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10 Things I’m Leaving Behind In 2020

For the last four years I’ve written about things I’m leaving behind in that year, those include bad habits, but also some physical stuff.

It’s from a tradition where in Bosnia we’d literally shower to wash off the bad year, get together around the burning stove, write the things we wanted to leave behind and burn them. Or so I thought it was a Bosnian thing, but it was just something my family did. Either way I like doing it, so here is a digital version with 10 things I’m leaving behind in 2020.

I’m literally leaving behind my faithful analogue kitchen scale that worked overtime this year. Then during the second lockdown I noticed it wasn’t always accurate and had to be replaced. RIP.

The Witcher TV show, I know it’s a 2019 show, but I watched it in 2020, and now I think about it … that’s when the year started to go downwards for me. And no, even Henry Cavill can make up for that hot mess.

And I guess I’m also leaving my hate for making phone calls. With the number of Zoom and Teams calls over the last 9 months I’m over it. I think.

Though they are designed to make it simpler, digital planners and project management tools give me so much stress. Just give me a piece of paper, and I’ll put together the best to do lists and trackers. I don’t even need a fancy notebook.

Saving trips for later. That train trip through New Zealand, the WWOOF experience in South America or that course in Austria have always been on the one day list, but this year has changed the meaning of one day and these things have often come to mind when thinking about regrets or things I didn’t do.

Stop doing things that don’t bring me joy. If there is one thing I want to take away is to say no to things I sometimes feel obliged to. It’s just wiser to use that time for me, myself and I.

Leave work at … the work desk? Especially now that most of the working happens from home I feel this one is essential. Laptop closed = End of play. Having a dedicated work desk area away from my living area will hopefully help.

Stop putting off things that need to be done. I really need to get my eyes tested, that pile of papers needs to be shredded, and I’ve been meaning to swap to a greener bank. Sure, it’s not fun, but the aftermath should be rewarding … right?

Using disclaimers so I don’t offend people. Being Bosnian / Dutch means I’m very direct, which isn’t always embraced in the British culture. So I started using disclaimers such as ‘sorry if it’s going to sound X’ or overcoating things before I critique something. I need to stop using those and give my two pence worth with no regrets.

My bad sleep pattern is something I really want to break. I’ve already done a few steps to improve it, but really need to push it further so I can rest easy in 2021.

What are you leaving behind?

Things I’ve already left behind
7 Things I’m Leaving Behind in 2017, 8 Things I’m Leaving Behind In 2018, 9 Things I’m Leaving Behind in 2019

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Things To Look Forward To This October

Summer is over and it’s time for the next most wonderful time of the year, good old Autumn. As we’re on the edge of the second wave I’m trying to keep things a bit positive and have put together a plan of action with six things I’m looking forward to this October.

October equals the London Film Festival. Although the last two years I haven’t been going as much, I’m making it up this year now that the event has gone virtual and I can watch almost all of the movies without having to get annoyed at people talking, using their phones or you know…carrying the virus. I’m mainly looking forward to Mowgli Mogul, One Night In Miami and Wolfwalkers.

Board game afternoons. Putting my problem-solving skills to the test during an afternoon of tactical and cooperative board games. Expansions for Gloomhaven, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Agency and Pandemic Legacy should keep me busy for any cold, windy and rainy Saturdays and Sundays on the horizon.

Make my way to Central London somehow and warm up with a hot chocolate. I want to go to my classic favourites at Hotel Chocolat and Chin Chin Labs as well as to Said London, one I haven’t been to yet, but I love their chocolates and have been meaning to go there for a long long time.

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons and I can’t wait to see the leaf colours change on my daily walk around the block and longer walks around London on the weekends. I’ve even researched the best paved/rainproof walks, so I can’t use ”getting my shoes dirty” as an excuse not to go out and get some nature.

I could eat soup while it’s 31 degrees, but for some reason it’s frowned upon, so now that warm and hearty dishes season has officially opened, bring on the universal butternut squash soup, Bosnian bean soup and Lebanese soup.

Well, I have to wait until the end of October, but season two of The Mandalorian will be more than welcome by then. I must admit The Child stressed me out. I hope he can find some peace and quiet in season two.

What are some things you are looking forward to?

 

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Visiting The Andy Warhol Exhibition Post Lockdown

What is a visit to Tate Modern like post lockdown? I read that half of the British public isn’t comfortable heading to museums or exhibitions post-lockdown and I get it. But wanting to catch the Andy Warhol exhibition sooner than later I booked the tickets and gave it a go.

All visitors need to book a timed ticket online in advance and the day before your visit you’ll receive an email reminding you of the new guidelines (masks on, no cloakrooms, pay by card only and a one way system) and re-directing you to the Turbine Hall entrance.

