Most of 2020 was pretty awful for the World due to the coronavirus pandemic. For many, it will be a year remembered as one in which health and jobs were impacted hugely and where tragedy struck. It is surely everyone’s hope that vaccines and natural progression of the virus will mean that, during 2021, the incidence of such these impacts and tragedies will lessen to insignificance.
I have confessed in these blogs that the impact of the pandemic on me personally, especially during the spring and summer, has generally felt little more than inconvenience with a touch of boredom. Certainly the personal impact of the pandemic has been much less than Middle Son’s accident in 2019. My Mum contracted the virus in her care home but has recovered. Phone and Zoom calls have provided the means of staying in touch with Dad. Youngest Son briefly lost work but that just meant we had the pleasure of his company in our home for a few months. We have been very lucky so far. Nonetheless, I am very glad to be saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 and a new feeling of hopefulness.
Our family Christmas with all three of our sons here in Gloucestershire was made possible by Middle Son’s girlfriend being willing to drive Middle and Eldest Son across London just before the Tier 4 lockdown was announced, a bit of bending of the rules relating to Christmas gatherings, and a bit of judicious coronavirus testing.
Wrenching Middle and Eldest Son out of London earlier than planned caused some upheaval to their plans. Eldest Son had some more work to complete. Middle Son hadn’t had time to relax after finishing work for the year. He showed the signs of work stress that reminded me vividly of the sort of stress I used to suffer when I was working in a big corporation. Soon though, everyone chilled out and we had a few lovely and highly-valued days together. I hope all readers of this were able to enjoy the Christmas period as much.
We ate well, with everyone sharing in the cooking, and our recycling bin reveals that we drank well too. The weather was kind enough to allow some very pleasurable local walks over the Christmas period. The exercise from those walks enabled periods of guilt-free slouching on the sofa in front of the fire, watching films and football on the TV together. Long-Suffering Wife has just bought a new, wider screen TV so it would have been rude not to!
Rather boldly, we have already planned next Christmas. On Christmas Day Youngest Son noticed that a property on the western edge of Skye in Scotland, that he had been alerted to by Eldest Son’s girlfriend, was free for 2021 Christmas week. Immediately the other sons expressed interest and so we booked it straightaway. Hopefully our sons’ respective girlfriends will also be able to join us for at least part of that Christmas week. Christmas 2020 was a very different Christmas from normal and 2021’s Christmas promises to be even more different; that is an extra thing to look forward to in 2021.
I’m sure 2021 is going to have its challenges. Climate change may (should!) start to take centre stage in terms of a World crisis. The impact of the recent Brexit deal will bite across the UK. Forest Green Rovers football club might not be promoted. Other First -World problems might beset us. But, with 2020 finally done and dusted, we can look forward in hope to less social distancing and more normal personal interactions, more unimpeded travel, and Christmas in Skye.
Happy New Year!