Journal

This week… under lockdown (nine)

The Shrimp circa 1960s

This week has been up and down with a little more emphasis on the down. The good news though is that I recognise the triggers. The conflicting reports in the news, rampant negativity online and grocery deliveries that have senseless substitutions. And who ordered Branston pickle, for heavens sake! (Too sweet for my taste). Oh, that would be me I guess. This week I take control of Me Inc. and actively seek out positive news and activities. Enough wallowing, get a grip.

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This week… under lockdown (eight)

Don Giovanni, Glyndebourne Open House 2020.
© Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo Bill Cooper.

There are a number of questions going the rounds this week with a central theme. How keen are you to get out into crowded spaces again?

With lockdown cautiously easing around the world, including here in the UK, it seems that emerging from isolation isn’t quite so simple. Are you undaunted by the thought of crowded airport departure lounges? Will you be rushing to see the latest film at your local multiplex cinema as soon as we’re able? I realise this week that re-entry is an entirely personal matter.

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This week… under lockdown (seven)

Foraging in the Soča Valley

This week I should have been in Slovenia and, pre-lockdown, was looking forward to exploring the local cuisine and magnificent countryside. Instead, I travelled there courtesy of Zoom. Set in the foothills of the mountains, the Soča Valley reminds you instantly of The Sound of Music. You get the picture, lush green pastures set against a backdrop of snow capped mountains.

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This week … under lockdown (six)

Sculpture by Seward Johnson, based on a photograph which appeared in Life magazine celebrating VJ Day (Victory over Japan) and the end of the Second World War. Shown here at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Photo Irene Caswell

We’re entering week seven of lockdown here in the UK. There is a tentative feeling of hope in the air. It’s like we have all been holding our breath. Finally, we’re coming to the end of a long, dark tunnel and we can breathe out once again. We’re all anticipating the re-opening of the UK like excited children before Christmas.

As we await the government’s strategy for reemergence to be announced later this week, everyone is daring to plan their own exit from lockdown. Top of my list is being with family and, more daringingly, thinking about where I’ll be able to travel to, responsibly and safely.

This has been a sobering period in history. Next weekend (8 May) marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Once again, the world has changed and I’ve been thinking about about how society recovered after World War Two. How do we adjust, not just in practical terms but emotionally, from collective traumatic experiences?

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This week… under lockdown (five)

Hayling Island beach huts

This week I’ve been humming that haunting hit song by The Mamas & The Papas.

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

In these difficult days under lockdown, I’ve been daydreaming about the beach. It’s partly because of the warm spring sunshine and also, of course, because I’m cooped up like everyone else at home, and longing for wide open spaces.

Where are you dreaming about travelling to when we’re able to move freely once again?

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This week… under lockdown (four)

Lucky Bay, Australia, where kangaroos regularly visit, photo courtesy Tourism Australia.

Another week in life under lockdown. Thankfully the weather has been sunny, and so waking at 5.30am isn’t the daunting daybreak experience of a foggy winter! Is it my imaginaton, or is the dawn chorus noticeably louder now that there’s little or no traffic to drown out the twittering birds?

Last week I was put on furlough for a part time role I have working with the media in the tourism industry. I try not to worry about the further drop in salary and tell myself I’m not alone. It also means, of course, that I have more, ahem… free time. As this is not something in short supply at the moment, I struggle a little this week to keep my mind off the news.

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This week… under lockdown (three)

With the world in turmoil it’s not easy finding balance. All those old clichés keep popping into my head. ‘Sailing in stormy seas’ takes on an all too real significance. One day I find myself singing along to Abba on the radio, the next minute I well up with tears, for apparently no reason. Mostly though this week I’ve kept sane and, if not exactly ‘happy’, I’ve been content pottering around at home. Thanks in great part to everyone generously sharing content on social media, from Raymond Blanc to Andrea Bocelli.

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