Elastic’s top 10 lockdown edition! The best (and worst!) of 2020

mm
Patrick Cumming

Each year, the team here at Elastic submits their top 10s for the year. The list usually includes things like our favourite books, films, albums, tv shows and more.

In the spirit of 2020, we’re mixing it up this year with and best and worst of 2020 list! On the one hand, we wanted to find some things to celebrate and be grateful for despite it being a pretty pants year! We also wanted to have a laugh and a little fun by talking about some of our embarrassing lockdown secrets!

We hope you enjoy having a read through and getting to know the team a little better. Here’s to a (hopefully) better 2021!

Alex Kirby | MD

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Disney actually! The Mandalorian. Stunning visualisation and pure escapism combined to deliver the best on-screen Star Wars adventure since 1980.

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

Roisin Murphy – Roisin Machine

Enigmatic performer, formerly Moloko, produces a stormer of pulsing orchestrated disco beats and clever funky grooves. Narcissus & Incapable are standouts. Prince would approve.

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

Not really hobbies but have got back into reading a lot more – great for focusing on something other than being in lockdown. Also took working out from the gym into the home.

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

Biden winning the US election was both a huge sigh of relief and an ecstatic reaffirmation that good can defeat evil. Trouble is about half the country feels otherwise. Will be watching to see if he can unite a bitterly divided & polarised country.

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

Got back into reading in a big way – highlights have included:

David Hepworth – Overpaid, Oversexed and Over There. He continues his series of pop music musings with his usual clever cultural observations. This time injecting his unique perspective into why the Brits did so well in America.

Ben Wilson – Metropolis. A brilliant account of how throughout history cities have been at the centre of human civilisation. Compellingly brought to life by the stories he tells of each city.

Tim Hartford – How To Make The World Add Up. The Undercover Economist does it again. His explanation of how numbers work is conveyed beautifully as always. In these days of so-called fake news, he arms the reader with some great ammo with which to understand what lies beneath statistics.

Mary Trump – Too Much and Never Enough. I resisted for the past 4 years on reading any of the books on Trump until this came out. Being both his niece and a clinical psychologist provides her with a very unique and insightful perspective. Fascinating.

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

Tried to be pretty healthy actually. Sorry…

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

Mine! I was very straight forward, while everyone else really knocked it out of the park. I was always amazed and intrigued by how many different ways everyone else came up with to deliver their questions.

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

I’ve always been a pretty casual dresser anyway so not really much of a change : )

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

Usually love Will Ferrell films and thought his latest one for Netflix, Eurovision Song Contest,  sounded great. However, I found it mostly either actually cringy or just a bit bland.

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

I live in my favourite city in the world, and, not being very fond of travelling on a plane I’ve actually been quite ok with this year. Last year we did have an amazing trip to Toronto and I would love to go back there in the next few years.

Lauren Rennet | Creative Director

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Queen’s Gambit.

Stylish, unexpected, beautiful production – hit all the right cultural notes – bravo Netflix – binged in 3 evenings.

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

Released a few years back but discovered and played to death by me 2020

Augustine – Blood Orange

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

I honestly haven’t had a moment to take up a new hobby this year but I have my sights set on taking up Argentine Tango – however, partner requires significant arm twisting (or is that leg twisting)!

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

Like so much of this year my most memorable smile came from the medium of television – My Octopus Teacher – when she rushes to give the very patient and attentive filmmaker a hug.

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

With the same lack of free time this year, I have managed to read only one book – and a short one at that. Calypso by David Sedaris. I laughed till I cried so I’m glad it was this one.

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

I’m certain I can’t call this a meal – but a big bag of the proper, old school, aniseed twist sweets in one sitting gave me the food comfort I was craving.

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

Sport!

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

I did rock my kimono dressing gown a few times but that’s not out of the ordinary! It’s been out to dinner before.

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

Emily in Paris

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

We hadn’t decided!

I’m now grateful – I don’t know what we missed.

Aaron Tierney | Senior Designer

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Big Mouth season 4, finished it in 2 days. Was really great seeing Jay and Lola’s relationship develop in this season, two personalities you wouldn’t expect to work together but somehow do.

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

Nostalgia by Ulver. It’s super funky and chill – a stark contrast from their days as a Norwegian Black Metal band in the early 90s.

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

Learning German on Duolingo. I recently took a break for a few months but back on it now. Apparently, I spent 7252 minutes on the app and learnt a total of 14,052 words. Ausgezeichnet!

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

The dude skateboarding, drinking ocean spray to the sound of Fleetwood Mac – that was pretty wholesome.

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

I quite enjoyed reading Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell – an account of his time serving during the Spanish Civil War. Whilst I’ve tried to avoid politics this year for sake of sanity, it serves as a great reminder that history does repeat itself in some ways. There’s a strange comfort in that but also great worry.

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

No idea. Clearly, nothing exciting if I can’t remember.

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

Music, as its almost always pop stuff that I avoid.

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

Pretty much T-shirts and sweat pants since march, I can’t remember the last time I wore proper trousers.

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

I suppose Tiger King could be described as cringe-worthy – the person (Joseph Allen Schreibvogel AKA Joe Exotic) not the show, I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed it though. So much drama in just seven episodes.

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

We had planned to spend a week road tripping around Ireland whilst over there for a Rammstein gig, visiting Game of Thrones filming locations and other sights. Ended up buying a van, converting to a camper and doing the NC500 in Scotland instead though so not all bad.

