It’s been a tough year for everyone everywhere, and so much so that I lack some of my usual enthusiasm to write a glowing end-of-year report that celebrates the highlights properly. The highlights seem to pale in significance beside the big negatives that characterise 2020. The global pandemic. The mental, financial and social strains that came with it. The mudslinging in politics across the Irish Sea and the Atlantic. The tragic death of George Floyd and others. Yet all these abysmal lows also resulted in highlights. More community, consideration and care for each other to fight the virus. A vaccine. Creativity to beat the boredom. Election results that give hope for a better future, and broad, international social movements that are fighting for the rights of those that have been marginalised or discriminated against. As 2020 ends, I feel hopeful that it can only get better from here on in.
In terms of fandom, this was an enjoyable year, again. Even if the much anticipated run of Richard’s latest theatre project UV was cut short after just a few weeks, the year has ended with the broadcast of the filmed version of the play on the BBC last night.
I have not seen it yet, but there are ways and means 🤐. And Richard has entertained us with his audio books and with some very nice interviews over the months. With hints of a long-form piece of writing being released and his production company taking off, we may look forward to some interesting new things coming out in 2021. That’s something to anticipate with excitement and enthusiasm.
On the more active side of fandom, the resounding success of our fundraisers has made me very happy. After the “traditional” birthday fundraiser in August, you all came together for a second fundraiser in December. In total you raised 4692.82 Pounds. *This* year! That is actually also more than we raised in 2019! In a year that has been a financial strain for almost everyone. If that isn’t a highlight, then what is?
Looking at 2020 from my own, personal perspective, and leaving the strain of the pandemic aside, it has actually been a good year. It started so well with the trip to the first preview of UV in London in January… Of course, I would have loved to see it again as planned, but in hindsight I am fully reconciled and happy with my decision to cancel my trip
even though lockdown had not yet been announced at that stage. While the novelty of lockdown life very quickly wore off, and not seeing my friends and family in the flesh has been tough, me and my family made the most of it. We had a lovely mini holiday in Ireland at the beginning of July, and we have kept ourselves busy with home improvements and other domestic “pleasures”. I was also incredibly lucky to find a new regular client for whom I am writing content every week. That has taken an enormous amount of strain off my shoulders. My creative needs are satisfied not only by writing for my client, but also by crafting. My Etsy store has really taken off, and I can’t even express how much fun it is for me to make those little mini books and then even be so lucky as to have people interested in buying them. An unexpected side-effect of the pandemic has been the extension of my time with my daughter. She is now a grown-up, and she was due to move into her own space albeit in the basement of our house at the beginning of the year. But instead of languishing down there on her own, she has moved back into her old room. And so she is around every day as her college classes have *all* been moved online, and I cherish the extra time I have been given with her. It is wonderful to have a grown-up daughter with whom we now have conversations and discussions at equal level. Meanwhile, my son has moved to Berlin and proven that he can live and organise his life quite independently – in a constant struggle with German bureaucracy 😂. However, he gave me a great gift when he immediately jumped at the chance to spend Christmas with my mother. It was the perfect solution to a difficult dilemma. And even though parted, we all had a very nice Christmas with plenty of food and many gifts, both tangible and intangible. Oh, and the undoubted highlight of my kitchen year has been the arrival of our new, colour-changing water kettle.
Time for the customary end-of-year message of thanks to Richard
a year like this one truly makes us, the “ordinary”, adoring public, feel much in tune with our celebrity favourites. Because the experience of 2020 with life under lockdown was universal. We all had to adjust to a life in private rather than in the public. Nevertheless, you continued working and increased your already prolific output of audio books. From the glimpses into your life you have provided in recent interviews, it sounds as if you really used the enforced “unemployed” time well. Attempting and finishing your first novel (?) – that is a truly inspiring achievement. I can’t wait to see what you have been up to, also in terms of new projects coming up. Especially with your own production company, the name of which you *still* are keeping under wraps… I was lucky enough to watch you live on stage in the Harold Pinter Theatre. It was a great start to the year, and yet another inspirational experience. Thanks to you and your colleagues you have made the *one* live theatre experience I had in 2020 a good one, with a lasting impression that will tide me over until I can – finally – enter a theatre safely again.
Even though I wish we had seen more of you in 2020, thank you for the entertainment you have provided, for taking an interest in your fans by replying and liking on Twitter, and for sharing the causes you are interested in. Moreover, I am also grateful for your acknowledgment of the charity initiative helmed by me but executed by your many kind and generous fans. It means a lot to us to know our gift – even though not tangible to you – has been received.
For 2021 all the best for your professional and personal endeavours – a good reception of your work, whether written or acted; success with your production efforts; a happy and inspiring private life to balance out your intense work. May only scripts with fascinating characters cross your desk, and may your wardrobe studio always be busy.
With much love,
And to all of you readers out there
Thank you to you for enriching my 2020 with your comments, support and love. Through the ups and downs of Pandemia, you have been a constant that keeps me reading, fangirling and blogging. As such, you have added to my mental balance, by keeping me curious about what is going on in our fandom circle – and in the world at large. I appreciate your presence here on my blog so much – even though I have been slack with replying and reacting to comments this year. None of this – whether it is blogging, creating and crafting, tweeting, fundraising, RAwatching or simply exchanging silly jokes – would be possible without you. I am grateful that I am not sitting in an echo chamber but that you are here to suggest, contradict, inspire, challenge, entertain, delight or tease me. May 2021 only bring good things to you. You deserve it. ❤️