Looking back at 2021

🎉 As the curtain falls on 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣, let’s take a look at some of the highlights…

💉 2021 was a year for vaccines, with Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out at speed and a ground-breaking vaccine for malaria. It was also a year that brought greater focus on the ticking clock of climate change with COP26. 🌎

🚀 Innovation took billionaires Musk, Bezos and Branson into space (with a sizeable carbon footprint) and saw Nasa’s Perseverance rover land on Mars to collect rock samples. In the natural world, China declared that Pandas are no longer endangered. 🐼

🎾 In sport, we witnessed the incredible rise of Emma Raducanu to become US Open champion, saw Team GB once again deliver in the delayed Olympics and Paralympics, and watched England come agonisingly close to winning their first international football trophy for over 50 years at the Euro 2020 tournament, as penalties were once again our undoing. ⚽

💃 In entertainment, we watched Rose Ayling-Ellis make history on Strictly Come Dancing as the first-ever deaf winner of the show. And we saw Netflix series Squid Game take television to strange new levels (no, I haven’t, and probably won’t). James Bond fans saw Daniel Craig bow out in style with the much-delayed release of his final film - No Time To Die. And, theatres all around the country re-opened their doors, as musicians, dancers and entertainers re-took to the stage to the sound of rapturous applause.

😔 We sadly said goodbye to a lot of famous names in 2021. Amongst those to have passed away were entrepreneur Sir Clive Sinclair, actor Christopher Plummer, film director Richard Donner, comedians Tom O’Connor and Sean Lock, entertainer Lionel Blair, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, war veteran and charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, footballers Frank Worthington and Jimmy Greaves and Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker.

❤️‍🩹 Mentally, it’s been a difficult year for many of us with the ongoing Covid pandemic - an anxiety rollercoaster. And it’s worth remembering that although we may all be in the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat. There have, however, been some highlights to cheer about, which we can perhaps allow ourselves to reflect on a little.

I think we can look forward to 2022 with more optimism about our situation (let’s just get January over with first). Whatever this new year brings for you, I hope you get what you wish for and I wish you happiness and good health.

See you in 2022 with more optimistic realism… 👋