Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Luce Smith
Features Writer
12:16 PM 23rd December 2020

A Quite Enjoyable Year

I feel bad for saying this, but I have quite enjoyed this year.

I have been lucky in that I have continued to keep my full time job and work from home. I have been able to get out and walk my dog, go for a run and enjoy spending time in my house. No one close to me has been hospitalised through having Covid or been significantly affected, which is brill.
It’s been a great time for me to stop living life as I knew it, and start living in a new way. Don’t get me wrong, my life hasn’t been a bed of roses this year as my house needs damp proof work, my garden fence came apart, my car broke down and my long term relationship ended! I had to adjust to being back on my own. At least lockdown was good for hibernating without anyone asking questions, or walking into pubs and being asked where the ‘other’ half was. I was able to cry whilst out and about, feel sad in the comfort of my own home, and take time to heal. I also rekindled my love of music of many genres and asked Alexa to turn up the volume many a time!

Like many other dogs, mine was also a victim of being walked too many miles this summer. We found new walks as we were able to go further in a morning as I didn’t have to commute to the office. We were spoiled as the Holme Valley is beautiful and there are so many wonderful walks on my doorstep. Another blessing about lockdown for me.

One of the walks, which I love, takes me up onto the moorland and into forestry areas. There is something really magical about a forest for me and Bella (my dog) loves it as there are so many rabbit trails and squirrel smells.

Coming back through the forest I bumped into a familiar face, a guy we had seen walking his dog in the local field a few times this summer. I stopped and chatted and found that we had both had a difficult time and found some solace whilst out walking, Whereas I had enjoyed listening to music to get me through some tough moments, this guy went a few steps further as he wrote his own songs and performed on his YouTube channel! Whilst walking home it really struck me just how therapeutic music could be at any level, for me just listening to it, and for this guy writing, playing and performing. Lockdown really had some great opportunities for people to focus on things they never had time to do in ‘normal’ times. This guy did exactly that. I later found that he had recorded many songs during the summer lockdown and when I bumped into him again, he shared his YouTube channel with me. I was blown away by his talent and felt that he had been much more productive over lockdown than me!

This song in particular really resonated with me - check it out here:

Sometimes music just moves you and this was one of my lockdown songs that did just that. Along with a bit of Radio1, I got through my days!

I’ve had so many wonderful conversations whilst walking Bella, which has kept me sane through the whole of this year. So what will 2021 look like for me? All being well, listening to more music and hearing new sounds, continuing to build strong relationships with those I connect with and to carry on walking miles from my doorstep!

Keep safe and well, keep talking to one another and let’s smash 2021!