(Firstly, huge appreciation to all the essential workers right now. I am in awe of all NHS staff, every single one of them and hope we see some serious change to how we fund and staff and treat our health service in the future. And everyone else keeping the country going, the teachers, delivery drivers, supermarket staff and many many more. Thank you, so much. x)
We’ve been ‘locked down’ for four weeks now. Like a lot of people we voluntarily shut ourselves away before we were officially told to. It’s been a strange old experience, right? More than anything I feel I am more grateful for every moment, counting my blessings, seeing how fortunate I am to live in the countryside where we always feel a bit more ‘free’, appreciating the days the sun comes out more than ever, the birdsong, the moments with family.
I think a lot about those in protective gear (or still waiting for it) dealing with severely ill people everyday. While we sit in our homes, or out in gardens or on balconies, or yes – try to work with screaming kids running around – we are still protected from the front line reality. We are in little bubbles, occasionally talking to loved ones through screens, occasionally having a loud conversation with a passing friend from 6 feet away, but then back to the bubbles. It’s a strange mixture of feeling wonderfully unconfined by the structures we normally have to adhere to, yet also somehow that troubling, niggling feeling that we are totally out of control of our own lives, for the foreseeable future. And then in amongst that…the gratitude again. Because in our particular little bubble we are not sick, our children are not sick, we don’t have to put ourselves at risk every day, the sun is shining today, we still have food, and some toilet roll…
I started taking photos a few weeks back, partly because I go a bit mad without some kind of creative output, and partly because I wanted to document this surreal time. It’s funny how things take shape without intending to, when I looked back over the pictures I found I had unconsciously captured a fair few moments with walls, fences, closed doors. We were playing with bubbles in the garden and watching them float away into the sky and there was a moment I felt a real pang of our ‘locked down’ reality. There are moments I catch my six year old looking really sad. She misses her friends and her teachers. I try to keep our small, insignificant lives as big and full and happy and ‘normal’ as possible, but we’ve had tears, we have had frustration, we’ve had panic. On the flip side, I’m guessing a lot of dads are feeling so much closer to their children, which is – again – a beautiful gift in such strange times. Our baby is imminently going to take her first steps, and I’m pretty sure all of us will get to see it. Little things like that feel huge right now.
I’m always brought back to ‘we are ok, we have everything we need right here, we are so unbelievably blessed’ and I can’t help think of those separated from loved ones who are unwell right now. I am an overthinker by nature, but more than ever I am really making myself live in the moment, not think about ‘whats next?’ and appreciate what is, right now.
Much love xxx