All that has gone on, two years on…

So, exactly two years ago today the world changed forever when Boris announced the country was in lockdown. As quite a fair bit has happened since then, I thought I’d write about some of the good, and not so good things, that have happened to me.

Okay, being me I like to start with a positive and the first amazing thing that came out of the lockdown was that I was forced to slow down. Before lockdown, I was working very hard in a job with sometimes a three hour round commute. Now, as much as I loved this job, by the time I did that final drive home on a Friday I was often shattered (demonstrated by my questionable parking skills, known as Ali’s Friday car dump.)

On top of that, I felt the need to pack my weekends with as much as stuff as possible to “make the most of them” often seeing people Friday night, gym Saturday morning, seeing more people Saturday day and evening before packing in all the weekly chores and food shop on the Sunday. While I enjoyed keeping busy, looking back I don’t think I actually really ‘chilled’ at all and more importantly, with all the socialising, I don’t know how much time I socialised with the most important person…Stu.

This manic lifestyle all came to a halt when as well as being told I would be going on furlough and taking a break from work, I discovered I would also be unable to leave the house more than once a day and socialising would be limited to FaceTime.

Like any big change, at first this was very hard to deal with. In the week I managed to keep myself busy with LinkedIn learning, meditation, home workouts and ALOT of baking. However, by the time it got to the weekend and the most exciting part of the day was a zoom quiz, the novelty started to wear off.

Things were made even more tough as in addition to being the first ever lockdown, this was the first time Stu and I had ever lived together. As you can imagine this was a recipe for a fair few arguments, top ones including: when I wanted to paint a bird bath by myself and got angry when Stu didn’t trust me to clean the brushes…Another, when Stu was hell bent on re watching the Pompey FA cup final in real time on the anniversary despite me organising a zoom call at the same time…And finally me nearly setting the kitchen on fire when I thought it would be a good idea to melt the butter in the microwave (with the tin foil wrapper still on!)

Thankfully, even with these arguments over these very serious subjects, with the slower pace of life and the lack of work stress Stu and I got probably the best quality time together that we’d ever had. Going on our daily walk together meant more than any of our previous dates, staying up later than we could before to watch classic boxsets was more fun than any night out and knowing I was safe with my soulmate as the world was in chaos made me feel luckier than I ever had before.

The second not so positive thing but actually turned out to be the best thing ever was the journey to Stu’s and my wedding. Stu and I had originally planned to get married on the 18.07.20. This was quite a long engagement as Stu proposed back on 17.11.18 but as we decided to get our house first, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Unfortunately, as we all now know, weddings and covid didn’t really mix. This meant that if we were going to get married on this original date, it would have been with just 30 people, they’d all be wearing masks and there would be no party. Not a fan of this plan, Stu and I agreed to postpone our wedding to the following April. This would give the world nearly a year to get back to normal and give us our dream wedding. Again, unfortunately, seven months wasn’t enough time to solve covid and as our new wedding date got closer the restrictions increased. Now, if we got married we’d just have eight people and absolutely no reception at all.

Desperately trying to be positive, Stu and I tried to get excited about this new smaller plan. Sadly, as much as I told myself this would still be a special day, I couldn’t forget my original dream wedding, surrounded by all my favourite people. Thankfully, in March 2021, Boris gave us a glimmer of hope when he said that after 21.06.21 all restrictions would be gone and weddings would be back to normal!

After some gentle persuasion, Stu agreed to reschedule the wedding one last time to 14.08.21 and even though it’s the biggest cliche ever, I can honestly say it was the happiest day of my life. You can read all the gushing details about my dream wedding here but to cut a long story short, everything was beyond perfect made even more perfect by one extra special wedding guest we hadn’t originally planned for.

This brings me to my final wonderful thing to come from the last two years, Sienna. Okay, now I know Sienna and Covid aren’t exactly connected, despite what people say about lockdown activities for couples! However, Sienna’s arrival has been without a doubt the best ever thing to happen in the last two years and my life in general.

Again, you can read all about how Sienna came about here and her arrival nine months later here but to summarise back in May Stu and I agreed to not exactly start trying but to stop not trying (tmi sorry mum if you’re reading!) With all the wedding rescheduling I knew my body clock was ticking and I was fully aware how long a baby can take to come about. This in mind I thought we should probably get things into motion.

To my complete surprise and delight, we were beyond lucky and in June we discovered we were going to be parents. As Sienna was so prompt, it did mean I wouldn’t be drinking at my wedding or hen party, I wouldn’t have a fake tan with bleached teeth and our honeymoon would be in England. But none of this mattered as walking down the aisle with my bundle of joy growing in my belly made the day a million times more special than I could ever imagine.

In conclusion, it’s been a hell of a two years since that original announcement. And while I won’t be rushing to do a zoom quiz or wait in a hour long queue for Tesco anytime soon, I am so grateful for everything I’ve learned and gained thanks to Covid.

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