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2021

Well, so far the first day of 2021 is going pretty well. Work was fairly quiet with no problems or horrible customers. Possibly because most people assume we'll be closed New Year's Day. Which, to be honest, I think we could be. It would make us all a lot happier too.

This is the point where I look back at the resolutions specific goals I made for myself this time last year and have to admit that I have failed every single one of them in every single way.

1. Find a form of exercise that I don't hate. I'm sorry, I just hate exercise. I could say I was hampered by the gyms having to close, but if I'm honest with myself I'd have been too scared to go anyway.

2. Post all of my 2019 365 photos before the end of 2020. Did I post a single 365 photo last year? No. No, I did not. I don't know why I keep procrastinating this so much. Possibly because most days I took quite a few pics and I'll have to choose which ones to use and, as we all know, I am forever paralysed by indecision.

3. Finish reading all the books I've got on the go right now (Furiously Happy, Wild Magic, The President is Missing, A Dance With Dragons: Dreams and Dust) before the end of 2020. I did not finish a single one of those books. But I did read bucketloads of fanfic. Of which I also have multiple stories on the go at any one time cos I keep starting a new one before I've finished the old.

4. Post the fanfiction that I'm currently working on. It is still not posted. It is also still not finished and, as with everything else on this list, I have made little to no progress on it in the last twelve months. I did start writing three other fics though, which is not at all helpful for this particular goal.

So there we have it. Total fail. I feel like I should be able to blame 2020 for this. Everything about that year was just crazy and I don't think it should count.

Actually, yeah, that's what I'm going to do. 2020 doesn't count and I'm trying again. Here are my New Year's Goals for 2021:

1. Walk more. (I'm never going to like formal exercise, but I do enjoy walking around places. Especially if it's a good place for photography. Hopefully it won't be long before I can travel again too.)

2. Post all of my 2019 365 photos before the end of 2021. (I'm not giving up on this just because it's two years ago now.)

3. Get back into reading books and finish all the ones I've got on the go right now. (I do love fics and I'm not going to stop reading them, but I should try and branch out a little. Get a bit more variety in my reading habits.)

4. Post the fanfictions that I'm currently working on. (Yes, all of them. Probably won't happen but I can try. I need to make myself sit down and actually focus on writing though, which has been difficult lately.)

So there we have it. My goals for this year. Hopefully I will do a better job of achieving them this time around!
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Good Riddance, 2020

Only a few hours of 2020 left now and I think it's safe to say that we'll all be happy to see the back of this dumpster fire of a year. I know that things won't magically change overnight, but I'm still hopeful that 2021 will bring better things. Eventually. Maybe.

Normally I try to stay up until midnight to watch the London fireworks on TV, but they're not having any this year. Apparently they'll be showing the highlights of 2020 instead, which I assume is just a 30 second clip of Captain Tom Moore walking around a garden. I'm working tomorrow morning and I'm genuinely considering just going to bed at my normal time this evening. It'll be the first time I haven't stayed up to see the New Year in for as long as I can remember though, which feels a bit sad. But doesn't that just perfectly sum up 2020?
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Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Selfie! =D


I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Mum and I are enjoying opening presents and drinking Bucks Fizz. She hasn't yet reached the one with the now-traditional puzzle to solve, but it's not far away.

Also, because I am that unfortunate combination of vain and ugly, I took multiple pics trying to find one I liked for the selfie at the top of this entry. In honour of that, have three more where I don't completely hate my face:

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Merry Christmas!
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One More Sleep

I have eggnog in my glass and Muppets on my TV. Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Also, I came so close to winning Whamageddon this year thanks to the sound system being broken at work, but they fixed it just in time for me to fall at the final hurdle. Alas!
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Tiers and Tiers

Greetings from Plague Island where the government has well and truly scuppered everyone's Christmas plans. To be honest I'm not hugely surprised, it was always going to be a bad idea to allow three households to meet up for five days, but I am disappointed. Mum and I weren't ever planning on having a big gathering, we just wanted my brother (and his partner if she didn't have other plans) to come round, but they're in Tier 4 now so aren't allowed to go anywhere.

