On that note, it's been a tough one, hasn't it? I can only imagine the hardship some people are suffering and I am forever grateful I work in education, which has kept going in spite of the universities and schools closing. As a freelancer, things could have turned out badly for me, but I am fortunate I was able to continue with all my teaching online, and in fact was even swamped with work before the summer break.
Then in the autumn, during that brief calm before the recent resurgence of the storm, I had a mix of face-to-face and online courses, which also kept me very busy. But for those in the hospitality and entertainment industries, it's been crippling. No work means no income and these are people with mortgages to pay; some are faced with losing their homes, which is devastating for them. My heart goes out to them all as well as those who have lost loved ones or whose health has been damaged by the virus.
Like everyone, though, we've also missed the travel possibilities. Koos has felt this deprivation particularly as he would normally have been away to Poland and Moldova about three times during the year. However, we've been much less restricted within our own country than many in other parts of Europe. Firstly, we managed a holiday in Portugal in January before Mr Corona swept into Europe creating havoc for us all. But since then, I haven't ever been prevented from going up and down between my cottage in Zeeland and my Vereeniging in Rotterdam, not even when things were at their worst in April.
This relative freedom has been a relief given that we have two boats a hundred and fifty kilometres apart and they both need constant vigilance. The Vereeniging is my work base as well, so it was important for me to be able to commute and some of you might remember I did several posts about going to and fro, up and down, there and back, hither and thither...well, you get the idea. At one point I felt that was all I was doing.
But I think that being long-term boat dwellers means we are used to keeping to ourselves more than most people, so self isolation hasn't been much of a problem for us. I drove up to the city, parked my car, cycled to the boat and to work and often didn't meet another soul. I even took my food with me much of the time. On the other hand, I was also able to keep seeing my daughters, albeit it only outside most of the time. We got together while I had my barge on the slipway, for outdoor birthday picnics and dog walks. When that wasn't possible, I sat in my car outside my younger daughter's house and we chatted on the phone while waving to each other through the window.
So in the greater scheme of things, we've been blessed and are very grateful for it. Neither of us has been unwell at all, and haven't had so much as a cold (cross fingers), so we'll keep downing our vitamins and taking our regulation exercise – not so much fun in these icy winds, but needs must. The worst that's hit us recently is Storm Bella, whose untimely visit was decidedly unwelcome immediately after Christmas, but even then, she walloped poor England much more than us. My sister lives in the Bedford area and sent me photos of all the flooding, none of which we had. It must have been miserable for people whose homes were in the path of the rising rivers. Awful, in fact, after the war of attrition the virus has waged on us.
So, I really haven't got anything to complain about, have I? It's humbling to look back and see how much we have to be thankful for after this strange 'year of the pandemic'. On that note, then, I'll count my blessings, thank my lucky stars and wish all of you a happy New Year's Eve with a wish for better things to come during 2021.
Here are a few photos of the sunnier moments our 2020 year in the order of the months that I took them.
|A zoom meeting with my grandpup|
before any kind of get together was possible
|May (slipway time in Rotterdam)|
|Going down the slipway|
|My geraniums in June|
|June at the local gliding airstrip|
|November, the Hennie Ha's first trip out|
Have a good one allemaal. Here's Koos in his Christmas outfit and facemask on: the face of 2020 past. See you all next year!