Pamela Gray | Motion Designer

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Watched all 4 seasons of The Crown in about 2 weeks. I’m obsessed.

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

The 1 – Taylor Swift.

I would normally be a bit embarrassed that my number one song of the year is tay-tay because of how ‘basic’ it is, but I completely fell in love with her new album ‘folklore’ this year.

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

Baking! Not as often as I was, can no longer justify baking full cakes and eating the entire thing myself.

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

The sense of community spirit and small acts of kindness. I saw so many instances of people really going out of their way to help others this year, in a time when every single person is struggling in some way or another.  It really warmed my heart.

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton.

I laughed out loud and cried until I couldn’t breathe reading this… it feels like a hug from an older, wiser friend – telling you stories and lessons from their 20s and reassuring you that everything is going to turn out fine!

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

There are too many to count at this point.

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

Geography. I usually sit that one out.

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

Never to be honest, I’m terrified that once you start doing that you can’t stop. I also need to trick my head into thinking I’m ‘going into the office’ to work productively, which means getting fully ready.

I now solely wear gym leggings though and fear I’ll never be able to wear jeans ever again.

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

Selling Sunset. It’s awful in the best way.

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona!

The tickets are now valid for next year though, so fingers crossed things have resolved by then!

Iona Sorbie | Junior Designer

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Big Little Lies, Ratched, little fires everywhere were all completed within a few days each.

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

I was introduced to Clean Cut Kid at the beginning of the year – so mainly their tracks but also A LOT of 70’s tracks in the mix.

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

I tried to go jogging and do yoga – I get back into it every few weeks!

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

I managed to go to Oslo at the start of the year, and it was incredible, and I went on a road trip around the highlands in summer which was beautiful.

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

I really enjoyed where the crawdads sing and girl woman other – not that either made me think everything would be okay – but I got lost in them instead.

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

Not sure actually but got through far too many share size bags of chocolate… oops

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

Every round? Not a fan of a zoom quiz, sorry not sorry.

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

During peak lockdown, there were a few times I slept in and went full jammies… No one noticed hahaha!

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

Emily in Paris, excellent stuff!

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

I was supposed to go for two weeks with friends I haven’t seen in ages to Athens and then go on a tour around a few different Greek Islands which was going to be amazing!

Patrick Cumming | Digital Marketer

Netflix series you binged the hardest? How many hours straight did you clock up? What was so good about it?

Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one. The one I binged the hardest was probably Trailer Park Boys though. All 10 seasons + 2 animated seasons in about 2 weeks. Just great, stupid, idiotic comedy. Reminds me of being a teenager. Love it!

What does Spotify say is your favourite song of 2020? What makes the song so good?

Bonfire – Knife Party. An oldie, but a goldie! Honestly, I wouldn’t say this was actually my favourite. But, it’s on multiple gym/home workout playlists so it got a lot of air time.

I’d say my actual favourite was a banger of a chill/instrumental hip-hop track called Cats Walking by Yomoti. For anybody into Yoga – would recommend adding this to the Yoga playlist.

What new hobby did you take up during lockdown to keep you sane? Are you still doing it?

I don’t know if you can call it a hobby, but I’ve completed more video games in the last 9 months than I ever have before in my life. In particular, I’d say I’m now almost unbeatable on Mario Kart 😎

There were a lot of bad moments in 2020, but what positive moment made you smile?

To be honest, there were actually a lot of great moments for me in 2020. The biggest one though was 1) finding out my sister was pregnant and 2) welcoming my super cute baby niece into the world in October. Such a little bundle of joy! Almost cried when I first met her which takes some doing!

What book did you read that made you think it was all going to be okay?

My flatmate gave me a copy of Mark Manson’s Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope. Not usually into self-help type stuff, but it was actually really good. He’s just so down to earth and speaks it like it is. Refreshing to read a book that celebrates the imperfections of humans rather than acting like they’re the scourge of the earth!

What was the naughtiest cheat meal you ate when you were suffering lockdown blues? Would you do it again?

Oh, man. I’m pretty on it with my diet usually so there weren’t many.

That said, my GF bought me a 1kg bag of Manner Wafer Biscuits (my guilty pleasure). She told me to share them with my flatmates but I smashed the whole bag for breakfast one morning while bingeing Netflix. No regrets. Would do it again. Think it worked out to about 2,000 kcal – most people’s daily allowance!

What’s your least favourite Zoom quiz round?

I have a love-hate relationship with music rounds. I love listening to the music, but I have a terrible memory for artists and song names. I love hearing the songs, but it’s so infuriating when you know you know the song, but you can’t remember enough about it to win the point!

How many times did you rock the business up top, pyjamas down below outfit on Zoom calls? (Nobody’s judging…)

Haha! At the start of lockdown, I said to myself I’d get up, showered and changed into proper work clothes every day. That last about 2 months before I adopted the shorts, t-shirt and no socks every day!

What cringe-worthy Netflix series or movie did you watch (and enjoy!) that you’d never admit to friends or family?

There were actually a few. My flatmate got me onto a lot of anime shows which I liked way more than I’d like to admit.

The cringe-iest of them all was probably Dragonball Super: Broly. So lame, yet so awesome!

The big holiday you couldn’t take. Where was it, why’d you choose it and how awesome was it going to be?

Ugh! I was planning on taking 2 weeks off work, buying a one-way ticket to Vienna and then winging the rest of the trip without a plan. Would have been fun, but I managed to get a few nice trips in around the UK through Summer so it wasn’t a total bummer.

That said, I have no doubt that the trip would have been incredible!

Share