That was 2020

Despite it all 2020 had some amazing moments and all the pandemic craziness taught us cherish who you have, what you have on your doorstep and celebrate the little things.

So to honour all that here’s my 2020 highlights. Consider it a personal kick in the pants to stop moaning about the fact it’s January 2021 and spending some time in the mountains any time soon on some lovingly serviced planks courtesy of the other half (talking of cherish who you have) is looking like a remote prospect.

It started with a bang in Weymouth crewing for Sirotechnics fireworks on Fort North and miraculously ended with fireworks crewing for Northern Lights Fireworks in Bath, thanks to the amazing crown funding efforts of Michael Eades in memory of his parents and on behalf of the Royal United Hospital Critical Care Unit.

We got some brilliant Skiing in early season facilitated by the ability to hop between work locations thanks to Alpy Bus and Easy Jet … oh my how things have changed. I actually learned to enjoy the human powered up .. sort of!

Les Roches Des Enclaves ski tour with visiting friends .. team white dot.
Plenty of hard earned turns post Les Grands Montets skin up.
A week in the deep with mates in Chamonix
A colourful line up in Pila in search of open slopes post epic storms in the Alps.

Things were starting to go awry with tales of virus in China and how oblivious we were about what was to come squeezing in a sneaky weekend in Sainte Foy

And some incredible powder all the more wonderful as it was completely unexpected

The world was shutting down and we are still in Chamonix and insanely on what was to be the last weekend of the official season friends jumped on a flight for the weekend. They do have 3 kids though and rarely get the chance for some grown up slope time so motivation was high.

Skinning up
Screaming down

They shut the mountains that day and then flight traffic all but halted the week after and we found ourselves in Lockdown Chamonix style and home office was a little more exotic than expected.

Difficult to complain about being stuck here though.
Early mornings to catch the sun pop over the Dru

I definitely had the best view from the home office ever!

We finally made it back to the UK after Easter to the UK lockdown and a riot of colour in the garden.

Tulips are running riot

A purchase of a Bird feeder and some RSPB buggy nibbles as recommended by my bird loving sister and the new home office view changed to this.

The Starlings that hang out on the Church tower opposite found it a big hit.

The Blue tits like to surf

And this wee fella was so cute and fluffy

The 30dayswildphoto challenge for June thanks to the Cumbrian wildlife trust kept a few of us focused on the little things while on our lockdown sanctioned daily excursions and was great encouragement to stretch the legs during 6 weeks of furlough.

Solsbury hill saw lots of ups as did several of the local downs.

Solsbury hill sunset timelapse
There had been a glass or two of fizz consumed while watching the sun go down.

A couple of those glasses were to celebrate the big 50!

Exploring the local footpaths we discovered, in some cases re-discovered, the local hidden wild places and reminded ourselves what a beautiful part of the world we are lucky enough to live in.

and the garden is getting even more colourful

The 60 plus sunflower hatchlings are growing and some have been given away to new homes.

We even have our own Sunflower field nearby .. feels like the South of France

We entertained in the Garden, once or twice in the rain

We made it a little further afield to see friends down South and explored their local trails.

And when it was allowed headed to Wales to see family.

Helping with winter preparations

I managed to get to see the folks down south while infections were low in between lockdowns and tier prohibitions.

The Badbury rings tree lined Avenue

What was supposed to be a friends 50th birthday celebration by way of running the Marathon Du Medoc (yes I know crazy people) turned into the Marathon Du Mendip and this was the resulting souvenir.

This is now planned to be an annual event.

A surprise fireworks show on the Thames for Sirotechnics fireworks was a unexpected bonus and some compensation for a missed trip to Monaco for an international competition.

And a few days in the Lake District when it was ok to go to Cumbria and the campsites were open was something to celebrate.

The trips up Solsbury hill became a regular thing whatever the weather

The much explored Bathampton woods turned Autumnal

And two more fireworks shows came our way. One celebration of life where we hope we provided a fitting send off.

One for Bonfire Night with a socially distanced watch from your garden event for Batheaston Scouts.

We finally got to see what ended up being the only live Ruby with a crowd at the Rec since the virus took over our lives.

Bath lost but it was an epic match.

There has been many hours spent socialising by video with virtual pubs, wine tasting as an excuse to get merry with friends and share meals from a distance and Christmas was far from the traditional family gathering but it was a gloriously sunny day.

We did get to blow stuff up on a very chilly New year’s eve. Always good to top and tail a year with a bang.

Come on 2021 …… bring it on.