PHOTOGRAPHY - OVERSEAS
PHOTOGRAPHY - UK
Life in lockdown
no more than a mile from home
Goldsithney . St Hilary . Rosudgeon
Hair cutting is not something I would normally attempt, but as lockdown stretches interminably ahead I didn't want my husband resembling an ageing hippy!
He and others with dementia are finding lockdown particularly hard, with no day care to break the monotony. I fear the prolonged loss of stimulation will result in an unnecessarily rapid mental decline.
However, at least our dog is happy to have us both at home!
Jo, Don and Sophie
The timing of the lockdown has dramatically altered the course of my life. I was due to start a sabbatical from my job as a firefighter on 1st of April, to enable me to concentrate on my counseling work. I now find myself still in the Fire Service and unsure as to what the future holds. I hope my counseling/ therapy skills may be used to help others cope and recover from whatever the lockdown brings for them. At present this work is being done via phone calls – an interesting shift.
I really hope we can learn from the enforced slowing down. I don’t want to rush back ‘to normal’…there is no such thing. Why rush back to a system that was failing and disadvantaging so many lives ? While the lockdown has highlighted the scale of inequality, poverty and hidden suffering in our society, it hasn’t caused it. My wish is that this pause can be used to collectively reflect on what we want to return to and what would be better changed. After all, the one thing the lockdown has shown us is that things can change, and fast, when we decide to change them.
Here I am sitting at my piano, as I do for at least a short time, most days. My post as organist at Zennor Church is obviously on hold due to the virus, as is any other entertainment gig that may normally come my way. So I am using the lockdown time to bring some new repertoire up to scratch.
I also compose music, but when new material may come is completely unpredictable - lockdown or no lockdown - though much of it tends to come as I awake in the morning, whereupon I run it through repeatedly in my head as I "work it up" to something coherent. Then I have to rise immediately and either write it down in a manuscript book or upload it onto my computer - or both - before I forget it!
A largely completed piece which I am trying to finish is my Symphony For Zennor in four movements, but this is being delayed by work on a book I am also trying to complete, about classical music composers who were - and are - female and/or black.
My artwork is in abeyance at the moment, as I tend to work only to commission nowadays. In short, apart from the social side, coronavirus has not made a huge difference to my day-to-day routine.
Lockdown for me has been surprisingly good, personally I like the break from my usually busy schedule. Most days I do a zoom call with my friends and because of the lockdown I took up running, I used to not be able to run 100m with out getting out of breath but I’ve run two 5ks since the beginning!
Another thing that has changed is my piano lessons before I used to have them in school and now I have them over zoom.
I’ve also learnt a lot of practical skills while staying at home such as fitting a window in a shed, laying a carpet, installing lights and building boxes. One thing that I especially missed was being in a band so I organised my own band at home which was really fun. And finally I’m doing catering as a gcse and so I carried that on by cooking supper every Wednesday.
What sort of species are we
With this innate ability
To wreck our ecology
Now the tables are turned
By a virus unconcerned
With our mortality
But only its infectivity
When the corona virus lockdown started I was just about to exchange contracts on the house but the buyers decided not to until things were back to normal. So I’ve had not only the being in a state of limbo everyone has, but also having expected to move and now not going anywhere, my life is really on hold.
I have my cat Miss Tibbs, aged 10 who was born in St Hilary, and since the lockdown began my ‘gentleman friend’ Francis has been temporarily part of the household as we both decided this was the only way to deal with this situation. Well we could have been totally alone in our separate homes for an indefinite period, but this is how we chose it.
Meanwhile I am suddenly doing things in the garden; not having thought I would be here I had not planned to grow any veg instead to leave things for the new owners to decide on. And garden centres are closed, so am having to do what I can. A minimal season!
Lockdown has not affected me much regarding going out, because I don’t do much of that anyway.
Shopping for food was a problem for a short while, but now I’m able to arrange food delivery quite readily.
Psychologically, being told I should stay at home does make me feel restricted, so I do not like it.
But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and, in my case, it is having my wife back so that we can talk to one another. She is such an active person, spending much time at clubs and generally inter-acting with others. As our diaries are virtually empty, we have all the time in the world with no timetable to get in the way. It’s like being on honeymoon again.
But I still look forward to getting back to normal.
We are re-cladding the shed....
all corners of the house have been cleaned.....
the curtains have been washed....
many spiders have been disturbed......
the pond is full of newts and tadpoles and we now have time to watch them.....
the dogs, unlike their owners, have lost weight because their walks are much longer....
we play table games every night after dinner....
we seem to be eating a lot....
Kate, Anya & Duncan
It just so happened that we had embarked upon a major garden redesign just before lockdown started. Sharing this labour of love has kept us working together (mostly in harmony), kept us physically active and allowed us to take full advantage of the lovely weather. As it’s been difficult to get materials and plants, we’ve also had to be creative about re-purposing what we’ve got, redesigning an old shed, dividing and replanting, moving slabs and rocks and sieving soil. Jack, my partner, has always been very committed to repairing and recycling and he has been brilliant.
