In a normal year writing this is something I look forward to hugely, I have done this for eight years now on this blog, last year was an emotional rollercoaster to read, this year, well it’s not exactly been the year any of us planned has it?
Every year I relish the opportunity to look backwards and celebrate what has happened in the year gone by. I think, like so many other people, that huge elements of 2020 feel consigned to a memory that we wish could be lost, the missed moments in time that I don’t want to dwell on. This review of the year should have had trips around the world, it should have been full of new experiences in new cities for the small people in my life and a plethora of musical extravaganzas with the sunshine high in the sky, it doesn’t! But it does have; a new job, a new family home, the building of new ways to enjoy the world, the entrance of a four-legged friend. Perhaps most importantly though it has the growth of what a good friend calls, ‘the blended family.’
The impact that the triumvirate of ‘big events’ had on the year are mind blowing. Where were you when the moment that Black Lives Matter became something you knew you needed to understand. What did you say and think in late February early March as the media begin to move from ‘pandemic, what pandemic’ to a feeding frenzy of ‘what next’. What did you think even earlier in the year when at last the impact of climate change began to really and truly settle as a reality that has to be tackled by us now!
How many times have you seen on social media phrases that effectively say, ‘lets pretend the year didn’t happen’? Well here is a different take, lets remember it did and focus on the positive outcomes of the year a tough year for everybody but a year that ended in a place to bounce back from and into 2021.
It is with that lens that this years review of the year has been created.
Let us hold hands and step through the looking glass into 2020 together…
We kind of fell into January both professionally and socially, an amazing New Years Eve, maybe even the best yet but straight back into work and a work that was full of uncertainty and change. My boss left and suddenly I had a new job, a job I could write the description of and a job that was going to focus on my passion, change in healthcare from within my still relatively new (to me) organisation. And there it was overnight I was in a new team doing something different again, I was to lead what would become known as High Street Healthcare, with a remit to expand all that we do for customers and patients on the high street in a way that was synonymous with our brand without ever appearing threatening to the NHS, and immediately it felt great.
January really felt like a topsy-turvy month, because at the same time my dream job also came up and I simply had to be in the ring for it, the CIO of the NHS was, I thought, the job I was destined to one day do, but it was not to be, after a set of rigorous tests and interviews the very kind feedback was not this time thanks.
So, straight back into the day to day of the new job and what I realised really quickly was what I was missing the most in the ‘old’ job was the interaction with a wider team, the new job was on the pharmacy leadership team who were the most awesome immediate team I have worked with before, so willing to accept a new person in and allow them to work in the team on their stuff but in a together environment. It kind of didn’t matter that the NHS role slipped by because a week later I was thoroughly enjoying every day of work again.
If only we had known what was to come next we would have made more effort in January to get out and about and do more stuff rather than being an all work and not much play kind of a month.
February started with a superb weekend trip to London, just the two of us with plans on eating out in nice places, experiencing London culture and generally enjoying ourselves. The first night was to be La Fromagerie on Lambs Conduit Street, one of my favorite streets in London, and a lovely restaurant to share with two of the best people to get slightly tipsy with and talk about life, the universe and everything. Even with a mild hangover the next day we were able to enjoy a short trip to a couple of museums (to avoid torrential rain) and a wander around some super shopping streets.
Dishoom was the venue of choice for lunch, Carnaby street was alive with people enjoying themselves as January turned into February. Every part of the Dishoom experience was exceptional, finding our favorite dishes (the black dahl is exquisite) and the lovely (long) walk back the hotel near London bridge taking in some of the best London sites as the afternoon extended into night along the way. Sunday was a trip to Bibendum for a perfect lunch, it feels like a little secret the experience of the restaurant is quite amazing in the way in which every part of it is exquisitely curated to feel luxurious and of a different part of the world.
One band that has been on my bucket listen for some time is the Acid Jazz stalwarts Mother Earth. They went on tour in the first part of the year, coming to Leeds and playing the best small venue in the city, the Brudenell Social Club. After years of listening to the albums and Matt Deighton’s solo stuff it was a little dream come true to be there in person singing along to some of the songs that I had in my most formative years particularly from their second album The People Tree, a truly awesome night.
Being in London for work was always going to be a feature of 2020. We had planned to try to make sure that as often as possible we would make our schedules align and try and soak up some of the restaurants that have been on the list for a long time. Making it to Moro for Dinner, Nobu for breakfast, Decimo at the Standard for dinner, and the best one of them all Barra Fina in Coal Drops Yard after presenting at the Google healthcare conference made for a great February experience of what 2020 should have been like.
