2020 – Pardon?!

January: So much needs to happen this year, and it’s going to happen this year! Bring on the new decade! ***multiple muscley arm emojis***

February: All of your plans are going to be thrown into doubt by storms and floods. Get stranded in the North due to Storm Ciara, necessitating the need to buy awful, over-sized emergency underwear from Primark – and an extra room for the night – and believe it’s the most stressful thing ever.

March: Keep well away from everybody and get used to being over-zealous with the hand sanitiser. Gaze at a brand new toilet roll with the same awe you would a golden ingot. Batter remaining storage space on phone with a sudden wealth of necessary new Apps and awkardly log-in to random Houseparty rooms a thousand times by accident: “Oh err hello!”

April: Have around three conversations with people face-to-face in the whole month: two shop attendants, and a lady walking her dog by the allotments who’s anxious about the fact a nearby alleyway is less than two metres wide.

May: Hearing the couplet of words “online quiz” is beginning to feel akin to having rusty nails dragged across your eardrums.

June: Begin meeting friends again, but only outdoors and at a distance. Nonetheless, it feels like the greatest liberation ever. Re-learn how to be around people, just like a toddler at their first ever session of play-group, hiding behind a chair and waiting for the biscuit break.

July: Three hour walks every evening to try and experience at least some semblance of Summer 2020 whilst reflecting upon damage to mental health over the past four months.

August: Head out for a pizza with the family. It’s cheaper than normal to buy five pizzas this month, but best sit outdoors just to be safe. Have a Summer holiday in the UK, and it’s lovely, but the journey provokes a lot more anxiety to normal. Newport Pagnell Services is not the nicest place at the best of times, let alone when people aren’t distancing. Master the art of keeping the cubicle doors on public loos closed shut with one’s foot, rather than having to touch the lock.

Just get on with it. We’re getting back to how we were. This IS the new normal. We’re through the worst.

The third month where things feel normal-ish, but it’s difficult not to be aware of cases rising ominously in the background. Birthday month. Have a nice meal (outdoors!) and swap the usual group outing to the pub for many beers with a bottle of Sauvignon in front of a bunch of faces on a laptop.

November: The second national lockdown. Everything is suddenly off the leisure menu once again, except for walks. Where would we have been in 2020 without WALKS! Order a tub of Bacon Dust off the internet to try and feel better about life. And it certainly does lift things a little, because all the smallest things do at the moment, and there’s a long-term lesson in that.

Clutch on tightly to heavily weathered elements of positive mindset:
“The one good thing about lockdown has been the ability to save money on going out”
*Notification pops up of puncture in still relatively-new car tyre prompting treble-figure repair bill*

Scream two days later when Christmas gets cancelled leaving you with all the festive cheer of a dead haddock.

That’s 2020.

Song of the YEAR: 11 Acorn Lane – Claudette

I discovered this complete ear-worm of a song in May and the clarinet loop has pretty much been stuck in my head at some point during every day since. That’s not necessarily a great thing, in fact quite an irritating thing after too long! But it may explain why it was towards the peak of my personalised “Your Top Songs of 2020” playlist on Spotify. I’m not sure the tone really matches that of 2020, but it’d probably be hard to find a song that truly does.