Tales of 2020

Tales of 2020


Well, what a start to 2020! The very first day of the new year, I got to spend a glorious day with my best friend and life partner – Chris! (He loves it when I call him my life partner! Hee hee)

Things to do in Brussels
Chris and me

I was on a trip to Brussels and Chris came to meet me for the day. We had such a lovely day together – reminiscing about the past, making new memories for the future, but more than that – we had a lot of fun, as always. You know when you just get on with someone – that’s Chris and I!

I also went to Bruges for the day and spent 4 hours wandering around, snapping away with my camera.

Things to do in Bruges
Canal Spiegelrei, Bruges


On the TV, news of a virus made me really think about whether I should go on my trip to Barcelona, but I was glad I did, it would be the last time I went anywhere for a while. It was my first time there and I had a fabulous time wandering around the city. I was especially ‘wowed’ by the Sagrada Familia.

Things to do in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia


We all found ourselves in lockdown! What surreal times those were! Now, it seems a lifetime ago and I still can’t believe it actually happened. Not much else to do apart from exploring the garden!

Things to photograph at home
Exploring the garden


My birthday in 2020 was probably the quietist on record, but I celebrated with wine and a curry and spent time with my brother and sister-in-law.

I went for a walk most days which kept me sane while we were locked up. Sometimes I just walked along with music in my ears and sometimes I took lots of photographs. Who would have thought there was a waterfall in the woods behind my brother’s house.

Things to do in Northampton
Waterfall in Little Billing


Still in lockdown, we had to find new ways to amuse ourselves and my brother Trev came home with his hair dyed blonde! We took to calling him Slim Shady. Now, will the real one please stand up!

Things to do in lockdown
The Real Slim Shady?

Trev then decided he was going to go one step further and dye his hair all the colours of the rainbow, so I ordered some hair dye. This is how it turned out. Rocking the rainbow bro, and his tribute to the NHS. Thank god it was temporary and washed out!

Things to do in lockdown
Hair dye number 2


Still off work, I went to meet my mum, sister and niece in the park for a picnic. It was lovely to spend time with them, enjoying the sunshine, playing Frisbee and looking at the birds. For me, the simple pleasures are always the nicest.

Things to do in lockdown
A trip to the park

The biggest news of the month was that I have moved into my own place. A lovely little duplex apartment near the town centre. I was anxious about moving whilst in lockdown, so I waited until things had eased a bit. Then I was worried about finances, so I waited some more. In the end, I decided to take the risk and just go for it. I have always said, if I become unhappy I will do something about it. I loved living with my brother and his fiancé, but it was time to move on.

First night in my new flat


I took a trip to Newark to visit my friends – Doyle and Mel. It was so lovely to see them and their kids again. Mel and I went out to the garden centre and, on the way back, we went to the marina in Farndon and had a cheeky drink by the river.

Things to do in Newark
Photo Credit: Melody Armstrong

The following weekend, I went to Rotterdam to visit Chris.

We had such a fun weekend, as we always do when we get together. Chris was an exceptional tour guide and he took me to new parts of the city. It was such a lovely couple of days making new memories!

Things to see in Rotterdam
Exploring Rotterdam


I had been on furlough since the end of March with no clue as to when I would be returning to work, but then we were asked to attend a meeting. We were told that, due to the virus, there would be redundancies.

With this news, I took up painting by numbers to try and stop the constant sick feeling in my stomach.

Things to do in your free time
Painting by Numbers – Amsterdam


I was made redundant! My boss came right out with it… “we have to let you go.” Even though I kind of knew, it was still horrible to hear it. I could feel the tears coming, but I didn’t want to cry in front of her – it wasn’t her fault. I got back into the car to drive home and I cracked!

I got home and immediately set about looking for a job.

I have never felt so stressed, I felt sick every day with a feeling of dread in my stomach. I lost all motivation to do anything – even exercise! I was applying for 2-3 jobs a day, every day, and feeling very frustrated because NO-ONE replied!


I was finally offered a job! It turned out, it was all just a matter of time! Time that I didn’t think I could bear to wait! I could not be happier and I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders!

To celebrate, I went out with my sister which was fun, albeit strange. Groups of people absolutely plastered at 6pm on a Saturday night, temperature checks and ID checks before you went into a pub and bouncers telling people ” YOU CAN’T PASS WITHOUT A MASK!” which I thought was quite amusing and that became the quote of the day.

Things to do in freetime
My sister and me


I went for a wintery walk in the park with my lovely mum. She is always great company to be around.

Things to do in free time
A walk with my mum


We came out of a mini-lockdown at the beginning of December and I made my own Christmas wreath. I was quite proud of my creation!

Things to do at home
My homemade wreath

Christmas day came around and, although everyone was under a 1-day restriction, I was lucky enough to be able to have a lovely day with my mum, dad, sister and niece – memories to be treasured.

My sister and I on Christmas Day

Then, on New Year’s Eve, I spent the evening at home, talking with Chris online. I even got to celebrate two New Years – one in Rotterdam and one in the UK because of the time difference.

Then, we were back in lockdown or tier 4 until at least mid-February 2021.

Despite 2020 being a strange year, I still managed to experience many moments to be grateful for.

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