I took this photo on a Tuesday morning early January. Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when I’m able to put in two full (long) days’ work as my husband can take the lion-share of home schooling and child caring. We’ve worked out how to be a good tag team by now, this second lockdown of school closure. I took this photo 10 minutes before I opened my laptop and begun my working day.
Since March the 16th 2020, when as an office we decided to all move to WFH (even before the PM made the decent decision to call for a national lockdown), I’ve been working out of our bedroom. This little bedroom of ours has turned into my own little world too.
I like the light here. It faces West so in the morning the light is gentle, never strong. We live in a townhouse and a higher bedroom level means when I look out of the window I stare into the trees’ canopies that line our boundary between our terrace row and the neighbours.
I see the changing seasons through these trees.
I sipped the final sips of my tea by the time I took this photo.
I breathed deeply ready to begin the day.
I reflected that I am feeling completely exhausted by now, emotionally and physically.
This second or third (depending how you look at it) lockdown round, I face it not only with the fear of the virus ever present – actually worse than ever – but also with grieving for my father’s death. We were collateral damage to Covid-19.
I reflect that my heart has never felt so heavier, so lost and so sad.
The pink clip in my hair really pops out in this photo. My daughter gave it to me, it was in her coat’s pocket, from many months ago – before the whole pandemic happened. She had found it and asked me if she could keep it. We washed it and put it in her hair clips box. Then one day she said “you can have it mamma, it’ll go with your curly hair”.
I hardly ever notice it normally.
I spend most of my working day nowadays in front of my laptop often in back to back online meetings. The little pink clip never features on there, hidden among my curls.
But here in this self portrait it offers a little cheery, if not slightly jarring, pink “hello”.
After I took this self portrait I turned my laptop on and left my little bedroom-turned-world only for loo breaks and for lunch, till I clocked off for dinner.
And while on the one hand I’m feeling I’ve had enough of this routine, on the other this now feels familiar and safe. And the thought of resuming ‘normal’ life doesn’t appeal to me anymore.
Nothing is as it was before that March 16th, 2020.