2020 was a year that came with such promise. A new decade, perhaps the second roaring 20s, the 32nd Olympiad, the 75th anniversary of V-E Day and, though only relevant to me and my loved ones, my 40th birthday. Like many people up and down the country I had planned a smorgasbord of events for 2020; comedy, theatre, music, festivals – a packed timetable to celebrate my hitting the big 4-0. Now I don’t need to tell any of you that didn’t happen. Instead as COVID-19 hit our shores the country had to enter into a kind of reverse hibernation. Households everywhere made like Moominpappa and stocked up their fridges larders and (apparently) toilet paper cupboards as we planned to bunk down for spring and summer.
Rather than seeing our children frolic amongst the bluebells and blossom trees we saw them battling with unreliable maths websites (if you know, you know), reams of home learning and having to interact with their friends via Zoom or gaming platforms. The planned street parties were replaced with neighbourhoods cheering for NHS workers, and the weekly shop became a military mission.
But now, finally, we are approaching autumn and hopefully a return to the great outdoors. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness bringing so much more to the average British household. We have two seasons worth of fun to catch up on, of woodlands to explore, of family trips out and of autumn holidays.
Whilst I’m sure life won’t be quite like it was before the pandemic, we will find a new normal, a normal that I suspect will involve more exploration of our green and pleasant land. Happily, I know that our beautiful country is more than up to the challenge.
Perhaps the spring picnics that were missed can be replaced with pumpkin picking with the family. An abandoned beach holiday can be replaced with a trip to one of Britain’s many forests or other areas of natural beauty. Find your perfect staycation location here. And as we venture out into a post COVID world it will be not only with a new-found love of the world around us, but perhaps even a whole new perspective on what is truly important in life. Now that’s an autumn I’m looking forward to.
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