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By Bec

(in response to the ‘journey’ task)

As an experience the whole pandemic has been intense. Too huge to process. 

We’ve all been very aware since the beginning of it’s magnitude and how it will affect our lives in some marked way from now on. We’ve discussed it on social media, picked it apart during our allotted social strolls, hashed it out on doorsteps whilst dropping presents to friends experiencing (another) lockdown birthday. It still feels too huge, too foreign, too life-altering to let go of these conversations yet. 

One thing that has helped our family has been simplifying life, and slowing down. The small things have grounded us, focussing on the day to day, finding comfort in routine and indulging in tasks that eat up time in an almost meditative way. Time has never gone so fast and at the same time so slow.

At the very start of lockdown in March 2020 when life was strange, the supermarket shelves were empty and going to the shops induced panic. As many others did, we decided to get a regular veg box and started a journey that we’ve already failed at previously a handful of times. The middle class dream of getting a veg box is not all that its cracked up to be – it requires effort and commitment – and previously we’d given up on the month that brought us just radishes and parsley. 

This time, under a new regime and with the added token that we’ve become vegetarians, we found that the commitment suited our life: it took us away from the shops, gave us a new need to be inventive with our cooking, involved a little walk to go and pick it up, and it all came straight from the ground so the ritual of cleaning everything and lining it up on the draining board felt cathartic.

Almost a year on, we’re still getting the veg box and when it arrives on a Tues we sort, clean and put away the veg and ask our knowledgable pals what they think our mystery item of the week is, then we roast it (what else can you do?) and declare it tastes a bit like a potato. In these extreme times I’m incredibly grateful for my veg box and the simple tasks that take us away from what’s going on in the world.

By Hannah

(in response to the ‘journey’ task)

This is the journey of a new bed and a shift for the better in my relationship with my 16 year old.

We hadn’t been getting along.

There’s been tears from us both, arguing, silence. Teenage transition can be tough for a lot of people.

For me, I struggled with letting go. Which was hard to see, I mean this is my last child, I’ve done this three other times….but I realised I was holding on to my last baby.

I remember my sister asking me why I still get her dressed in the morning age 6!  There was no one thing or even a list of things I can write down, sorry vague and unhelpful.

I have been called overpowering and manipulative. I was stifling my last child, holding onto my baby. 

Anyway the journey of a new bed was the first time in a while that we had a common purpose and extra task of taking photos.

We had fun.

As you can see I let go and took pictures instead of giving instructions on how I think it should be done. I am still learning to be a better mother and that means with each stage our children go through we have to adapt and change with it.

Special thanks to Mia for helping to create the collage.

By Kate Lucie

A far cry from halcyon days of skipping about in woods and playing by rivers.  My 13 year old is currently having a wild time struggling with everything, and last night after we turned off Netflix she became so enraged she emptied everything on to her floor and screamed how she hated us all. Classic 13 year old times a million because there’s now no escapes from the mundane.

On the flip side I had the 3 yr old toddler in bed with me all night refusing to accept I no longer wanted to breastfeed him. Like his sister, he won as I gave in.

At least we got sleep until our 10 yr old, middle child, woke at 6 am having a paddy about pretty much everything from her fringe to her constant hunger for sugar, and wanting to see friends now!!

#motherslifeinlockdown

By Lottie

(In response to the ‘journey’ task)

The first is the journey through the pandemic, more specifically mothering in the lockdown when no support is available. 
The second is my journey into becoming a mother – Although actually it could be my self portrait as it is undoubtedly the most incredible I’ve ever felt – In some ways I’m still amazed it was me! 
The last is a literal journey. Its the start of the walk we do every day come what may! 



By Priya

(In response to the ‘journey’ task)

Lockdown has meant we have spent a lot more time indoors – specifically in our own house together as a family of five. Feeling uncertain about the future has definitely affected my ability to connect with the moment at times, though when I manage to do it it really lessens my worries and allows me to feel a huge amount of gratitude.

Where we live we are lucky to have the sea on our doorstep and there is something about the North Sea that just blasts everything away, though wrapping up very warm is a prerequisite in the Winter Months. 

A few days ago I accompanied my husband who is a chef and foraging guide on a walk with my camera to get some pictures for a community project he is doing.  I ended up being bewitched by the beauty everywhere and taking a lot more photographs than we strictly needed. It is such a great reminder than when we look there is so much more to see, always. 

