It’s that time of year again.
Writing anything for my blog has slowed down to virtually nothing.
Not that there’s really been anything to blog about this year as we haven’t really been able to do much due to coronavirus restrictions
Until now that is.
We may have had a pretty mundane year but it is certainly ending on a good note.
So here’s a roundup.
As if you didn’t need reminding…..
The year started off just like any other but there were rumblings in the news about a new and virulent strain of flu with the potential to create a pandemic.
Sure enough, things escalated. The world started to shut down and by the end of March we were in our first full lockdown which required businesses that were not essential to close. These regulations also included significant restrictions on freedom of movement: “no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse”.
The country came to a stop and people started panic buying.
Supermarkets did everything they could to try and stop this and protect their vulnerable customers.
The country clapped for the NHS.
Families and friends gathered together over Zoom.
By the end of May, things slowly started to open up again.
People were becoming accustomed to wearing masks everywhere they went.
Social distancing was the name of the game.
Handwashing and sanitising and staying 2 metres apart was drummed into us.
Then there were fears of a second wave and we started living in tiers.
The higher the tier, the more restrictions were in place for that area.
It was all confusing and it didn’t work.
From Nov 5th the country went into a 2nd lockdown that lasted 4 weeks.
When we came out of the lockdown we were again placed into strict tiers.
Our area came out of lockdown into tier 2 which means households are not allowed to mix indoors apart from in support bubbles, while a maximum of six people can meet outdoors from any household. Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, meaning they must serve substantial meals and may only serve alcohol with such a meal. If you go out for a meal you can only do so with up to 6 people from the same family/support bubble.
So unless we want to freeze our nuts off eating outside, we still can’t see friends.
These tiers are due to be reviewed on the 16th Dec and we are hoping we will go back to tier 1 which will allow us to see friends again to a maximum of 6 indoors and outdoors and pubs not serving food will be able to open up again.
There is to be a relaxing of rules for 5 days over Xmas between 23rd and 27th December, meaning 3 households can mix, although it must stay as the same 3 households. We can’t pick and choose each day.
The pessimist in me is thinking that half the country will flout the rules completely over Xmas and we will have another peak in mid January!
Anyway, what did this all mean for us as a family.
As a family, this had a big impact on the way we did things.
My Mum and Dad who live just around the corner were now considered a high risk and needed to isolate themselves as much as possible. So visiting them was now out of the question. The kids kept an eye on them and visited them during their once a day exercise routine and they would stand at the end of the garden for a chat.
Mum could no longer come around to our house.
Before the lockdown, she would be around pretty much every day. She would keep on top of our washing and ironing and have a little tidy up for me which was great while I was out at work.
We had to change the way we ran the house.
Within a couple of months, we had fallen into new routines….. but we were coping!
I continued to work.
As a nurse working on a children’s ward, I was faced with new rules and ways of working which would change with each announcement from the Government.
It’s been a particularly tough time but not as tough as the adult wards in the hospital.
No hairdressers, meant my usual 4 – 5 weekly trim didn’t get done for 4 months!! I looked haggard and tired.
My husband, Ian, is lucky enough to be able to work from home and this is something that has worked out really well for him and looks set to become a permanent thing!
He suffers from Psoriatic Arthritis and takes a lot of medications, one of which places him in the high risk category of people in the country who have to isolate where possible.
Since working from home, he has seen an improvement in his health and so has his company. They are actually getting more work out of him and talks are ongoing to keep him working from home as much as possible when ‘normality’ returns.
Marjorie and Dharma both work for McDonalds, so they were furloughed during the first lockdown and University and college work was done from home.
During the second lockdown, they are both still working but under strict new rules and social distancing requirements.
Dharma went from college to Uni and Marji returned to Uni for her final year but they have both chosen to do it remotely at home to help protect their Dad who is high risk.
Murron has had the biggest change of all of us.
Before the lockdown she was just picking up part time hours in a pub and getting the occasional singing gig.
Of course, this dried up completely when the first lockdown hit.
She was bringing in the bare minimum from furlough.
She spent her life in her garage den, facetiming friends and really wasn’t in the best of places mentally.
Then when things opened up again, she was able to see friends and she started picking up some bar work again.
During this time she met the man of her dreams and when it became clear that the country may be heading into another lockdown period, they both made the decision to move in together.
