All About ... The Year in Review - 2020

I wasn't sure whether to write a review this year as life has been so different, but I suppose that's all the more reason to record the strange times that were 2020, the year of coronavirus. 

What did you do in 2020 that you've never done before? I think that has to be living during a pandemic and enduring two lockdowns! I also started learning Italian.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?  I don't set the traditional resolutions, preferring to set myself challenges and specific goals. I didn't achieve all that I'd hoped to but mostly because of circumstances rather than a lack of effort on my part. This was supposed to be the year I travelled and had three trips planned and paid for but they were all cancelled during the first lockdown period, and other plans didn't get off the ground because premises were closed due to the restrictions in place. Yes, I've already made a start on setting more goals and challenges for 2021, all with the assumption that restrictions due to the coronavirus will continue throughout the year in some form or other so I am planning a series of monthly challenges that will enable me to focus on specific aspects of my lifestyle changes.

Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Baby P, my friend's first granddaughter was born in January. Baby R, my youngest nephew's first child was born in September and is just like his Dad. Baby S, a friend's newest granddaughter was born in November. 

Did anyone close to you die? Sadly, yes. My Auntie Eileen died at the end of August, just one month away from her 99th birthday.

What countries did you visit? None! I rarely left my home and the longest journey this year was the twelve miles to Bath before the pandemic reared its ugly head! 

What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020? I usually answer this question by saying that I haven't lacked anything during the year but this time it's different. I'd love to be able to hug the people I care about, cuddle the babies, and just have the freedom to go wherever I want to without worrying about the risks to life.

What date from 2020 will remain etched in your memory and why? March 23rd, when the first lockdown was announced in the UK.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Coping with all the fears and uncertainties of the pandemic and not sinking into deep depression. I did have a couple of blips but was able to turn them around and have been successful at keeping myself emotionally stable.

What was your biggest failure? I suppose it's that I didn't complete the decluttering but that was mostly due to factors outside of my control, all to do with the pandemic. As I'm sure many people did, I didn't expect the first lockdown to last as long as it did and I missed a few opportunities to complete the decluttering during that time. 

Did you suffer illness or injury? I've been lucky this year with no major health issues, which is just as well as it's even more difficult than usual to get to see a doctor. The main issues this year have been knee pain, joint pains, migraines and nosebleeds but luckily no new concerns. 

What was the best thing you bought?  Books, puzzle books, jigsaws, online theatre tickets ... all things to keep me entertained during lockdown.

Where did most of your money go? On the garden - bulbs, plants, pots, obelisk, and of course, paying the gardener!

What did you get really, really, really excited about? I can't think of anything but then, it hasn't really been the year for getting excited. 

Compared to this time last year are you:
  • Happier or sadder? about the same
  • Thinner or fatter? about the same
  • Richer or poorer? slightly richer as I'm not spending as much on entertainment

What do you wish you’d done more of? I've tried to focus on what I have been able to do this year rather than what I couldn't do. I've missed seeing family and friends face to face.

What do you wish you’d done less of? I can't think of anything. I wish this year had been different so I suppose the answer could be that I wish I'd spent less time on my own.

How did you spend Christmas? I spent the day at home on my own. I'd planned for this and had a lovely day with plenty of treats I'd bought for the occasion.

Did you fall in love in 2020? No.

What was your favourite TV show? I don't have a particular favourite but enjoy watching QI, Would I Lie To You, House of Games, Only Connect, and Tipping Point. I've also been watching repeats of Midsomer Murders and Lewis.

What was the best book you read? Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2020? This continues to be the community choir. From March the weekly practices have been online via Zoom so not quite the same as meeting in person but still an opportunity to sing and enjoy a huge variety of musical styles.

What did you want and get? I wanted to get the garden sorted out and, after an initial blip, I've found a good gardener and should see the benefit of all her hard work throughout 2021. Some of the spring bulbs are peeping through already!

What did you want and not get? I wanted to travel but it simply wasn't possible this year. By the time the holidays were cancelled by the various companies I was already resigned to it and knew that I wouldn't be travelling anywhere.

What was your favourite film this year?  I have two - Hidden Figures, and Les Choristes, ... and all the Harry Potter films of course!

What did you do on your birthday? I spent the day alone but filled with phone calls with, and doorstep visits from, 
friends and family. In the evening I ordered an Indian takeaway delivery and watched Emilia online.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Hugs with family and friends and cuddles with the new babies.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020? Non existent! I didn't make much effort as there was nobody here to see me, although I do admit to perfecting the Zoom Outfit, i.e. smart top half as it's visible on camera, and anything goes on the bottom half as it can't be seen!

What kept you sane? By focusing on what I could do rather than all the restrictions in place, plus the ongoing support of friends and family.

What political issue stirred you the most? The coronavirus pandemic, and the American Presidential Election

Who did you miss? It will always be Ced.  

Who was the best new person you met? It hasn't really been the year for meeting new people. However, I have 'met' new people online as I started following a few new to me blogs - I won't mention names in case I forget anyone!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020. This year, horrendous as it has been, has given me the opportunity to realise what is important - and that boils down to a reminder, because on some level I already knew this, that it's the people that are the most important thing in my life.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "
If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten and that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing" - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life!


  1. This has certainly been a year of first & never again kind of things. I'm glad to read it wasn't a wash out for you ... song from Life of Brian?

    1. It has definitely been a different year than the one I expected and life has changed as a result.

      Yes, it's from The Life of Brian film.

  2. I enjoyed reading your review. It was certainly a year unlike any other, wasn't it? Here's to looking forward to 2021!

    1. Thanks Bless. I don't think anyone could have guessed what 2020 would be like. I still find it hard to grasp when I think of the worldwide picture rather than just concentrating on my own little world.

      At least we go into 2021 with the hope of the vaccines.

  3. Thats a good way to sum up 2020 - what a year.
    I hope 2021 lets us get back to normal at some time

    1. It's definitely been a character building year! Yes, I'm hoping next year will see things improve for everyone. The vaccinations are our biggest hope at present.

  4. Yes, definitely worth still completing the questionnaire in this extraordinary year. I started filling in my answers last week... there are parallels! In fact, I wonder whether you peeked into my drafts coz we both chose the same answer to the last question!

    1. That's because we both have such good taste! Alternatively, great minds think alike 😁

      I look forward to reading your answers. xx

  5. This year is a hard one to look back on. We learn through every experience, but some lessons are harder than others. :(

    1. This year has been too close for comfort to the scenarios in all those dystopian novels I enjoy. A hard way to realise what our priorities are.

  6. Hi Eileen,
    I hope your Christmas was good!
    Today to wish you a Happy New Year with lots of health, joy, peace and love.

    1. Thanks Ailime. I had a lovely Christmas and I hope you did too. Happy New Year to love, with wishes for a much better 2021.

  7. It is not surprising that the pandemic effected your year in so many ways. Here's to more freedom in 2021!


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