Ali Gordon


So looking back at 2020 is definitely a strange one. A year that is difficult to review and has been dominated by one thing and one thing only. There is however personal reflection to be done and I can say that a lot has been learnt this year. Here is part two of my look back at 2020 and it starts with gratitude.

I don’t think there is anything that has been as disrupting, as Covid has been, in my lifetime and as the realisation hit in 2020 that this was going to be something for the long term it began to dawn on me (and lots of us) just what this would mean to ourselves and others. In many ways I feel like a lottery winner in that my industry was seemingly picked out in some lucky dip as an industry not as heavily affected as others. Those in hospitality and other sectors were hit really hard and this served as a huge reminder to be grateful for the career and work I get to do.

However, work wasn’t really the main focus I wanted to discuss regarding gratitude in 2020. More than anything I became grateful for family and friends, the people who got me through the year and who kept each other going. I became grateful that I wasn’t going through the anxiety and stress of shielding loved ones that I lived with who were deemed at risk. I became more grateful than ever to live in a country with a nationalised health service. I was grateful for the reminder of how fragile things can be and that my family and those I love are truly the most important thing.

It’s easy with the numbers we are shown on the news or online about infection cases and deaths to see these as just numbers and percentages. The problem is though that every single one that makes up those statistics is a person who has loved ones, a family and people who need them. These aren’t just numbers, these are people and countless people around them too who will be affected by the devastation that this virus can bring. Nothing has been a colder reminder of this than the recent loss of Lydia’s grandfather. A great man and beloved human being who we miss every day. Not a statistic but a grandfather and father and family member, loved one. Thanks to everyone who sent such lovely messages and your support has been hugely appreciated.

At the end of all this if there is one thing I look to take out as a permanent reminder and message it’s gratitude.

I didn’t just want to focus on this one area so I’ve also included in this post some of the more practical things I’ve learnt, like for example my hobbies. 

Golf has been something I’ve really pushed this year and it’s been a welcome distraction across 2020. I like to think I’ve got better but with Golf it often feels like 2 steps forward and then one step back. It’s been nice to have the time to do this as usually I wouldn’t be able to and I’ve realised it’s something I enjoy and want to get better at. Having played a few courses around where I live, I’m incredibly excited to play at Wentworth this year thanks to BMW so keep an eye out on my channels for some content from that.

Bees – well Beekeeping. A surprise passion/hobby that I didn’t see coming and I appreciate it probably seems a bit odd looking from the outside in. However, Beekeeping caught my eye as our neighbours here have a hive and chatting to them about it I found myself continually wanting to know more. I’m an advocate of the idea that if something is catching your attention and you are putting time into finding out more then go with it, explore, and see where things lead…and well…it has led to getting a hive and having operation “Millen-Gordon Honey” soon to be up and running. I recently did an online tutorial on this topic as I’m a little obsessed with knowing as much about it as I can. Rather than bore you with Bee-knowledge now I will save that for another post and let’s just say photographing Bees is going to be an interesting experience.

Gardening – off to the golf course, reading up on Bees and pottering about the garden you could mistake me for being a lot older than I am and maybe this has been the effect of lockdown in that I’ve started to value things associated with the older man. Anyway, gardening has become a real hobby. Having spent so much time on the house to make it our dream home, I realised that the work didn’t stop there and the garden should be shown the same love. Keep an eye out for the flower bed and greenhouse content as things get colourful over the summer!

Outside of hobbies, the other thing that has distracted me in 2020 and a field in which I have learned a lot is – Creativity – a cornerstone of the industry I am in. It always has been. There are constant changes needed to the creative process and whilst you can implement something new it only lasts as ‘new’ for a short period of time. A while back, before Reels existed I was doing IGTV transition videos then not long afterwards that became a norm. Couple this together with lockdowns and not being able to travel and your creativity is tested just about as much as it can be. This is where the key becomes learning to adapt and maximising what you can do.

Having shot a lot of the house, I’ve had to find new ideas including the mini-man series and self duplication amongst other new creatives and this has (whilst being hard) also been a huge joy throughout 2020. It’s great to test yourself and with that in mind it’s always why audience feedback is so key. The success of an idea hangs on the audience reception so if you love it or hate it (regardless) let me know.

Whilst 2020 has not really been the best year to review, there are things that I will take forward from it and I’m hoping that a year from now I will be doing a 2021 review that covers a much better year for all of us.

Take care and stay safe.