I also got to return to Ireland at the invitation of Smurfit Business School to deliver a lecture on innovation and how to make it happen. It was an amazing experience to be back, staying near my old offices in a hotel I used so often for meetings in the past and then working with some keen minds the next day to help them formulate their own strategy for supporting innovation in organisations in the future.
The end of February was my birthday, my pick this year was to try Mr. Ps Curious Tavern in York, the final Andrew Pern restaurant ticked off on the must go to list, a lovely lunchtime with the small ones enjoying every moment of the experience then on to be a big kid and a run around the National Railway Museum. I discovered a whole new light to shine on the museum experience when you have two eager kids with you who want to know what you think of everything in front of them.
We also booked a Locked In game for us as a family too, a first for me but an experience I would love to try again, such fun, we ‘just’ got out of the room having spent way too long trying to work out how to get into it.
Even in March I am not sure we really could see what was coming. The media were still asking, ‘is this real’, we were still continuing with our lives, knowing what Covid was but not really sure of the impact it was going to have. Slowly as the month went on things started to happen, it felt a bit like the first couple of ‘chapters’ in the War of Worlds record, a slowly building sense of doom.
Being invited to take the stage at ReWired and talk about the plans Boots had in virtual Primary Care was a really great experience, standing room only around at the stage as people crowded in to hear the story we had created. The night before we had been able to sneak off to the very wonderful Ottonlenghi for one of the best meals of 2020, three of us enjoying the last London experience for a little while and perusing a menu that I could have eaten every dish if I had the time (or the stomach).
Living in Oakwood meant we could always walk to so many great bars and restaurants, the Stew and Oyster had become a firm favorite with the small ones, and the kids eating Oysters was a highlight of every trip, its one of the big things we miss now we are not there, more on that later.
As the words Lock Down started to mean something two February highlights happened, a Big Birthday Do in Hull for a great new friend and our first visit to The Owl restaurant in Leeds market, seeing how Covid went from a thing talked about to a thing you could see impacting on ways of life was so sudden and so impactful. In Hull it was the topic of conversation, at the Owl just a few days later the first of the safety measures were in place with social distancing rules implemented.
Our preparation for Lock Down was unusual in some ways, it was clear it was coming through the announcements made, although the length it would last less so! We knew we would need new tech in the house so the small ones could home school and I wanted to get hold of a new camera to use during this new weird and slightly scary experience and my other half put it out there that the four legged friend we had been talking about for the summer of 2020 should be brought forward as we would all be at home for the most formative moments of his life. And in that moment we were done, a decision was made and Ruffus was going to be joining our little blended family. So off we went to Sheffield on the last day you were allowed, cash in hand to bring a huge bundle of joy into our lives,
Ruffus the Lahasapoo was a Corbridge
… and joined the house as a very good dog from the very beginning, and the ‘apple of our eyes’.
So now we were in a new world, a world where outdoors had limitations, nothing was allowed to be done in partnership with anyone else, a trip to the supermarket was a scheduled event and that elusive work life balance was hard to find. Having a new puppy meant we had a good excuse to use our daily (regulation) exercise to walk him and given the weather in the early parts of lock down it was amazing to do every day. Superb camera opportunities seemed to land every day and it was one of the most enjoyable parts of lock down.
Work continued at such high speed, we moved heaven and earth to ensure that our amazing colleagues in Pharmacy could be seen as part of the solution for the NHS 111’s sudden need for capacity. To hear the patient and colleague feedback once the pharmacists were delivering the service was awe inspiring and made me really proud to have been involved in such a delivery.
Taking the GP service we had created the year before in store and moving it nationwide on line was a great achievement for the team too, working in an agile way, pushing hard to hit a date and then seeing the customer reaction to the service was awesome. I believe that working with LIVI on this as a large corporate organisation taught us so much and hopefully those lessons will live on long for many projects to come.
Businesses in Lock Down had to adapt quickly to survive, Man Behind the Curtain one of our favorite experience restaurants in the world offered a cook at home experience to try which we jumped at the chance to recreate (or try to) some of their amazing dishes in our kitchen, seeing the smallest one pan frying lamb and making pork scratching discs and looking dubiously at the lobsters in the fridge were high up on the list of things I didn’t expect to see happen in 2020.
