2020 started like any other year. Plans being made for my various walking holidays in Scotland & Pyrenees, thinking about how to improve my fitness as a lot of us do in January!
Then a mood, an atmosphere, whispers about a new disease started to arise & suddenly almost overnight we were in lockdown.
Luckily the weekend before lockdown I was able to see my Dad, for that I was grateful.
So that was it, lockdown it was! I did not really know any local walks in my area apart from the prom. Well that was never going to satisfy my walking hunger, so I set about exploring my area & was quite surprised what I found. Little country lanes, the woods & of course my lovely sunsets & sunrises on the prom.
I worked from home during lockdown & have done ever since. Which was great at first with no commute & being able to have the flexibility it gives you. But when you live alone, your own support bubble can feel quite suffocating & incredibly lonely.
We were then told that lockdown was being lifted gently at first. My first walk out was Winter Hill & it felt so good!
Soon I was making plans again, meeting up with friends like Anelda, we had kept each other going during lockdown via wapp etc & when we met up in a wee cottage in Wales, life felt normal.
I was back out wild camping, after months of feeling cooped up, I wanted to be out as much as possible. I then went to Northumberland to walk the Cheviots, a very good substitute for the Pyrenees, can highly recommend it!
As some of you may know I am in love with Scotland. So fully aware come the colder months, we may go into another lockdown, a 9 day trip in Louise was planned. We had a grand time, out wild camping for 2 nights on the Glen Affric trail from Shiel Bridge. A visit to Skye, a stay in Cannich, just truly beautiful & just for a moment I could forget the pandemic world we were living in.
Then my last social contact was my betsie Hayley, as we like to call one another. Another very good friend who always checks up on me if I go into my cave! She came to stay & we went off to Coniston & camped in Louise for the weekend. I suspected but did not dare to admit, this would be my last interaction for a while.
So back into lockdown of a sort as we went into Tiers. I still went out walking of a weekend choosing my places carefully, keeping in my own bubble, just me & Louise. Felt strange not supporting local cafes & shops, but I kept to myself & having Louise meant I was once again contained!
Christmas I was so lucky my son Chris could make it. It was the only family meetup we could have, but with the power of technology, video calls with my daughter & hubby, helped bring them closer. I cannot tell you what it meant, but maybe these pictures do.
So after he left & before we went into higher tier, one last wild camp in the mountains. But no, 2020 had one last surprise for me! Off I went, got up to the top, pitched my tent, unpacked & went to lit the gas & voila…the gas would not ignite, no matter what I tried.
So I packed up, the sun was going down & the temperature dropping on already snowy, icy paths, but you know, it was the most magical experience. This no longer felt that I was being robbed of a camp, but more that I was being given a very sensory & beautiful gift.
So that is my 2020 in a nutshell. What can I take from it. Family & friends have helped me get through the loneliness I have felt. You may not be mentioned here, but you know who you are. I have not been able to see all of them this year, but we have checked up on one another, made sure we are all ok & for that I am very blessed.
I am stronger mentally then sometimes I give myself credit for & I am fitter than I allow myself to believe at times.
But I am truly blessed that I have my family & friends & I have this passion for walking as all three take me & allows me to experience most wonderful moments.
Thank you x