Thank you 2021 and Goodbye! I can’t say that I’m not pleased to see the back of 2021. When I wrote my round-up of the year last year I genuinely thought that all the covid stuff would be gone by now. And here we are 12 months later and we’re not clear of it…yet.
This year has definitely tested my ability to remain calm and stay positive. Starting the year in lockdown wasn’t easy. There was none of that beautiful hot sunny weather that sustained us through the first enforced home stay. But I have spent a couple of hours going through my photos and there was so much to celebrate. Here’s my round-up of all the things that I am grateful for in 2021.
Thank you 2021 for:
The new dog walks
Mabel has been my absolute saviour during lockdown and having the excuse to walk her daily kept me sane and excited. Venturing out and finding more undiscovered walks that are right on my doorstep. We found so many brilliant new paths on the moors and by the sea, in local woodlands and in neighbouring villages. With Mabel by my side there’s always a fantastic reason to get out my OS map app, or grab Rich & head out for new adventures.
The dog walks with friends
And I was able to walk on my tried and trusted local walks with friends. It has now become part of my week. Instead of sitting round a table drinking coffee or heading to the pub we grab our dogs, a flask & a biscuit or two and head out. It’s so good to walk and talk. By walking side by side the pressure is off and we’re able to share tips on pet care, dealing with hormonal teenagers and of course our own hormones! I feel so much more present with friends when we’re dog walking.
Working from home
I thought that I would really miss being in an office but when everyone else is at home too it’s so easy! And I get to walk Mabel whenever I need to stretch my legs and I love the interruptions from Midnight & Pumpkin although I have lost a few blog posts along the way!!! I’ve been there when the kids get back from school and so I get to hear straight away whatever the day has had in store.
I started cold water swimming in September 2020 with a couple of friends and we pledged to swim weekly throughout the year. And it has been A-MAZ-ING! We are very spoilt for places to swim, from rivers on the moor to a huge variety of sea coves and beaches. Most Fridays you will find us clad in our cozzies, gloves, hats & boots somewhere warming up after a lovely dip with a flask of hot chocolate and a biscuit. It really helps me cope with whatever the week is throwing at me. I can’t wipe the grin off my face for the rest of my day. I know it’s cold but the cold only lasts a couple of minutes & then all you feel is bliss…
Back in January my youngest sister persuaded me to enter the London Marathon, not the actual one in London but the virtual one. I entered as I thought it would be good to have something to train for, a goal during lockdown. I bought Chris Evan’s 116 Days to Go training book and started to follow it. I’ve never followed a training plan before and his was super easy. Plenty of gentle runs, bit of cross training and loads of positive reinforcement. I ran so many new routes. Finishing in October by running from Starcross to Exmouth – the medal was huge & the t-shirt was bright – what more could I want!
We signed up with Gousto and got the whole family cooking. One of my boys is veggie and despite having been a veggie myself during my youth (well from 14 to 32 years old) I had run out of ideas. We choose the recipes, the box arrives on Monday afternoon and we cook the simple and tasty dishes during the week. It cuts down on the need for a weekly big shop, I just top up locally. And the guys all take turns cooking, well most weeks they do!
A little bit of travel
And still on the theme of food we managed to visit a Michelin Starred restaurant this year. We took a gamble and booked flights to southern Spain in October. It was a complete rigmarole with oldest son losing phone with vaccination certificate information 2 days before leaving – very long and stressful story. But we got there and it was beautiful to swim in a warm sea, tuck into tapas and visit the Donana National Park. And Rich and I managed to get a table at El Espejo which is famed for it’s Sherry paired menu. And it lived up to it’s reputation, such amazing food.
I have always loved all the seasons especially autumn but I think lockdown has taught us all to slow down a little and enjoy each season for it’s own unique beauty. The older I get the more I love Spring, I love seeing the rebirth of the landscape, from the earliest snowdrops to feasts of daffodils the days start to lengthen and I know that summer is coming. Summer means the ditching of the wetsuit and embracing the waves without the hindrance of neoprene. It also means the odd cheeky G&T afterwards too! From the blast of pinks and yellows and purples Autumn brings the dark greens, oranges & reds and finally the starkness of winter is upon us and we get those occasional crisp sunny days filled with the most fabulous light. And I’ve got thousands of photos of them all with my girl Mabel!!!
And the thank you’s wouldn’t be complete without thanking my gorgeous girls Mabel, Pumpkin and Midnight, my crazy family, and of course you my wonderful readers, listeners, customers. Have a great Christmas and let’s prepare for whatever 2022 has got to throw at us, we will find the joy!