As we went into May the daily grind of heading upstairs to the ‘office’ and crossing my fingers that the day was a good internet connectivity day was just getting somewhat monotonous, so the first Friday in May an old friend of mine suggested that we went for Hawaiian Shirt Fridays, for the rest of the summer every Friday was a new bright and cheery shirt day with a smiling photo to social media and a small trend began to form where more and more people followed suit (or followed shirt perhaps!) The speed it took off though showed me just how much people wanted and needed that cheering up moment of connectivity and no better day than a Friday to do it.
Being asked back to the New Zealand digital healthcare conference was another highlight of May too, being given free flow on where we were at and what we were doing in the UK with digital health during the pandemic was a lot of fun and great preparing for it too catching up with old colleagues to gather the evidence of what was happening, not quite the same as an amazing re-visit to Wellington but still a great experience to be part of.
On the 25th of May the year saw its ‘other’ significant event happen, the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. In the days after his death the shocking scenes of police officer Chauvin holding a motionless human being down with his knee on his neck as he grasped his final words ‘I can’t breath’ proliferated across every news agency and social media channel across the world.
At last nobody could hide from the fact that in countries that we think of as the ‘free world’ people (of authority) make inappropriate judgements based on the colour of skin and these judgements are still the single biggest human and humane issue facing the world today. Black Lives Matter became an agenda item for the world to consider, the ask that ‘all lives matter’ became a clear misinterpretation of the ask, white has privilege by being white and we need to understand that and act to create a diverse equitable and inclusive society. The sudden and huge impact of the movement created the catalyst for change (I hope), high profile donations such as the $120m from the Netflix CEO to ‘black colleges and universities’ across the US became a rallying cry for the change to be educated into all that we do.
Eight minutes and forty six seconds, a horrible amount of time for a human to not have a humane thought because of their prejudice, education and belief system. The Sault song, Out The Lies opening lyrics showed what needed to change to offer a balance,
Black is safety, black is benevolent, black is a lifeboat after an SOS, black tells you its all going to be ok in the end, black is granny, black is aunty…
How do we all become part of this movement I asked, by asking questions and wanting to change I was told.
In May we were treated to a documentary/live Q&A show the Beastie Boys Story. I have loved the Beastie Boys a long long time and it was with huge trepidation that I turned to Apple TV to watch the show. Everything was crossed for the team to pull it off, and they did, it was simply a great experience, not a ‘just for fans’ experience but one that had a commentary on friendship, meaningfulness of action, illness and fun and humor with some huge lessons to be learnt from the wise musings of Mike D and Ad-Rock all filmed by the wonderful Spike Jonze.
With the sun out in May and a new dog we needed to get some good walking in, Dunford Bridge beckoned for a lovely drive, walk and picnic. It turned out to be one of the best days of the summer with sunshine beating down and some real exploration to be done, particularly seeing it all through the new eyes of an excited puppy, a lovely moment of 2020.
Feeding the gang was getting harder and harder in ways that kept stretching their imagination, the cook at home experiences helped with that though as we tried some great adventures from super Leeds eateries; the Owl eat at home, Swine that Dines pies at home, Chophaus in Oakwood and our beloved Stew and Oyster as well as the already mentioned Man Behind the Curtain all featured as eating in to keep the culinary education going. I was desperate that the gang didn’t fall back on pizza and chips, after all these were two small ones who clamored for oysters not a few short weeks earlier.
Being able to travel for essential work elements again opened up London for me, a very strange experience being in London with so much of it being locked down, it taught you a lot about London and made me insist to myself that I would walk everywhere. I love London so much, it really does miss the people though when it is empty, Fleet Street area was like something from an apocalypse film as I walked to my meeting.
One of the benefits of that return to the commute and the drive up and down to Nottingham was listening to more new music each day, it was June that I first came across the collective of musicians known as Sault and their album Untitled (Black Is), it hit so many moments on the very first early morning listen, a good album for me is one that takes you on a journey, one where hitting shuffle would do the environment the album creates harm and this album and the follow up later in the year were the epitome of this. Is it a soul album, RnB, Protest or simply a moment of time. For me it was album of the year almost immediately. Now then seems like a good moment to break the year review and drop my top ten albums of the year:
1 – Sault – Untitled (Black Is) 6 – Sault – Untitled (Rise)
2 – Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans 7 – Dua Lipa & Blessed Madonna – Club Future Nostalgia
3 – Georgia – Seeking Thrills 8 – Horse Meat Disco – Love and Dancing
4 – Jarv Is – Beyond the Pale 9 – Disclosure – Energy
5 – Josey In Space – Josey Rebelle 10 – The Vision – The Vision
At last as we were allowed to do more family travel again we were allowed to do somethings we should have done a lot in 2020, a trip to the sea side for the day. Filey and Scarborough were amazing, busy, but a lot of fun, fish and chips at the sea side never tasted so good and Ruffus immediately loved the beach life!
