Whoever came up with that old curse “May you live in interesting times!” was surely thinking about 2020. We’ve had coronavirus and the global response to it, plus horrendous bushfires in Australia, the long-running soap operas that are the US elections, the US / China trade war and whatever is happening with Brexit. And to top it all, Scotland qualified for a major football tournament!
So, “interesting” is the politest thing I could call 2020. While I think most of us are just happy to call 2020 “over”, it hasn’t been all bad. Here are some of our highs and lows from this “interesting” year of home working.
We’ve all become experts in Teams / Zoom backgrounds. Which leads to a personal confession. I may have told you this year that my mountain background was to promote calm and wellbeing – but you probably guessed it was really just to hide the mess that is our spare room and the laundry drying there.
Everyone knows you didn’t turn your camera on for that morning call because you hadn’t yet had a shower / got dressed / done your hair or makeup. Not because of the claimed poor internet connection! And yes Robert, I have noticed that your camera is never on…
Spending more time at home with our families.
They get to see what we are like in conference calls and meetings.
The daily commute is just a walk up or down the stairs – no more overcrowded trains, endless traffic jams or getting caught in the pouring rain.
As a consequence, Robert and I haven’t actually been in the office together since March. We haven’t yet decided if this counts a low or a high.
Be able to enjoy my favourite coffee every day at work.
Having to pay for it myself.
On a more personal note
Undoubtedly the biggest high of the year for me was getting married. We were lucky enough that our wedding coincided with the lowest rates of COVID-19 in Belgium. So, while our families outside Belgium could only watch online, we could have friends from Belgium at the ceremony and a meal afterwards. No music or dancing, but still the best party of the year. And not just because it was the only one…
Robert tells me that his personal highlight (apart from my wedding celebrations) was moving to his caravan in the countryside for much of the summer. Who knew he was a nomad at heart – even if it is a static caravan. And it was fascinating being on the other end of the Teams calls, hearing the wildlife as Robert took his calls outside when the weather and Wi-Fi allowed. I swear he was sharing his “desk” with a wood pigeon, who was louder on the calls than Robert. Yes, louder than Robert!
Last but not least a season’s greeting
We hope that you and your loved ones stayed safe throughout 2020, and look forward to seeing you in person again this year – hopefully, it will be an “interesting” but for much better reasons (although so far it hasn’t quite managed that, even though we’re just a few days into the year!).