The realisation that everything I had spent the past 3 months preparing for, was very quickly slipping away from me. I was all set to begin my scheduled 50+ photo sessions in my nurseries and schools, photographing more than 2000 children, everything was set and ready go, I’d had some time off since the wonderfully busy Christmas season and couldn’t wait to get started……
For 2 or 3 days I felt so incredibly sad, I thought of all the children we wouldn’t see, the staff, who we have got to know so well, and the parents who would miss out on this part of their child’s story at nursery or school and naturally the financial loss to my business. I had two choices……
Since then I have been busy doing all the things I didn’t have time for, doing the things I love, and after some peer pressure I have started my new cooking blog. Jo’s Colourful Kitchen. I’ve been doing virtual cook alongs, watching the most amazing chefs, cook alongs with my wonderful Dad and being creative in ways in which I can surprise my lovely Mum. I’ve been on so many wonderful walks and taken lots of pictures of course. I’ve grown vegetables, and spent hours in the garden. I had the most amazing birthday, with neighbours being so incredibly kind.
Of course, things aren’t the same, things have been difficult, I miss my family and friends beyond words, I miss the hugs, I even miss my sister (only joking). She is so special to me, luckily I have been able to see Mum and Dad from a safe distance, bringing them supplies, but my Sister is just too far away. She is using this time to start a new business, and my Brother, well, I am so proud of him, he managed to navigate back from Mexico to his home in Prague during this difficult time, with impeccable planning. We were meant to have a joint birthday celebration in March in London.
This is why I wanted to give something back to my community. Family and community are everything, it’s been made even clearer during this time….oh and Pizza, Pizza is everything.
I wanted to do this small project to record this time, and to bring some happy memories to the families, giving them the opportunity to share these photos with their loved ones. What a wonderful community.
Betty has lived here for 36 years, since the house was built. Betty is in at ‘at risk’ group and having to isolate. She is using this time to decorate her home and have a huge de-clutter. Betty can’t wait to give her family and son’s a big hug. Betty was a natural, with the most beautiful smile, she really made my day, as well as 20 year old Ziggy cat. She was my favourite Sssh don’t tell the others…..the cat that is.
Clare & Keith
Clare & Keith have lived here for 10 years. Clare is also in the ‘at risk’ group and has been unable to leave the house for the past 8 weeks, but has found new ways of keeping fit at home and has been inspired by aerobics videos on You Tube. They’ve taken part in a family music quiz, it didn’t matter that they came last, they enjoyed being able to keep in touch. They’ve also enjoyed the community coming together to support each other. They can’t wait to see their families again and to celebrate all the birthday’s that have been missed during this time and to have a nice pint or two in the pub.
I have to say, both Clare and Keith lifted me on this day, their smiles and positive attitude inspired me beyond words. Thank you for the bottle of bubbly.
Karen & Steve
Karen’s lived in this house twice, she loves it so much. Lucky number 13. Karen has found the lockdown has had a major impact on her work, and has been quite challenging. They are finding it unbearable not seeing their family but technology has been invaluable, and Karen has learnt a lot as a result. The positives that have come from this is more quality time together and starting bike riding again….we won’t mention the falling off. Karen has been working longer days to support her team. They can’t wait to see their family again.
Karen and Steve had me laughing so much it hurt, just what I needed. They are the kindest couple, and so much fun. I get such a good feeling from them, their family are very lucky. Thank you for my beautiful flowers.
Ali, Sam & Emily
Ali, Sam & Emily have lived here for 26 years, they moved in when Emily was a baby. Initially the lockdown only affected them a little, but the small practicalities of getting out to do things became increasingly difficult. However they have enjoyed spending more time together. They have been working from home, and taking the opportunity to play computer games and watch movies. The first thing they will do when this is all over is visit their family.
I have been so lucky to meet such wonderful people during this project. P.s thank you for the Beer Ali.
Nick, Sammy, Ava-Rose & Abel
Nick, Sammy, Ava-Rose & Abel the dog have lived here for 5 years. Nick is still able to work, so has not been too affected in that sense. Whereas Sammy & Ava have been away from their family and friends, who they miss so much. Sammy has enjoyed the slower pace of life, not having to rush round all the time, and has loved spending quality time as a family. They’ve spent their time going on lots of walks, cycling and doing jobs around the house. When this is over, they plan to have a big get together with their family.
What a lovely family, they brought joy to my day and just look at Abel he’s certainly enjoying lockdown, could he be anymore relaxed.
Jodie, Kingsley & Wilbur
Jodie and Kingsley have lived here for 6 years. They have enjoyed the slower pace of life, having breakfast together and no mad morning rush. Spending time with Wilbur has been amazing, he’s a funny little boy, they say. They’ve had more time for chats (socially distanced) and now know neighbours that they didn’t before through a neighbourhood WhatsApp group, which Jodie initiated. They are both still working during this time, they are teachers, which has been challenging with a child. The first thing they will do when this is over is see their family, they miss them and Wilbur is desperate to see his friends.
Again a lovely family, so welcoming, I felt like I’d known them for years and as you can see, Wilbur stole the show. He was such a cheeky boy and so polite, just look at the smile in the main photo above.
So that concludes this project, but the memories will go on forever.