2020 started off like all previous years with phrases such as – this is going to be the year, thank heavens 2019 is over, this is my year etc. etc. Little did we know how 2020 was going to put the world in turmoil, that life as we knew it was not going to be the same, that we were going to have to make changes to how we lived, hugs and kisses where no longer going to be allowed as signs of affection and wearing a mask was going to become the new normal.
Early January and I’d excitedly booked a few tours with Johannesburg Heritage, which were to places I really wanted to visit and learn more about. One was Rose Road in Houghton (got this one in before lock down) and the other was Noordegesig (cancelled due to lock down). The Public Swimming Pool group decided to visit one more pool and then finish off the project with an exhibition and a Zine on the project would be for sale at Victoria Yards in early MAY (cancelled due to lock down).
Everything was like it normally was – the white butterflies migrated, Friends of the Cemeteries met for their cleanup sessions. I won a tour with Joburg Places as well as a trip around Joburg in the cutest car called a Jozibug, a tour with Joburg360, went with friends to a storytelling dinner at the Thunder Walker, Terry won some money on a Jacaranda radio competition – things were looking good so far.
A group of us arranged a tour to Alexandra township to attend a Shembe church gathering, which turned out to be a tour of the hostels as the members of the Shembe church had gone off to pray somewhere else. We were not disappointed as this was another side of township life we had wished to explore. Little did we realise that our lives were about to change and that this would be our last outing for awhile.
MARCH 2020 and the stories had started to surface, I did not take much notice of what was happening in China but became more concerned when Australia ran out of toilet paper, people were panicking and had started to horde but why toilet paper? Stories of a strict lockdown for 21 days had been circulated as the Covid19 virus had hit our shores. My brother-in-law was here and needed to get back to New Zealand before the world went into lock down, I felt my sisters panic, it now became very real. Well the rest we all know.
I began to knit, crochet, draw, sketch, embroider, clean out, we painted our lounge, tended to our garden, baked, the Jozi Land artists did a virtual Land Art event and I attend more webinars than I can count. All in all I had a lot to do but the best was that I did not need to suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) as we were all locked up and nothing was happening out there. Pull on pants, sloppy tops and slippers became the attire of the day, hair went almost to grey but I was happy and above all else healthy and so was my family. It was good to get dressed up to go to the shops for essentials but equally good to get back to the safety of my home.
JULY restrictions started to be lifted and parks were opened. My first social outing was a walk in the park with friends which, in all honesty, I did not enjoy as I just wanted to get home. This anxious feeling lasted for a while when going out, there was no coffee chats or moving on to some other place as it was a case of do what you intended and get home. By late AUGUST it was almost back to normal with exploring places, doing photo walks and socializing with friends – all done, of course, with a mask, sanitizing of hands and trying very hard not to touch ones face.
I did some Land Art at the Hilson Bridge festive festival, bade farewell to a few friends who moved down South, started a few projects that will carry me into 2021. I can honestly say that with this new strain of the virus, I would welcome another lockdown. People have become far too relaxed plus I feel we need to learn some lessons from this – if only to be better Humans and to understand that we need to take care of Mother Earth.
2020 taught me a few things that I’m grateful for – I don’t need to surround myself with stuff, I don’t need so much of anything, I can let go of things that don’t add to the happiness of my life as well as to not sweat the small stuff. As long as my family are healthy, safe and happy, I have my person to take care of and he of me, to give me the odd hug and to continue to understand where I’m at, all is good. I can’t forget my wonderful feathered baby who never fails to amuse me.
I don’t think the beginning of 2021 is going to be any better than what we are experiencing now but hopefully it will improve as the months go by.
I wish you all well…lets try and make the most of a bad situation, take care and respect each other plus do our bit to make the world a better place.