We're still in Tier 2 at the moment, but will be leapfrogging Tier 3 to join them in Tier 4 on Boxing Day. The main consequence of that being I'm going to get shouted at again by loads of customers who don't watch the news and think the shop being collection only is some sort of personal attack on them. So that's something to look forward to.

I'm still trying to embrace festive spirit though. I've watched Christmas episodes of The Nanny and Lois & Clark, along with The Princess Switch: Switched Again, A Knight for Christmas, and The Man Who Invented Christmas. I'm working until 4 tomorrow but am still hopeful that I'll be able to fit in the traditional viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol afterwards.

The presents are wrapped and under the tree, even the ones that won't be opened for who-knows-how-long, there are mini reindeer lights around my laptop, and I'm drinking a spiced orange IPA. In many ways, it feels wonderfully Christmassy and I'm doing my best to hold on to that feeling.
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O Christmas Tree

The advantage of an artificial tree is that you can put it up three weeks in advance and not worry about it losing all its needles before Christmas. So that's what I did at the weekend...

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I was a bit worried when I started cos it looked quite small and sad, but now I've thrown some lights and decorations on it I'm really pleased with how festive it looks.

And I did buy a small potted real tree too, which you can see a bit of in the bottom left hand corner of the pic. It doesn't give off the smell I'd been hoping for, but I still like it. I'm glad we have a real tree this year, even if it is tiny!
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Advent

Some people say that Advent Calendars have gone too far these days. I am not one of those people...

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Our selection for this year is made up of Lego Harry Potter, gin, wine, cheese, a Cadbury's one each, a Lindt one for me, a Maltesers one for Mum, and the reusable one that I fill up for Mum each year. This year it contains clues for the Christmas crossword that I've given her to complete and which will be necessary for her to decipher the code needed for her to unlock her presents come Christmas Day.

What those presents will be is a bit more up in the air. I'm making progress with my Christmas shopping but still have a way to go.
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Goodbye, November

And so November draws to a close. Not much to report on my end. We've spent most of the month in lockdown after all. I did built the Lego Haunted House on my week off work, so that was fun. And then went back to work to get shouted at by many people who didn't seem to realise there even was a lockdown.

The main news of the month, of course, was America correcting the terrible mistake they made four years ago and not re-electing the ridiculous orange man-baby to a second term of office as President. Well done, America. I'm proud of you. If only we were allowed to correct the terrible mistake we made four years ago when we voted for Brexit, but alas we don't have that option.

Christmas is rapidly approaching, but like everything else this year it doesn't feel quite real. Obviously I'm not going to be able to do my usual Christmas trip to London, which does make me very sad. It's something I really look forward to cos I love going up, spending time with Paul, and seeing the pretty lights and browsing the Christmas Markets and drinking mulled wine and singing along to Muppet Christmas Carol with a whole cinema of people. I even enjoy braving the crowds at Winter Wonderland in order to win small cuddly toys on the shooting games.

Another thing that's different this year is the Christmas tree. I've always been an advocate for a real tree. I love the way it smells, filling the whole room with the scent of Christmas so that when you come downstairs in the morning the very air in the house feels festive. But normally Rob drives up and we pick out the tree together, which is not an option this year cos we're in Tier Two so can't mix indoors. So I've gone for an artificial tree. Hopefully it will still look nice, and maybe I'll pick up a small potted real tree from the supermarket to try and get some of the Christmassy smell I so love as well.
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Hello, November

November already. This year really is disappearing at an alarming speed. I did consider doing NaNoWriMo to try and encourage myself to start writing again, but then I thought that I already have stories I need to work on and it would be silly to start something new. And this is the time of year when things get busy and I have even less time to write anyway. At least it is in a normal year. Who knows how it will be in the existential nightmare that is 2020? We are heading into another lockdown after all. Not that that will make much difference to me. I'll still be going to work as usual. And I haven't gone anywhere for fun since before the first lockdown anyway.

I did go into town to try and donate blood today but wasn't able to. Nothing wrong with my health or iron levels, but the artery in my arm was too close to the vein and they didn't want to risk sticking the wrong one. They were going to use the other arm, but that had the same issue. I've donated plenty of times before so I don't know why my blood vessels are misbehaving now, but it was a bit annoying. Especially when it was so difficult to get into town with the ridiculous amount of traffic around the place.