2021 – eeek

Looking back at my post at the beginning of 2020, the year, unsurprisingly, didn’t really turn out as expected! From March onwards our main objectives were staying alive and healthy (the OH is on the shielding list, so has been at home for much of 2020, with some interesting balancing going on to allow LO to return to preschool/start school) and staying in employment, both of which we’ve managed to do, so we’ve been a lot more fortunate than many people.

I need to do some knitting updates, so I will leave that to another time, but I did manage to achieve several projects I’d planned to do in 2020, and, for once, stash used exceeded stash acquired – I knitted 1282.2 metres more than I acquired. I suspect this is because I didn’t set foot in a yarn shop all year, as I’d normally buy yarn on holiday. I did manage to finish some long term projects, including Hey Teach which had been hanging around for several years, and the Moss Fern Cardigan. Knitting blog posts here.

Reading plans 2021

My reading plans didn’t turn out so well. In 2019 I’d read 13 books, and I was hoping to at least reach the same total in 2020, as I was working towards a teaching qualification at the same time, as well as winning a place on a women in leadership course. The pandemic, and resulting lockdown, put paid to the reading plans, as the 10.5 weeks (not that I was counting every second) we were WFH with LO around meant there wasn’t any spare time at all, and the rest of the year continued in similar frantic fashion. There seemed to be this assumption that everyone would be at home reading etc with plenty of time on their hands and yet our lives became frantic and non-stop. I managed to get 11 books read in the end, some of them quite thin indeed. Reviews here, although I still have the final one to blog about. I did manage to complete and pass the teaching qualification, mainly by good planning combined with luck (the final teaching observation ended up being two weeks before lockdown). The women in leadership course started in a lovely central London hotel in late February By the second session most of the participants found themselves attempting to WFH with children and/or elderly relatives to care for, and the whole thing was paused and didn’t restart until October, by which point it was all on Zoom rather than awaydays in nice hotels. I will finish it early in 2021, and it has given me some valuable tools and reflection space whilst doing it. I’m hoping to read another 12 books in 2021. It’s probably unrealistic to aim for more, given all the uncertainties around work and/or school being open before more people can be vaccinated. I have also started a new professional qualification, in an attempt to safeguard future employment, which I’m aiming to submit at the end of March, so that is taking up quite a bit of time at the moment.

Gardening plans 2021

We certainly ended up spending a LOT of time in the garden in 2020! It wasn’t all very productive. LO rapidly lost interest in doing gardening when we went into lockdown, so it mainly involved trying to keep on top of things in the short amount of time we had available. Possibly the biggest success of the year was finally getting the shed sorted, even if it did take place in tiny steps over many months. Garden posts here.

Harvest totals for the year were better than 2019, apart from the rhubarb, as we sliced it up to make room for the new raised bed. We were still harvesting raspberries and salad up to Christmas! Possibly the biggest success was the tomatoes as we seemed to grow loads, although we could only harvest them during a six week period. A lot of the apples were eaten by parakeets and/or squirrels again.

  • Raspberries – 2.389 kg
  • Rhubarb – ?
  • Blackcurrants – 0.606 kg
  • Gooseberries – 0.383 kg
  • Apples – 1.345 kg
  • Strawberries – 0.295 kg
  • Tomatoes – 3.738 kg
  • Chillis – 0.042 kg

Other stuff

My other plans for 2020 are now quite amusing. I was aiming to do more walking, which started off well, with some lovely walks on days when I was on annual leave and LO in preschool. And promptly stopped once lockdown started as it was impossible to get much exercise done with LO around, despite exercise being one of the allowed activities outside the home. It was more a case of slowly dragging whingeing child around park in one of the short gaps between work and delivering shopping to neighbours. My step count, which had been over 13,000 steps a day, dropped to below 2000 a day during April and May, an indicator of how little time there was for exercise. Since LO started school in September, I’ve increased it on my non-working days, but there is still not much time to exercise on work days with the problems we’ve had with wraparound care. It’s something I’m hoping to increase in 2021, although so much is uncertain about how much time I will have.

I was also aiming to do more meal planning, which is hilarious in retrospect as I ended up having to do extreme meal planning for weeks during lockdown #1 as we were entirely reliant on what came in the Ocado and veg box deliveries, a lot of which we didn’t have a choice about or included strange substitutions – it got as far as counting slices of bread and rationing them to make sure they’d last the week! We were lucky to have the delivery slots, and shared them with neighbours, but I did miss just being able to pick up one or two items when we were out. I still can’t quite believe how much food (and milk!) we get through when all of us are at home all week.

We were fortunate though that LO got into our first choice school and settled in really quickly, despite not having a chance to visit it beforehand. She was also lucky in that school was open for the whole autumn term, and she only missed 1.5 days when I had to go for a Covid test. She’s really enjoyed her first term, has spent hours getting absolutely filthy in the school eco area, field and mud kitchen, has read her first “book” (admittedly it had about four words in total!) and can’t wait to be back with her schoolfriends after Christmas. The preschool adventures series didn’t turn out quite as I’d envisaged, but we still managed to have fun and get out and about doing things.

I haven’t made explicit blogging plans for this year. Last year, I was aiming to blog weekly, which I managed to do until September. I found it really helpful throughout the first lockdown as it made me think about what we were doing and take a tiny bit of space to reflect on it, but after that I ran out of umph a little!

What are your plans for 2021?


  1. Eeek indeed (for 2020). Although it sounds like you did a lot! Managing professional qualifications while also childminding, catering and running a household, and working, is very impressive. I find everything seems to take a lot longer, mainly because it can, and I too do not get as much done as my pre-lockdown self would have expected. I’ve got an extra three hours a day now that I’m not commuting, but I think it mainly goes on relaxing, surfing, and eating (unfortunately). I have kept up somewhat with my Japanese studies, and the great attic paperwork archeological dig continues slowly (have made it to 1989 now!). Happy new year!


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