As every month went by we were able to do more and more with work, we struck upon the idea of moving our Boots MacMillan pharmacists from physical appointments to online virtual appointments which we did in less than a week, really well received by patients across the country who really didn’t want to go on to the high street to get advice about their own or a family members illness.
Trips to Hull have featured wherever possible this year, becoming friends with two very important people and creating a new wider family has been a highlight of the year. My new ‘bother in law’ and his partner had a super summer BBQ in July that was a lot of fun carefully managed for everyone who was able to make it. Yorkshire cheese boards, amazing meat and fish from a couple of people who love entertaining as much as we do with the all new extended family around us.
We took a trip to Newmillerdam with Ruffus, at the time only hoping that this would be our new go to walk at the weekends. The ‘short’ walk around the lake is a very beautiful experience with one very immediately noticeable difference the friendliness of people in (close to) South Yorkshire compared to the suburbs of Leeds, it is something you can actually see on a Sunday morning when walking the dog round the park and it makes the day start with a smile.
On another sunny day we set off to the Stepping Stones in Wharfdale with the small ones and the dog, a proper family outing, a lot of fun was had even though it wasn’t that warm and the poor smallest one lost one of her trainers crossing the stepping stones, a good lesson for a return visit next year will be take a picnic and get there early, it really is a beautiful place.
A brilliant find on a night in Nottingham when going out for food was made almost mandatory by the government was Kushi-Ya. A secret little restaurant up one of Nottingham’s many little alleys. It had three awesome parts to the experience; an open kitchen where you could see some of the most amazing food being prepared, a brilliant wine list and the team from Universal Works had given over some of their awesome creations as decoration. The menu has some great choices and the take on prawn toast is sublime.
And then a real surprise happened! Sat in our head office ploughing through work it was mentioned that the amazing CIO of Boots was heading home, to the USA, I mentioned in passing that being a CIO was always my dream role everywhere I had done it, within the day I was applying for the role and had a series of interviews set up over the ensuing few days both face to face and virtually including an ill-fated interview with one of the most senior people in Boots over a terrible internet connection, ill-fated because by the end I was convinced I had not got the role because of how poor the connection had been.
Ultimately though I was offered the role and was super excited, if not a little perturbed to be effectively starting another new role in the same organisation within a year and a half.
The CIO announcement came and I was thrilled though, and within a few days I knew I had landed the best job in Boots for me. Chance to learn and grow but also chance to shine with what I know how to do working for a selection of different bosses all with something new for me to learn from them, professionally I felt like I had ‘come home’.
The easing of some of the pandemic restrictions though meant some nearly normal things could happen, Chow Down was a Leeds street food session where we got to eat amazing street food, drink outside, take Ruffus and have some amazing sounds played on a brilliant sound system, PBR Streetgang and a DJ set from Crazy P, a really great day and a huge credit to the organisers, to pull it off so safely and with a great atmosphere, it did get me wondering though if we would ever be willing to go back to horrid (normal) toilet facilities at events like this!
‘They’ say don’t move house and jobs at the same time! I decided it would be a good idea, largely because we had found a home that could easily be described as a dream home. An 1840s three story place with an amazing kitchen, a den for noise to be made in and lots of room for us to grow into. Moving was hard work but by the third day it felt like it should and a glass of wine was poured on the back balcony as we made a deep sigh of contentment for the future in St. Johns, Wakefield.
So now we are moved in what more should we do than go on that holiday, a break in a restricted world was always going to be challenging, we chose the Lake District as the place to try out in 2020. The holiday location was at the Damson Deane Hotel, a place that caters for kids and dogs and really looked after us with a pool, decent food and a great location for exploring. The Lakes Car Museum, Windermere Boat Trip, Waterfall walking twice, mini Stone Henge investigating and two trips around the ever wonderful Ambleside for food, drink and shopping, a superb few days had by all.
