2020 comes to an end


So here we are: the last day of 2020.  What a strange year and what a strange point we have reached with the virus.  Yesterday the Oxford Vaccine was cleared for use in the UK by the medicines regulator. On the same day new cases exceeded  50,000 and there were 981 deaths of people within 28 days of a positive test for covid 19.  So a strange tension between the hope that comes with the roll out of the vaccine and the tightening of restrictions to try to prevent the NHS from being totally overwhelmed by the increasing demand.  Here in Wales we have been in virtual lockdown since just before Christmas with an easing just on Christmas Day to allow a visit from only one household.  Yesterday it was announced that many more areas of England would go into Tier 4, not quite national lockdown but very close with all non essential retail closed and hospitality businesses open only for take away food.  It feels as if we are at a hugely significant point in the story of this virus.  If we can prevent huge numbers of new cases we may be able to get on top of the pandemic through vaccinations but at the moment the logistical exercise of rolling out the vaccine is hampered by the sheer weight of work arising from the huge number of live cases.

So staying home, not seeing people, trying to restrict the transmission of the virus is the only thing to do right now.

Here Christmas was an odd mixture of normal and not.  Our older daughter and her family were not able to come and we spent an hour or so with younger daughter and family outside, having a big bonfire, on Christmas morning.  Afterwards I cooked a full Christmas meal, even though it was just for the two of us.  We like Christmas food and I had bought it all, the turkey, the stuffings, the pigs in blankets, the cake and the pudding, so why not cook it and have the full works!  We finished eating the turkey only yesterday, with some in the freezer, both legs uncooked and some turned into the mixture for turkey and leek pies.  We talked to all our family and played Zoom Bingo with some of them on Christmas Day.

And today is New Year's Eve.  It has snowed up here.




It is very beautiful.  We walked up to the top of the hill this morning and the world was white and glistening in the sunshine.  Do you remember the beautiful spring which we had as we plunged into the first lockdown?  I found much comfort from the beauty of the natural world then and I found myself thinking again that the world remains a beautiful place.  I'm still missing my family and friends and long to spend real face to face, hugging time with them all.  In the meantime, waiting for the vaccine, I will take my comfort from time with Ian, from sunshine on snow, from the pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other.  On we go!

Comments

  1. It certainly has been a difficult year and we have been mostly keeping to ourselves since March. We have had distanced meet-ups with family in our back yard or in our open door garage. I sometimes get down and think there is no end, but I know the vaccine is coming soon and hopefully the second half of 2021 will be much better. I like in hope!

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    1. Yes, I too live in hope. We are at a difficult stage here and a new national lockdown was announced last night. We must hold our nerve and sit tight! All the best to you for 2021.

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  2. Lovely reflections on the strange year that was. I read often, comment rarely. Best wishes for a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

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    1. Lovely to have your comment lorrie, thank you. All the best for the coming year.

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  3. Love those photos - remind me of my visit back to U.K. in the early 1970's. We went up to Oswestry (to the Old Racecourse) on Christmas Eve and awoke to pristine snow on the Racecourse and on the hills of Wales that the cottage overlooked. Wonderful. I hope everything goes well for you in the New Year with a successful move and that the vaccine helps to control the virus.

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    1. Ah yes, I remember your mentioning Oswestry at some stage. It's about 50 minutes drive from here and the scenery is similar. It's a lovely part of the country, although you live in a beautiful country yourself! Happy New year to you and yours.

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  4. Thank you for your gentle blog that has beautifully captured the highs and lows, the challenges and emotions, the joys and the sorrows, the hopes and the fears of 2020 which I guess will go down in history as The Year of Coronavirus. I have looked forward to each entry and felt a real sense of being accompanied on this difficult path we've all followed over the last nine months or so.
    My very best wishes to you, Ian and family for health and happiness in 2021.

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    1. And ours to you lynne. I too have much enjoyed reading your reflections in the comments. It's a help to know that we are on this strange journey together. Perhaps we may even see you sometime in 2021!

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  5. There are pros and cons to living in such a remote location, as I have come to know only too well. In some ways it made the challenges of last year even more difficult and it's certainly felt isolating at times. But we have both been fortunate in having space around us these last few months and to be so in touch with the ongoing cycle of the natural world. It does give great comfort doesn't it.
    Happy New Year Elizabeth.

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    1. And to you Jessica. Yes, for me I think that living somewhere quite isolated has been a help. For one thing it has meant that some of the staying home is not too different from what we usually do. For another it makes the natural world on your doorstep pretty accessible even when other things aren't. And as you say, it is a help! All the best for the new year!

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  6. Beautiful photos! We have lived different Christmas holidays too. Even so, they have been very special and great!
    All the best for 2021!

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