Bloggy bit

2021 comes around

2020! What a year we’ve all had folks. I hope everyone managed to salvage some sort of Christmas from the ashes of 2020. But it’s true what they say, no matter how twee and clichéd the words have become, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. And pretty soon we can punch Covid-19 in the eye and get on with new beginnings. Just as long as everybody remembers how great it was to help other people out during this crisis, or have others help you – either way, it proved we are all made of the same human stuff, with a little bit of Dunkirk spirit thrown in. Uncork the wine and celebrate the start of 2021.

2020 Lockdown – when we learned to queue patiently again and got excited when new deliveries of toilet rolls arrived. And cooked up all kinds of exotic and unusual recipes from ingredients that had been lurking at the back of the store-cupboard for months. And getting excited about finding two tins of chickpeas and making curry from them. You see – there were some good things about it. It made us inventive and a little bit kinder. People delivered groceries to neighbours who were shielding and smiled at others while taking their designated daily walks.

And catching up with those DIY projects and painting and decorating and the novelty of cleaning windows that hadn’t been washed all year. And washing curtains only to find a different colour lurking underneath. And learning to bake and experimenting with sourdough. And going out onto doorsteps to bang pots and shout praise for the NHS heroes. Let’s hope we never forget the way they’ve struggled for the rest of us.

I’m not saying it was easy for us all. Times were tough in 2020. A little beast of a year. But doesn’t it make you think – and be thankful for the small things. Stuff we might all have taken for granted before.

Here’s what I’m grateful for – all the authors who have written books that I’ve enjoyed this year, too many to name. People who have taken me into their worlds and held me there with bated breath, waiting for the next page, the next chapter. Authors who have put years of their lives into writing books for us to enjoy. Bless you all, dear writers. I salute you and am mightily grateful that you have kept me sane in these strange times. Stephen King believes that “books are a uniquely portable magic”. I do too.

I have taken the year to write a new book also and with the wind in the right direction, at least at my back, hopefully it will see the light of day soon. Peace in Pendurran, it’s called. Keep an eye out for it.

Meanwhile, let’s hear it for 2021! Good luck to us all and may we find joy in little things, for they usually turn out to be the most important.

Here’s what I’ve tried to remind myself during this last year when times have been difficult. It’s an Aborigine saying: “We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are all just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love . . .”

I wish readers and writers and artists and musicians and people who have struggled with this harsh year a very happy and healthy NEW YEAR.

Best wishes,