Wednesday 9 December 2020

Photos from home

I'm in a retrospective mood. December is a month for sorting through our photos and thinking about the year that has passed. It's no surprise the events of 2020 will stand out in my memory. A few years ago it was a road-trip through California that dominated; this year our holidays were equally unusual but somewhat closer to home (literally).

An English garden
Holidays in the garden
Scrolling through our archive, the photos reveal a few other themes too: fun in the garden during lockdown-lite (summer), new crazes for paddle boarding and home-decorating, as well as an obsession with food (homegrown veg, homemade sourdough, celebratory cakes). Towards the latter end of the year, it was the new kitten who stole the show - romping with the dog, curled up in my son's hat, or perched nonchalantly on the roof of our house (three storeys up 😩).

More poignant were the photos that pre-dated the March lockdown. These included a university reunion (for me) and a fleeting family holiday in the Canaries. We had no idea what was waiting for us around the corner as we exposed our white winter skin to the blistering sunshine. Storm Dennis was the only inconvenience, in terms of events outside of our control. How naive we were! Even early newspaper reports of a strange new virus in Wuhan did little to prick our bubble.

Homegrown veg
In post-vaxx years to come, I'll try to remember the positives - how we enjoyed being cocooned at home with the family; how we were gifted bonus time with our teenagers (particularly the super-social one who'd otherwise hung out with his mates); and the emotion of seeing my own friends again in the flesh

If anything, 2020 has taught us to value the important aspects of life - relationships, health and security, but also our freedom. Last weekend we booked a meal out at a pub, just because we could. I no longer take such things for granted. Whenever I'm feeling blue or hormonally challenged, I remind myself that I am essentially happy and healthy, that my little family is thriving and we live in a nice home... and if that doesn't work, then I watch videos of the cat plaguing the poor, long-suffering dog.

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