I was thinking of saying good riddance to 2020, but I’ve had a rethink. And I’ve changed my wording to “farewell”:  a leave taking; an expression of good wishes at parting…

This year has been so difficult for us all. Harder for some, I know, and there has been a lot of suffering. But I want to extract the positive from the grief and fear.

Looking back on just a few of my photos, I realise it is the little things that I will take from 2020. The little things that have turned into big things for me.

I fully realise that I am writing this from the position of somebody fortunate: being retired, without mortgage or work worries.  But it has still been very hard not to be together with friends or to help with family. There was a brief interlude while we were in Italy, during August, when the Covid-19 numbers went down dramatically and we were able to be with some of our family for a short while. (Always sensibly… hugs were off limits ☹).

On one hand, I will count the “little things” that are now “big things”:

  1. The members of my family and friends whom we haven’t been able to see. They mean far more to me now than before the epidemic. I love them so much. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it’s much more than that. How I miss sharing food and conversation round the table with them and taking them in my arms for a cuddle. As I write this on New Year’s Eve, we should have been celebrating our youngest daughter’s wedding, but that has been postponed until the end of this year. ☹
Baking our first pizzas in our newly-built oven, with two little helpers
Building dams in the river with Grandpa
The bride to be – next year…

2. The slower pace of life that isolation and lockdown enforced on us has been a revelation. There’s been time to bake, to discover new interests, to take long walks and to try out new recipes. Time to stop and literally smell the roses, gaze on the countryside both here and in Tuscany. Time to research and to write. It has been precious and I don’t want to forget about slowing down when all this is over.

3. Social media has been a lifeline. I think about what my Italian mother-in-law told me about her early life in England as a young war bride. How homesick and lonely she felt. How her letters took ten days to get to Italy and how she then had to wait ten further days for an answer. She had no access to a phone – or the internet as we do now. This summer I have taken part in several Zoom talks and caught up with family and fellow writers through this medium. I was able to share the amazing day when my books reached the hitherto-dreamed-of target of 100,000 sales. I celebrated by plunging into the April sea, fully clothed.

I wish you all a far happier new year. Keep safe, hold onto your dreams and keep appreciating the little things. And look forwards to when you can hug and kiss your loved ones again. 

Seen on one of my lockdown walks


About Angela Petch

Bit of a story dreamer, written four novels - a fifth in progress. I love my little family and in no particular order afterwards: Italian culture, food, wine, walking everywhere I can and especially in the Apennines, East Africa, tennis when I can, reading, reading and more reading. So much to discover still before I die.
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11 Responses to FAREWELL…

  1. What a great post. And I absolutely love your new brick oven. Lucky you! Cheers to a better year. Buon anno!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Petch says:

      Mille grazie, Pamela. My clever husband built the pizza oven from scratch… a request by our daughters. He says the pizze we make in there must be the most expensive in the world as regards the cost of materials and the hours he spent in its construction!!! The things we do for our children. Felice anno nuovo – che sia veramente. Speriamo bene!


  2. katyjohnson1 says:

    Happy New Year Angela! You’re so right about appreciating the little things. I’ve loved having my family at home for most of the year, trying out new recipes and discovering new walks close to home. I’m looking forward to being able to see more people and go to more places but I’ve got some writing done and feel very hopeful about this year xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Petch says:

      So glad you are optimistic. We will make up for this year – I feel sure of it. And let’s hope we don’t forget about the little things and start to rush around like crazy blue bottles. Take care and – maybe – ci vedremo in Italia… speriamo bene.


  3. dianaed14 says:

    True quite a few positives such as being able to hear the birds singing;. discovering my own locality in detail;doing photo walks especially in May/June when the grass behind the beach
    huts were covered in buttercups and watching nature gradually open during the spring.


  4. Hi Angela, I loved that photo of you on the beach. We also missed our family but talked to them on the phone. I don’t do zoom.
    My best news was the reception I had for my children’s book. In fact people said I should concentrate on that genre from now on!
    I even got asked to write an article by someone who had read it.It doesn’t make up for all the meetings we have missed but it helps keep me positive.
    I tried doing a jigsaw but I’m bored after an hour!
    Best Wishes for 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Petch says:

      Best wishes to you too. That’s really good about the children’s book. Don’t forget that I have five little people… what age is the book aimed at? When I do jigsaws, invariably the bit I want has been hoovered up or been lost under the settee. Take care and thanks for reading and commenting. x


  5. jessiecahalin says:

    Completely agree with this philosophy. Joyous photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Petch says:

      Thanks, Jessie – I think we had quite similar thoughts today. I don’t think my photos show up properly on a phone – hey ho! So much to learn! But a new year to learn all about it! Stay safe! And thanks for reading…


  6. Angela Petch says:

    thank you for dropping by – I have the lines “time to turn to little things…” in my head during this time. The poem by Wilfrid Wilson Graham, called “Lament”. Happier new year – let’s go forward in a positive frame of mind. Hopefully we can catch up with each other sooner than we think. x


  7. Happy New Year, Angela and I enjoyed reading your blog. Very moving! You are so right though, if there is anything this pandemic has taught us it is to cherish what we have in life and make the best use of our time. Best wishes for 2021.


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