OKAAAAAAAAAY well. Hm. Obviously you all know now the thing I didn’t know when I wrote my sixth year of year notes this time last year which is that a little baby coronavirus in Wuhan was about smash its was through the bodies of millions of people. Killing millions, leaving many millions more with lasting health issues, tanking economies, and just fucking shit up in an unprecedented way.
So that’s really the main thing that happened this year, which of course, you already knew.
The big one hit 2 this year. I feel sad for the things she has missed because of the pandemic, seeing friends, playing with other children, spending time with her grandparents and cousins. She doesn’t mind at all and accepts what is happening freely. The first lockdown - March to June - was incredibly tough. She was at home because nursery closed and Lachie and I were both working full time and looking after her, which we did in shifts (7am-1pm or 1pm-7pm). I was also in my final trimester which made me more tired still. The parks were shut and so we pretty much stayed in the house and didn’t see anyone. I did a lot of crying and a lot of running the washing up water slightly too hot so the pain of feeling would be replaced by the pain of my hands burning.
In June the nursery opened back up and my maternity leave started.
And then, in July, just after the lockdown eased up, baby C was born. He’s a chucklehead, especially for his big sister. Imagine being born during a pandemic. Unlike the first birth, this one was easy and we were in and out within a few hours.
Baby C is now 6 months old. He has my dimples.
Getting to spend so much more time with my immediate family this year has been special.
Despite… all this… I still wrote weaknotes every week, although some of them were pretty grim. In my head only a handful of people read them but then every so often someone surprising will mention they’ve read them and I think “oh christ did I say fuck or bugger or reveal anything too embarrassing recently?”.
We still vegetarian over here
Something that made being vegetarian a lot easier was working from home. Since I haven’t been into the office since March (March! Can you even believe it) I don’t have to look at a pulled pork sandwich and then choose the cheese one. It’s only cheese sandwiches.
Everybody work work work work work work
I was only at work for 6 months this year as I had a baby in July. I think the main thing that happened with work was I got onto a thing called the Next Generation Board. It’s 12 people from around the FT getting together every month or so, working on some self initiated projects, and mentoring the actual board members. I was assigned the editor, Roula Khalaf, to mentor. The project I worked on with 3 other people was defining the FT’s environmental strategy for the next 10 years and getting the board to sign off on it. By the time I left for maternity leave it was going quite well, the strategy was agreed upon and the first step (an audit by the Carbon Trust) was about to begin. It was a fascinating piece of work and I’m looking forward to getting back into it when I return to work in March. As for work in Customer Products, the biggest most memorable thing was the mid-march scramble to get everyone out of the office and working from home. I can’t remember anything that happened January - March. Presumably just doing the crossword with Edds and the gang and eating Japanese Canteen spicy tofu. That radio show was great craic too.
Did we have any time for making things?
Not a bumper year for making things, between the pandemic, the pregnancy and subsequent baby, the pre-existing child, the job, there wasn’t a lot of time for craft. The things I did make and have photos of are here
One holiday got cancelled, but has been rescheduled for next August (welp). The other, a trip to Norfolk with my parents, happened in September. We had hire bikes, and strapped baby C’s car seat to the back of a bike buggy trailer. Then the six of us pootled along quiet country lanes to various beaches, it was heaven. Take me back to rural Norfolk where the roads are empty and the blackberries are abundant.
Last year I said I was going to try harder this year, and so that’s what I did. The tomatoes were especially good, but I also grew lots of flowers and enough strawberries to feed a toddler. Though the pandemic meant lots of things that would have happened didn’t, it did mean I formed relationships with my neighbours that would never normally have had the time to grow. My row of houses have some quite low back fences, so you can talk to your neighbours but also your neighbour’s neighbours. I had chats, almost daily, with Marlene, Trish, The Other Alice, and Dave and Dangerous Dawn during the March-June lockdown.
And that’s that. My 7th year of Yearnotes. The rest are here if you wanted to remember the beforetimes. (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014). In 2021 I hope we’ll move to Brighton but I want to do it so badly, and there are so many parts to it that are outside of my control, that I’m almost afraid to say it out loud. I’m also going to try and regain some core strength this year, which I gave away freely to have babies but now I’m done with that it’s time to take the long view of my corporeal form which I think means do some exercise.