My Life in 2020


Normality returning?

I don’t think anybody can get a grip on what we can do with restrictions slowly being stopped. Wth the different variants of COVID pushing up the the number of people suffering with it people are divded on ‘Freedom Day’. With some restrictions still in place I don’t think it matters unless we go back into full lockdown.

Recently I had my annual retinal scan done and found out yesterday I’ve got to go back on the 3rd of August as the pictures aren’t good enough. It’s making me feel a bit worried as my mum’s eyesight wasn’t great. I’ll be glad when that appointment is over and done with.

I am also trying to get a physio appointment for my lower back and hips as one of the doctor’s surgery referred me. Painkillers don’t work anymore and I’m tred of the constant pain.

How time flies when you’re not having fun

Life is a bit better now non essential shops are open again but so many have closed due to three lockdowns. We have rejoined the local leisure centre as it was taking so much time out of the day going to the health club. It’s weird having to book a time to go in to the gym and it’s 50 minutes at a time.

Our neighbour is still being a pain and upped his game by using binoculars now which is an invasion of our privacy. I have started staring back at him which he hates and is now saying he only stares at us as we started this so I just laugh but it seems to be working. I shouldn’t have to though.

We got our new sofas today and it’s been exhausting trying to get the room straight again. I hate having osteoarthritis as I can barely move now. Hopefully I will have a good night’s sleep tonight.

Exhausting depression

It’s been tough trying to concentrate on anything over the past months. Depression, not sleeping and lockdown don’t mix at all and it feels like it’s going to be never ending being in this situation. It doesn’t matter that my pleasures are simple it’s being restricted in what we can do or where we can go. We don’t even know if we will be able to go away for a break this year.

The one thing I am happy about is that we are going to have another great nephew in May. I have knitted a little jacket and now I’m knitting a blanket which I am enjoying even though I need regular breaks due to arthritis in my hands and fingers. Downside is we don’t know when we will be able to see family.

National lockdown …. again!

We went into lockdown for a month before Christmas just to really cheer us up again. Having gone so many months of not being able to do much it didn’t make much difference. When we came out of that we were put into tier 3 which annoyed me as infection rates have been low here yet London was in tier 2 where numbers were rising.

Sadly we weren’t able to go out for our Christmas Day meal which we have been doing. It saves me cooking and clearing up afterwards. Instead we went to a butchers called Bolamto get a fresh turkey and other meat for over the silly season. Neither of us were bothered about having a three course meal but we enjoyed what we had. I’m not that bothered over having turkey but when it’s a fresh turkey it always seems to taste nicer.

We are now back to lockdown again although all of England is now in lockdown. This time it’s a bit more stricter than the first one so whilst I fully understand it’s still frustrating. What doesn’t help is that there are variants of COVID which are worse and of course all the idiots who wouldn’t follow simple rules haven’t helped.


I haven’t felt like posting for the past month as each day feels like groundhog day. Depression isn’t helping my mood which is being made worse as I’m putting on so much weight. I am at a loss what to do and I hate being so fat and getting fatter. My sleep patterns are still really bad and it doesn’t help being woken up most mornings. I was that exhausted today I struggled to keep my eyes this morning.

The one thing that has amused me this evening was three comments on my last post. All comments have to be approved or deleted first anyway but these were identical in reference to copyright of the photograph. The point is I took the photograph therefore I don’t need to ask permission to share it as I own it.

I will be glad when this second lockdown is over as I’m tired of us not being able to go far. Not that it has been worth going far as so many places have been closed.

This is my beautiful Saluki – Bandit aka Bam-Bam

Having a break

We have had time away first to Devon then in Essex to see family. It was a well deserved break after the year we have had and not being able to see family due to COVID-19.

We have an exhausted dog as we spent the mornings out in Devon which is a hilly county. The exercise and sea air made me feel generally happier so it was worth the pain just to be happy. We even went to a nano brewery which we hadn’t expected to do. It’s at a beautiful village that’s on a private estate. I think we both deserved a medal as it’s a steep cobblestone road to get the village and had to do the walk back out again. There is a landrover that takes people back up but due to restrictions in place over COVID it’s not runing at the moment.

