As January comes to an end, I thought I would write a summary of the madness which has unfolded over the last few weeks. Not only does it give me time to revisit the month just gone, but it also allows me to reflect on the month, clearing the way for a new chapter as we head into February.
A Troubled Start
January started on a sad note as we lost a good family friend. Although he had been admitted into hospital with something completely unrelated, sadly he contracted Covid whilst in hospital, and sadly, it was Covid that took his life. We were unable to go to his funeral, but there was an online wake, and we took part in a toast to celebrate his life.
Adjusting To A New Career
As I mentioned in my last blog post ‘Becoming a Freelance Writer‘, I also started life as a freelancer this month. Being freelance is a massive change to being employed by a company. I get to set my own hours, choose which clients I say yes to, and I have a much better work-life balance (touch wood!). I’m less stressed, and have even miraculously stopped biting my fingernails! Being freelance has reignited the creative side of my brain. I love having the freedom to come up with new ideas and to use my imagination. The first month of being self-employed is notoriously challenging. It requires a large amount of adjustment to a brand new way of working. It can also be challenging in terms of making an income. Luckily, I had a couple of clients lined up ready and waiting to work with me by the end of December, which meant I could start working on some new projects as soon as the new year rolled in. Thankfully this also means that I was able to receive my first paycheques as a freelancer in January!
Lockdown and Vaccinations
January sadly saw Covid case numbers souring again here in the UK with new strains entering the country. With an increase in case, it was inevitable that the UK would head into its third national lockdown. Quite frankly, we’re all tired of this now, and this third lockdown seems to be far trickier to handle than its predecessors. Perhaps it’s the gloomy, wet winter we are having, but whatever the reasons, I’ve had moments where I’ve started to feel like a caged animal. I’m longing for restaurants to re-open, to see family and friends, and my god do I need a spa day! Although I’m eager for normality to resume, we must abide by the rules to ensure the safety of everyone around us, and so that we can return to normal sooner rather than later.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Covid, January also saw the first members of our family receive their Covid 19 vaccinations. I’m pleased to report that all seems to have gone well, and no side effects other than those commonly experienced after receiving the more common flu jab, have been encountered. I suspect it will still be a while until we are all vaccinated, but it is great to see those most at risk starting to receive theirs. It at least gives us some hope that the end of this bloody pandemic is now nearing a rate which will allow us to return to normality.
I have made much more effort to speak to friends on video calls this month. Although it’s not the same as seeing people in the flesh, it has been great to see people’s faces. As hard as it is, it’s good to know that we’re not struggling to cope with this pandemic alone and has strengthened many friendships as we battle these difficult times together. I’ve even been in contact with friends I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Despite the fact these friendships have dwindled over the years, it is nice to hear how people are doing.
Waking Up To A Winter Wonderland
Whilst much of the UK had seen varying degrees of snow this winter, it had been elusive around London. I love the snow, and everytime my weather app sent me a snow alert, I would be on snow watch, waiting eagerly by the window for those first few flakes to fall. It took a while, but eventually, it came. Last Sunday we were treated to a magical display of snow which actually settled here in the capital city. I dragged my boyfriend out of bed, and we headed out into the winter wonderland. It was only the second time I had seen snow settle in London since I moved here just over five years ago, and it’s a sight I don’t ever get bored of seeing. It didn’t last for very long mind. It had stopped snowing by midday and the following day, all that remained, were parts of snowmen sitting by the river, and in people’s gardens. Even though it was fleeting, it really helped to cheer everyone up. There wasn’t one sad face down by the river last Sunday. Everyone looked so happy. Here’s hoping for some more snowy days before spring arrived.
A Trip To The Vets For Wigs
As we came towards the end of the month, I noticed my cat, Wigs, was struggling. She seemed to have a furball which she was having problems passing. I took her to a local vet, and they decided to keep her in and run some tests. Later that night they called me to say there had been a furball, but they had also detected hyperthyroidism! Thankfully the next evening, they let her come home, armed with four different medications. I don’t know how many of you are cat owners, but trying to get a cat to swallow a pill is almost impossible! I honestly don’t know who dreads this experience more! But we will persevere and hopefully, we can balance her thyroid soon, although I suspect we’ll have to decide at some point as to whether we’re going to put her through an operation. At her age (she’s nearly 14), it makes the decision even harder to make. Here’s hoping for a miracle, which might mean she doesn’t need to have one.
Plenty of Walks
A highlight of the month for us has been the opportunity to take plenty of long walks at the weekends. While weekdays consist of the same, short walks, the weekends allow us to walk that bit further. We have had some lovely walks in Richmond Park and Home Park this month. Even though the weather hasn’t been great for taking photos, I’ve still managed to get a few snaps for the lockdown album.
That’s it for this month. As always, it’s been a rollercoaster. But with bulbs starting to poke their heads though the soil, and with Easter Eggs making their first appearance in the shops, Spring feels as though it’s just around the corner. And who doesn’t like the thought of warmer, sunnier days? Although if we could have at least one more snow day before then, I would be eternally grateful!
I hope this month has been a good one for you all. If you are still in lockdown either in the UK or elsewhere in the world, stay safe, and don’t forget to find small things each day to be grateful for. The world is a pretty miserable place right now, but there are plenty of things to be thankful for. You might just need to dig a bit deeper to find them.