A few personal highlights of 2021

2021 was a difficult year but there were highlights and you always need to shower life with sparkles. Here are some of my favourite personal and family moments of the year.

January

If one were to ‘gram’ my life in January it would have looked amazing. However, it was also one of the toughest months of my life interspersed with some brilliant events. I passed my Uni professional qualification with merit after 18 months of really hard study. We also paid off our mortgage in January, every single penny was earnt by my husband and I, no financial gifts or inheritance, just our earnings and simply paying a bit extra if we had some additional money. It is a wonderful feeling to own our house. I also got my first Covid vaccination in January, as after such a bad outbreak at my place of work, PHE helped us to get all staff vaccinated quickly. It was such an inspiring, happy vaccination clinic which took place onsite, I cried happy, relieved tears!

February, March

Lockdown, Vaccination 2 in March.

April

The restrictions on staying away from home were eased in the second week of the Easter holiday meaning we could stay away from home in self catering accommodation in England only. Mr S managed to find a beautiful refurbished milking parlour in the countryside near Cheddar which we could use as a base to visit our parents ( a walk with my parents, and a garden meet up with my Father in Law) It was such a simple holiday, in addition to seeing our parents we visited Cheddar and Wells, enjoyed a family bike ride along the Strawberry Line and lit the first barbecue of the year, but it was also one of the nicest holidays.

May

Mr S got his first Covid vaccination.

Half term meant another holiday, this was a postponed holiday from 2020 and in May half term, we had a caravan on a site near Hastings. There were many restrictions still in place but we got to swim for the first time in 15 months, sit in a pub, watch a show (but no dancing or singing) go to the cinema (Peter Rabbit 2) eat in a restaurant, etc… It all felt so new and exciting. Best of all it all happened in a heatwave.

June

Euros 2020, the tournament where England were brilliant and my football mad son and I loved every single minute.

My son and I also continued our crazy golf challenge which has become ‘our thing’ The year ends with the score as 3 – 1 to him, but I am improving and look forward to more challenges next year.

July

By July, things were opening up more to allow us a night out in a hotel! Things were still slightly different, we dined al fresco in a local restaurant and for breakfast there was no buffet but table service, but it was great (although I may have sprayed the room with an anti bacterial spray when we arrived) We also enjoyed the day out at Longleat, one of our family’s happy places, alongside Paultons Park, which we also visited this month.

This month also saw my parents golden wedding anniversary but such were restrictions that they were unable to make any plans for celebrating the event. We dedicated a plaque on Clevedon pier to the occasion, as its a place with happy memories.

parkrun finally returned at the end of this month and this made me exceptionally happy, normal service on a Saturday morning has finally resumed. I was at the last parkrun in March 2020 and never imagined it would take another 16 months till the restart.

August

Another postponed holiday from 2020, firstly a week in Norfolk and then a further 4 days in Kent. Norfolk was brilliant and probably my happiest day of the year was spent just the four of us on a long, warm (flat) cycle ride followed by an outdoor swim. We all loved Norfolk, the site was gorgeous and we liked exploring some of the local towns, the children especially loved the noise and buzz of Great Yarmouth.

The children and I spent a few days this month with my parents. We did a brilliant treasure hunt around Clevedon and it was just a day with all the feels. When you can’t do so much inside, its surprising how more creative you become with your ideas. Mr S didn’t come with us as he was supervising the building of a new fence, it transformed the look of our garden and made us ridiculously happy, who knew you could get so excited over a fence?

September

A return to school with no bubbles or masks (this in fact turned to be temporary as masks were back after half term)

October

After years of steroid injections and carefully considering an operation, I had my foot operation this month. The nhs were beyond stunning and all has gone really well that I’m so pleased I had it done.

My parents also celebrated their 70th and 75th birthdays respectively. My dad’s treat from us was a champagne afternoon tea in Browns in London and for my mum a lovely spa day with me. We’re keen to go back very soon, the spa was amazing

November

My daughter and I used the Inset day she had for a Christmas shopping trip in Southampton and just had the best girlie day shopping and enjoying lunch out and mocktails. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

December

Christmas has been subdued this year as Covid infections grew again and we feared new restrictions. However, we did get to spend time at our parents’ homes over the festive period which was so important to us. Again it was simple, playing games, walks and delicious food but it was all we wanted.

2021 was about keeping ourselves and others safe, I really hope that 2022 is the year in which life opens up more and looks more normal. There are parts of the year which have been surreal, I crave the ordinary.

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