In with the... same.
Unlike the Chernobyl nuclear cloud that stopped at the French borders, Jan 1, 2021 did not see the end of Covid-19. We're still wearing masks, still teleworking, still under a curfew from 8 pm (or 6 pm) to 6 am.
Looking back over 2020, it was definitely a mixed bag of good and bad, like most years, but last year, the bad was a shared global bad.
It started with a nasty shock for me in February. I was told to either buy the house I had been renting for 15 years or leave because the owner wanted to sell. I believe I went white, the agent was quite worried. In the end, he had a solution for me because I had decided to buy a house, just not the one I was living in (too expensive) and he had the very thing. I visited it, liked it and we went into lockdown.
Thanks to diligent notaires, a helpful bank, and technology, I was able to complete the process of buying and spent lockdown teleworking and packing boxes, sending my son on endless trips to the tip, and we moved at the end of May.
Despite the problems brought on by Covid-19, Fate gave me a helping hand with timings. After the luck with the house, we were able to go to the UK on holiday, and the confinement restrictions were lifted the day I had to pick up a rental car and drive us to Wales (which had just opened its borders).
|Glorious Rhossili with my mum|
Having more online opportunities during lockdown, I explored the internet and found ways to add daily pleasure and exercise. The gyms were all shut of course, but I started doing exercises with Ballet Based Movement for the over 50s with Susan and her mum Elizabeth. Ballet is an excellent way to exercise even if you're not a kiddie or professional dancer, and with the gentle movements and lovely music, it was soothing and also fun.
I got hooked on total escapism with Korean series on Netflix which are wonderfully varied in setting, storyline and genre, often beautifully filmed and well acted too. My link sends you to a list of the series I've enjoyed if you want to try them out.
Last year ended for us with a bang, literally. A couple of weeks before Christmas, my son crashed my car. He was perfectly fine, but the insurance refused to pay for repairs, and we've been without a car since while waiting to find another. Shopping has been a challenge but luckily I have my motorbike and two large side-cases. I can get most of a weekly shop on my bike by keeping to a strict list. Carrefour have been doing regular deliveries too for the big shops. This year has been full of new discoveries by necessity.
Did anyone have the Christmas they were expecting? We certainly didn't. The UK was ravaged by a highly infectious variant of Covid-19 and much of the country was locked down over the Christmas period so we didn't spend Christmas with my mum. Instead I had to hurriedly create Christmas at home along with very many others whose arrangements were totally disrupted. This was a challenge as I'd had bookshelves delivered on the Monday so, together with the 20 boxes of books, there were boxes everywhere. I was thinking I'd have to buy a green marker pen and draw Christmas trees on the bigger ones! Luckily, the guy who was to put them up was able to do the work on Christmas Eve, and I spent the afternoon emptying boxes of books and putting up a few decorations.
A big thank you to Schmidt for the fantastic shelves and helpful staff. What a relief to have a civilised room at the end of it. I even discovered crackling fire videos on YouTube. The one on the tele has acoustic guitar Christmas music playing. It was so beautiful and restful. Christmas was saved.
I had managed to get to the shops for Christmas food and in the end it was all okay.
We are still here, staying safe and, hopefully, well. I hope you are too. Fingers crossed 2021 will see a lifting of restrictions to civil liberties and we can see family and friends again.