This is the last time I mention 2020 | Out with the old and in with the new a sort of year in review


I started this post back towards the beginning of November I believe, telling Jay that this year (being 2020) I'd be more organised with my traditional 'Year in Review' post but like everything else last year that all went down the pan. So here I am the first week into January sitting in my Christmas Pj's, eating Christmas Chocolate with the view of the back of Jay's head whilst he works from home writing this blog post intended for the end of last year. 

Now I know the first rule of 2021 is to not speak of 2020 but well given that I'd already started this post it only seemed right to finish it (soz).

So usually towards the end of each year, I tend to shift my attention to the prospect of a fresh, exciting and entirely new year and what that may bring. Which usually means I'll take some time to cast my mind back to the course of the year, reflecting on the places I’ve been, the people I’ve seen and the things I’ve done summarising them all into a year round-up blog post. This year, however, is an entirely different story given that the people I’ve (wanted) to see I could count on one hand, the places I’ve been don’t stretch far from my house and work and the things I’ve done, well actually I’ve done a lot but in terms of things I’ve done outside the house again I could count them on one hand, so this time I’ve had to improvise. 

2020 was a rubbish ol’ year for everyone if that wasn’t already clear enough depressingly the word of last year was ‘Pandemic’ so there’s that. Face coverings, lockdown, tiers and hand sanitiser aren’t exactly the words any of us were hoping to describe our year with, neither did we expect to be faced with such a scary and unexpected reality but here we are. Personally regardless of the world at large, for me, this year has been tough, being separated from Jay for a substantial amount of it almost broke me and then later losing my beloved Cat Misty certainly felt like a bad dream I’ve wanted to wake up from then just as I enjoyed a surprisingly lovely Christmas in comparison to the rest of the year a few days later I lost another of my beloved cat's Bumble which has truly and honestly left me absolutely heartbroken and ready to kick 2020 into another dimension never to be seen again. 

But I couldn’t leave this year fully in doom and gloom so I thought it might be a nice idea to speak about some of the good things that have happened in 2020, the things that have made me laugh, those quiet moments of happiness and the things that have had me throwing my hands in the air and shouting ‘YESSSS!’ and hopefully, just hopefully we can selvedge a little goodness take into this new year because god knows we need it right now.

Despite last year feeling like it began with March and advanced to Christmas, lockdown felt like the longest part of the year especially being separated from Jay throughout, the saviour of this time, however, was being able to spend time with my mum. As the anxiety of the world was uncertain outside we gained solitude and gratitude in having a garden and being able to enjoy the weather through easter and into the summer passing each day with things that bought us joy. We made afternoon teas complete with cakes, mini sandwiches and Pimms alike and enjoyed little picnics in the garden. I introduced my mum to Game of Thrones binging the entire 8 seasons. I painted our nails, we tidied, rearranged and painted the garden and we even took up a regular workout session 3 times a week dubbed ‘Paige's PT session’. Looking back on that time now feels bittersweet due to the fact that this year we are once again moving house, with this time looking likely that instead of staying in the family home I'll be moving on to my first home with Jay which is very exciting indeed (more on that later).

Whilst I enjoyed spending time with my mum, I also took a lot of comfort having our cats with us throughout. Many days we spent lounging around with them, watching their day to day routines which were and still are mainly following us around for food and sleeping but in particular, I take gratification in having that time to spend with Misty and Bumble who are no longer with us.

As I've mentioned in a previous post we lost Misty at the end of the Summer a loss that left such an irreplaceable hole in my heart and in the house, not a day goes by where his absence isn't felt and unfortunately most recently we lost our baby cat of the family Bumble something I'm still currently coming to terms with. I wish every day that they were both back with us, curled up on my bed as though they never left but my heart aches knowing that I’ll never see them again. It feels even worse to think that this time last year they were here with us, not even close to thinking the worse would happen so soon but I know they are now that they are each at peace free from any suffering and I know that I was the luckiest person alive to of had the pleasure of having the most wonderful, loving and charismatic cats. I’ve always thought myself incredibly to live somewhere I’m lucky enough to own cats let alone own ones with such endearing personalities, I wouldn’t change that for the world. 

In between losing Misty and Bumble like some kind of miracle our previous cat returned home after 5 years she truly, truly was the saviour of the year.

