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Your 2020 positives


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I've been reading any number of friends' summaries of how awful 2020 has been, all horribly familiar.  We must all however also have taken a few positive things out of months of enforced leisure, or learnt something new (see my favourite meme of the year below)..   We discovered a host of local wildlife reserves that somehow we'd overlooked, and while we'd always been walkers, learnt how to see more wildlife rather than simply charge round a circuit.  I also rediscovered literature after a couple of years' laziness - in the summer I re-read all of Shakespeare's plays and as many Canterbury Tales as I could get my hands on, and loved that time (plus getting secondhand copies of the latter brought the secondary amusement of reading other people's school notes!).  Among the hours spent 'completing Netflix' there have been some gems too.


What positives did you get out of the year?




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seeing those NYCB streams of their archive short works was a joy

Being almost stupidly happy to get back into ROH for a performance after the summer

The bird song in the beautiful Spring / early Summer

Watching (on TV) Stradivarius winning the Ascot Gold Cup

Getting back onto a race course (Sandown) to see the horses up close (and have a winning day to boot!)

Before lockdown happened, seeing my own horse Sabrina (well, syndicated horse) win at Ascot, when I had an owners badge - and so received the winner's trophy from the Ascot CEO on the same spot The Queen would present the winner of the Ascot Gold Cup. Moment of a lifetime

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I wrote this a couple of weeks ago in a moment of mellow reflection.  For me this sums up 2020:


The year of walks and picnics.

Of sunshine and muddy trousers.

Of missing family, but getting to know the neighbours.

Of saving money on holidays, and spending it in local businesses who have worked so hard, re-inventing themselves again and again to keep going.

The year of statistics and lockdowns.

Of online rum tasting and virtual festivals.

Of realising that life doesn’t have to include commuting on crowded trains, visiting busy shops and big parties.

Of appreciating what we have and valuing every minute we got to spend with family and friends.



Edited by glowlight
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Two positives from me for 2020.


After some years I at last got round to getting a new camera. My wife and I had virtually decided on what would be good for us after a few visits to our very helpful and ever patient local camera shop. My wife was always the more IT/technically adept but I ended up getting the camera in the summer and have really enjoyed having it with me when on the fells. It’s certainly given an extra dimension, being able to zoom on distant views or wildlife.


Secondly, I found myself listening to Something Understood and a repeat of ‘Seeking Eurydice’. Sadly the programme is not available for download but there’s a description on line:


The programme included Rilke’s final sonnet from his 2 Volume Sonnets to Orpheus which has proved particularly comforting. Rilke addressed the Sonnet to himself, reflecting on the loss he felt for a friend of his daughter, a ballet student, who died very young and unexpectedly. 


Silent friend of those far away,

Feel how your breathing expands the space around you.


Let this darkness be a bell tower

And you the bell. As you ring out,

Let your toll become your strength.

Move back and forth embracing all.


What was the worst for you?

Was such drinking bitter? Be the wine.


Be in this night’s vastness

Magic at the crossroads of your senses.

Be the meaning discovered there.


And if the earthly has forgotten you,

Say to the still earth: I flow.

And tell the rushing stream: I am.

The Sonnet provides a profound sense of acceptance and I’ve found playing with the first line helpful in addressing particular circumstances:

Silent bereaved whose beloved lies far away ...


The words stay with me and recalling them on the fells has provided much solace and a strengthening resolution to enjoy what we loved. I’ve shared them with friends who have been bereaved and would like to think they may be of comfort to others.





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