Hmmm, grab a cuppa, this is going to be a long read! This blog post is over a month late purely because I think I am still processing the first part of 2020 in all honesty! What on earth was that year? I thought it was about time I wrote this post anyway! The start of 2020 here in the UK I guess is still classed as pre-covid as we didn’t have any cases here until at least a month in. Even then it was ‘only a couple’! So I will refer to pre-covid as before our first UK lockdown which was from 23rd March.
So … blogging …
I probably wrote no more than ten posts during 2020 … I had fully intended to blog more and in fact, when lockdown kicked in back in March, that seemed like an ideal time to do all kinds of catching up on all kinds of things! Blogging, housework, spring cleaning, online learning, self development, reading … the list goes on yet not much happened in a productive sense anyway!
Here’s a few of my posts from 2020 incase you missed it them!
I do have a super long list of blog posts so this time when I say I’m going to be blogging more … I really am!
2020 started with my first competition at a new level…Gold Star! After completing my ISTD dance exams in Social Dance, Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Silver and Gold, I am now at the stage where I am dancing not just syllabus work but so much more! It’s so much fun to try different things but it also comes with it more stress when I can’t get the hang of something! I do think taking part in pro-am competitions in 2019 has massively helped to prepare me for this stage of my dance journey. January was a new dance competition venue also … one a little closer to home in Fleet which was great to not have to travel more than around 20 minutes! It was a fun competition and I was in straight finals as my round was pretty quiet! My eldest Son who was 16 then took part and this was his first adult competition which after a break of a good few years, was great to see him back dancing and dancing well. March, just before lockdown, our ISTD medallist exams happened. I had been wanting to take an additional exam called a Josephine Bradley award which could only be taken prior to starting any Gold Star exams … which without Covid-19 happening would have been well underway by now! The week before lockdown in the UK was my chance and I took it, dancing 4 ballroom and 4 latin dances in a row. When I wrote the above mentioned post about dancing and where am I now, I didn’t know when the results would be in with the covid-induced closure of the Dance school at that point. I have since learnt that I obtained high honours results in all 8 dances giving me an Honours in that award. I am beyond thrilled with the results! That was hard work!! Haha! Unfortunately what I didn’t know is that would be the last time I would dance, at least for 2020. When I first realised I would need to self-isolate for 12 weeks as advised for those with underlying health issues (I’m asthmatic and have a heart murmur) … I was so upset that I wouldn’t be able to dance for 12 weeks! Little did I know that would turn out to be much longer as the school of course needed to close and as yet, has not fully reopened … hopefully that day will come soon!! The school did reopen for socially distanced classes and lessons at one point during the relaxation of the restrictions but my anxiety stopped me from returning at that stage. I have total faith in the ability of the school to be covid-secure, my anxiety however crept in … I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing at this stage of the pandemic as I would rather be as safe as I can be. One thing is for sure, I miss my dance family!
I barely knew where to start with this whole post but when it comes to work, that’s been a roller coaster and a half! In January I was part of a styled studio shoot with a boho peacock theme to it which was a lot of fun! Creating two contrasting looks from soft and romantic to rebellious and dark! This shoot was featured as a ‘Get the Look’ section of the Your Hampshire & Dorset Wedding Magazine
I also was lucky enough to still have a few Brides in February and March … the last one being on Friday 20th March … literally just before lockdown. I had at that point decided to wear a face mask, just to try to be safer even though at that point there was no advice in doing so.
March was also another Bridal styled shoot! Very much Peacock Boho style but with so many fabulous ideas, stylings, additional theme ideas all rolled into one day it was amazing! Here’s just a few of the fantastic images from this collaborative shoot which was also featured in the Your Hampshire & Dorset Wedding Magazine!