Just to give a bit of backstory back in 2015 we, being me and my mum made the very painful and difficult decision to move from our family home, the home I’d grown up in all my life. As you can imagine it wasn’t something we took lightly it was a decision that in turn then bought about more regrettable and heartbreaking consequences. With one being that at the time we had 5 cats and moving house meant downsizing so we couldn’t possibly take all the cats with us. However, we were incredibly fortunate to be able to rehome them with close family members and friends of the family, options that still allowed us to be able to visit them frequently. So whilst 3 of them got settled into their new and loving homes we kept two of them to join us in our new home. One of our cats (Joy) went to a friend of the family and all was well until one day that year she ran away and never returned. Our hearts broke. Not through lack of trying we sent out missing cat messages, adverts and searched via chip for any hope that we’d be able to find her out there but eventually had to abandon all hope and assume the worst. 2 years later we moved house again and welcomed a new kitten to the family so two became three. Then come October this year my mum receives a phone call from the vets a phonecall she at time misses but manages to pick up via voicemail. Understandably it took a few messages to sink in but it’s Joy, she’s been found healthy happy and most importantly alive after 5 years!!! She was bought to our vets by a man who had been feeding her for the last 3 years (we aren’t sure where she’s been for the previous 2) he was hoping to rehome her as he sadly couldn’t keep her anymore and wanted to know if the vets could help him do that. A quick search on the system and there they found us her original owners, 5 years later and even weirdly an 11 year anniversary of when we initially got her and now she’s back home. We are so incredibly grateful and lucky to have her back in our lives. 

Throughout the majority of last year, the overriding feeling was a desire to escape, much as I'm sure many people would relate so I found myself getting lost in a lot of books, tv shows, films and music alike. So let's delve into those a little shall we?

At the beginning of the year, I set myself a goal to read more books, a hobby I've always enjoyed but found myself never having time for and during Lockdown it bought about nothing but time which was lucky really given that I piled the pressure on by trying to complete a reading challenge on GoodReads to complete 12 books in 12 months, unfortunately, I never ended completing said goal mostly to do with finding myself feeling pressured to finish books instead of taking my time with them so like most things in 2020 I sacked it off. Still, I ended up reading a total of 12 books in the end so I'm pretty chuffed with that, I'm still planning to do a post of those books I read last year so keep your eyes peeled for them. 

As well as reading I watched a lot of TV series, 2020 was pretty good in that regard right?! Sex Education, Normal People, Cheer, Succession, I May Destroy You, The Mandalorian, Money Heist, Elite and of course Tiger King were all among the highlights for me but surprisingly there was one more I very thoroughly enjoyed this year and that was I'm a celebrity get me out of here, yes really. I watch I'm a Celeb every year, or mostly every year depending on the lineup. For me, it's a guilty pleasure in a way or a real comfort type of TV show. So the reasoning behind me loving this series quite a bit this year? Well undoubtedly it was down to Jordan North who I'm not saying could of single handly saved 2020 but well actually that is what I'm saying. 

In the past, I'd listened to Jordan on his radio show quite a few times and enjoyed his temperament however one day during an episode, in particular, he mentioned that he gets told a lot he looks like Yannis from foals so naturally, I took to google to investigate, from then I proceeded to follow him on every social media account I could so it's safe to say he was on my radar but not quite in the way he is now. Aside from I'm a Celeb which I thoroughly enjoyed watching him on during his time on the show I discovered his podcast which is run by him, William Hanson and Producer Ben and its safe to say I am OBSESSED. For me since listening to it, it's provided so much light relief if not to just switch off for a little while. Listening to it has made me laugh A LOT plus luckily for me as a new listener there are loads of episodes to binge on averaging between 15-45 mins it makes it even easier to breeze through the episodes getting ready in the morning or coming home from work. I love the podcast so much I've booked tickets to see the live show this year (fingers crossed) so I'm very excited about that. 

Talking of podcasts unintentionally me jay very heavily got into watching movies this year too, something we’ve always loved to do however last year we found ourselves delving more into cult classics, films we’ve never explored before or quite simply rewatching something we LOVE. We’ve watched Memories of Murder, Parasite, Catch me if you can, Spotlight, Queen and Slim, Greenbook, Joker, The Prestige, American Psycho, Devil all the Time, Fight Club, The Shining, The Social Network, Zodiac and Die Hard and would you believe I watched them all for the first time, so it was certainly a year for discovery in film for me that's for sure! So whilst we’ve been enjoying watching them so much I've been trying to persuade Jay into starting a podcast with me to talk all about our favourite films, what we've been watching whilst having a bit of a natter about what we've been up to as late too but I’ll keep you updated on that one.  

Unfortunately in terms of music, I felt last year didn't bring about many or any highlights for me at all that was until I realised that last year was, in fact, the year that Tame Impalas album 'Breathe Deeper' was released, then I realised last year gave us quite possibly one of the best albums to ever exist IMO. It was certainly an album that got played A LOT throughout the year especially during the summer months but despite the lack of musical releases music got me through chore enduring days, shoot days and in particular both mine and mine and my mum's workouts, I'll leave my workout playlist here for those of you who might be interested its pretty fab if I don't say so myself. 