It was lovely to see family and meeting the latest edition who’s 5 1/2 months old. She is absolutely adorable and a happy little soul, she giggled when Bandit gently licked her hand. He was very good with all the children and enjoyed being stroked by them.

Plodding on

We’re looking forward to have some time away and I’m hoping it will help us to relax and feel better. Rules are changing again so whilst it not full lockdown a 10 pm curfew for pubs, off licences etc and including supermarkets but just on alcohol sales.

We’re going away soon for a short break so we are hoping there won’t be any distance driving restrictions. It’s been a strange year and it hasn’t finished yet but it does seem to be the new normal. Normally we go out for Christmas Day for a meal to save me cooking. This year we have resigned ourselves to eating at home.

On Monday it was the first anniversay or our great niece, Chloe, being born. The next day she had her wings and went on to a far better place. The family knew Chloe wouldn’t survive as she had Edward’s Syndrome but it doesn’t the heartbreak any easier. She won’t be forgotten but the family is doing it in a positve way.

Depression, BLM and Facebook

I still can’t shake off being depression but Facebook isn’t helping due to people not educating themselves therefore doing their best to make me look bad. Sadly it’s much to do with Black Lives Matter which people think I’m not getting it over racism, white supremecy and how black people are generally treated by police.

I’m not stupid or ignorant I am fully aware of racism and not just towards black people. For example, a favourite complaint is about immigrants coming to the UK for our benefits and NHS. I know there is truth in this as I’ve seen it with my own eyes in South East England but not all immigrants are like that.

There are East Europeans in North East England who are hard working, pay their taxes and make N.I. (national insurance) payments so they are paying into ‘the system’. Why should they suffer racism when they are working and paying their dues?

There aren’t so many ethnic groups in the area we live but again they work hard too. The gypsies/travellers aren’t very popular either and I understand why yet the ones I’ve got to know aren’t all bad. Some have been honest about the trouble they have been in but are trying to turn their lives around. It’s not easy for them but the ones I’ve got to know have been respectful and honest. I used to spend quite a bit of time at one chapel in the circuit and some of the gypsies helped out around the place with such things as repairs. If I was spending time in the chapel they would always make a point of coming to me for a chat. It helped me to understand them better.

However, on the other side of the coin, black people need to accept responsibility for their own actions. George Floyd whose death started up BLM (peaceful) protests had a criminal past but found faith so should have had the support of all people. It’s also terrible he died because of a police officer but one point people are missing is statistically more white people die at the hands of the police. They will argue that it is because there are more white people but this is taken into account. A police officer killing a black person causes an uproar and in this case four officers are facing charges. A white person dies and nothing happens to the officer so isn’t that racism towards white people.

It frustrates me that when a white person dies because of the police it is rarely in the news but if it’s a black person dies there is uproar. They miss the point that all lives matter not just black lives. Yes I do understand the white supremecy point but not all white people are like that. Why should the average white person be tarred with the same brush?

I understand why black people are making a stand but the problem is it’s only black people who deserve equality. What about all the ethnic groups who have been treated badly by white people?

Is it okay for Native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris to name three groups to be treated less than equal to white people?

No, they deserve equal rights as well.

If a death is to do with the KKK then yes I agree it is disgusting and white supremecy is a major part of it. But what about racism from ethnic groups?

Why is that called being judgemental instead of racism?

My husband and I have suffered racism and threats of violence and potentially death. What about the racism towards Jewish people?

Is that okay?

Do people seriously believe all racism is aimed at black people?

We don’t see asian people starting up Asian Lives Matter or Jewish people starting up Jewish Lives Matter. It’s like saying the Holocaust didn’t really happen and there are people who believe that.

As far the white sypremecy slave trade, well a black American has done her research which is in the internet arena. The slave trade was actually started by black West Africans and Ghanians and wasn’t abolished until after the UK and USA abolished it. Why are people choosing to ignore that fact?