Being able to dive back into books in the car as audio books as well as the traditional way has been brilliant for me this year, although nowhere near enough books have been read I still can pick my top five here:
1 – Why We Love Music – John Powell
2 – This Isn’t Happening – Steven Hyden
3 – Let Love Rule – Lenny Kravitz
4 – Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
5 – Eat A Peach: A Memoir – David Chang
But, yet again I want to make a promise to myself, to read more this year…
I was determined to throw myself into the new job and be as successful as possible as quickly as I possibly could, I wanted to put my colleagues fears at ease, I didn’t come with a retail pedigree I came with a run and deliver background and I knew I needed to put their minds at ease that I could run this infrastructure of a high demand and fast paced organisation. A great new mentor to me said early in my new role that I needed to concentrate on being the best me I could be from day one, and that’s what I have tried to do.
But I needed to keep an eye on not ‘just’ doing work, and the other half kept me sane by making sure the down time I did have was amazing. First up in September was a drip to The Foundry in Leeds for Sunday Dinner. Sadly now closed, I am so thankful to have made it to see how Matt Healey did it in a brilliant environment, the closure of the restaurant though fills me with fear for the future of the industry, and the experiences that we love to have, I hope we see something new from Chef Healey soon.
Later in the month with Ruffus in ‘doggy day care’ we had a Friday afternoon booked off to experience dinner by Pol Roger at The Angel at Hetton, a new place for me, beautiful surroundings and an amazing meal all delivered within the prescribed pandemic restrictions of the time, a great menu in particular in how it was put together; Trout, Haricot, Sweetbread, Beef, Venison and wonderful deserts.
Heading home having had a lovely meal we were picking the TV for the evening, reflecting on how much good TV we had seen in the year, probably the best place to pause and do my top 10 TV programmes of the year.
1 – Cobra Kai S1 6 – Mandalorian S1 and S2
2 – Succession S1 7 – Normal People
3 – The Crown S4 8 – 13 Reasons Why S4
4 – Tiger King 9 – Star Trek: Picard
5 – Stranger Things S3 10 – Little Fires Everywhere
The brilliance of Mandalorian is not to be sniffed at, the sheer placement of it in the Star Wars world was simply breath taking at times. The characterisation in Normal People and playing spot the Dublin scenary were really very heart touching for me and Little Fires Everywhere, whilst basically Big Little Lies season three was amazing.
Having cancelled so many things in the year we had a weekend in London booked we were desperate to try to still have. As it got closer and closer we got more nervous but as the day arrived the restrictions were such that we could still do it, and what a time we had. Fortnum and Masons for Lunch a Liberties spending spree shared rather than separately and a return (but at night) to Dishoom. In a year when normal felt so far apart this was a brilliant weekend.
Exploring (or getting reacquainted) with the area surrounding our new home has been fun, Sandal Castle is less than 10 minutes away and is a great place for three reasons. The small ones can explore to their hearts content, in the moat, up the ramparts and down this hills, and the dog can follow them too, it also offers some great photograph opportunities as well as being almost guaranteed fresh air due to how high up above Wakefield it is.
We had booked the Devonshire Arms for a long weekend at the very beginning of Lock Down assuming we would all be at least in some sort of normal by October, not quite, but enough to be able to still go and have the most amazing time. A very long walk (for Ruffus in particular) and then a lovely meal where he could come and join us for the final course in the coffee lounge. The abbey itself is stunning and the surrounding walks amazing, we also got to spot a Heron in the nearby river and watch it catch fish on the last morning.
Then came Lock Down 2.0, the revenge. By this point in the year restrictions, rule changes and last minute announcements had become almost the normal, compliance with the restrictions not even debated in our house but you could see by a trip to the Supermarket or an essential trip to the office that the second time around people were not in the same mood to just do as before. I hope with all my heart that 2.0 was the last version of lock down, my fear though is that the first 6 months of 2021 will see at least a 3.0 happen, sadly.
A highlight of the year in my organisation is Children in Need, the whole organisation does so much for the charity event normally, coming up with new innovative ways of getting involved in a locked down and restricted way was challenging but fun. My own contribution to the exec team video was me trying to do as many stair steps a day for a week as days I have worked at Boots in different Pudsey Bear ears, bonkers but a lot of fun.
Hand in hand (but for very different reasons) a key moment in the calendar was always going to be Black Friday. Planning for peak happens over the 12 months in the run up to Black Friday, this year the volumes of peak were almost impossible to forecast but we knew it was going to be big. ‘Opening’ the web site to trade at 03:00 was exciting and watching the way the team came together to support unprecedented volumes, breaking records hour after hour, managing service blips with partners and ultimately working like the A team that they are was an extraordinary brilliant experience to be part of and one I look forward to next year already!
