Friday, December 11, 2020

A Rather Unsettling Year news

Everybody's had it tough this year. I know of at least one family in my own small circle who are all in hospital as I write. Many people are far worse off than we are. I, at least have been able to work, although my children haven't - mostly. I rail ineffectually against the government for its mismanagement, but at least I'm in my own home and we have enough to eat. I really  ought to count my blessings ever day, but it's difficult, sometimes. So here's our story of 2020.

On the 4th October, it was exactly a year since my younger daughter received her breast cancer diagnosis. We reflected on the year so far and wondered what would happen next.

Phillipa couldn't work from that point on, as she was no longer able to go off on cruises. She was able to do a few gigs, but not enough to keep her, so lost the flat she was going to move in to. So she stayed with me. Her treatment was shared between out local hospitals, anyway, so it was all for the best. Her sister performed all the chauffeuring (is that a word?) duties and her brother and I looked after her at home. After her operation (successful) her radiography started - every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day, until the end of January. Talking to her occasional duo partner, they decided to see if their cruise line needed anyone - and they did! For exactly a month - February. And when they got back - what happened?

Suddenly, all my children were out of work. All gigs stopped and only the odd one has cropped up. Meanwhile, over last winter, my publisher sold out to one of the Big Boys, just as I was having a book released. I worried. Oh, boy, how I worried. This is my day job, and now, not only I, but two of my offspring were relying on it, and Big Boys are not quite as forbearing as independent publishers. So there we were, over winter, with one daughter in the grip of something rather nasty and me terrified I was going to lose my job.

However, a few good things have happened. First, Phillipa recovered beautifully. Then, I got my agent, who sorted out the publishers, with whom I have got on like a house on fire ever since. The three older children all managed online gigs of sorts, while the youngest, Leo, had his first book published. Not a good time for that, of course. All events (signings, etc) were cancelled. My grandchildren have both started new schools during the last couple of weeks. And in October the 21st in the Libby Sarjeant series was released.

And both younger children have recorded albums. Phillipa's is of songs wot her dad wrote, and the first single released actually reached number one in the Country Chart. Leo's is of self penned songs and is already out. So we've all kept busy despite the pandemic.

Finally, I Got Ill. Actually spent a week in hospital. Diabetes related and I am still recovering. but thanks to the NHS I am still here. Like most other people who have recourse to their services, I am stunned and grateful to them. I had a rather nasty relapse (poor Leo suffered the brunt of that) but finally was released into the community with a whole battery of new medication.

And now my granddaughter is self isolating because someone in her class has become infected. Like many families, we will be separated for Christmas. The boys and I will be in my house, Lou and her family in hers, and goodness knows where Phillipa will be.  Lou has managed a couple of live streamed, socially distanced concerts. Miles has given us a few living room concerts and I've been hiding.

This blog is now part of my new website, and I started it back in October. Then came the nasty relapse and everything went on hold. I had hoped to make it a cheery, hopeful post, but with the world as it is - rising Covid numbers and Blasted Brexit on the horizon, all under a government who don't appear to know how to govern a classroom, let alone a country, that was a vain hope. So we keep on keeping on. I'm trying to write Libby 22, and not succeeding very well, but I will keep going.

Have as Happy a Christmas as you can, people, and here's hoping 2021 turns out better than 2020.