Lockdown meant beauty was totally closed as with pretty much all businesses in the UK. My husband was also at home, although luckily on a financial level, construction was able to start up again quite quickly … the downside being his work was delayed and put on hold a lot as builders merchants were unable to either be open or were unable to get supplies so even his work was intermittent at best! Fast forward to restrictions being lifted and there was a lot of tension when certain parts of the beauty industry were allowed to return yet others i.e. Makeup services or anything on the face was unable to! Despite having full PPE by this point and having new hygiene protocols, we had to remain closed…don’t even get me started on the fact PUBS were open! Many industry bodies and influential people within the beauty industry did everything they could and eventually it was announced that we could return in August! Hooray!! I had lost the vast majority of my 2020 work to 2021 already and had not earned anything from March to August yet had to pay out for PPE and additional hygiene kit essentials plus replace makeup which had been sat open during that time! I did however still have a few Brides booked in which I was so excited to be able to see!! Another styled shoot also happened!! This time, an Elopement shoot with the tag line ‘Nothing Fancy, Just Love’ … my first work back since lockdown and the first time I got to see some amazing suppliers I’ve worked with before and meet some new ones. Set -ups from snuggles to floral headpieces, to dogs and dancing in Winchester town centre, this shoot was so much fun. Here’s a few images from that shoot…featured in the first 2021 issue of Your Hampshire & Dorset Wedding Magazine!
More Weddings moved to 2021 and the final few I had left in 2020 were such an honour to be a part of. Couples getting their guest list down to 30, then to 15, one particular Bride had a week to go to then have it announced the guest figures were going from 30 to 15 and that meant she had to loose her Bridesmaids. I was gutted for her. That particular couple are however determined to recreate their day again but with everyone there in 2021! Their intimate wedding was still magical because #lovewins
Work has been on and off then back on again, only to be off again just after Christmas. It’s now February 1st and I am having to yet again look at replacing makeup in my kit that either I opened 2 years ago and is now at it’s 24mth point from opening yet hasn’t been used for almost a year, or other makeup that I opened when we were allowed to return in August and perhaps has a 3m or 6m time on it, barely used yet now not safe to use again because of how long it’s been since I opened it. All of this waste and the worst bit is I need to replace it all again having earned nothing! I am one of the excluded not entitled to Government help. I do however have to be hugely grateful to my husband who has been able to work for the majority of the pandemic and so household wise we are ok … so many aren’t and it’s sad to see so many businesses closing for the final time.
On a personal ‘2020 in review’ … I don’t even know what to say. Never in a million years would we expect to be where we are now and I have found many ways to keep my anxiety at bay … most of the time. It creeps in and some days it’s hard … really hard to understand how we got here and how on earth we get back to ‘normal’ … whatever that is!! At least 2020 starts with hope … hope with a vaccine, hope with treatments, hope that Scientists have a great deal more of understanding of the virus than that which we had less than 12 months ago. This is not the place for airing political views as I don’t want my blog to be political in any way shape or form so please don’t comment in that manner. On a more positive note, I am however grateful for the time I have had to be with my husband and kids, to see the limited family we’ve been allowed to whether that be during lifted restrictions or simply walking for half an hour with one other person! Grateful to stop, to notice more about a variety of things. Grateful for time to think, time to focus on what’s important and time to be ok with not being ok!! I’ve taken thousands of photos over the last year, photos I wouldn’t usually take … clear blue skies, moody winter skies, trees in full bloom then covered snow, flowers, leading lines in the forest, frost covered pathways…things I wouldn’t usually probably even notice! I now notice.
One last thing I will say I am hugely grateful to my Husband for is my own space! A ‘she-shed-studio‘ as I like to call it. The place where I have a makeup studio ready for clients this year with any luck! A place where I can do yoga, sit and read or like now, be at a desk and write a whole blog post without jumping up to put washing on or putting the TV on for ‘background noise’ then getting engrossed in it! Haha! We share the office space but it really is amazing to have this area at the end of the garden where I can escape and have a cuppa or put my makeup on in such a lovely place! Oh … and it looked super pretty in the January snow!!
Let’s see what the rest of 2021 has in store and what I’ll be saying in a ‘year in review’ then!
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments how you’re doing!
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