

Due to the vulnerability of my loved ones paired with my own fear of the unknown elements of the new virus my introverted nature took over. I only left the house to help my granny run food shop errands for us. We did a few online shop orders but due to the demand this was difficult in the initially weeks so either granny or I would go in person.

Gaming more. Watching more on Netflix / Disney+. Virtual coffee mornings with the family became the norm for Saturday mornings. Monthly challenges. Various quizzes and games to distract us. I started a 25 day song challenge but did not finish it.

Drove to London and lived with Jez during the initial lock down. Stayed until lock down rules were lifted slightly 3 months later.

Clapping for the NHS every week.

Baking cakes, buying and reading new books and watching new films. Got a new lease of life and motivation towards my Partylite business and went fully virtual with it.

May 2020 review

Getting used to WFH. Wearing masks to walk by the river Thames and explore the local area when we couldn’t stand being in the flat any longer.

Baking jam and coconut sponges and several (unsuccessful) attempts at using coconut flour.

Virtual Partylite events, designed a logo for my own group (thank you Jez). Took my turn having a virtual birthday followed by our own virtual Eurovision night courtesy of Jez’s friends.

Cancelled tickets to the Warner bros studio tour. Family holiday postponed and assumed all other summer plans would be put on hold as well. Missing being able to see friends and family started to be a real struggle. My mental health took a knocking, so glad I was with Jez to keep me sane.

June

At home pamper sessions including bubble baths and face masks became more regular.

Lock down rules slightly eased. The 2020 review starts looking up. Jez and I managed to have a drink from a pub at the end of one of our walks. We sat on a bench to drink them in the park it was next to.

More baking sessions, virtual catch ups, gaming and online streaming. My mum’s two new kittens arrived so regular kitten pics via Whatsapp became the norm- so cute!

Ordered a few more cheeky takeaways – Papa Johns and Nandos to be exact. Lots more doggo cwtches with Woody- he followed me around everywhere. It was like having my childhood dog with me again, definitely helped with my mental wellbeing. Thank you Woody, you are the goodest boy.

July

Hamilton was added to Disney+ and the Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga to Netflix. Another cake or two baked.

My first ever virtual wedding. Surreal, but very glad I could witness two of my friends starting the next chapter of their lives together.

Found Baked Alaska Ben and Jerry’s in Sainsburys – not had it in YEARS!

I started planning my next tattoo, I have 2 already but really want one to show my nerdy side. Fortunately I know a very talented tattooist who now has his own place. My tattoo is booked in as soon as Covid allows, so exciting!

Thorpe Park for Jez’s birthday and further celebrations for the weekend. It was busy but they had so many safety rules in place which lowered my anxiety. The other guests to the park were not the most adept at rule following but we got through it and got on most of the rides which was lots of fun. I love theme parks! As it was Jez’s birthday we had to have more cake- what a shame.

Had to leave London and move back into my Granny’s house as work wanted to start doing a few contact sessions again. Saying goodbye to Jez (and Woody the doggo) was difficult but it was so good to have been able to live together for as long as we did.

August

Saw my mum, brother, step dad and their two new furry family additions.

Moved into my house share with Sophie. So happy it didn’t take long to get settled in and for the cats to accept me. Ordered various loose leaf teas from T2 as a move in present to myself and it arrived before I did, lovely treats though.

Had a socially distanced birthday BBQ for my Aunty. It was so nice to see the kids running around and playing even if we adults couldn’t get that close or have a proper catch up.

Started wanting to get back onto a health kick again after feeling more lethargic most days. Sophie and I started using the couch to 5k app and ‘running’ 3 times a week. Within a couple of months we had stopped due to Sophie injuring herself at work and still not got back into it though, oops.

I also started using Arbonne products like their fizz sticks for energy, some of their skin care range and their herbal tea as my housemate sells their items and they have been very helpful.

First time I’ve ever dyed my own hair, it went well enough I think. As hairdressers have been closed most of the year I’ve redyed my hair a couple of times since too, seem to be decent at it.

