Bye Bye 2020

Readers, the year swallowed me whole.

If you’ve been wondering where I disappeared to, it was clearly no where because absolutely nothing is allowed. But after a good start and a determination to stay positive and robust I got knocked down by one too many curve balls and too a break from writing.

My apologies to the loyal followers of this blog. I will definitely continue to write I just need to think about how I regroup and get going again. But the year absolutely cannot finish without a recap of some of the better things that happened, because it wasn’t ALL terrible. Nothing ever is, it just feels a bit that way when things suck.

In January I managed four days away in a air B&B in the highlands and it was sheer bliss. I took myself of n a vey role boat in the deep winter of January and drove to an idyllic cottage where I was made welcome and given a very cosy room to sleep with a fire place (absolute adult goals is a fireplace in the bedroom!) and wooden shutters at the window to keep out the harsh winter winds. There was such a serenity and sense of calm there I was able to sleep, work on my book and completely recharge.

I had such a wonderful time that I left vowing to return the following January, obviously clueless as to what lay ahead. But then weren’t we all?

February saw us take a holiday to Lanzarote with The Mothership and Father Bear. As you know, The Mothership has dementia and this has taken up so much emotional energy as I watch her deteriorate. That said she very much enjoyed her time away in the moment. At least I think she did, on day five we were heading to bed when she said ‘did we just arrive today?….’ *weeps*

In March I went home from work with a suspicious new and continuous cough and was told at the time to self isolate for 7 days. That was almost ten months ago because as I sat on my garden bench in the weak March sunshine thinking I was quite jammy to get a week off work, the world suddenly became a Netflix movie and it wasn’t very cool at all. It was an absolute horror show. Sea swimming became a no go and life imploded. I resorted to a cold bath in the garden to keep acclimatisation going.

Mum struggled to make sense of my inability to hug her and everything stopping. But we soldiered on and I was thankful I was at least able to see her unlike many whose loved ones were in hospital or homes.

There’s good news though. In amongst the horror, there were good things happening. I fulfilled a life long ambition to publish a book and it received wonderful reviews and sales. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy and sent feedback. I really was overwhelmed with the response. I will definitely publish again. This was hopefully the first of many, and if you are yet to purchase your copy you can order it from my website or badger your local bookstore to stock it.

We also became a lock down cliche when Orkney Beef who was shielding decided to make the most of all the time and decorate, and clear out the garage. What he then did was make me a writing room at the end of the garage which was finished just in time for Christmas and is the most sacred space. I’m absolutely in love with it and have a fantastic view as well as a cosy space to be alone and think, read or just listen to music. Thank you Orkney Beef!

View from the den

I’m not making any promises for 2021. I’m in no rush, I’ll just unfurl gently. 2020 has been hard and beautiful and crazy and great. Just like every other year, there’s been light and shade, good and terrible. let’s just keep moving forwards.

Happy 2021 to all of you. May it bring what you need when you need it.


6 thoughts on “Bye Bye 2020

  1. Thank you for being you in 2020. Yes, we are literally top toeing into 2021….no plans other than to be thankful and wait and see. Hope 2021 is kind to you and R

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for all your positivity during the year, all the stunning photos and a beautiful book.
    Happy New Year to you and your family. Keep swimming and smiling. 🎉🎉🎊🎊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello again far away cold-water swimmer, I so love reading your posts and am always happy to hear that you are still facing life with courage, humor and that blessed positive light (even when the darkness threatens to snuff it out). I just wanted to drop a line and say hello from afar. With your rising fan base, you may not remember me, but I’m the gal from Northern California who had offered to help with your book in return for help with my YA series set in Orkney (the first book of which is nearly done, uggggg)….anyhow, I hope the new year is more gentle for you, Orkney beef, and your parents (as well as for everyone, jeesh, this year!!). My friends and I have formed what we like to call “Mermaid Church” to swim at 11am each Sunday in the Pacific. My husband and I live right at the beach, so we usually go about 5 times a week…but our group swims on Sunday are sacred as we formed a family in a time of separation.  I often think of you across the sea, your story, and the healing that came to you from embracing the cold.  I’ve been practicing the Wim Hoff method for the last 6 months or so (thanks Covid) along with daily ocean swims, and it’s led to a near complete recovery from black mold allergies and Lyme disease (which was already better, but not 100% by far)…in any case, may the healing continue. I hope to meet up with you in Orkney one day for a swim! Here’s a photo of 1/2 of our group from the last Sunday mermaid church that I thought you’d enjoy.  I’m third from the right and my husband is just to my left.  Our water’s about 50 degrees now (though we swim in a river that flows into the ocean too, and that’s 40 degrees…we only stay in about 10 minutes there)….note that we go in true au naturel, hippie style…we are from Northern California after all.  Hugs across the sea,Cyndy 


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