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Mark Charlton

Stage compere / Life enthusiast

Well, what a strange, beautiful, sad, frustrating, and thought-provoking year 2020 has been for me. Starting with the usual optimism and excitement for the 12 months ahead, with lots planned and events to do, little did I know that a catastrophic virus was about to change the world we live in and the way we do things,

On the lead up to lockdown, I remember watching the news and thinking that the virus would stay in China, how wrong was I! So lockdown came and I basically worked through it, classed as an essential worker, one of the lucky ones as many of my friends found themselves out of work. I remember the first week, going down to the beach and the silence was haunting, only the sound of birds and the ocean. One of the positives of the year was that there were no noisy cars, boats, or planes. The sky was so clear, the stars sparkled like never before, the world had pushed a reset button. Then the tragedy of the virus started to affect me. You would worry about family and friends and the brave workers at the hospitals. It was all very emotional, always remembering to clap on a Thursday from the balcony, as the year went on.

Then the frustration of events cancelled kicked in, as a big lover of live music and festivals. Disappointment turned to anger as I am actively involved with gigs and the thriving music scene in Jersey. It was devastating for me and the promoters whose living had been taken away by COVID that nothing was going to happen this year! Of course, it was a sacrifice that had to happen to tame the virus. Perspective was everything, not selfishness! Luckily we had the hottest summer for 20 years and living in Jersey that’s no bad thing. So when they relaxed the laws I spent most of my free time on the beach and enjoying the ocean. Friends could come for barbecues and social drinks. All was not lost.

So I personally feel we will all appreciate the people and things we love most when all this is over. I was one of the lucky ones, others not so, and I’m grateful for that. Our resilience has been tested so let’s all look out for each other and come back stronger.