I’ve been ignored each time I have made that point. Don’t people like or accept that black people are equally to blame for the slave trade?

What is the problem with accepting all ethnic groups lives matter?

Isis don’t care what colour a person is when they commit acts of terrorism so why on earth can’t all groups come together to end racism and inequally instead of putting black people on a pedestal?


The following article has outraged me by the blatant racism of an Asian lady who has been promoted on the grounds of making a lawful comment and allowed to share her views. Any white person who made a comment like hers would have been called a racist so why is different if you’re not white?

Cambridge University backs academic who tweeted ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’ and PROMOTES her to professor after she received barrage of abuse and death threats

  • Dr Priyamvada Gopal was hit by a wave of abusive messages and death threats  
  • The academic tweeted: ‘I’ll say it again. White Lives Don’t Matter. As white lives.’
  • Cambridge University defended rights of academic to express lawful opinions 

By Bhvishya Patel For Mailonline

Published: 17:04, 25 June 2020 | Updated: 10:43, 26 June 2020


The University of Cambridge has spoken out in support of one of its lecturers who was hit by a wave of abusive messages and death threats for tweeting ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’. Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, took to the social media platform on Tuesday evening to write: ‘I’ll say it again. White Lives Don’t Matter. As white lives.’ However the controversial message, which has since been deleted by Twitter, was met with a barrage of outrage, with many people responding both publicly and privately with death threats and racist abuse.

A petition titled ‘Fire Cambridge Professor for Racism’ was also launched on the petition site on Wednesday demanding that Dr Gopal be fired by the university for the comment.    Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, was met by a wave of death threats after her message on Tuesday+5

  •  Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, was met by a wave of death threats after her message on TuesdayThe Cambridge University professor took to Twitter to write: 'll say it again. White Lives Don't Matter. As white lives'+5

The Cambridge University professor took to Twitter to write: ‘ll say it again. White Lives Don’t Matter. As white lives’

Dr Gopal later shared some of the hate speech she had received, including from a  man sending her a picture of a noose and writing: ‘We are coming for you you n***er loving piece of s*it’.  

As well as sharing some of the worst abuse she has received, Dr Gopal who is also a journalist and activist – announced that on Wednesday night, the university promoted her to a full Professorship. She added: ‘I would also like to make clear I stand by my tweets, now deleted by Twitter, not me. They were very clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people. My Tweet said whiteness is not special, not a criterion for making lives matter. I stand by that.’        

Following the torrent of abusive messages, the Russel Group University defended the academic and deplored the attacks she has faced since her tweet.  A statement released by the university read: ‘The University defends the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions, which others might find controversial. [It] deplores in the strongest terms abuse and personal attacks. These attacks are totally unacceptable and must cease.’ Cambridge University (pictured is Churchill College) said it defended the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions, which others might find controversial+5

Cambridge University (pictured is Churchill College) said it defended the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions, which others might find controversial

Dr Gopal later explained on social media that she was 'clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people'

Dr Gopal later explained on social media that she was ‘clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people’ 

Stand-up comedian Nish Kumar came out in support of the academic and said it was 'awful seeing the hard right mob descend' Dr Gopal

Stand-up comedian Nish Kumar came out in support of the academic and said it was ‘awful seeing the hard right mob descend’ Dr Gopal

Meanwhile, the Cambridge branch of the University and College Union (UCU), also showed their solidarity with Dr Gopal. The union wrote: ‘Solidarity with Priyamvada Gopal – being targeted with vile sexist and racist abuse for speaking up against white supremacists. ‘We are proud to be your colleagues both on the picket line and off it. BlackLivesMatterSolidarity.’              

Many colleagues and students have since expressed solidarity with Dr Gopal following the incident, with even popular comedian Nish Kumar wading in to call her ‘one of the best and brightest around’.

