Lockdown & Me

The tenth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series, which I have debated for some time over publishing this particular post. I have written & rewritten it countless times in my head. This entry is more personal than my previous #LivingInLockdown posts, I wanted to document how lockdown has directly affected me, hopefully this series of photos does that to some extent. I much prefer being behind the camera than in front of it, so this self-portraiture instalment feels unnatural for me.

#LivingInLockdown

Back in March 2020 when the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed upon us I decided I wanted to record the pandemic & subsequent lockdown somehow. It was always going to be a photographic project let’s face it.

Initially I considered a daily self portrait as a way of recording my experience of lockdown. That didn’t last long as 1) I’m not fan of always being in front of the camera, and 2) I’d basically forget to take daily photos. The above photos are my attempt at daily self-portraits. I later decided that recording particular themes during lockdown was more effective way of recording my experience of lockdown.

I proceeded to still take the occasional self portrait as lockdown has progressed to try to capture my mood at that particular moment, some of which I have shared in this entry of #LivingInLockdown.

Social Isolating vs Socially Awkward

Being someone who is socially awkward & a bit of a social introvert the thought of social isolating I have to admit did not fill me with dread like it may have done for some others. It was more like “I can do this”, in some ways I was quite looking forward to being able to work more from home.

Working From Home

Both my wife & I have been able to work from home, which was pretty easy going as our employers adapted to new ways of working. This wasn’t a completely new concept to me as I had worked from home partially prior to the pandemic. I enjoyed the freedom of home working & our own little home office that we created so we each had our own dedicated workspace.

Back to Nature

The first lockdown being during Spring & Summer definitely helped us stay positive. We used our allocated daily outdoor exercise to go on nature walks, which became photo-nature walks. This definitely gave me lots of inspiration for my regular photo posts.

Winter Lockdown

The 2nd & 3rd lockdowns have definitely been harder to stay motivated. Being during Winter has made us reluctant to venture outside for our daily outdoor exercise. I’m definitely not a fan of Winter or being cold. As a result I did not venture out much with my camera.

Furloughed = Demotivated

The last 2 months of our 3rd and most recent lockdown I have spent furloughed, which I have found the hardest. Having 2 months off with nothing to do & no where to go during Winter has completely demotivated me, even when it comes to activities that I enjoy. The novelty of having time off with no work quickly wore off after about 2 weeks. As my wife was still working from home I tried to stay out of our office as to not distract her from work. The highlights of my days have been when she finishes work or weekends so that we can do things together. I’m fairly independent but when it’s Winter and your extremely limited to where your allowed to go, being on your own is now fun. I can’t begin to imagine what this pandemic & lockdowns have been like for anyone who lives on their own. These times have been trying on us all, although I do feel that we have been quite lucky compared to some.

Looking to the Future

As we are now slowly starting to move out of lockdown (again) in the UK and more people get vaccinated, here’s hoping that we are heading towards brighter more normal times.

#StaySafe

Working From Home

The ninth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series: The world that we live in has changed in many ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has touched everyone’s lives in one way or another. One of these many changes was to the way that most people work. The UK Government advised employers to enable their employees to work from home where possible in order to try to curb the spread of the virus. Since March 2020 a high percentage of the UK workforce has now moved to working from home.

Working from home has been a major change for many people, having to adapt to a completely new way of working. Have you joined the ranks of working from home? Some people love it, some people hate it, how have you adapted?

Since this journey began both my wife and I have been working from home, we have made some adjustments along the way to adapt to our new way of working. Mainly the move of our workspace away from the dining room table to one our spare rooms that we have converted into a office. It is important to have a defined workspace that is separate from your living space so although you may be working from home, your home remains home and not your workplace.

This pandemic and lockdowns may have brought many hardships, but for me working from home has not been one of them. I quite enjoy working from home, it allows me to get on with work with less distractions from my team. Maybe it’s because I’m a little socially awkward that I enjoy the space on my own to work, while still being part of a team. The increased frequency of coffee runs, a more relaxed work atmosphere, and more flexible working hours and definitely created a better work / life balance.

#StaySafe

Winter In Lockdown

The eighth instalment of my #LivingInLockdown series. Who could have imagined that 10 months after the first national COVID-19 lockdown that we would find ourselves in yet another national lockdown.

Now we find ourselves in Winter (which inspired this post), a new year (“hello 2021”) and our 3rd national lockdown since this pandemic began 10 months ago.

This selection of lockdown photos was impromptu compared to my earlier #LivingInLockdown posts (sorry for the lack of photos). As since Autumn, due to work commitments and if I’m honest just sheer lack of motivation. I have not spent as much time recording lockdown as I did in the first lockdown back in Spring. So I took a brief moment out from working to capture the beauty of the recent snowfall from our windows.

Although I am not a fan of being cold I was quite pleased to see the snow (helped by the fact that I did not HAVE to go out in it). As it motivated me to go outside for exercise & take photos (socially distanced of course). Some of which I have already shared on a previous post “Snowfall”, I still have a few more to share when I get around to it. Part of me would be happy if it snowed for the duration of this latest lockdown.

It’s safe to say that I have found lockdown during the Autumn & Winter months harder to stay motivated. Is it because the weather is colder? Is it because lockdown/pandemic is wearing me down? Is it a combination of both of these? The colder weather has definitely made me less motivated to go outside for our allowed exercise. So as a result I have not spent as much time on outdoor photo walks as I did during Spring & Summer. I am not complaining though, we have been very lucky compared to some. Thankfully to my knowledge we have not contracted COVID-19 and are healthy, our family and friends are healthy, and we have been able to work consistently thus far during the pandemic, which I think has helped us keep a level of routine and sanity.

#StaySafe

2021: Year of Hope

No one can deny that 2020 was a challenging for everyone in one way or another due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter 2021 were are still far from seeing the end of this pandemic that has gripped the world. That being said 2021 is being herald as the “Year of Hope”, after the last 10 months I’m sure we could all use a little hope.

With the idea of hope in mind it reminded me of some photos that I had taken back in October, of the “The Leaves of the Trees” a memorial exhibit by sculptor Peter Walker. The exhibit was created to honour those who have passed during the COVID pandemic.

When I heard about Peter Walker’s exhibit, and that it was coming to Sheffield Cathedral I wanted to be able to see it. These may not be not be my best shots but I thought it fitted perfectly with my #LivingInLockdown series. The exhibit was remarkable, I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to make all of the 5000 individual leaves of hope. It’s a simple yet thought provoking and humble memorial.

Related links: Sheffield Cathedral (The Leaves of the Trees) | Peter Walker (The Leaves of the Trees)

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