2020, year in review

My top 9 photos on Instagram - photo from Morocco, Croatia, London and Canterbury

It is that time between Christmas and New Years when you don’t know what day it is or how much you ate or drank. There’s so much cheese and chocolate everywhere you look. We have watched our share of cartoons, trashy films and celebrity quizzes. That is when we have, once again, turned to Netflix and found a gem of a film that is called Death to 2020 – an hour of laughing and looking back at the year that feels like it lasted a lifetime.

This got me thinking about our year. So many things happened, both in the world and in our own lives. I went through the year in the photos (and I took SO MANY!) and tried to put down the months in a few sentences. Not an easy task really…

January – The year started with books! I came back from our New Years Eve party with 5 books to read. On the job front, this was the biggest month for my team ever. We had so many clients booking and I was left on my own in reservations as my colleague quit. This was also a big month on the creativity side – my friend and I attended an origami workshop and we made nipple tassels 😀

February – we went for our week long holiday to Morocco. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions we made this year 😀 We planned our Easter road trip to Wales. There were sunny spells, which we used to get out on the bike and explore Essex. I decided to spend more time out and about using my Nikon and practising photo composition.

March – coronavirus reached Europe in full swing. Travel industry started to feel the hit of the pandemic and so did my company – we did not get our wages for the month. End of March marked the beginning of the first UK lockdown. Dominic Cummings broke all the lockdown rules his party imposed and didn’t suffer any consequences. It’s nice being a white male conservative, isn’t it? My friend and I still managed to attend a clay vajay workshop before the country shut down. The trip to Wales was cancelled. I started working from home mid month and the husband was furloughed when the lockdown started. A few of my friends and I started 30 days of yoga with Adriene. Who would’ve thought I’d end up doing it every day until I went to Croatia.

April – the number of Covid cases was still rising. I was furloughed as well. For us, it was gaming time. We also caught up on films and shows, read loads of books and spent more time on our hobbies. We upcycled an old chest of drawers. My piece on Berlin got published on World Nomads site. We explored every nook and cranny in the parks of Chelmsford.

May – the month of online quizzes with my colleague who lives in Italy. This was also the month my company went bust and I lost my job. The fight for missing wages had begun. We witnessed the death of George Floyd and the booming of the Black Lives Matter movement. We found nature walks close to home that we have never been to before. Oh and Tiger King took over Netflix by storm. CAROL BASKIN!!

June – our travelling companion Jimi arrived (thinking on it now, maybe we should have named him Horace?)! We attended the BLM protest in Chelmsford. The husband lost his job and found another one in a week’s time. Lucky bastard! Lockdown loosened up a bit so we went further out on the bike, but still kept to Essex. The job search got me feeling depressed so I decided to take a break and see my family for the summer.

July – leaving the husband at home and working, I left for Croatia at the beginning of the month. I stayed with my sister in Pula for a few days, visited my family and friends in my hometown and spent a few days on Krk at my friend’s where the husband joined me at the end of the month.

August – the month should’ve started with my younger sister getting married but the wedding was postponed to 2021 or whenever the situation calms down. We had a tour of the Croatian coast with my mother. After the husband went back to UK, I went back to my hometown for another week. Covid cases started to rise and I got back to UK just 36 hours before they took Croatia off the safe list and introduced self isolation on return. We spent the bank holiday in Kent visiting Dover and Canterbury.

September – sending endless job applications and getting nothing back. I started volunteering in a charity shop down the road. We took quick day trips around Essex. It was a big month for my creative hobbies.

October – the month of big decisions. We decided to move back in with the husband’s parents to save money and not burn through the little bit we managed to saved so far. The job prospects seemed worse and worse. I started volunteering in one more charity shop so I wouldn’t lose my mind sitting at home all day, everyday looking for work. It will end up being the last month we can go down the pub. On a positive note, the blog was listed in top 100 couple blogs in 2020! As this was our last month this close to the city park, we spend more time between trees dressed in their autumn finery.

November – the big move! Our whole life turned upside down, our little routines all shattered. Another nail in the coffin – second lockdown for UK as the cases started rising too fast. The husband is now a key worker so it did not affect him. My volunteering stopped as the shops closed. However, my Etsy shop thrived and at the very end of the month, I finally found a new job!! ❤

December – last month of the year. We had about 10 days before Essex was put in Tier 4 and shut down completely due to Covid cases going through the roof. The other parts of England are slowly following and soon the whole country will be closed. I mean, even the mail did not leave this island for about 9 days as Europe cut UK off! I am working from home until all this blows over. We are hoping we’ll be able to go to Croatia for a week in February for my dad’s birthday. We spent the Christmas in UK and made origami trees with his 95 year old nan!

Looking back today, I can see how much our life has changed in just one year. From renting a tiny flat and having complete freedom, we moved into a room and have to share a house with people 30 years our senior.

But I am grateful that I could spend almost all summer, full 5 weeks in my beautiful Croatia. I had time to work on some things that interest me, I worked more on my coasters, I got better at knitting and working with clay and even dabbed in origami! The husband completely overhauled our Yamaha XJR and worked on the Honda. We both lost our jobs but found new ones that are actually better!

We are also lucky that we had no Covid cases in our big family and that the earthquakes that caused so much damage and devastation in Croatia this year did not affect my family there.

But just in case this is all a game, don’t forget to shout Jumanji! as the clock strikes midnight 😀

Tell us what you have learned this year and what you are grateful for! Or if you need a rant, vent out what horrible year this was.

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