By Hannah

We’re still here, sat on the mattress, feeding.

Feeding at dawn, feeding at naptime, feeding when she wakes, feeding when she is hungry and nothing else will do, feeding when she is sleepy and feeding sometimes what seems like the whole night through.

We’re still here, thank goodness.

By Lorenza

(In response to the ‘journey’ task)

I fear I have become one of those people fixated onto one subject. But I can’t help but feel the whole of the last 12 months as one long life journey, experienced in slow motion. 

I can’t help but feel the difference between each lockdown. 

I felt privileged in Lockdown 1.0. It gifted me the opportunity to slow down enough to step away from the everyday noise of life business that had kept me from listening to my own thoughts. I was certainly not the only one for whom lockdown 1.0 help re-evaluate a lot of stuff. 

My lockdown 1.0 was also fraught with double the worries, with most of my family in Italy I lived the fear of the pandemic twice. 

In Lockdown 2.0 I lost my dad. Suddenly and unexpectedly. Numb and shocked I managed to fly home despite our national lockdown to help arrange his funeral and say my last goodbye. 

In lockdown 3.0 I am dealing with grief and sorrow, felt like waves, they come and go in between keeping busy with work and family life. In lockdown 3.0 I’m slowly trying to make sense of the last 3 months, which feel like 3 years. 

And across my journey of the last 12 months I find myself wandering through the whole life journey of my dad. He was 38 when I was born. I was 38 when he died.

I lack concentration and focus to take my own photos at the moment. But I look through the over 4,000 I have on my phone from the last few years quite obsessively lately. I bookmarked each and everyone one with dad in it. Not that many, actually, in the end. What do we take photos of, on our phones? Who for? 

And then I look at these three photos I have of him, charting his life journey from a young school child, to a young adult, to him at my wedding – this photo used at his funeral and that remembers him now in his resting place at the cemetery. 

When I went home, after the funeral, before I left to return to Manchester I sought something with his handwriting on it. He loved poetry. He used to write poems out on random pieces of paper that you’d find scattered here and there around the house. 

I found one. A poem by Fernando Pessoa. I took it home. Two weeks ago as I was yet again sorting through more paperwork dealing with the aftermath of his death, I turned the paper over. Random writings of some appointments or other. And at the bottom I read in Italian “La morte non è niente” (“Death is nothing at all”).

Just that one line, stained by one of his many coffees. I don’t know when he read it. I don’t know when he wrote it out. Because of the pandemic, last time we had seen each other in person was Christmas 2019. 

The wickedness of this pandemic.

I found the poem online, first in Italian as I wanted to understand the words as he would have read them. And then I found the original, in English. 

I share it here, as I feel and hope it will bring small comfort to anyone who happen to read this entry. 

“Death is nothing at all” 

by Henry Scott-Holland

Death is nothing at all. 

It does not count. 

I have only slipped away into the next room. 

Nothing has happened. 

Everything remains exactly as it was. 

I am I, and you are you, 

and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. 

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. 

Call me by the old familiar name. 

Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. 

Put no difference into your tone. 

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. 

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. 

Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. 

Life means all that it ever meant. 

It is the same as it ever was. 

There is absolute and unbroken continuity. 

What is this death but a negligible accident? 

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? 

I am but waiting for you, for an interval, 

somewhere very near, 

just round the corner. 

All is well. 

Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. 

One brief moment and all will be as it was before. 

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

By Karen

(In response to the journey task)

Puppy walk.

Homeschooling.

Constantly disinfecting the front door.

Coffee and cake, what used to be a treat is a weekly if not a daily requirement now!

Zoom call with a relative when the first 5mins is a view of the ceiling.

Way too many cocktails, but I figure since a cosmopolitan has, cranberries, lemon and orange liqueur it’s got to be good for me.

By Georgina

It took many weeks of lockdown for me to reach a point where I felt aligned with the slower pace of life; with spending time at home, with only my partner and children. These things I had actually been dreading when we first learned of the lockdown, but then came to treasure as the things I had really been craving all along.

The photo I am submitting is called “every day I get a little bit more ‘fuck it!’”.

On this day, at 3pm, I opened a can of gin and tonic, took a book, and sat in the garden…and felt released from the compulsion to always be busy. 

This journey took 8 weeks.