As anyone who has read this review in years gone by the CIO100 always features in it, though normally an event that slots into the early spring this year it was a virtual event slotted into the end of the year, sadly. Although still brilliant to see faces I love and respect named in the list from healthcare and now also from retail my new found passion. Making the list despite not being a CIO for much of the year was a great honor and a huge reflection on the IT team around me now and in the healthcare role earlier in the year.
What a different December it was always going to be, but we were determined to make the most of it, we had booked a night away at L’Enclume in Cartmel months and months earlier and after carefully planning how we could do it safely we set off via Grange-on-Sands for a walk along the sea front, what a beautiful place that once was and will be again. Then on to Cartmel, a place I had never been before despite lots of visits to the Lakes. The Simon Rogan experience was without a shadow of a doubt up there with places like Tickets in Barcelona for food inventiveness and quality and the atmosphere for me felt like something from Bibendum, serene and perfection in the way service was delivered. The Cornish John Dory, the West Coast Scallops, the Berkswell pudding and the Anvil were all highlights of an amazing menu that is art in how it is put together as much as the individual pieces. The whole experience was magical in the way that Cartmel has put this experience at the centre of what it is, a foodie village in the Lakes, I will be back that’s for sure.
As the year came to a close picking my top five films proved harder than ever before, TV was easy this year, so much good TV and so much time to watch it; films have been much harder, to some degree because its been harder to go out, to some degree because the release schedule has been so limited and maybe also because our watching habits have changed so much, so my top five films are:
1 – Da 5 Bloods
2 – Invisible Man
3 – A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood
4 – Queen and Slim
5 – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Until this year Stockeld Park near Wetherby was a place I knew about but had never visited, we had managed to get our tickets for the Christmas experience weeks earlier and went on a cold December evening to the park, I have to say I was a little unsure what to expect. By all accounts a normally very busy experience, this year expertly distanced out to ensure safety could be guaranteed whilst you walked around the park marveling at the lights, being able to regress to childhood with the two small ones has been something that when it has gone well has been brilliant this year and that moment was one of those such times when this blurred family we now have is so rewarding and insightful into my own being.
Before we really got into the Christmas celebrations we managed to fit one last eat at home in from Sabor in London, as the year went on many of the restaurants started to send their eat at home experiences further afield, the Sabor experience was brilliant, from the Negroni to the packaging to the taste of each dish, beautiful curated menu to give you the Sabor experience from your own home.
Then we round the year off with Christmas, an experience this year focused on the small ones, to give them all that they wanted and some surprises too, to ensure that family could come together in some way and to entertain was the objective and I think we achieved it with some cool presents for everyone too. On line shopping though doesn’t quite have the same discovery experience for me and I think we need to look at how to innovate to offer a better (or at least different) experience if we are truly going to deliver from on line more and more.
All those years ago when I first began writing this it was about collating the list of music from the year, and this the 8th time of writing it for the blog (and the 19th time of creating a songs of the year list) rather than a C90 cassette the music has taken a bit of a back seat and can simply be found at this LINK for your own listening pleasure or commentary, perhaps more than ever before it is an eclectic mix. I have reflected in the past how male orientated my musical taste is, and yet in 2020 it is almost entirely female, in the past it has moved from melancholy men with guitars to beats and bleeps to boogie to, this year it feels more rounded somehow, maybe a reflection of the year or where I am. As always interested in views (and recommendations for the 2021 list too which you will be able to find growing on the same Apple Music account and open for your listening pleasure.
The beauty of collating these experiences and thoughts is it allows you time to pause and relive some of the positives, in 2020 we need that more than in any other year.
Some of the things I lost in 2019 are yet to be restored and that has made 2020 harder still, but the family I now have around me means that the topsy-turvy nature of the last two years is something that I know I can cope with. The people that care are close to me everyday and I love that about my life now.
What do I hope for 2021?
To be happy, to have restored faith in how the world rotates, to be the best me I can be every day, to not have an off day, to continue to learn and apply that learning, to make people near me smile and to build a future for us that is worthy of the future others build for me.
I hope when we look back on 2020 in ten years time we have some appreciation for things that were started, achieved and put in place and that we don’t always look back on the year with a shiver of dread and a fear of opening a Pandora’s box of horrors.
Lets be ready for what 2021 has to offer by seeing 2020 off with a wry smile and a cheery wave and maybe a little bit of two fingers aloft too, 2021 we are coming to get you!