Murron has finally got her shit together. As she no longer lives at home she has been able to sort out benefits. She is getting help with getting out to work. She has knocked her partners house into shape and she has become a second Mum to his two small kids who he shares custody with. She has taken to this task like a duck to water!!
She was completely moved out by the end of September and she has been happier than I have seen her in a long time.
It would seem that her partner is also happy as he proposed to her last week!
Since March, the house has seen some major changes.
We’ve got into a new routine with the washing and ironing. I don’t even need an ironing basket anymore because we are THAT on top of it all!!
The house has seen some major clearouts.
During the first lockdown we ordered a huge skip and took the chance to have a good clear out both inside and out.
Rooms were worked on one by one. Cupboards were cleared out. Wardrobes were re-organised. Anything that was being hoarded was given away, recycled or binned.
With Murron now gone and Ian set to be working from home permanently, the decision was made to make Murron’s old bedroom into an office, which meant that I got my bedroom back again.
The garage has also been gutted.
I seriously don’t think there is anything else I can now re-organise or de-clutter!
Oh yes, we FINALLY got our new sofa suite.
We ordered it after the first lockdown but delivery got caught up in the second wave of lockdowns in various areas of the UK.
I’m currently on my annual 2 weeks off to prepare for Xmas, although I had most of it done before I even got to annual leave, so I’m just enjoying relaxing and doing whatever I want.
I watch as many movies as I want, I play on the computer as much as I want and I’m drinking way too much!
The only thing I couldn’t do this year was decorate my Mum’s and my Aunty Karen’s Xmas trees.
It’s become a bit of a tradition that they both fight to be the first to book me every year. They still managed though, and their trees look just as good!
My Xmas decs went up before the end of November. I just thought, sod it!! It’s been such a naff year, why not?
I haven’t been able to get the big tree up in the hallway for a few years because we had a large wardrobe and chest of drawers in there as overflow for Murron. Now that she has moved out and I have my hallway back, I decided to treat myself and got a few new pieces to add to the tree.
Last year I got a Baymax ornament and Marjorie bought a Stitch ornament that I fell in love with, so I bought myself a Stitch one this year.
My friend Debbie got me an amazing Millennium Falcon for my birthday.
Then I just couldn’t resist getting a few more. I added The house and balloons from Up, Baby Yoda and Buzz Lightyear (who also talks!)
I also have some family pictures on one of the trees and decided to update Murron’s picture to include Jordan, her Fiance.
That’s it really. Our family as a whole have been pretty lucky. My cousin and his girlfriend got confirmed coronavirus a couple of months ago and had to be extremely careful as they live with my uncle who has COPD. Other than that, our family has remained pretty safe.
Our music community of friends has not fared so well. A few losses have hit them and Murron hard.
One thing that I have REALLY missed this year is my movies.
I have Seen a total of 7 movies in the cinema this year and 6 of them were before the end of February.
Number 7 was Tenet, the ONLY big movie to see a release in cinemas this year.
With film companies pushing back their new movies into next year, cinemas were hard hit to get any customers through their doors and then Cineworld decided to close their doors for the forseable future.
It remains to be seen if we will ever see those doors open again.
So, I have been making do with anything I can on streaming services or DVD/Bluray, but it’s not the same as seeing a film on the BIG screen and I seriously miss it.
So! The plan for the rest of the year.
Getting my hair cut tomorrow!! It’s not suffered as much this time around although I do have to take the hairdryer to it in the mornings. That’s when you know it’s gone too far. Normally I just wash and go because it’s so short.
I’m out for dinner this Thursday evening.
I don’t officially go back to work until the 16th although I am doing a Bank shift on the 11th. So lots more rest and relaxation to do which I am going to need because I’m going back to a horrific set of shifts which mean I will be working 70 hours in 7 days. Hey ho!
I’m actually working Xmas day and unusually, I’m working a long day.
This means that I will start at 07:30 and finish as 20:00.
So no Xmas day for me.
Marji, Dharma and Ian are just going to chill for the day and make themselves some party foods.
We have decided to have our Xmas on Boxing Day.
Murron and Jordan are coming over with his two little boys in the morning so we can open presents together and Mum and Dad are coming over for dinner in the afternoon.
I’m not working New Year’s Eve but I am working New Year’s Day. So I will see the New Year in and then go right to bed.
That’s it. Nothing exciting.
We may have had the year from hell globally, but as a family, things have gone pretty well.
I certainly wouldn’t have said that Murron would be engaged by the end of it.
Categories: General diary entries