As promised, I am sitting down to write the follow up diary style blog entry to this; Revisited: “Dear Diary… Hello 2020!”.
In the last 24 hours, a new national lockdown for England has been announced, and whilst I anticipated it as did many others I am sure, hearing it become a reality has bought about some different feelings to the ones I had felt prior.
I don’t feel as though I ought to set myself countless aspirations and goals for the coming year, as evidently we are far from rid of Covid19 and the true repercussions of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns haven’t yet come to light. I think the aim for this year, is to live life to the fullest in every way possible in line with restrictions and distancing, focus on growing my business(es) in whatever way I can and to work on securing a future for myself through saving.
I wrote my very first book during the first lockdown, which I hope to be the first of a series of children’s/tweens books about horses and life on a farm tackling disability and showcasing this in a positive light. The first of which I hope to publish in 2021.
One big aim is to bring the new yard – my new project – up to scratch and welcome horses including my big boy Simba onto the paddocks and stable yard this Spring all being well. This really is a childhood dream come true for me and through some hard work, sweat and maybe some blood and tears (who knows? Brambles hurt!) I’ll transform the rundown shell into an enjoyable and special place to be, with the help of some wonderful friends and family.
A look back on 2020:
For the first time since I launched In The Country in the Spring of 2017, I had to cease printing due to the sweeping pandemic meaning that both the Spring and Summer 2020 editions of the magazine could not be produced. We focused on sharing more content digitally during that time which was hugely well received much to my delight.
Returning to print in the Autumn with what resulted in our best-selling, sell out edition to date featuring Hannah Jackson aka The Red Shepherdess as our cover star, you can read our interview together here. This was followed by our recent and current Winter edition featuring Adam Henson, Kate Humble, Olivia Bowen, Natasha Baker MBE along with the annual Christmas gift-guide which was a huge success too and is still being ordered and sent out from ITC HQ.
I wrote in last year’s post, I had hoped to really ramp up our digital offering in 2020, and this is something I hope to bring forward into this coming year, regardless of how it shapes up. With numerous magazines crumbling due to the effects of Covid19, I am humbled to still be able to produce In The Country for a growing number of readers, worldwide each season.
The publications that have survived, and in fact thrived have experienced substantial growth in their number of subscribers as more and more people turn to reading and niche subscription services to keep in touch with their hobbies and lifestyle in a way which offers a luxury, tangible form of escapism. In The Country has been no different, if you wish to subscribe today for the year, and receive four editions direct to your door, complete with our signature gift-wrapping, then click here and subscribe today from just £28.95.
With the commencement of a new lockdown, there is no better way to switch off and forget the worries of the world outside than by losing yourself in a good book or your favourite magazine.
Podcasts. This was perhaps the most significant addition to In The Country in 2020. Starting off strong with a new episode each week, I thoroughly enjoyed producing the various podcast episodes, however as lockdown drew out and the effects of Covid19 became more widespread, I parked this until I felt I could really give it my full attention and focus. My plans for the podcast had been to meet with various individuals nationwide to explore their lives, discuss their stories and share these with you. And so, after 18 episodes, I decided to stop recording for the time being.
Though, 2021 will see the return of the In The Country podcast better than before. With episodes pre-recorded ready to go and more in the pipeline, rest assured I am working on bringing the ITC podcast back with a bang! If you fancy listening back to old episodes you can do by clicking here or by searching In The Country Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Events… now this was something I think we all felt the loss of during 2020 in one way or another. I missed staple events such as Badminton, Burghley, Royal Windsor, The Game Fair (which we’ve exhibited at for the last two years), HOYS and Olympia – all of which had become rights of passage for me throughout the year. I was due to attend The Grand National with Randox Health for the very first time only weeks before the first lockdown was announced.
I had hoped to host the very first In The Country event in 2020, something which had filled me with huge excitement, however now, I hope to be able to look into hosting this at some point during 2021 dependent on restrictions. I firmly believe events will grow to become an integral part of the In The Country brand in the future. 2020 has not changed that.
When it comes to social media, I’ll admit, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I certainly fell out of love with it many times during the past year both from a personal and professional point of view. I lost touch with what I wanted to portray, my voice and my why when it came to social media. Having a large social account isn’t all sunshine and sparkles all the time… it comes with responsibility, expectations and pressure!
Though, through my new venture (taking on a run down stable yard), I hope to be able to share a new type of content which is more natural to me and less materialistic and ‘influencer’ lead. More followers doesn’t always mean more…
I was over the moon to have finally dipped my toe into the world of video in 2020 with huge thanks to Luke at Flow Visuals who created this masterpiece of the new Land Rover Defender during our road trip around Scotland’s North Coast 500 route.
So, I think to sum up, I am not going to put too much pressure on any 2021 expectations. What will be will be and I want to live in the moment, because one thing 2020 really drummed home for me is that, ‘life is too short’.
Are you setting goals or resolutions this year? If so, I’d love to hear them, drop me a message on Instagram by searching @inthecountryinsta (or clicking!). 2021, bring it on!
Until next time…
Lots of love, stay safe,