Hi, I am back, it has been a while and not how I planned to start 2021 on this blog! However, if 2020 taught us anything it was to expect the unexpected. After a few (many) technical issues to start the year off I thought I would pick up where I was originally going to finish 2020 and start 2021 by looking back on how 2020 went for me.
I do not think I will be the only person who will be glad to see the back of 2020 although I do not think that it was all bad. Even though the whole pandemic thing did put a bit of a spanner in the works.
It has been quite a strange year; I feel like so much more has happened besides the whole coronavirus thing, but I can’t remember what that actually was as everything has been so focused on the pandemic.
After a little bit of scrolling through my blog and my camera roll, I have picked out my highlights from this year.
In all honesty until I started looking through my camera roll, I could not remember what happened before March. So, when I saw photos of my broken foot, I remembered that I actually started the year off in a space boot again, my fitness and healthy eating went out of the window.
I guess this should have been an indication of what was to come.
By the looks of the photos in my camera roll, there were also a few walks with Boris, a bit of cooking and cosy nights watching some films. I always find that January is a very cosy month.
February started off with a few walks, some impressive sunrises and a BIG clear out.
Although there is still work to be done on reducing how much ‘stuff’ I have. Which is something I think I will be working on throughout 2021.
Marysia and I celebrated Valentine’s day by seeing Birds of Prey in the cinema (remember when you would go to the cinema?!) followed by Marysia making on of my favourite foods, spaghetti bolognese.
We then celebrated Marysia’s birthday (after her birthday) by going shopping and having food at Wagamamas. We brought Boris a bunny back from our shopping trip which he decapitated within 10 seconds.
February ended with A LOT of rain and some flooding – the photos I took do not really show how much water there really was!
I started to get back into being a little bit more creative, drawing a little bit more, reading and doing more of the things I enjoy.
I got my phone upgrade; I decided to go with the Samsung S20 Ultra which I still love as much as when I picked it up however, I wish Samsung didn’t release the new version quite so soon after I purchased it. I also upgraded my Huawei fit band to the Fitbit Versa 2 which was something I had wanted for a while. I still use this every day and love being able to see how active (or inactive) I have been throughout the day.
Marysia and I saw Suzi Ruffell on the 13th March – this was actually very close to the beginning of the pandemic unfolding and we were unsure if it would actually go ahead. It was the first time I had seen a comedian live and I loved it! Suzi was brilliant and would love to see her perform again once we are able to do this kind of thing again after the pandemic.
We went shopping on the 15th March, in my camera roll there are quite a few photos of the aisles in Asda where people had started panic buying – it was definitely not something I thought I would ever see!
On the 16th March I got on a National Express coach to Cambridge to visit my Mum (and family) for Mother’s Day. I remember how quiet it seemed in Victoria coach station compared to the usual hustle and bustle, however before my Dad drove me back to their house, I did manage to get them some toilet rolls – which at this point was a HUGE achievement.
This short stay ended up turning into a much longer stay as the UK lockdown was announced and I ended up spending it at my parents’ house. Luckily, I have a job which very quickly changed from being officed based to working remotely.
I spent a lot of time eating good food – there were a lot of BBQs (which I helped to cook with my Dad), roast dinners and even a cheesecake order (if you are in Cambridge I would definitely suggest checking out Little Ones Cheesecake Emporium).
Started off as March finished, stuck in the house and not being able to do very much. I did however manage to purchase some stickers to decorate my laptop. I also drank A LOT of tea; I mean there was not much else to do during the lockdown.
The sun also made a bit of an appearance, luckily my parents have a garden, and I was able to enjoy the sun sat in their garden reading a few books (this is where I found myself disappearing down a blackhole of self-development). I also helped my Mum tidy up their front garden and clean the windows.
My Nan passed away and I spent quite a bit of time helping my Mum and Auntie sort things out. I remember saying at the time how all that stuff you accumulate during your life means something to you and after you go someone else decides what is important and what is not. It was a very sad time and we spent quite a bit of time at my Nan’s house sorting through things, as time went on the bungalow did not quite feel the same as it once did.
The end of April I really decided that I needed to start exercising a bit more as I wasn’t doing my general day to day ambling around and was definitely consuming far too many snacks.
I started off the month by dismantling an old rabbit hutch in my parents’ front garden during this process I also managed to pierce my arm with a rusty nail. Thankfully, I did not get an infection although my Fitbit watch strap absorbed most of the blood and had to be replaced. (bit gross I know)
May must have been the month for accidents as my Dad fell into an old tin of paint whilst getting the flags out of the shed. It was funny seeing him come out covered in paint!
I decided lockdown was the ideal opportunity to start a new hobby, I purchased a keyboard and attempted to learn to play the piano. It was not very successful, and I ended up selling it on to my brother.
I ventured to a supermarket for the first time since March – it was very odd to have to have to queue up and follow the arrows around the supermarket. It was a very surreal experience.
Towards the end of May, I started to regularly go for walks across the fields and make the most of the quiet time before or after I finished work. I think it was at this point during the pandemic I my anxiety started to creep back in as I was not leaving the house and was staring at the same 4 walls 24/7 which created a little safe bubble that my brain didn’t want me to leave.
I also did more cooking during June which included a BBQ.
Continued where May finished and started off with a long walk across the fields where I saw a lot of poppies around. There was also some good weather and the sun made a regular appearance.
We also celebrated my brother’s birthday which like most peoples experience of a lockdown birthday was a quiet day.