However, the university’s defence of Dr Gopal has been labelled by some as inconsistent and politically biased. Critics have pointed to the recent removal of Noah Carl from his research position at St Edmund’s college over links with far right extremist groups. And others have referred to the university rescinding a visiting fellowship invitation to controversial professor Jordan Peterson in March last year. Opponents of the university’s stance have suggested that the same defence of free speech and tolerance of controversial views was not extended in these instances. +5

On June 18, Dr Gopal said that after 17 years of consideration she would not be supervising students at King's College due to the consistent racial profiling and aggression by porters+5

On June 18, Dr Gopal said that after 17 years of consideration she would not be supervising students at King’s College due to the consistent racial profiling and aggression by porters

Dr Gopal’s tweet has since been removed by Twitter for ‘violating the Twitter Rules’.    The incident comes just a week after the academic announced she would no longer be supervising students from King’s College because of ‘consistently racist profiling and aggression by porters’.   On June 18, Dr Gopal told her 20,000 Twitter followers she was taking the stand ‘on my behalf and of other people of colour’ calling the situation a ‘festering sore’. She said: ‘With deep regret but with 17 years of consideration behind it, I have finally decided on my behalf & of other people of colour @Cambridge_Uni to refuse to supervise any students at @Kings_College. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH of the consistently racist profiling & aggression by Porters.’

She added: ‘It’s for the students that over the years I’ve hesitated to take this decision. But I think it’s come to point where it is for students, BAME students who’ve shared their Kings stories with me, that I must do it. Oh and today, I repeatedly asked them to address me as ‘Dr Gopal’ and repeatedly failed to get them to address me as anything other than ‘madam’.’

The academic went on to say that Kings’ porters treated her differently because she was not white. But King’s College hit back at her claims, saying there was ‘no wrongdoing or discrimination’ from its staff. A King’s College spokesperson said: ‘We have investigated the incident and found no wrongdoing on the part of our staff. Every visitor was asked to show their card during the course of that day, as the College was closed to everyone except King’s members. Non-members such as Dr Gopal were asked to take alternatives routes, around the College. This was a matter of procedure, not discrimination. King’s College is a rich and diverse community, and take the wellbeing of its students and staff extremely seriously. We remain committed to being an inclusive and welcoming environment in which to work and study. We categorically deny that the incident referred to was in any way racist.’

Feeling low

I am surrised I have let this go for about 6 weeks without posting. It really feels like life will never truly get back to normal. There have been local lockdowns in some towns but those haven’t affected us. Schools are supposed to be getting back to normal and opening up for the new school year. The unions have been threatening that they will refuse to open schools although it does look like they won’t get their way. I believe it will do children a lot of good getting back to schools.

We are trying to get back to some kind of routine with the health club. It’s hard getting motivated due to our lives being so retricted for so long. We’ve both been feeling run down, had colds and our sleeping patterns have been poor. I’m beginning to feel a bit better generally but my mood has been all over the place.

Out highlight of the year will be going to Devon for a break then onto Essex for a few days to visit family. It’s going to be a year since we last saw them aand then it was for a sad reason. Our great niece, Chloe, was born on the 21st September 2019 and died the following day. We knew she wouldn’t survive as she had Edward’s Syndrome (Trisomy 18) but it was still devastasting for our niece, nephew-in-law and great nephew. Chloe’s funeral was on the 22nd October which was the day after our great nephew’s birthday.

One of our other niece’s (younger sister of the other one) had her third daughter on the 29th April this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing her as we haven’t been able to visit due to COVID-19. A few weeks ago I chatted to my sister and niece on messenger facetime so I was able to see the youngest and middle daughter. The eldest was with her father that weekend. I have a low opinion of him as he walked out on my niece then she had to do all the hard work to get him to see his daughter. During lockdown he only saw her once in four month as he wouldn’t have it that children of divorced/separated parents could spend time in both homes. He then blamed my niece for not seeing his daughter despite her sending prove that he could see her. He doesn’t want to cross me if I ever see him as my niece doesn’t lie and no matter what she thinks of him she would never stop him seeing his daughter. That would only happen if he emotionally and/or physically hurt her.

No matter what differences and fall-outs I have had with my family I will always love them. Although it took our parents deaths to get me and my sister on better terms I am thankful that we have and being able to see her grandchildren is a bonus.