But … I’m challenging it and getting through it. Instead of automatically taking a tablet to calm me I’m filling my time with new things which helps me get through and stops me getting so bored. I have a passion for photography and would normally always have my camera with me, taking street photography. So I have been going down town, to the Pantiles shopping centre and the local park and taking pictures anyway, even if people aren’t about. I’ve learnt new interesting techniques and style from youtube video tutorials. On ‘street photography London’ the guy has a videocam on his body so it feels like I’m actually there going round with him and he’s showing me what he’s doing. It’s a good teaching forum for me in lockdown.
I do miss the shops not being open though, not being able to get my weekly magazines from WH smiths or checking out the music at HMV. I miss the community café downstairs, ‘The Kitchen Table’. I would go in there most days. “Crossways” who run it support people with mental health problems. It’s a good place to socialise, anyone can go there and it’s also a safe place to chat as they have people there who can support you. Damon, a support worker, still supports us who live upstairs, he calls a few times a week so that’s good.
I do feel cut off sometimes; I don’t have the same support as before, especially visiting mum and dad fortnightly for weekends. I whatsapp my family and seeing their faces, my brother and sisters, especially mum and dad makes a big difference – they are shielding and dad isn’t so well, it’s good to see that he’s ok because I do worry about him sometimes. