During the first lockdown, in the spring, I went through a phase of posting a blog every day, using the hashtag Corona Diary (when I remembered). I think I started off with gusto and petered out a bit towards the end. We’ve just entered our third national lockdown in the UK and I don’t intend to blog every day this time around but I am going to jot a few thoughts down, using this blog as a kind of diary and keepsake notebook, for my future self as much as anyone. This lockdown feels very different from the spring. Obviously it’s colder outside and it gets dark a lot earlier. I’m wearing more woollens. There are fairy lights up in the house, some around the front room mirror from a few Christmases ago, some winding around the staircase from the most recent Christmas. Year on year, we take down the tree and decorations but leave a sprinkling of fairy lights. They are gently cheering (not in an audible sense).
There are no adult children in the house this time around. Our daughter graduated in the summer (although she didn’t have a graduation) and turned twenty-one (without a party). She came home for Christmas and has now gone back to her home in London. Our son is at his girlfriend’s house. Andrew (my husband) has gone back to his office in a converted shed at the bottom of our garden. So the house is quieter and less peopled this lockdown. Today I gave some attention to the manuscript of poems that is growing into my second collection. The quieter house means that I have fewer distractions than last time.
I haven’t been to the supermarket yet (less people to feed). First time around, the queues and an occasional sparse shelf made me feel quite anxious. There were so many unknowns. This time, I feel I know what has to be done, the rules to follow. I’m lucky to be in a position of not having to put myself and others at risk. I have several writing projects to work on so each day has a purpose.
During Lockdown Two, in November, I opened up subs to And Other Poems, my poetry site. I’ve been posting poems there every week ever since. I can’t open subs again just yet – but I hope to be able to do that again later this year. Submission windows account for a lot of time to read and reply to emails and poems, to format in WordPress and share on social media. There are plenty of new poems to read, however, and that’s a very good thing, especially during a lockdown. Stay well, everyone.