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ESP’s Man About Town Pep Cipriano is back with his last column of the year and his musings on 2020…


If you’re reading this then give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve made it.

There’s no doubt that 2020 is a year to forget but it should also be a year to remember for the same reasons.

The Covid-19 pandemic has tested us all mentally and physically. I always say healthy mind means a healthy body – and there hasn’t been one of us whose mind hasn’t been affected by the restrictions and frustrations we’ve had to endure.

But I promise you it’s been worth it even though you might not think so right now. This is because we’ve all been pushed to our mental limits and by being in a place we’ve never been to before; we’ve proven just how resilient we are.

We’ve been forced out of our comfort zone but it’s made us adapt, think differently and become more resourceful and industrious than we’ve ever been.

So many of us have lost our jobs, our routines and our social lives but I promise when we look back at this surreal period we’re living through, we’ll be grateful for what we’ve learnt from it.

Family has been more important to all of us this year and when I think about family, there’s my ESP family too! My colleagues are all doing fine and I caught up with some of them for a few words of wisdom and motivation as we get ready for 2021 and what it may bring.

ESP’s Health & Beauty columnist Emily Rawlinson…

What new skill did you learn or take up this year?

“SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. A bit of a boring one, but learning this has really helped in my job and it’s something I found very interesting.”

Tell me something we can all have a laugh about…

“After completing Couch to 5k, I haven’t actually run another 5k! Clearly, once I’d done it, I felt accomplished enough to stop…”

If you could live 2020 again would you do anything differently?

“I would make it the year of plans, new and fun experiences with my friends and family and appreciate every single moment.”

What one piece of advice can you give as we enter 2021?

“Not worry so much about saving and spend a bit more on some days out with friends and family, as you never know what’s around the corner and whilst saving is all good, memories are priceless.”

ESP’s Posh Page columnist Phil Adlam…

What new skill did you learn or take up this year?

“To be honest, I don’t actually believe I have picked up a new skill. I wanted to learn the guitar. I bought a guitar. I didn’t learn the guitar. Well, I know what chord C is.”

Tell me something we can all have a laugh about?

“Probably me falling over in the background of a pre-season friendly at St. George’s Park. Sky Sports News picked up on it and it was viewed just shy of 70,000 times.”

If you could live 2020 again would you do anything differently?

“I think in the early months pre-Covid, I probably should have not taken things for granted as much and during lockdown, I perhaps got a bit bogged down when there was the opportunity to be a bit more creative.”

What one piece of advice can you give as we enter 2021?

“Never take people or family for granted.”

ESP’s Wellbeing columnist Karen Devine…

What new skill did you learn or take up this year?

“I created my own website from scratch. It still needs tweaking but I’m really pleased and it gave me so much confidence with all things technical.”

Tell me something we can all have a laugh about?

“In the middle of the first lockdown I sat outside in the garden at about 7am. Not a sound could be heard but suddenly I heard the words: ‘Hello, hello’. I jumped up in panic, as my garden is fenced all-round, so I wasn’t sure which neighbours’ head was going to appear. Covering myself up (I was taking in some early morning rays), I called back with: ‘Hello, are you ok?’ only to realise it was a huge seagull that passed over and it really sounded like a loud hello!”

If you could live 2020 again would you do anything differently?

“I would take off somewhere remotely out of the madness and just enjoy nature without all the noise of the world as it is right now.”

What one piece of advice can you give as we enter 2021?

“Focus on mindfulness and meditation as much as possible. We are hardwired for change and whilst it can be uncomfortable, we can find our biggest breakthroughs. Changes can often lead us to much greater things like improved jobs, relationships, better ways to handle our money and more. It is in our own stillness and our inner questioning that we will find ourselves being guided. We may be presented with opportunities that were not there when our minds were scrambled.”


I have to say a big well done to City Culture Peterborough who sold out of tickets within 24 hours of going on sale for the festive yule bonfire event to celebrate the reopening of Flag Fen.

Families were quick off the mark to book their place at the Christmas event, which is being held at our world-famous bronze age gem on Monday December 21.

Children whose parents were lucky enough to secure a place will enjoy socially distanced outdoor fun including an illuminated Christmas trail, storytelling, yule tree decorating and a gift from Father Christmas who’ll be making a special appearance in the Round House.

