Farewell 2020 – What a year that was!

I have a 12lb turkey and an 12lb goose currently filling my freezer and keeping each other company for a while. And there is nothing worse than freezing these birds when I would much rather have been surrounded by family and friends enjoying the festive period and eating them. But sadly in 2020 it just wasn’t to be.

I’m sure I am not alone in saying that I really am looking forward to the back of 2020 as we have missed the company of our extended families and friends.  A part of me feels guilty about this though as I was reminded today of a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuH) that states “Do not curse time, for God is Time”.  But 2020 has been a year full of so much uncertainty, when we have had to adapt to a new way of living and working. And a year filled with sadness for so many. I for one am very much looking forward to the new year. Having said that, there have been some highs among the many lows and as an eternal optimist, I know 2021 will be better. Eventually. So what will I remember the last 365 days for?

2020, the year new words, phrases and behaviours entered our world. Covid, lockdown, daily government briefings, “the germ”, face masks, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, 2 metre distancing, elbow-shaking, “you’re on mute” and the legacy hand are just a few of the things that come to mind. Clapping for the NHS, Joe Wicks? No chance! We used to have our own family workout in the garden! Less takeaways, great! Fresh bread, homemade soups, curries, naan breads and cheesecakes! Daily walks with my granddaughter, watching my little grandson grow, Mitzvah Day, Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, Christmas, all in lockdown. A new sewing machine however meant I could finally fix my curtains and make some new cushions. And of course the joys of working from home, setting up a “home office” and issues with the broadband – constantly.

The year hasn’t been fun and games for everyone – it has been difficult, relentless and unforgiving. So many people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods and income. We have all missed basic human contact with family, friends and work colleagues, their smiling faces, a hand shake and the hugs.  So many have lost loved ones to this horrible illness. Countless others are recovering and having to live with long term consequences of the illness. Our health service, doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners and carers have all been overwhelmed but have kept going to keep us safe and well. From the bin-men, postmen, shelf stackers and checkout staff in our supermarkets. Each and everyone deserves our thanks and gratitude for keeping us going. Not to forget those amazing men and women trying to continue the education of our young people in schools, colleges and universities. It’s been a difficult year, but so many have shown that humanity is inherently resilient, kind, compassionate and caring. We have seen so many acts of kindness across the country, from local communities caring for vulnerable neighbours, support for the countless organisations providing basic provisions to the homeless, to the support being given to families unable to feed their children during school holidays. To all of you, I say thank you. For keeping me and so many others, well, sane and at least 2 meters away at all times.

And as I was reminded by one NYE message, may 2021 be the year ‘corona’ reverts to being just a beer (apparently, I’m a Muslim, how would I know?), the name Donald makes us think of a DUCK, when tiers sit on a cake and bubbles are what my grandchildren love playing with!

I suppose I should end by saying farewell Europe (I’ll be back). But I wont. Instead I’ll end with wishing you all a very Happy New Year – praying for one better than the last, for each and every one of us!

“By time, indeed mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed, and done righteous deeds and advised each to truth and advised each other to patience”. (Quran 103)

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