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Home Safety

Lockdown 2021 feels so different to the one last spring. Obviously I haven’t been out much, so I could be wrong, but there is a general sense this time that people are just resigned to it and getting on with it. I’m not seeing the rainbows or the teddies in the windows; and clap for carers is a bit of a damp squib (which I find totally understandable, as it became politicised and tired. Even the person who initiated it won’t participate this time around).

On social media there is a distinct lack of quirky lockdown memes trying to keep our spirits up, and even the advertising seems to have changed – no more romanticising how we’re all in this together and trying to outcompete each other on the Coronavirus caring stakes. Instead we’re seeing lots of adverts for nurses and teachers (hmm, can’t think why……), and some quite amusing ones too, as if humour is allowed again. Oh and a lot for property sites, which I guess is a reflection of the stamp duty holiday, and for home delivery. Who doesn’t love the ‘Just Eat’ advert with Snoop Dog doing the catchiest jingle since ‘Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back’? I think that, and the ComparetheMeerkat adverts, are just about getting me through lockdown.

Well, I’m digressing, but I do think that this has been a fascinating period for social history, and it is interesting to see how fashions quickly change, even in terms of the perceived acceptable public response to a pandemic. I guess, one year on from when we first started hearing about that ‘Novel Coronavirus’ in Wuhan and wondering what it has to do with us, living with the virus is now the new norm.

So, maybe today’s picture, which was taken in Ramsgate incidentally, looks suitably nostalgic. It harks back to that time, way back in 2020, when war was declared on a virus and we all pulled together to help defeat it, with that misguided belief that it could all be over by Christmas….

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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Out with the old

It’s New Year’s Eve and I think that just about everyone is ready to move on from 2020. Even the Christmas baubles are lacking a certain sparkle this year. Like most people, I’ll be having a rather muted celebration at home. It will be tinged with an extra dose of sadness, with the death of my distant father earlier this year, and now my country’s unnecessary departure from the EU.

The bubbly may taste a bit flat this year, but I can only drown my sorrows and hope for better days to come – even if the world feels like a very different place to the one I knew a year ago. There is hope on the horizon, with the roll out of the new vaccine, and a sense of personal resignation that we are where we are and will just have to deal with it the best way that we can.

In the absence of time spent with friends and family, I am seeking solace through my camera. My daily walks amongst nature bring me comfort, and also a sense of purpose – I’m determined to come out of this all with some positive reflection of it. My New Year’s resolution is try other artistic mediums too, starting with painting after my partner set me along that way with this year’s birthday present. It’s time to finally pluck up the courage to open up those paints and see what I can do. When life brings challenges, make art.

This image is part of my ‘Daily Print’ series and is purchasable as an A4 print here