My Mum always used to say everyone knew where they were when John Lennon was shot and I never really believed her. That was until I heard the news that Princess Diana was dead, the twin towers had been hit and since then, over the years, few more unforgettable moments where the time and place I heard about them are engraved in my memory.
Similarly there are not one but two memories of 2020 when I will always distinctly where I was and what happened when I realised life would change forever.
Outside school, watching the kids play on the wooden pirate ship, I heard my own voice say out loud what I'd been thinking for a while "I don't reckon the kids will be back before September". That was March and an almost inconceivable thought. So much so that a few other Mums disagreed. I will always remember feeling even more positive that that was the course we were heading for once I'd heard my own voice say the words.
The second time was at Hull City's academy watching Zac my eldest son train and for whispers amongst the parents to be about Leeds Utd thinking about cancelling the forthcoming match at their academy just four days later on the Sunday. "They're crazy" we were all saying " They're just been fussy because the first team train there, they're just being sensitive" we said. As the coach left the field to go and call them to check he said "The world's gone mad" and we all laughed, nodded and agreed.
Just ten minutes later it was confirmed they had indeed cancelled the match, just one week later the academy went into lockdown and just one month later the whole country had followed suit, gone mad and was in full lockdown.
It's been THE strangest, maddest year that I've experienced in my 46 years. Talk today from the Prime Minister also suggests that it might not be limited to just 2020 with new restrictions predicted to go on well into 2021.
That said, this is where we are, the new normal, life as we have come to know it. I keep wondering how will our kids remember it? What will they tell our grandkids about their experience? How will our lives be written about in future history textbooks?
As an online business we have been hugely fortunate to have been able to continue to trade through Lockdown and more over, as we recently invested in our own in house production machines, we were also lucky enough to be in a position to design and produce our own, innovative gifts to give our customers what they needed.
We couldn't keep up with orders for scrapbooks, journals and memory boxes and we were do delighted with the feedback and photographs of our customers saving and collecting their memories of the crazy summer days.
Then, we were lulled into believing our old normal was on it's way back. Get back to the office, kids back to school (hurrah) and eat out to help out the desperate restaurants and pubs. We were on our way back. I even stopped wiping down every shopping item with anti-bac!
And then the term 'second wave' starting appearing, and then appearing more often and even before the leaves have started to go brown and fall from the trees, our lives are once again restricted and we are living in strange times.
The kids are still at school for the moment but my eldest has a face mask and limited movement round school, and the youngest are wearing PE kits all day to avoid changing, only allowed to have lunch in bubbles not with friends and restricted on what they can do at playtimes. All for their own safety and protection but all confusing and bewildering for children growing up in 2020.
Yet already they are adapting, accepting the new normal, getting used to not hugging friends, playing in the park and sharing their lunch goodies.
Listening to the new announcement today about U turns on restrictions reminded me that here as we are in September, we are most certainly not out of the woods and we are still in the midst of a period of history that will always be remembered. we are living history now, a chapter in future history books, developing anecdotes each day.
So we need to continue writing in our journals, taking photos, keeping mementoes in our memory boxes. |We need to continue to look out for each other, be there for each other and ensure we all get through to the other side happy, healthy and with the very best memories of these unusual times that we possibly can.
When they write the history books, we should be able to give them the very best evidence to the true story, the real facts and information about what life has really been like.
I look forward to the end, the new, new normal, the next chapter of life post crazy lockdown. I hope to hear the questions my grandchildren will ask me about what it's been like and I really hope they ask to take my Keepsake Box full of memories to their school show and tell.
"Grandma had a keepsake company and took a memory box from her stock!"