I remember the three-day week and the resultant power cuts, which ran from 1st January to 7th March 1974. I was about 15 and I thought my world had ended. No light to read by, no tv and it was dark and cold. I remember wondering how my world had become so small.
Fast forward 46 years. I am on lockdown at home with my husband. We went into lockdown 4 days before the PM asked people to stay at home. The reasons don’t really matter.
Its different in so many ways, we have heat, light, entertainment, and we have space. We are learning a new way of living and luckily we like each other! I can’t imagine what it would be like to be locked into a home with a partner I disliked. Its fair to say that even though we love each other and understand one another well, we still, occasionally, piss each other off!
We are both busy working, but from home. Both learning how to use an array of video conferencing tools such as Teams, Zoom, FaceTime. We never really got into using these before now. We never had the time!
I worry for the youngsters and for the very old. People of my generation and just a bit younger probably needed to slow down a little. The youngsters will remember this for the rest of their lives and it is my hope that they will have positive memories. Hopefully memories of intimate conversations with parents, fun activities, creativity and freedom like they have never known before. I fear for the children for whom School was an escape from abuse, hunger and boredom. I fear for older people who will be missing time with their grandchildren, people who may be spending the last portion of their lives alone, possilby in a state of anxiety.
I am doing a video log to track my own moods and reflections on this part of my life. Its not for publication but I hope it will see me grow and change in a positive way.
Theatre is my passion and I was lucky enough to go to lots of productions in January and early February. The last one was La Boheme at the Royal Opera House and there were many spare seats. At the time, I wondered if it was because of the flight restrictions from China – totally random thought – it was probably more to do with it being a midweek matinee. I had loads of stuff booked for March, April and May but now these will cancel. I am however, surprised and delighted that various companies are sharing content online for free. Royal Court, National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. All I had in 1974 was a dark, cold bedroom where going to sleep was the only option.
As we are in total lockdown we are not shopping and we have been let down by Ocado, twice. Today we were expecting our first delivery of fresh chicken but they removed it from the contents without offering an alternative. I will never use Ocado again after this crisis is over. Their customer support is appalling and after one tweet and several emails to try to rebook my first cancelled order I had comms from 13 people, not one of whom followed the situation through. Today would have been a kick in the teeth if I hadn’t found alternatives. So something I am learning is that you must not procrastinate, if you have an idea follow it through and act immediately. I have now ordered from my local butcher; having lost all his restaurant work he is happy to do local small deliveries. Its expensive but its fresh and will last me for a week or so.
Creativity is helping me, sewing is a passion and I do it most days. I am finishing projects and starting new ones. At this rate I may get through my stash before the Lockdown finishes. Today I will do my first Zoom watercolour course and I am really excited about it. I hope that it will be the first of many. My book group will meet tomorrow evening at 8pm to discuss The Presidents Hat – one of my favourite books. Its a great group and we will all struggle with the tech but we will all support each other.
I am lucky.
It is now day 45 and nothing much has changed!