Jack and I both have sons and grandchildren who live quite a way away (one of mine in Switzerland). It has been hard not to see them, especially the young grandchildren who change so quickly. Ironically, because of lockdown, the distance we are apart has been irrelevant. We have used WhatsApp to keep in touch and that has worked quite well. I have also been able to keep up with my yoga via Zoom and even attended a pub sing song!
We love the quiet, appreciating the birds at their busy time. We’ve also valued conversations with people we meet on walks and at local stalls and are pleased to be living a less car dependant life.
We already knew we were very lucky to live where we do and how we do. Although this pandemic has brought some challenges (emotional rather than physical), it has underlined our immense good fortune, which in turn highlights the inequalities in our society and globally.
When we were talking about how to describe the effect of the pandemic on us so far, Jack said that it had made him feel humble and uncertain. For me that feels like it might be a good thing.
Belinda & Jack
Lockdown with 5 children has been challenging, but we are so blessed to live where we do and to have our animals to keep us sane!!!.
The world has slowed down having a positive impact on our environment and we hope this has shifted the conciousness of the people enough to make some changes for the good....imagine clear water ways, more insects coming back and less airport pollution being our new future. We live in hope!!.
We have really done well with our polytunnel and have really enjoyed the stillness of life... our hearts go out to all the people stuggling in these times.... One love
Emily, Seb, Kitty, Kaya, Seagame, Amana, Zion, Paddy & Pirate
I like the lockdown because I don’t have to go to school and I get to spend a bit more time with my family but I do miss my friends, wider family and sport.
Harry & Jo
The lockdown for us has held very mixed emotions,
fear of what is happening in the world, thinking of
loved ones living with the virus or those who are lost
Sadness that we’re unable to hug family & friends,
Disbelief that this is a new reality
And Happiness for the time spent with our children when normally we’d be working.
Appreciation of a slower pace of life, less speeding on the road outside our house.
Joy of cycling around the village or gardening in the sunshine & watching the wildlife
Learning new skills, teaching, baking, hairdressing
Gratefulness to our wonderful community & hardworking keyworkers & amazing NHS 🌈
Vick, Nick and their girls
It was the 1 June and the government allowed fitness groups of 6 to train together again. Raring to go and to get our clients back on their road to fitness, we hit the ground running with Boogie Bounce and Kangoo Jumps classes.
We were aware charity fund raising had suffered because of lockdown so we decided to donate our class takings from June to the Cornwall Air Ambulance.
Outside in our fantabulous field, on lovingly made wooden frames we Bounced and Jumped our way through the summer months, respecting and keeping each other safe and everyone’s spirits soared. Fitness fun was back.
Nikki, Tom & Archie
As an NHS worker there has been no lockdown for me as such, my role as Dispensary supervisor at Marazion Surgery has continued but with many new challenges. PPE, new working hours and constant changes to the way we work but as a team we have faced with all with humour and good team spirit.
Outside of work I dance, a lot!! Normally at Lockwood -Urban dance school in Newlyn however at the moment it’s in my garden. The school have been brilliant adapting classes via zoom which has been a great way of seeing my friends and also keeping fit. I have also done a lot of Zumba. Very good stress relievers and dancing outside has been amazing. As you can see my cat is never far from me either.
Do I want to go back to normal? Yes but not quite yet!!
Although in lockdown, life for us has changed very little apart from Doug working solely from home whereas he would normally spend a couple of days a week away at meetings. I continue my work as an artist from the studio in the garden and although all exhibitions have been cancelled for this year, on line sales have been surprisingly good. We've discovered pathways we didn't know existed on our walks around the St. Hilary area. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.
Mary & Doug
The lyrics of the song ‘Once in a lifetime’ by Talking Heads have resonated with me at several times in my life and none more so than now. ‘How did I get here?’ and more to the point, how did we get here? I hope we never again experience a pandemic such as this. However the ‘lockdown’ has proved to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be so creative in many different ways.
For the past three weeks I have been designing and painting a conservatory floor. A labour of love, my knees haven’t thanked me for it, but the process an application have kept me busy and in a positive frame of mind.
I’m looking forward to the return of every day ‘normal’ life and the familiarity therein - a bit of ‘same as it ever was’ as the song goes. But l hope for many positive changes too. Life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye and I’ve learnt to take nothing for granted.
For only the second time in our 50 years together we found ourselves working together during the Monday to Friday working week. We decided to make the most of this and 'transformed' our conservatory into an office, greenhouse and general storage shed! Remote working has proved to be a far more challenging experience with far too much reliance on IT. The benefits have probably outweighed the disadvantages with the resident gardener working towards restoring the garden to its earlier glory, it'll be a long-term Work in Progress. We look forward to celebrating the easing of the lockdown with a glass of Elderflower Champagne, currently we hope acquiring its fizz.
