I don’t know about you, but I definitely thought we would be back to normal by now. When I look back at the last year, I cannot believe we’ve been living with this intrusion into our everyday lives for so long!

Here we are, into our third national lockdown, and although we’ve done it twice before, this one has definitely hit the hardest in the Eastwood household. Not only are we frankly bored of the whole situation, but I am also now having to juggle home schooling my 4 (almost 5) year old, and working at the same time, whilst my husband Sam continues to go to work as a key worker.

Going back to early 2020, I was, like a lot of people, very dismissive of this new illness that was taking over the world, and I really didn’t think it was going to impact my life much at all. Little did I know that by the end of March, we would be in a national lockdown, unable to see friends or family let alone go to the office to do the job that I have loved for the last 10 years. It felt like my world changed overnight, and I can only imagine what it felt like for my daughter Isla. She had literally just turned 4, and we were very lucky to be able to hold a party for her on 14th March, a week or so before the restrictions hit. She is a hugely outgoing and sociable child who had been going to nursery since she was six months old. To suddenly be at home with just mum and dad all the time was a shock! She has amazed me with her resilience in the last year.

Unfortunately, like many businesses Property Personnel was hit hard during the first lockdown, and like many, Anthony had to make the decision to furlough us all and took on the task of keeping the business going by himself. He was suddenly MD, consultant, administrator, and accountant all at once, and it was hard for us to not be able to help! Of course, this made my home juggle easier, but I missed being able to do the job I love and found the adjustment hard.

Then came the obligatory banana bread baking, box set binging, arts & crafts & gardening stage of lockdown. I actually found a new and unexpected love for gardening, and Isla and I grew herbs and vegetables from scratch, which is something we will be continuing with from now on! Those who know me well would say this was a surprise and I guess seeing is believing as to whether I’ll stick to that! Luckily, we had beautiful weather throughout the Spring and into the Summer of 2020, and I’ve never been more grateful for my garden, or the trampoline we’d managed to get for Isla’s birthday!

I’ve seen lots of people used Lockdown.1 as a chance to get fit, keep active etc…this was certainly not me! I think I kept the local gin distilleries in business during the first few months of lockdown, but I have tried to improve on that!

2020 was supposed to be a year full of big plans. Friends of ours were getting married in Ibiza, which also happened to coincide with my 30th birthday in July. Obviously, the wedding was postponed, and holiday cancelled, so my birthday celebrations went from Ibiza in the sunshine, to England in the rain! Luckily, my amazing family and friends rallied round to make sure I had the best possible celebrations….my husband says I milked it, but I deny that! My lovely work colleagues even managed to decorate my desk for when I arrived in that week.

         

We also still managed to get a family holiday once restrictions lifted. It may have been camping in the New Forest rather than relaxing on the beach in Ibiza, but it was still nice to have a change of scenery nonetheless!

September 2020 came, and some normality had resumed. Isla started school and was loving being back with other children and having already resumed regular zoom calls with the team, along with going into the office on a rota basis, we felt as though we were turning a corner. We all had the prospect of further lockdowns on our minds but tried to push this to one side and concentrate on getting back on track. Really, I should have been more prepared for further impending doom but turns out I really wasn’t! I miss my team, the banter in my office, meeting my friends (at a closer distance than 2 metres!) and seeing my family. I have a large, extended, slightly messy but very close family, so not being able to see my nieces and nephews, and Isla missing out on time with her cousins has been particularly hard. One thing is for sure, I don’t think any of us will be taking the little things for granted after all of this…god I miss the little things!