Flag Fen would ordinarily be closed for the winter season, but City Culture Peterborough have recognised how important it is for our wellbeing to be able to make the most of outside open spaces and have made the event Covid-19 safe for us to enjoy.

Better still, the attraction is going to remain open and it’ll be free to enter until the end of January, but due to Covid-19 restrictions the indoor collection hall will remain closed.

For more information email or telephone: 01733 864663. 


So, as we wave goodbye to 2020, I thought it’d be a good idea to list my top ten reasons to be cheerful going into the new year. What are yours?

  1. The football European Championships next summer!
  2. I’m 1lb lighter than this time last year
  3. I’ll hopefully be able to hug and kiss loved ones again
  4. I’ll be launching my own business! PM me for details…
  5. I treated myself to a new socket set for Christmas
  6. Thanks to the pandemic, I’m the best version of myself that I’ve ever been
  7. I think I might start to write a book…
  8. Kylie Minogue is still single…
  9. There’s a vaccine!
  10. My car insurance went down by 96p and I’ve written to the Queen asking if she’d send the company a telegram


…Because we all love a rubbish Christmas cracker joke, don’t we?

Why are Santa’s deers always wet? …Because they’re reindeers!

How does Santa keep track of all the fireplaces he’s visited? …He keeps a logbook

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? …Tinsillitis

What do you call a blind reindeer? …No eye deer

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? …A mince spy


I can’t for the life of me remember who commissioned the survey but 65% of 1,200 men polled would wear concealer if there was no fear of being judged by others and 40% would buy candles.

I’ve been busted, now you know what I’m going to find in my stocking Christmas morning. She’s going to get a bottle of Brut 33 and a drill.


Experts at have created a Christmas film Index based on films that fill us with the most festive spirit – and I’m not impressed with the movie that came out on top – probably because I’ve never seen it.

Starring Jim Carrey, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is crowned the most Christmassy film of all time.

But and there is a ‘but’, the films were based on the number of points they score for each festive element in them, such as the number of Christmas trees and how many times Santa appears.

This is why Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch came second and I haven’t seen that one either. Love Actually was third, which is more like it.

Points system aside, am I the only one who thinks Gremlins is a good Christmas film?


I’ve always said there’s something special about The College Arms and The Draper’s Arms.

For breakfast they’re now serving egg and bacon muffin, egg and sausage muffin, breakfast muffin (with both bacon and Lincolnshire sausage) – and an egg and cheese muffin.

And they’re much bigger in size than Maccy Ds. All coffees and tea are just 99p. There is a god. Merry Christmas Wetherspoon. 


Turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, spouts, roasted parsnips and Christmas pudding anyone?

Well, of course! But did you know to burn all that off you need to do 1,968 burpees? What?!

Or if burpees aren’t your thing then you can go for a jog – for two hours! Can someone please pass me the celery sticks…? 


So, who’s enjoying video calls working from home?

According to research…

  • Colleagues judge us on our backdrop
  • Nearly one in two of us have faked technical issues to avoid turning the camera on
  • Almost a quarter of us have joined a morning call before showering or brushing our teeth

But the research didn’t capture a few other real truths about a session on Zoom…

  • Some of us are just wearing pants below the waist
  • Some of us are making the call sitting on the toilet
  • Some of us look like we’re sipping a glass of Coke when actually it’s a JD and Coke

How do I know all this? Err…a friend told me. 


Here’s why pandemic or not, it’ll be the same old Christmas this year: Toy Story (who cares which one) on Christmas Day, at least three rubbish presents going on Ebay for Boxing Day sales, social distancing out of the window because of too much Babycham, only six people but still 16 arguments, people in their droves flocking to pubs and too many ‘essential’ journeys being made to other people’s houses. 


  • Beer Squad – shall we rename it to Beard Squad?
  • Mikey – that pizza night will have to wait!
  • Stu and Ravsi – pre-Christmas video call?
  • John – when’s the house tour?
  • Hamza – Italian next. My treat (when we’re allowed to)
  • Keith and Claire – I’ve forgotten what you look like!


Written by ESP Magazine

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