Rose & Rob
Reading to me has always been a very special kind of self-isolation, opening the door to new ideas, wisdom, knowledge, entertainment and empathy with other people’s experiences whilst giving me some time out from reality.
In this abnormal time, I am feeling so grateful that my family and friends are all safe and well; that I have wonderful neighbours and friends; that I live in a generous, kind and caring community where offers of help abound, and that we are all learning so much more about ourselves and the importance of life.
I’m a teacher assistant at a primary school, so having that one to one teaching bubble with my own children is lovely. I get to see their ability and understanding, teaching them in the best ways to suit their individuality.
Due to me being 7 months pregnant, I am classed as highly vulnerable to Covid-19 so my school does not want me back for safety precautions. I am very happy with that decision, I’ve never been so relaxed throughout a pregnancy, as both my previous pregnancies were in the Royal Air Force, which was most demanding at the best of times.
St. Hilary school has been fantastic with communication to parents and children; with online funny videos of themselves, story telling, singing, challenges and setting daily work online. It really gives the children structure and stability to get through each day positively. A sense of reassurance achievement at these worrying times.
In the afternoons we follow our chart we made, consisting of cooking, wildlife hunts, Lego challenges, pet play, science, art and crafts or on a Friday they can have free choice.
We look forward to the weekends when their Dad is off work, so we can spend quality time exploring our wonderful village. We have found so many hidden places, if it wasn’t for lockdown I don’t think we would of ventured out as much in our local area.
As a family we talk about what is going on in the world with lockdown, NHS, key workers, jobs, separated families, isolation and sadly much more. From this, we have learned how fortunate we are to be at home, with our family and with online schooling.
For now, I hope everyone has used this time as an opportunity for self-reflection, so that when we return to our normal lives, we will be more grateful, concerned and compassionate
Louise, Cohen & Jessica
Louise & family
Tom – thoughts on lockdown
I, along with lots of animals (domesticated or wild) have had a great time during lockdown. I have enjoyed virtually 24 hour company from at least one member of my pack. Although this may now be a potential problem – as I howled the house down when everyone left me to put the recycling and bins out the other day.
I have also relished the chance to really get to know the environment directly outside my front door – so many paths to explore and hidden beaches to find.
Personally, I wish life could always be like this !
As a priest, I have found the period spent in lockdown particularly difficult, as so much of my identity is bound up in being alongside other people – not just in the church buildings, but through my involvement in the times of joy and sadness in the lives of people who live and work in the parishes in which I serve, most of whom never enter the church. It has been a struggle having to stay at home when so many have been lonely and feeling isolated and would have liked nothing more than a bit of human contact. Phone calls and email are all well and good, but there’s nothing like a face-to-face encounter. Funerals have been very hard, too, particularly for those who have died from COVID-19. We haven’t been able to use the churches at all – there’s just been a brief service in the crematorium, or in the churchyard for a burial. We’ve had no beautiful, happy weddings (something I always look forward to), and no families bringing their children to be baptised – it has been a very strange time indeed.
Not only have the church buildings been closed to the public, they have also been closed to the clergy, so we have had to find new ways of leading worship from our own homes, and live-streaming or videoing it for others to watch later on our website. The Vicarage in Goldsithney has seen many such services, with the kitchen table doubling up as an altar and the cookbook stand being used to hold the service booklet, my iPhone perched on the window ledge, with the microphone cable not quite long enough to reach me ……. But I know these services have been appreciated by all sorts of people. Funnily enough, more people have watched the videos of services on YouTube than ever actually come to a service in church!
My prayer is that we will take some of the lessons we have learnt these past few months about the importance of being part of a community and the need for us all to have hope into the post-lockdown world, and maybe help to make church relevant to people once again. It’ll be an extraordinary irony if it takes a global pandemic to achieve that!
Father Jeff, Rural Dean of Penwith, Team Vicar in the Mount’s Bay United Benefice
Well life certainly has been different in lockdown
Looking out on the world from behind a screen
Some said it was as if we were behind bars, others that it looked like we were on TV
Our whole day has changed, much of our time is spent making up orders
Social distancing in the shop is not easy but keeping customers to one in one out has made it so less stressful for the staff and shoppers
You would think we would all be good at judging 2m by now but some of the time people seem to ‘forget’
We’ve come so far we just need to keep going now
Please take care everyone, of yourself and your neighbours
Joanne, Godsithney Store
“Like so many others we at Goldsithney Post Office have worked throughout the pandemic crisis. How we now work day to day and deal with the ever changing restrictions has kept us on our toes. Sometimes exhausting, sometimes frustrating but always challenging. Whatever the future may hold hopefully Mary and I will continue to provide Post Office services with our usual sense of humour
Shann, Goldsithney Post Office