My January 2021

I have blinked and the month of January has past me by.  I remember as we rolled into 2021 I had an expectation that this month was going to last an age. The miserable weather, the short days and the ongoing lockdown all combined to mean a long month in my mind.

As what happened with the first lockdown my days just became filled with virtual happenings. When I dealt with one email and cleared it from my inbox another five would appear in response.  I had meetings on Zoom and on Teams.

As this month got going, the local Labour Party’s activities and organisation stepped up.  For months previously there had felt a feeling of inertia because of the expected delay once again of the May Local Elections.  It is still not clear whether they will happen or not but time is passing and everything is getting busier.  I became secretary of my branch last December.  Busy, busy, busy.

I like to carry out what I call my civil duties, such as the reporting of potholes, damaged signs and railings destroyed.  This month I started to focus on the damage caused by cars.  I had to stop.  At the beginning half of the month I posted these which I saw by chance (see below) to the local Facebook group asking for details.  I wondered how on earth this damage could be done.  There were some who hated that I was highlighting the damage done by drivers and almost stated it was inevitability.  It isn’t.  This is careless and dangerous driving.  The reason I had to stop is that I was getting personally type- attacked and abused.  My collecting this and questioning touched a nerve.  All were reported to Highways and were fixed.  See my Successes page.

My January 2021

I was invited to have my COVID-19 jab mid-month.

@samuelshoesmithit’s anti-coronatime. ##covid19 ##vaccinoanticovid ##vaccine ##nhs ##nhsworker ##coronavirus ##getvaccinated ##pfizervaccine

♬ It’s Corona Time – Lil Cowboy


As with last month, in which I gave some recommendations on BritBox, here are a few programmes that have taken my time during January.  Half way through January, the long awaited second series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK came to our screens.  I am hooked.   Only back in 2019, a friend introduced me the original Drag Race.  I just never had watched it.  Apparently it is almost a gay rite of passage.  I enjoyed it and watched a couple of series of the US one,  I think number 6 and 7 but after that I dismissed it.  The British one hits  very differently.  I pick up so many references and the humour is so much better.  UK drag culture is better than US drag culture.

Another series I watched that was released this month was ‘It’s A Sin‘ on Channel 4.  Please, please go and watch this.  It is a five part series written by Russell T Davies.  I love his work.  He is the writer of wonderful television such as Years and Years, some episodes of Doctor Who Torchwood and Queer As Folk.  ‘It’s A Sin’ focuses on the lives of a group of young people in London in the decade of the 1980s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  I see parallels to today but only in the fact it is a virus.  It saddens me how many people lost their lives during this decade and beyond and how finding a treatment and prevention education was not prioritised for so long.

As we got towards the end of the month I made a little video. It should have been a very well attended Critical Mass.  It is January and although the temperatures were likely to be low the month is known for people wanting to get on the fitness hype.  I could have sold the concept with this in mind and got people on their bicycles.  Alas, it never happened.  Hopefully next month.  Or the month after?!

I have to admit at the end of last year as I calculated how much I had cycled I was a bit disappointed.  It had been the lowest I had cycled in 5 years.  I decided to up my game.  For the month of January I said I would cycle every single day come what may.  In the rain, on sunny days and when it was snowing I was out.  Today being the last day of the month, meant I jumped on my bicycle again.

Once home, I plugged in my Garmin and made this, extrapolated the data and made this.  I cycled 187 miles.


Of course, there was so much more but if I wrote that up I might get in trouble.  Ha!

On that note, speak soon,


Samuel.  x

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