Well, a lot has changed since my last post a month ago!
There is plenty of chat about the Coronavirus pandemic everywhere so I’m going to try to keep this post positive and inspiring during what is a very strange and unprecedented time. We obviously haven’t done much since my last post but I have a couple of articles to share about things we got up to before the lock-down as well as some information about how we’ve been coping with learning from home and life as it is now, our new normal. I also have a couple of ideas for how we can stay inspired and connect with one another during social distancing so read on for more about how we’re coping and ways I’m trying to stay happy and healthy, particularly when it comes to my mental health!
Fancy a disco at home? Gemma from Off the Wall Entertainment hires out her silent disco equipment, a great idea for kids’ parties if you need to keep the noise levels down! We borrowed a few headsets one weekend and had a few boogies around our living room.
I am SO glad we decided to head out this weekend, the last one before everything shut down and we were advised to stay away from restaurants, etc. The twins had an amazing time with their fellow boy/girl twin friends of the same age as we all went for a spontaneous lunch and walk at Wilderness Cafe & Wood. It was lovely, despite each one having their own meltdown at various points, we all had a great time.
Our school held World Book Day a couple of weeks late (and just in time before they had to close!) Life was already a bit hectic then so the twins costumes were not that impressive but they looked pretty cute as a Sneetch and a Librarian…
Of course I had to start a project to help get me through this! While I’m not photographing clients, I am still taking plenty of photos but I like to have a focus and wanted a way to connect with others while we’re all stuck at home so I started a Facebook group all about colour! I’ve set a couple of little challenges and plan to add some more tips as well as sharing a blog post once a week with my favourite images posted by members to make up a rainbow of photos. You can join in by clicking here.
I’ll admit that I’m a rather reluctant “home-schooler”, I’m sure I’m not alone! This blog post was all about our first day which was rather successful, the novelty has since well and truly worn off for both them and myself! I should write an update but basically now we’re just trying to get through, as I’m having to work a couple of days a week at the practice to offer remote advice and/or prescriptions should they be needed by patients, it’s a struggle to do all of the tasks sent via our school app. Thankfully the tasks are not too difficult being for reception age but convincing the twins to sit down and write after they’ve had fun at school all day is tricky.
The other days when we’re all home (except my husband as he’s as busy as ever in the hospital of course), we try to get through the most important tasks in the morning and concentrate on fun learning activities in the afternoon and we’ve thrown in a couple of “movie nights” as rewards with popcorn too as they are generally being very good. Fridays seem to be tough but at least we have Daddy home on the weekends for now.
You’ve probably seen by now that many people, especially those with kids, have been creating rainbows to put up in their windows to spread some joy and colour for others to spot as they go on their daily walks. It’s such a lovely way for us all to feel connected, I know I felt a lovely burst of happiness seeing someone walk past our window and watched as a smile spread across their face as they noticed our efforts. We painted directly onto the glass so we get the colour from the inside too, I love it! I started a group on Facebook for everyone to share their rainbow windows as there may be some who can’t get out at all to see these bright and cheerful window displays! Do join Uckfield’s Rainbow Windows if you’d like to join in the fun!
I took it one step further and started a project to document life “through the rainbow windows” during social distancing, read below for more info…
I started this project as a way to raise funds for Uckfield Foodbank as well as being a bit of a mental health lifeline for me to be doing what I love. I offered local families a set of photos taken “through the rainbow windows”. If they had put a rainbow up in their window I would go and take a photo of the creator proudly showing it off and then also capture a snippet of real life as it goes on through the glass. I managed one weekend before the rules changed and lock-down began so I have had to stop now. I did consider carrying on as it would be entirely safe as there was absolutely no contact and it could be part of my daily walk but I decided it would set a bad example when we should all be staying at home to help stem the spread of this disease and support our NHS of which my husband and I are both part.
One of the activities which Kalyan has fully embraced is den building. He calls them barrows (no idea why) and has recruited every single cushion and pillow in the house at various times to construct his dens. Almost daily, hence “The Daily Den”, I am documenting his creations and the fun they have inside, when he lets his sister in!
There are lots of lovely little moments keeping us going at the moment. Happy times to get us through the days. Like finding a K-shaped twiglet – Kalyan’s face, he was so delighted! A home-cooked Sunday roast, making fun out of school tasks like building a tower with the 3D shapes we collected and then knocking it down, pillow fights, baking cakes, bird watching, den building of course and loads of other ideas, see the full list of simple things we’ve been enjoying at home… https://www.bexphoto.com/post/the-little-things
I’ve still been going with this project, not necessarily shooting daily but I’ve chosen a photo every day to keep myself motivated, using some form days I shot more photos to fill the gaps. It’s actually easier with more time spent at home with the kids, it’s something I want to document anyway so I’ve enjoyed having this project to push me to do this.
Who knows what that will bring. It really is a day by day life at the moment, especially as I’m currently waiting to hear if and when I might be re-deployed within the NHS to help manage patients and knowing my husband with asthma is already there in his hospital. It’s a scary and uncertain time but I’ll be doing my best to stay positive and focus on the happy times we can create at home. I hope we can all stay safe!
Bex interview with Jacqui Rushton