Can you still remember what you did on New Year’s Eve? I can – when the clock struck 21:30 on the 31st of December, Elaine and I were so fed up with 2020 that we both went straight to bed. Usually for New Year’s, we’d be at a party with friends or, at the very least, watch London’s New Year’s fireworks on the telly, but this year even London had nothing to celebrate after the Mayor cancelled the event altogether. For the first time in many years, the Elizabeth Tower found herself standing alone out in the cold, and as the midnight moment arrived, the capital was quiet.

When the sun rose on January 1st, my social media newsfeed lit up with optimism as people started celebrating the fact that 2020 was behind us, but there was one small problem – nothing has changed overnight. Okay that’s not entirely true, overnight we finally left the EU’s orbit as the Brexit transition period came to an end, but that was it. Even though we flipped the calendar, Covid was still here. Global infection rates were on the rise again and 2021 started looking more and more like its predecessor, the very year we were all trying to get away from. Our year was supposed to start with a 3-week holiday in Australia and two quick trips to South Africa (for 3 weddings), but this too got cancelled and we were told to stay home a little longer.

All good things come to an end, but luckily for us, so does the bad.

When the UK approved the first Covid vaccine and administered the world’s first Covid jab live on television, I felt immensely proud and excited as it signalled the beginning of the end of this pandemic. The UK started vaccinating its adult population at the fastest rate in Europe and it was fantastic to see the death and infection rates fall rapidly. As the weeks went by, we carefully tracked the UK’s progress as they worked their way down the age groups until, finally, we were invited to book our appointments. This was a BIG moment for us after spending 15 months at home with no travel plans and limiting the amount of people we were socialising with.

So, yesterday, around midday, Elaine travelled up to Bishops Stortford where she received her first jab at Avanti Meadows School, and this morning, I got my jab at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon. Even though we had our jabs on different days, in different parts of the country, we were both amazed by the speed and efficiency in which the NHS teams are administering these jabs to the public – it truly is an incredible national effort! We’ve both had the Pfizer vaccine and will receive our second jabs in August.

Thank you so much NHS, we look forward to seeing the world around us open up again!

Oh, and we promise we won’t wait another 5 months before our next post, check back soon 🙂