The first month of 2021 is almost over and it wasn’t all bad right?
January is a difficult month at the best of times. It’s directly after the most wonderful time of the year, it’s bloody freezing and the month seems to last a lifetime. Throw in a lockdown and the chance of a smooth start to the year is slim to none. However, January 2021 hasn’t been all bad. We tried really hard to see the good in 2020 and we’re not about to stop now, so here are 9 wonderful things that happened in London this month.
1. Uranus made a rare appearance over London’s skies
This month we were given the unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of the icy planet in all its glory. Uranus, Mars and the moon appeared in a vertical line for the first time in years and it was a sight for sore eyes. We may be well accustomed to the lockdown life but this was a reason pretty compelling reason to head outside.
2. A herd of elephants have taken up residence in Spitalfields
Over 20 bronze elephants have been installed around Spitalfields Market, helping to spread some much needed cheer to passersby this January. Whilst they’re extremely cute to look at, they’re actually there for a very important reason: to raise awareness of poaching, habitat destructions, and ecosystem changes, all of which threaten the existence of elephants in the wild. Read more here.
3. Joe Wicks returned with his online fitness classes
Joe Wicks saved the day during the first two lockdowns by hosting live PE classes on his YouTube channel every single day. They quickly became a hit for kids and adults alike and he also donated all the proceeds to the NHS – not all heroes wear capes. The Body Coach returned this January lockdown with another series of home workouts aiming to get the country moving while indoors.
4. Marcus Rashford and Aldi pledged 10 million meals to children in need this year
One of the most wholesome announcements this month came from the unlikely pairing of Marcus Rashford and Aldi. In the wake of *those* food parcels that were sent to families at the beginning of the month, Aldi confirmed that it will donate 10 million meals to children in need this year as part of a collaboration with Marcus Rashford. No child deserves to go hungry, and this valiant effort from both parties is truly heartwarming. Read all about it here.
5. Netflix made an exciting announcement
I think we can all agree that Netflix has single-handedly carried us through lockdown part one, two and three. As frustrating as it gets to keep reminding Netflix that we are indeed “still watching”, their vast collection of series and films definitely makes up for it. And it’s about to get a whole lot bigger. Earlier this month, they announced that they will be releasing a brand new movie every single week in 2021. It’s a lockdown miracle!
6. The ‘tampon tax’ was finally abolished
After a six-year long campaign, the “tampon tax” has finally been abolished in the UK! Under European Union law, members had to apply a 5% tax on tax tampons and sanitary towels, treating period products as non-essential. However, after leaving the EU on January 1, 2021 and no longer being subject to EU rules, the UK removed the tax on sanitary products once and for all. Read about it here.
7. Two slave trader statues will be removed from the City of London
Just last week it was revealed that a pair of slave trader statues will be removed from the Square Mile. During the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, a task force was set up which called for the immediate removal of statues with historic links to slavery however very little action was taken. The City of London Corporation have now voted to take down the statues of well known slave traders, William Beckford and Sir John Cass from the Guildhall building in Moorgate. About time too!
8. Over 6 million people have received an NHS vaccination
Nearly seven million Brits have now received a Covid-19 vaccination, including everyone’s favourite natural historian David Attenborough. Mass vaccination centres have popped up all over the UK this month helping to greatly accelerate the NHS vaccination rollout programme. While the coronavirus infection rates are still high, millions of Brits are now on their way to being fully immunised against the virus that has ripped across the globe in 2020.
9. It finally snowed in London
London was blessed with several hours of snowfall last weekend and truth be told, we’re still on cloud nine! We patiently waited for what feels like a lifetime for snow to come our way. And on January 24, our prayers were finally answered. There’s nothing quite like a magical dusting of snow to elevate your mood and take your mind off of all things pandemic. Here are 20 pictures of London looking absolutely mesmerising in the snow.