It was during June that I started to see the physical benefits of the exercise I had begun doing and it also seemed to help my anxiety to improve a little bit as well.
Marysia and I unfortunately could not be together for our anniversary however she did send me an anniversary present which was a Pandora bracelet. I was not expecting it at all and was a really nice surprise.
As the weather was so good and even on the days it wasn’t so great, I want on a lot more walks and helped my parents to sort out their back garden a little bit.
As we had been doing over the previous few months after my Nan passed away, we carried on sorting bits and pieces our and organising things. It is crazy how long this process can go on for and can make saying goodbye to someone quite difficult. I did spend quite a bit of time scanning all of the photos we found at my Nan’s house that her and my Grandad had which was quite nice to see all of their memories.
I kept walking and listening to podcasts.
As the lockdown been stripped right back and things felt like they were returning to normal my parents drove me back to Cardiff.
I was then able to see Marysia for the first time since March! It was SO good to finally be able to spend some time together after being apart for so long.
I decided to create a workspace within my room as working from home had become a much more permanent thing and looks like it may even be a part of the future too.
This was also the point in the year that I had decided I wanted to propose to Marysia and started to plan everything.
Marysia and I started with a trip to Ikea and a very long queue to get in. Marysia had a list of things which she wanted to get and I ended up purchasing a new coffee table. I then put Marysia’s new desk together for her where she had been upgrading her computer and gaming/ workspace.
We finished the weekend by going to see the sunflowers and a walk down Rhossili Bay.
I met up with Abi in town to go shopping we also had a look at potential rings for Marysia which was exciting!
Since returning to Cardiff I had not been on many walks as unlike my parents’ house there aren’t many scenic places within walking distance of my house. However, I did manage to find some to go for a walk for the first time since returning to Cardiff.
In the middle of August, I finally decided on a ring I liked and more importantly a ring which I thought Marysia would like so I ventured to the shop and purchased it! This was one of the hardest decisions I have EVER made as I felt as though there was a lot of pressure riding on it.
On the 15th August Marysia and I went to the Wetlands Nature Centre to have a bit of a date as we hadn’t had one in a while. It was quite a nice walk despite the rain!
I was also feeling the pressure as a few people new I was planning to propose to Marysia and were sending me a few messages asking if I had either asked her yet or to wish me luck. That evening I proposed to Marysia, thankfully she said YES! Then pretty much the next day our wedding planning started which is all VERY exciting!
I ended the month having another clear out of my stuff and managed to get rid of some more things however I am not sure how it all seems to accumulate. As no matter how many times I tidy and organise things there always seems to be something else I can get rid of.
This was the month I really recognised how bad my anxiety was getting again.
I went to my visit my family for my Mum’s birthday it was a bit of a quiet birthday as the restrictions allowed me to visit however doing anything major was not really on the cards which meant I cooked a roast dinner and made a cheesecake to celebrate. I managed to avoid getting stuck there in another lockdown.
I got stuck into a few creative things again. I managed to rebuild my Lego camper van which took a whole afternoon and evening, but I was pretty happy once it was completed! I started & finished a painting by numbers which ended up looking way better than I thought it would. I also found a new interest in these diamond painting sets which I find really relaxing to do whilst watching a film.
The start of the wet weather returning and me starting to hibernate. Which is where my daily (or an attempt at daily) walks started to completely die off.
I had decided back in August that I wanted to start studying psychology after talking to a few friends about it and in October my first Module with the Open University started.
After saving up and thinking about it since March I decided to purchase a Nintendo Switch – mainly to play Animal Crossing and I became (still am) addicted to looking after my little island. I absolutely love it.
I had a hair cut for the first time in MONTHS! It is amazing how good a hair cut can make you feel.
As the pandemic really started to see a bit of a shift in a negative way again, I decided it was best to start my Christmas shopping a little bit earlier although none of it was done in town for the first time in a very long time.
November is my birthday month, and I had a ‘lockdown’ birthday like many other people have had this year. I was also unable to spend it with Marysia. However, I did order myself a pizza, chocolate cake and watched Onward so it was not all bad!
The day after my birthday Wales circuit breaker lockdown ended and I got to see Marysia, we bought Boris a new bed for Christmas which he seemed happy with.
My anxiety was still quite bad and impacting me in different ways. Although I started to try and make more of an effort leaving the house as I felt this was not helping me and my anxiety.
I spent a lot of time diamond painting and cooking as I started getting Hello Fresh boxes delivered and found them to be a great way to try new food and eat healthily.
We decided to put the decorations up at Marysia’s a little bit earlier than we would normally plus we also put together her new computer chair which was pretty much the final piece in her gaming/workstation she had been creating throughout this year.
Marysia had sent me a tea advent calendar which I had been looking forward to starting as I had been really getting into trying different herbal teas throughout the second half of the year.
The rest of December seemed to pass in a blur. The lockdown restriction kept changing however Marysia and I were lucky that it did not impact our Christmas plans and we were still able to spend Christmas together. We had a good chilled out day, started off by opening our presents to each other, followed by a video call with Marysia’s parents and then another one with my family to open presents from them and that we had sent to them. We took Boris for a walk before I started cooking the Christmas dinner and made a cheesecake. The rest of the day was spent watching telly and just generally relaxing and enjoying time together. We also got to spend our first New Year together however we were not actually awake at midnight!
If you have made it this far I hope you have enjoyed my recap over 2020 and what I did throughout the year! Hopefully we are able to venture out a little bit more throughout 2021!