For 50 days between the end of March and the middle of May, we were told to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Even though some of those restrictions are now lifted, Covid 19 continues to have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. For some, lockdown has been liberating and energising, for others it has been frightening and incapacitating. However, in one way or another, we have all faced challenges that we could never have imagined.
Lockdown in 50 Objects is a project to capture our lived experiences of the pandemic. Members of the churches have been asked to choose an object that represents something important about their experience of the lockdown and share it with us.
We will be adding objects over the coming weeks.
3. Scone Cutters
One of the ways I found to cope during lockdown was to bake. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given that I have always thought of cake as one of life’s greatest pleasures! However, baking seemed to take on a new significance during lockdown. When I couldn’t go out to work or be with people, I felt very disorientated. I felt as though I ought to be doing ‘something’ but I wasn’t entirely sure what that ‘something’ should be. I found that baking helped, perhaps because it was something that I was able to do at a time when so much else was not possible. I baked a lot of scones, hence my choice of object. I hadn’t really baked scones before, but I discovered that I could turn out a batch in 20 minutes and it felt like a real afternoon treat with a cup of tea, especially as there were a few weeks when it was difficult to get any flour. Scones were also a way of getting the family together. I found that I could persuade the children to come out of their rooms with the offer of a warm scone, even if they then retreated back into them shortly afterwards! I made scones for local friends too, so baking helped to restore my sense of being connected to others. I’m not sure that I would say that my experience of lockdown has taught me any major life lessons, but it has certainly been a reminder of the importance of simple, everyday pleasures – like cake!
2. Order of Service
My lockdown object is the order of service for the funeral of my dearest friend of sixty years. She went into hospital following a severe stroke at the beginning of lockdown so I and her family were unable to visit her. Following the stroke she was unable to speak so I could only send her little notes and cards. I was unable to go to her funeral service in Telford because of restricted numbers but was able only to stream it.
I feel as if a light in my life has been extinguished and miss her terribly; she was the one I could tell everything to, good or bad and she supported me through some bad times in my life. We were kindred spirits. Her daughter always said we were joined at the hip! We spoke every week – well, often she speaking and I doing a lot of listening!
I am trying to concentrate on all the happy times we spent together and realise that it was a blessing that she slipped away at the end; she was such a social person, involved with her church, running a book club being a very active member of the WI, and not being able to communicate would have been the worst thing that could happened to her.
My baby was 6 weeks old when we went into lockdown.
I had already struggled with becoming a mum, so as Boris made his announcement, I watched and sobbed whilst trying to rock this tiny human to sleep.
They say it takes a village to raise a baby, and just like that my village disappeared overnight. I was absolutely flooded with panic.
Lockdown in a picture for me would be endless nappies, night feeds, cups of tea and lots of chocolate. But if I had to pick one object it would be this bench at the front of my house.
When things were bad, my mum would come and sit on this bench and talk to me from where I stood at the front door; remind me I was doing a good job and that I wasn’t alone. She brought me flowers, chocolates and bottles of squash so that I wouldn’t get dehydrated while breastfeeding.
Small little gestures of kindness that meant the world.