At work we started painting the new shop. We hoped to open before Christmas, sadly this ended up not happening due to the further Welsh lock downs.

Virtual Boost event with Partylite instead of the usual annual conference weekend. Got dressed up to sit in my lounge and attend it virtually. Love getting a nice outfit on and doing my hair and make up, should do it more often…

Another trip to London (only a few days this time), a walk along the river Thames and lots of doggo cuddles.

September 2020 review

After all of us isolating separately, some friends and I had a weekend away for one of my best friends 30th (turns out I have no pics of the birthday boy though…). Had such a fab time reuniting with some university friends in a caravan with a hot tub, but it went by far too quickly. We visited a local church/castle, went for walks, had catch ups, lots of food and alcohol consumed and had an epic roast dinner to end the Sunday. Can’t wait until we can meet up again soon.

Started watching the Harry Potter films with Sophie, first time she had seen the later ones, she has since told me it will become an annual tradition for her too – love converting people!

As I was feeling very cooped up I decided to explore a bit more of the local area by taking some autumn walks and getting to know my new local area a bit more.

October

Baking sponge cake and lotus biscoff brownies. I started batch cooking dinners like chilli con carne, bolognese and risotto. Sophie and I have started making almost weekly roast dinners.

I started Christmas shopping in small batches using as many small businesses as possible.

Making proper hot chocolates with squirty cream and mini marshmallows.

Sophie and I started watching some halloween films; Nightmare before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride and Halloweentown.

The last 10 days of October I spent in London. For Halloween Jez and I had the flat to ourselves. I carved my first pumpkin, attempted to make mickey mouse chocolate apples, had sparklers and lots of themed foods.

November

Bought a new phone after mine accidentally dropped into a toilet and died back in August (been using Jez’s spare since, thank you!). Samsung claims the model was waterproof but it evidently was not.

Pancakes for breakfast, more walks and a KFC with Jez before heading back to Wales.

MOT and full service for the car, my first ever, and included an additional charge for some repairs. Slightly painful giving all that money away.

Rearranged my bedroom again and sorted through all my boxes of stuff to have more space – and hopefully a clearer mind.

Buying Christmas gifts (plus the occasional treat for myself) from small businesses was in full swing and I was getting parcels each week. I had a wrapping/labeling corner in my room to get everything organised.

Managed to have a weekend away with my mum, step dad and brother for my mum’s birthday. We hired a cottage and spent the weekend somewhere new, with a log fire, beautiful bath and power shower. Sadly my mum had a migraine so couldn’t enjoy it as much as we would have liked but it was good to be somewhere new and be able to go to a lovely local fish and chip shop for dinner on the Saturday and a cafe on the Sunday, was so nice to have a little bit of normal.

December 2020 review

Last month of my 2020 review, this month was extra Christmassy. Christmas films started December 1st. Sooner after came the decorations. Making gingerbread. Drinking mulled wine. Eating lots and LOTS of food.

Several virtual Christmases and catch up calls with various friends from school, uni and previous jobs. Definitely cheered up this month.

Spent Christmas eve on my own so had a pamper day; hair mask, face mask, moisturised, exfoliated, meditated, had a cheeky glass of wine and relaxed. Watched another Christmas film, maybe two, and relaxed. It was lush!

Christmas morning I got up early, fed the cats, showered, packed my bags into my car, did the final checks of the house and the car and then drove to London to spend the festive period with Jez, my support bubble. I was there until January 3rd when I had to come back for work. Was just what I needed. Sad that I couldn’t spend it with family and friends as well but was so nice.

We had two different Christmas dinners, several walks, lots of time to relax, game nights, virtual chats with Jez’s friends and family as well as mine. Opened gifts, relished more lie-ins. As Jez had most of the time off as well it was just nice to be able to relax together.

2020 review conclusion

Despite being in lock down for most of the year I managed to have quite a few highlights including a job promotion and staying connected with friends, family and my partner which I am hugely appreciative for.

What was your highest point of 2020? I’d love to know the things you are grateful for from the year.

Until next time, TTFN

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