Reflections on how the world has changed
“Night time is where it hits most”
Lockdown by Tammy
At first I wasn’t bothered
Time off work
Spending time with my kids
doing those small jobs that no-one likes.
Still not too bad though
Getting 80% of wages
Maybe it wasn’t such a joke after all
Oldest back to work, youngest back to school
Feel alone but I have my cat
Washing clothes once a day
Just something to do i guess
Night time is where it hits most
Lately there doesn’t seem anything else to do
Not much different to the second
Got my eyes looked at
Needed reading glasses
Got them and a book
Didn’t realise how much i enjoy reading
We’re back to square one
Why don’t people listen
That’s us all back in the house
Any little thing I need from the shop
Just to get out of the house
Kids fighting and arguing
Anger now is showing its face
Going now to defrost my freezer.
A Letter by Anne Raffle
‘Where I am it is summer and it is very warm. It will be summer when I get home and you will be on your holidays, so I shall be able to take you out for walks. I hope that you get some nice things for your birthday. Your loving brother Teddy’
This extract is from a letter to me when I was 6 years old from my brother who was in the Merchant Navy. He travelled all over the world, saw many wonderful sights, and after marrying he and his family settled in South Africa, leaving the UK when I was 12 years old. I only saw him once in 25 years before he died.
2020 in lockdown brought with it memories of the past. I’ve been looking through old photos and correspondence. These words from my brother bring so much of my childhood back to me.
My brother spoiled me when he came home, bringing back wonderful gifts from foreign places. Dolls from Russia, elephant bookends from Africa, a windmill bedside light from Holland.
The mention of summer reminded me that because of the lovely weather in spring and summer last year, I managed to cope with the issues around lockdown. Being able to get outside into the garden, feed the birds and potter about was a lifesaver.
Our birthdays were spent at home in 2020, nowhere to go and nothing exciting to do, but we arranged home delivery meals and received an unexpected gift of a cake from a friend.
Past and Present by Elizabeth
Last year March 2020 we were all faced with lockdown, with the whole nation not knowing what to expect or how it would affect us.
Although it was restrictive I am very fortunate enough to be comfortable with my own company & it didn’t really have much effect apart from not being able to see my Mam as I was not classed as her ‘bubble’
I filled in my time doing on line Teams / Zoom meetings, course work, a couple of projects & rekindled my love of cooking / baking from scratch. This was to the delight of my Mam & friends as they got deliveries of freshly baked goods to their door, always keeping in mind the social distancing rules.
I coped well during the time.
However as time went on & the country found it was facing a further lockdown with more restrictions, it has become more and increasingly difficult to find any motivation or sense of normality like so many others.
I am still grateful I have friends to call , text & write too as so many people have absolutely no one in their life, hence no contact from anyone at all. I find this so upsetting.
My hope for the future would be that my family & friends remain safe, well & are all above ground.
Often I think, will things ever be the same if / when this all ends?
Will normality ever return, our fears to go out & meet people.
Will we ever feel the same as we did prior to lockdown.
I think not.
Then and now by Spencer
The first time I truly understood the path I was heading along was mid 2020 when the days began with wine and ended with arguments. Of course this understanding only comes through hindsight and it’s irritating clarity. At the time it all seemed like peaches and cream without any real consequences. The money kept coming in and that was the barometer.
Then furlough, then redundancy, then worry.
Alcohol was my Napoleon.
Now I’m in a different fight with a stronger army behind me and a weakened enemy in front of me.
I’ve rediscovered my appetite for battle. I’m clear headed and fleet footed.
Knowledge is power and I well know my foe.
Alcohol has met its Waterloo.
Chiaroscuro, light from darkness.
Before the Storm by Karla Graham
This time last year I would never have thought we would be facing a global pandemic.
I did not think it would be this serious.
I said “It’s only a virus” we will get over it but my god I never would have imagined this. It has taken thousands of lives.
I am so angry at the world that this has happened.
I feel everyone’s pain.
We have been put into Tier 5, I know it’s to protect people but what about people’s mental health.
We will be losing loads of people through this, everyone can’t cope without seeing their families.
We all feel so alone and isolated.
My life has changed so much since lockdown, I feel like I don’t have a life anymore.
