Well, as crazy as it may feel to some, we have done it again. Another 365 turns around the sun. And whilst I am still reeling from 2020, I think it’s fair to say that 2021 has taught us a whole set of lessons in it’s own right. So what are they? And how can we learn from them?
1) Going out is expensive
If, like me, you like to socialise, then you may have been reminded of just how expensive going out can be. One of my biggest costs is socialising and I saved a packet in 2020. Then 2021 showed up and reminded me just how much drinks, food and taxis cost. It is not a cheap affair and the reality of it may have smacked you in the face too.
2) Negative lateral flows – we love to see it
The panny d is still with us, two years on and in 2021, many of us started to take lateral flow tests as part of our everyday routine. Going into the office? Lateral flow. Heading to the theatre? Lateral flow. Attending your bestie’s birthday party? Lateral flow.
Whatever the reason behind you taking a test, nobody will deny the sense of relief that comes with a negative result. It is licence to get on with your business.
3) Inflation is letting rip
Everything is more expensive than it was. Fuel, beer, food, the lot. As the government had to shell out billions in the midst of the pandemic, we kinda knew things would get more expensive. But 2021 has given us a glimpse into the future and it’s pricey, folks.
4) The UK likes to panic buy
If you thought that the toilet roll shortage of 2020 was just one off, then 2021 fuel shortage showed you otherwise. The UK likes to panic buy and if the government tells us not to, the British public does it anyway. We are a greedy lot, when it comes down to it and we like to ensure that own tanks are full.
5) The commute is still shite
Millions of us have headed back to the office. At first we were lulled into a false sense of security; the roads were less busy than usual and the buses were less crowded. But it didn’t last for long. Traffic, congestions and delays came back to remind us that the commute is still shite. You have to get dressed for it as well. For some reason, wearing your slippers to an in-person meetings is frowned upon.
6) Colds can be as grotty AF
In 2020, we kind of forgot that other viruses were a thing. And a lot of us escaped the usual cold and flu that routinely does the rounds. Then 2021 landed, we started socialising again, masks were thrown by the wasteside and what do you know? Colds came back with great force. I can personally confirm that the worst lurgy ever was not the one. I was left feeling grotty (and extremely sorry for myself) for almost four weeks. This whole episode actually prompted me to start experimenting with homeopathic cold and flu remedies.
7) The UK has some pretty phenomenal sights
Hands up if you spent your summer on a rainy caravan holiday in Yorkshire. Come on, I know I wasn’t the only one!
As it was trickier than usual to get abroad, many of us holidayed in the UK instead of venturing to sunnier climes. And do you know what? It taught us all just how gorgeous this country is. Many of us came back from our staycations saying: “do you know what? I really enjoyed that. Britain is beautiful.”
8) Soft play is a wonderous place
If you’re a parent of a small child, then I can almost guarantee that you’ve had to spend Saturday morning there, begrudging. But after going without in 2020, 2021 came along to show us all that soft play is a gift sent form above. It’s indoors (so you don’t need a rain coat), you kid can run around until their heart’s content, it burns a couple of hours and they sell coffee. What’s not to love? (I still wouldn’t advise going on a hangover, mind).
9) Zoom can get in the bin
We are all Zoom-d out, aren’t we? And we would rather go to the pub with our mates, then sit in front of a computer on a Friday evening. We all made the most of it and we were very thankful for the technology when we literally couldn’t leave the fucking house. But we got back out there in 2021 and we were reminded that Zoom pub quizzes are not the one.
10) Staying in wasn’t all that bad
I have spoken to lots of people that are feeling overwhelmed by their list of social engagements. Because now we can meet up again, we want to. But there are only so many hours in the day and time is limited, so some of us have found ourselves looking back on being stuck in the house with rose-tinted glasses. “Ahhh, remember when we got to stay in the house all weekend?”
So what will 2022 teach us? Let’s find out, eh.