Well, just like that Queen meme where she stares silently at her speech, I just don’t know where to start with my review of 2020, which has lasted, let’s be honest, what seems like a decade.
You know the one that saw us living a Lockdown life that would have been as unbelievable 12 months ago. as a rickety Old Harbour ship, complete with blow-up Santa, shining across the causeway.
Who knew back in Feb when I pontificating, poorly as we now know, that Covid-19 was just a ‘bit of flu,’ and there was no way that you’d see me masquerading in a mask.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself in a queer quarantine, with eyelashes limper than Dominic Cummings excuses, hair a strange shade of salt and pepper brunette, masked up in leopard print, and smelling of heavy duty sanitiser – I’m sure it was one hundred per cent proof.
I even quickly cracked out ‘My Corona Virus Diary,’ thinking that, as ever the optimist, I’d shoot out several chapters then we’d all go back to normal rowing about the Vale’s ridiculous recycling rules or the total traffic chaos outside the gorgeous Goodsheds.
For someone who is supposed to be a horizon scanning supremo, my antennae were obviously slightly battered and bent that day – bit like me really.
Stuff soon got real though didn’t it as we became an isolation nation. I then found myself devoid of everything that brought meaning to my once wonderful world – the gigs, the glamour, the arts, the adventures, the trips and the travel.
Absolute nightmare – in fact, I’m so desperate to get a Gig these days I’d settle for Michael Buble.
But, every cloud has a sort of silver lining, and at least I can now set up a live stream, and know about Netflix, without shouting at the telly to behave, or the kids to swiftly suss it out for me. Hello Virtual Culture Vulture.
And then just when we were feeling slightly less shell-shocked by our strange society, boom! George Floyd was killed by cops across the water proving a pivotal moment in our fight to try to eradicate systemic and structural racism.
I was proud to be part of thelocal Black Lives Matter protest, and then a fellow founder of the Stand Up to Racism Vale Group that started a direct response to the prejudice and bigotry that’s sadly sometimes blights Barry.
I’m also bursting with Pride (pun totally intended) at being part of the LGBTQymru Collective who brought our country the first every Wales Wide Virtual Pride. We kept our community connected in these turbulent times with the Summer event, and will carry on that connection with our first-ever Wales-wide queer online magazine landing on your laptop soon.
The town’s rallying residents played their part too, of course, and, as I wrote about in the community-themed issue of Barry Magazine, Let’s Stick Together, to keep cohesive whatever the ‘Rona throws at us.
Thank God for all that writing, and the Blog, which was one of the only things that has keep me sane..ish though all this pandemic palaver.
Sweet to be seen as a Voice of the Community in the rough, tough, town I love.
September, in fact, was a marvellous month for me. I had my luscious locks at last back to Blonde, my beauty therapy was back on track, I went ‘out, out, out’ to celebrate my Birthday, and my Boy went back to College. Hallelujah to the last one, all that constant cooking, cleaning, and child care – it was like being a1950’s housewife.
But wasn’t that just a lulling us into a false sense of security. No sooner could you say ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ it all went Pete Tong and we were flung into a Firebreak Fury. Drat!
And quite frankly, since then it has all slid downhill faster than when I tackled the Trinity Street slope in the snow on a tea tray in the snow of 2010. #truestory.
A slight jump for joy at the fag end of December
Then it was a slight jump for joy in December when I thought I’d be eating turkey with my talented fashion photographer daughter and her bloke, before Boris cancelled Christmas, and Wales stuck up the shut sign again for the foreseeable.
What a way to end what, for me, has been a right rollercoaster ride of a year with tremendous highs and lows on both a personal and professional level.
Thank you to all my fabulous friends, fantastic family, and brilliant blog followers for your sterling support as I put pen to paper on my 2020 journey.
Finally, for me then, its Snowball mixed, iPhone off, and Bowie on – my cwtchy Christmas starts here.
Have a Covid-free Festive Season and a pandemic peaceful New Year.
Here’s to a happy and healthier 2021!
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
Sue’s Views, the reboot of her much-loved infamous B&D opinion column from back in the day, is where Sue gives her take on the hot topics we are all talking about in our beautiful Barry, and beyond – the good, the bad…and the ugly.