And I walk by Kate Bowman
The pall bearers advance in stately fashion
Coffin strewn with flowers of every description
Fifteen people sitting more than two metres apart
Each wearing a mask for mass protection
The Minister’s words are true and familiar
Find happiness in your sadness
She touched your life and made it brighter
Be grateful for what you had
Shaking voices and trembling hands
Cousins and husband pay tributes with love
She warmed our lives in so many ways
Our dreams are shattered by shock and loss
Now we fear the empty places
As tears stream down their faces
My friend’s face settles in my mind
Swimming and spa days were our leisure
Laughingly asking for wine for our pleasure
She was first witness to my terrible driving
I was the confidante to her heartfelt sorrows
The ceremony ends
The curtains close
The family file out to their chosen track
Sitting at home I weep in black
And say goodbye as the webcast ends
My heart is full and I cannot work
Anger and sadness at a life cut short
I light a candle
I write my thoughts
And I walk and I walk and I walk.
Something new by Wendy
This is something new
Not sure what to do
Not sure where to go
Who to see
Or what to wear
A mask. A apron. Plastic gloves.
It all seems we all need to take extra care
News reports are coming in
Things seem very bleak, people being infected, people in hospital beds
Numerous folk receiving meds, some that work and some that don’t
But that was last year
What has changed?
A new year, a new wave, people dying and it’s really grave
This isn’t now new, we know what to do
We know where we can’t go and we know who we can’t see
We are all wearing masks, sanitising everything we see
It’s not getting better, they tell us there’s hope, but we have to wait
In a que, there’s folk in front of you
Be patient, take your time, and remember the rhyme
HANDS FACE SPACE
But what do we do now, stay at home, shield, don’t go out unless it’s essential
We all have the potential to catch it and carry it
So all in all nothing has changed
We thought it was improving, we thought it was under control,
Measures in place, tiers in place, 1 2 3 and 4
It’s now 297 days, we are all feeling raw
But the message today, is as before
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
Angry by Mary Pickin
There’s a four year old boy next door called Wilf and he’s so angry.
I heard him tell his mother, just now, over the backyard wall, “I’m so angry. He bellowed it.
“I’m so angry!!”
I wish I was four again. Then I too could scream out “I’m so angry…And confused!” What is going on in this world now? The COVID19 virus! What are you? Why are you here? What’s going to happen to us? Will I ever see my sons again?
Oh yes, we text. My heart leaps when I get a beep from a text or WhatsApp from the boys; I hear their voices most days but London is now having a Tsunami of cases and I worry that one of those cases could be Michael or Paul despite them being 30 and 28 respectively and completely healthy.; they’re young and strong and could get over a bout of it.
I’m sixty-six; I’ve just got my pension last July for god’s sake and I want to spend it if you don’t mind Mr. Coronovirus. I’m not too happy about dying before my time. I should have at least three score years and ten, i.e. seventy; that is in four years time ahem…ahem.
OK, I’ve got no underlying health conditions except a huge case of hypochondria or as we hypos like to call it “health anxiety” This last year I’ve been investigated for bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, umbilical hernia, and kidney disease; suffice it to say I’m clear of them all and I’ve now had a complete MOT as well as sixteen sessions of therapy so I should be OK if you get me at any point; I should survive a bout of you.
I’ve survived two divorces for god’s sake. I’ve survived misery, humiliation, and embarrassment and I’ve survived two total knee replacements after years of painful arthritis and that didn’t kill me so do your best you virus that sounds like a weak lager, you’re not catching me!
The one thing I haven’t survived is a World War so I don’t feel very Churchillian. I’m more a survivor of the sixties “Don’t play with me ‘cos you play with fire” as the Rolling Stones sang. A war against war kinda gal;
Greenham Common, Grosvenor Square, Section 28 activist. Surely I can stand up to COVID 19, the bastard? The only thing is I’m used to marching with a large number of others “Together, united, we’ll never be defeated!” and the present battle is solitary. That’s hard; not being able to be rallied with a battle cry. “Corona Virus Out, Out, Out” sounds a bit ineffectual shouted from my settee to my two bewildered cats.
However, that is what I must do because I’m a tough cookie and, like Gloria Gaynor so aptly puts it, I will survive!