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Hanging on - first published in authors electric

So, this blog was going to be the sad end of year reflection on a year of Covid, of the last year in which all of Europe was still ours to explore at will. I went to Paris at the end of February as the world woke up to virus and I went to Venice post Covid in the early summer when, briefly, the world opened up again: memories to hold on to.

This year has been about hanging on. I wrote a poem everyday through lockdown - hanging on to creativity and small pleasures: the birdsong in the garden, sunlight striping the floor, walks with a friend and wine - probably too much wine.

This year has been about hanging on to connections, contriving safe ways to meet family and friends. We hung on to Christmas by having it outdoors in November in a festive gazebo. I have decided to hang on to 59, though my transition into young old age was marked memorably and well with a walk in the park and champagne, I think I'll celebrate it again next year - when I may be able to see more than one person outdoors.

I have been hanging on to optimism with a tenacious grip:Trump will leave the White House and hasn't yet started a Civil War; we won't fall off a Brexit cliff in January but will scrabble down it clutching at the weakest of footholds (still slipping, though slowly); my Mum has had her first vaccination and, come January, will be able to shop for herself again (in the unlikely event that the shops will be open.)

I wrote all this in my head this morning as I ambled to my desk. Then the doorbell rang and this was delivered:

It just squeezed into the dying days of 2020 and will be out in February. It has cheered me up no end.

Don't worry, I will bore you with the details in another post. For now, all I can say is this has been a strange dark year for many people, but let's keep hanging on for something better in 2021. Happy New Year!


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