Good Things in 2020

As promised, I am reposting my answers to the Twitter challenge I just undertook here! 2020 was Not A Good Year, and not just because of COVID but there were some good things about it – the good doesn’t mean that the bad doesn’t matter, but it’s important to focus on good things sometimes

Image description: white text on a purple background. 1 like = one good thing that happened in 2020

Last I checked I had 17 likes so here are 17 things!

1) I survived!

I know I keep mentioning this but it doesn’t really get much better than this, particularly because the type of brain tumour I have is one of the more aggressive kinds. I honestly didn’t expect to make it to 2018 and now it’s (just) 2021.

2) I completed my reading challenge!

It was initially set at 52 books – one a week seemed reasonable, but I managed 126! It is made a lot easier by the fact that I can’t work and so I have lots of time. I’m a fast reader anyway so that also helps.

I’ve set this year’s challenge at 52 again so we’ll see how that goes!

3) I only had to go to A&E a couple of times!

I think this photo is actually from pre-MRI, but I’ve mostly managed to stay out of hospital this year – a particularly good thing when the NHS is having to deal with so much. Hospitals are now so much of my life that they don’t scare me as much as they once did but it’s still good to keep visits to a minimum (even if one of the doctors I saw was the most attractive man I have ever seen, I think getting hospitalised on the off chance of being on the right ward during his shift would be somewhat silly)

4) My tumour didn’t grow in 2020

I have another MRI scan soon, but all the ones I had in 2020 showed that it hadn’t grown – I don’t know whether the one in January will be the same, and I’m not really sure why it hasn’t grown, but I’ll definitely take that!

5) I got to visit the West Midlands Safari Park for the first time in years!

Lots of my plans for last year were cancelled but this one managed to go ahead! I think I blogged about it at the time, but it was lovely to get out of the house and to spend time with the animals we saw.

6) I got to see both of my brothers at various times

7) I almost finished the year as Risk champion!

Dad actually won, but I was fairly close and I really enjoyed it – Risk is one of my favourite board games but I haven’t played it in a while.

8) An abstract of mine was accepted for a conference, and 9) relatedly, I attended a couple of online conferences.

This photo is me at the in person IMC back in 2016 compared to me at the virtual one in 2020!

I’m looking forward to the Gender and Medieval Studies conference in a couple of weeks time, even though I will have to miss some of it for my scan. Typical really – you wait ages to actually do something and then two things happen at once! I suspect the conference will be much more fun than the scan though.

10) Taylor Swift released not one but two new albums.

11) I managed to complete my indoor three peaks challenge!

For those of you who don’t know, the three peaks are the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland (Scafell Pike, Snowdonia and Ben Nevis). Doing the real challenge was obviously out of the question but I did the equivalent distance on my stairs, to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity.

12) I did lots of painting and drawing and managed to improve a bit!

I need to get back into it because other things distracted me, but here are some of the results:

13) I went to the wedding of one of my closest friends over Zoom

14) some friends and I have started having catch ups over Zoom

It’s really good to stay in touch with people, especially when they live so far away (these particular friends range from Glasgow to New York, so even in a ‘normal’ year it would be difficult to see them in person!

15) my cuddly toy collection has expanded rapidly!

There aren’t photos of them all but here’s a small selection, mostly of them being introduced to Arya! I know technically Billdegard von Wingen isn’t a cuddly toy but I couldn’t not include her!

16) I managed not to break a single item of technology!

And now that I’ve said that, inevitably everything will break…

17) my blog got to nearly 29000 views!

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