From there it was very efficient during queuing and staff will also remind you to have your mask ready. The guidance marks were all clear and the staff (in masks or visors) helpful whenever you looked a bit lost.

There are one-way routes around the building, guiding you towards the various galleries. As I went around opening time it was easy to keep distanced. The Warhol exhibition space itself did not have a one-way system at the time of my visit (8 August).

The Andy Warhol exhibition itself was a bit basic, especially it being marketed as a retrospective. The exhibition is broken down into 12 rooms representing different eras. With the exception of the Factory, Back To Work and the Last Supper Room the pieces didn’t particularly shine. But for hardcore fans, I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

The Silver Clouds room was meant to be an interactive room where the metallic silver balloons floated around you, but due to restrictions they were fixed to the ceiling. And the room that was supposed to give you an impression of his multimedia shows was closed. I imagine these would have been their two wow spaces so the rest was rather low-key.

Visiting Tate Modern on a Saturday morning in August was interesting and very peaceful. Look at the Turbine Hall! The numbers are definitely kept low, but as my time slot was 10 AM I don’t know how it would be later in the day.

The exhibition is on until 15 November. Not making it to London this summer? Or not feeling comfortable going out yet? You can also take a peak virtually.

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#LetTheMusicPlay

While lockdowns are starting to lift and many businesses and attractions are opening, it’s important to not forget about some places which can’t reopen and who are in need of not only our support, but also that of the government.

Live music has a special place in my heart, I have so many great memories of seeing my favourite artists playing my go-to song, the anticipation of the encore, and that support band you suddenly realise are amazing. Of course, I could be talking about a lot of bands here, but mainly for me it’s The National, Interpol and Arcade Fire.

So I’d like to draw your attention to the campaign which started today and you might have seen trending, #LetTheMusicPlay. This campaign by concert promoters, venues, artists, festivals and other organisations wants to highlight the importance of the live music sector. It asks people to share photos or videos of the last gigs they saw, with the hashtag #LetTheMusic.

Currently, there is no government support for the industry and employees, who make a massive contribution to our local society and culture. And it’s not only the artists and venues, but all of the staff who come together to put on some amazing spectacles we’re lucky enough to get to see.

Let’s hope the pressure means this sector gets the vital support they need.

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My 20 For 2020 – An Update

At the start of the year I put together what I thought would be a realistic and hopeful list of 20 things I wanted to see, do or make in 2020. We’re four months in and I thought I’d do a little round up of where I’m at. Sure I can’t go on that solo trip, see that sports match or follow that specific workshop, but I’ve been able to cross off quite a few things from the ‘self’ section:

Brush Up On My French 101 – I’m kind of learning French. I listened to two episodes of an audio course and used Memrise, but for one of my campaigns at work I have to look at random French words and I’ve grown my vocabulary by 100+ words, but not sure if brosse à dents, assouplissant and Ail will help me whenever I make it to France next.

Make The Most Of My 2 For 1 Railcard – I’m not seeing myself go out on a long train trip in the foreseeable future, but I’ve marked one place from my list and spent my birthday weekend in York in February.

Digital Detox One Weekend A Month – The plan was to switch off my phone one weekend each month and just see where it goes, I did one as it turns out it’s much harder to coordinate and my excuse now is that most video calls are planned on the weekend and I don’t want to miss out on those. To be fair I haven’t been spending as much time on my phone my recently.

Re-read Some Of The Classics – I started off with The Bell Jar and it was the biggest mistake I could make to read that book in January. I also couldn’t remember if I’d read it before or if many other women’s books are based on this. I also re-read books from the Dutch reading list: The Diary of Anne Frank, the Assault and Winter in Wartime. All World War II themed – very fitting with the 75 year anniversary. I’m halfway The Bridge on the Drina which is a Yugoslavian classic that I’ve embarrassedly never read.

Keep A Plant Or Vegetable Alive – I’m in week 11 of keeping my Asparagus Fern alive. I now need to look into repotting and keeping it alive.

Wear All Of My Unworn Clothes – From day one of WFH I made an agreement with myself that I would start the day by putting on a bra and combing my hair and getting fully dressed – and not just day PJs. And that includes trying to wear more of my forgotten clothes, so I’m on track with that. I’ve found a new love for two dresses so far that I’ve already marked as sunny Summer day essentials.

Add New Recipes To My Go-To List – I have been trying new recipes, although this was mainly baking, I’ve also spent some time on savoury dishes. Like the noodle salad I need to bring back in my weekly menu, my spot on white pizza sauce and the many different hummus I’ve made for lunch. But my favourite has to have been making Yorkshire puddings, I happily sacrifice three eggs for it.

Re-watch Some Of My Favourite Movies – I’ve watched over 60 movies in 2020 and only rewatched Stand By Me, one of my all time favourites, and Tangled, a modern Disney princess classic.

How far have you got with your 2020 goals?