Hello everyone, first and foremost, I wish you all, a belated, very very Happy New Year.
How was Christmas? For me, well I had planned to drive back to Ireland and suddenly Covid dealt it's usual wild card and I was forced to cancel our drive and make a mad dash for the airport. We spent it with my family in Dublin and overall it was lovely in our family bubble with virtually no contact with the outside world. I know how hard it must have been for so many who didn't see family or have contact with loved ones. What a hooley we are going to have with this is over.
I was walking with my kids the other day and I asked them to tell me 3 things they'd like to achieve in 2021. I was shocked by each of their responses. Each of them mentioned physical and mental health and their desire to stay healthy throughout the coming year. It got me thinking to this time last year. I remember it like it was yesterday, them saying to me 2020 is your year Mum. We all had this weird feeling that 2020 was going to be our year. A year of positivity and good fortune. It wasn't just me. It was so many people. So many people went into 2020 with such optimism and positivity. Little did we know...
I recall the first time I heard the word COVID. This virus that had hit China and was rapidly spreading and could become a global pandemic. Hands up, I did not take it seriously. I thought it was propaganda. Chat, being taken out of all proportion. I visited 3 countries in the first 3 months of 2020. I launched Le Hat and visited Florence twice. I did a photo shoot in Portugal and then the word "lockdown" came up. Really?? Really...? The Government was instructing us to "STAY HOME". I mean, can you believe it. What did this mean? "STAY HOME" Like, really "Stay Home"..? We had gone from being a pushy "Super Power" to be pleading with the nation to "Stay Home"! People were dropping like flies, hospitals are operating to maximum capacity, travel had stopped, motorways were clear and busy streets were empty. There was an eerie silence everywhere. In supermarkets people spoke quietly, almost in whispers. Heads dropped, masks covering our faces with just our eyes in view however, total lack of eye contact for fear that we might infect or become infected by just a glance. We were all afraid and I for one was truly humbled and afraid.
In the early days of lockdown I was in the supermarket. The shelves were bare and there were rations on some foodstuffs, pasta, baked beans, butter... I was at checkout and an elderly lady was behind me. I could tell she was really troubled, tears welling in her eyes. I asked if she was Ok and she quietly said no not really. She explained this was the 3rd supermarket she had visited in search of porridge. Her husband and she had had porridge for breakfast every day for as long as she could remember and all supermarkets had run out. Porridge for breakfast was their staple diet and the thought of having to find an alternative was inconceivable. Small problem for some perhaps but for her, a big one. I felt worried for her but I also didn't want to intrude too much or seem over friendly. I got brave and said I have a big bag of porridge at home would you like it? Her face lit up. She was so grateful. I asked for her address and said I would have it delivered in half an hour. I delivered it and I cannot explain how good it felt to see her face as she opened the door. She wasn't sure if I was genuine and also was probably wary of some random stranger landing at her door. I handed it over and gave my number and asked for hers just incase she needed anything in the future. This was one very small act of kindness from my side but my point is, I was only one of so many people that, through this period, have found ways and means to help the needy and go that extra little bit to help. Our nation should be so proud of itself.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I think 2020 has been the most incredible life changing experience for us all. My kids, like many of their friends, want change. They want others to be healthy. They want the world to be a better place. They want change and they want normality. Not the old normality... new normality. A place where people genuinely care about each other. People talking and communities mixing and supporting each other.
At the end of the day, this period has taught us to love, to care, to respect, to support and to think of others. To Share. To be kind. To truly understand love.
Happy New Year and I cannot wait to share the newness we have coming.
Big big love