As the music played, I got busy working on my own little projects, much like the 'Stay at Home Series' I put together and shared on my Instagram birthed from the need to inject some fun into shoots at home during Lockdown, I even shared a post sharing Tips for Shooting from home. Alongside getting creative for my own pleasure I also found time to work on my little magazine Everytime Zine, which resulted in the release of our third issue, which I'm always so very proud of but that issue especially. Each issue feels like we evolve and it brings me so much joy being able to put it together and being able to share so many wonderful creatives within it not only that but it also allows me to work with and work on some exciting projects to include in the magazine such as 'Then there were three' which was an editorial I put together for Everytime Zine which I got to create with the beautiful girls Bethany, Frankie and Sophie who run the Libra Lens. Not only was it such a lovely shoot to work on with them but it also made me release exactly how much I love photography and love to shoot and how much I really want to keep working with that and seeing how I can push that not to mention the prospect that I have it in myself to do so. This year however I'm hoping and praying that Everytime Zine may eventually be in print, but at the moment it's very much a case of 'Watch this space' 

Like the plans that went down the drain in 2020, the remains of my purple hair dye did too (see what I did there) a restyle that came about before the first lockdown and then proceeded to cling on throughout, not through a lack of effort mind, I do not miss sitting waiting for my dye to take in between a shower, thank god I managed to sack that off before these colder months. Alas, it was fun whilst it lasted having purple hair, I've certainly never received as many compliments as I did whilst having it and random comments in the street that's for sure but for now, it's back to blonde for a little while, at least until my ginger roots begin to come back, again. 

So what does 2021 have in store for me I hear you cry well at the moment as the UK is at 'the most dangerous time in the pandemic' I'd say I truly don't know where this year is going to go, an end certainly doesn't see insight, but we all hold so much hope in our hearts that at some point things will begin to return to normal. However speaking of normal, at the point of writing this, my life feels bizarrely so, being that I and Jay are about to embark on something that normal people do and that's, that we may be moving in together very soon, even writing that feels mindblowing to me. We are quite there.. yet but we're hoping that we almost are so again for the third time this post watch this space. 

And of course, in a very traditional way, I'm going to end this post by setting a few new years resolutions (something I find quite fun to look back on to see if I achieved them at the end of each year). 

Cut out Dairy Chocolate and switch to Vegan Alternatives 

I managed to cut out Dairy Milk 3 years ago now and have very proudly stuck to that but from that change, I've also had to avoid a lot of things that contain Dairy Milk or a lot of it. Unfortunately, a lot of products still contain it that I consume one of those being chocolate. Despite trying not eating a lot of chocolate throughout the year I do enjoy eating chocolate from time to time as a little treat so for me, this should be quite an easy thing to do. 

Put my blog on the backburner

As much as I've hated to come to this conclusion and say it out loud I'm fairly certain that my time as a blogger may well be coming to an end something that has weighed fairly heavy on me towards the end of last year and something that so many others have also agreed with me on in terms of their own experience as a blogger. Though I love to sit and write and put together blog posts I know in myself that this isn't going to last forever and that what I'm getting from it now quite honestly isn't worth all the time and effort that goes into it. There are so many avenues that have come into my life over the past year that I want to explore further and that I'm excited about. Sometimes you have to wake up and realise that actually some things don't work and that's okay. 

Get more organised 

God knows this is a must for Jay living with me...

Work more on photography and produce more shoots 

Whilst this one is proving very hard at the moment amongst the horrendously cold and miserable weather, the added addition of Covid makes this goal impossible to work on but I'm hoping that at some point this year I'll be able to produce some more work to go into Everytime Zine as well as slot into my portfolio. I'm hoping to put together my own Instagram and start shooting a little more frequently. 

Produce a podcast with Jay 

I mentioned this earlier but this is 100% something I want to dive into a little more. I love to talk, I love to talk to Jay, I love movies, he loves movies what's not to love? 

Progress with Yoga

If you're a regular reader of this blog or follow me over on Instagram you'll know how much I'm into my fitness. Something that over the recent years I've come to love more and more. Last year I prioritised a lot of time for working on my cardio and strength to really challenge myself but in between those sessions and throughout my life yoga has always played a big part in my recovery giving me that time to relax and wind down so this year I really want to hone in more on my skills and progress further with my practices to really push myself and see what I can do. 

Get a new job 

I've always been grateful for having a job and getting my job at a time when God knows I needed it the most but 2021 for me is a year like no other where I finally get my shit together and embark on a career I want, I want to start climbing that ladder, I want to start exploring my options and realising my potential, this has to be that year it has to be.

What's your opinion?

@paige rhianne_