Lockdown, Spring 2020

week 1: March 23rd – 29th

The first lockdown week in UK. What a weird week, totally unreal. We don’t quite understand what has hit us all. Work has been cancelled indefinitely. All is closed except food connected services. Notices everywhere. Some shops offer take away service.

The glorious weather is great but adds to the surreal atmosphere. Time is spend reading and listening to news. We welcome this strange break from our hectic lives. We relish in the jokes being shared by friends and families from around the world. 

Week 2: March 30th – april 5th

The weather is still wonderful. I don’t ever remember a spring like this. I spend the week cycling around central London taking photographs. London landmarks totally deserted. It’s great cycling in this glorious sunshine with no cars in the streets. Frustrations around online teaching are mounting, it’s insane the time spent online. Feeling resentful at how much I do with no pay.

 Freelancing is bad at best of times, adding lockdown has added an extra layer of worry.  How are we going to manage financially? At home we all seem to go to bed in the early morning hours. Routines are totally broken. It’s almost as though time has stopped. The days come and go, time flies past, nobody knows what day of the week is.

Week 3: april 6th – April 12th

The entire week has been spent on online work meetings. I had several training hours on different online teaching platforms. I also spent time looking into finances, decided to apply for government support as money coming in is scarce. 

We were supposed to fly to Germany at the end of this week. The plan was to work on family archives and spend Easter with relatives. All is cancelled. Instead, we are all cooped up inside home, not quite knowing what the future holds for us all. 

Week 4: April 13th – April 19th

More online work meetings, frustrations are mounting. I’ve been asked to create a photographic book on a French house before and after it was renovated. It’s been great having something different to take my mind off and also earn some money. Weather still great.

I went cycling to Camden Lock. Nobody around. Everything deserted. This week Johnson, got Covid, that is all we hear in the news. We even had calls from abroad asking us about him. A good divergence from what is really going on with the pandemic.

Week 5: April 20th – April 26th

This week is Greek Easter week. Keeping up with family traditions, we dyed Easter eggs and spend time cooking celebratory meals. Alex and Lefteris spent the early part of the week, decorating in the flat.

I am feeling quite excited with my personal diary being published here: Air it’s been great creating a visual record of what is going on. It’s also helping keeping me sane and visually engaged, when there is no other photography work around.

Week 6: April 27th – may 3rd

One great thing with the lockdown has been a lot of online presentations and discussions helping to catch up and develop my photography practice. It wouldn’t have been possible to attend as many talks and presentations if I had to physically go there.  

Cooking has been another important element during this period. We have been eating glorious meals. With the weather still good, cycling around and looking for photographs for the diary has become an essential part of my daily routine.

Week 7: May 4th – May 10th

No students have enrolled for any classes that were starting this week. No work, no money. Furlough, the government scheme, is saving the situation for the moment. Hopefully it will continue, otherwise it will be very hard for a great number of us.

I ask people in the streets to take photographs of them. Everybody is happy to participate. This week I started helping Alex with his work delivering supplies to elderly people. There was mutual happiness in seeing everyone.

Week 8: May 11th – May 17th

This week I took photographs of the elderly people at Alex’  work. We all met in the park, the first time since March. Everybody was delighted to see each other. 

It’s great to chat with the people I meet in the streets. Frustrations, fears but also happiness at having time on their hands, are the prevailing feelings. 

 

Week 9: May 18th – May 24th

A large part of the week was spent on the phone to HMRC trying to sort through various issues to do with the settlement scheme, overtaxing, NI and pension contributions. Each time it took almost an hour to get through and sort issues out. It’s such a stressful and frustrating job trying to get to the bottom of information. Often they give contradictory information. 

I went back to Whittington Hospital for the NHS clapping.  I took more photographs and delivered a few of the ones from last week.  It was great to see the two elderly sisters in the block of apartments and chat to them. They were delighted to have copies of their pictures and left feeling happy to have connected with them. 

Week 10: May 25th – May 31st

Taking portraits of people in the streets has been interesting and rewarding. I’ve done some more online training for one of the schools I work for. 

We had a picnic with a friend at Hampstead Heath. It felt as though we were doing something extraordinary. It was so good to feel kind of ‘normal’ again! 

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