Hi everyone! I’m back from Scotland now, just got back yesterday and had a really nice time. Mum’s graduation was lovely (if a little wet, she had the bad luck to be graduating on the day with the worst weather out of all the days we were in Dundee) and it was really nice to catch up with Nicola again after so long!
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, and time for another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is the annual Thanksgiving Freebie, another one of the ones that it gets harder for me to do every year without repeating topics, as I feel like there’s only so many options, plus I’m British, so all my knowledge of Thanksgiving comes purely from watching US sitcoms!
I did however manage to come up with something, after two years of Covid restrictions, there were a lot of things that I was very grateful to have back when they lifted, so I thought I’d share some of those with you today:
- Being able to see my sister for the first time in four years this summer
I’ll start with the most obvious one: Covid put a stop to our planned family reunion in 2020, and though we were hoping my sister might be able to come visit for my Dad’s birthday in 2021, that also wasn’t able to happen. But she was finally able to get back to the UK this summer and it was so nice to finally see her in person and not over a video screen. We’re also spending Christmas in Australia this year, which is our first Christmas as a family for about five years, so that’s going to be great as well.
2. Being able to see my friends in person and not over video chat
I don’t know about everyone else, but I got really tired of video chat! Sure we could spend hours and hours chatting over video as we would in person, but it wasn’t THE SAME. I managed to see both my friends a little over the summer and autumn in 2020 between lockdowns but it was so nice once the restrictions were finally lifted properly and we were able to see each other again more regularly.
3. Horse riding
It’s amazing how much my mental health improved once I was able to go riding again over the summer in 2020, sadly, it was short lived due to more covid restrictions in the winter, but when they were finally able to re-open permanently again, it was one of the things I was most excited to have back as it really did help my mood and my general mental health so much to be able to go riding every week, it added a little bit of normality back into my life when things were still all kind of uncertain.
4. Going to the theatre again
I knew I enjoyed going to the theatre but I don’t think I realised quite how much I loved it until I was suddenly not able to go anymore! I’ve actually been to the theatre a lot more in the past couple of years than I did before lockdown, I’d usually see one, maybe two shows a year, but in 2021, I saw four shows and by the end of this year I think I’ll have seen six? Granted I think part of that is now living in London and it just being more accessible to me, but I think since Covid, I’m also more aware of the importance of supporting live entertainment, so I try to as much as I’m able!
5. Having in-person book events and being able to meet my favourite authors and get my books signed, particularly YALC
In-person book events seemed to be one of the last things to come back, they only really seemed to start getting off the ground at the beginning of this year, so naturally my anticipation was very high. I’ve been to a few this year, and it was so nice to finally get to be in the room with other readers again, I don’t think I realised how much I’d missed it until I was back in the room with people at the VE Schwab London event back in March. I can’t even explain how giddy I felt walking back through the doors of Olympia for YALC this year, I think this year’s event had such a special atmosphere because everyone was so excited to be back and I definitely felt like I ended up with twice as many books as usual to make up for the Covid off-years!
6. Being able to spend time in places that aren’t my house
When I tell you I was ridiculously excited to get the job at the vaccination centre last summer just because it meant being able to actually leave my house everyday……
7. Finally being able to move house
This one kind of ties into the last one, our move back to London has been shifted so many times over the past couple of years because of Covid, but we were finally able to do it over the summer and it’s made me so happy! I really love being back in London, it’s allowed me to have more independence because the public transport system is so much better than in Cambridge, so it really doesn’t matter that I don’t have a driving license here, and there’s so much more to do! Everything doesn’t shut at like six o’clock! And you can go to stuff that finishes late without having to worry about missing the last bus home because the buses go after midnight.
8. Going to my first concert in about six years (ish)
Okay this one wasn’t entirely Covid’s fault, there obviously were concerts on between 2016 and 2019 but I was at Uni and couldn’t really afford concert tickets! So it kind of just happened that the first concert I went to in a while was one that was after the Covid shutdown, but it was still really great to get to go to one again and Mum and I had an amazing time at Queen + Adam Lambert. I’d love to say my next one will be whenever Taylor Swift tours the UK again, but having seen the car crash that was the US ticket sales, I’m thinking fat chance of that!
9. Being able to go on holiday again
I’ve been on a couple of UK holidays in the inter-lockdown periods and since lockdown ended, with a couple of trips to Stirling and the spa holiday with my friends last year which was AMAZING. But this year will be my first international holiday since I was in Cape Town in 2020 (and that wasn’t solely a holiday as I was doing volunteer work whilst I was out there, the family holiday part of that trip got stymied by Covid), my parents and I are going out to Australia to spend Christmas with my sister and her partner and I CAN’T WAIT.
10. Getting dressed up again
This is kind of a trivial one, but because I don’t tend to get dressed up much unless I have somewhere fancy to go, I didn’t really get to dress up, put on makeup, the whole shebang during Covid restrictions. So it was just really nice once restrictions finally lifted to get all dressed up, put some makeup on and just feel a little bit special and fancy again!
What have you enjoyed doing again since Covid restrictions lifted in your country? Let me know in the comments!
Next week’s topic is Cozy Reads, which is a topic I’ve done before, and to be honest, I’m not sure I could think of enough books to do it again, my reading tastes tends to lean more towards the heart-crushing than the cozy! So instead, I’ll lean towards what I do well, and share my Favourite Heartbreaking Reads. I think I’ve probably done a list like this before, but I read a lot of books that crush my emotions so it shouldn’t be hard to come up with more!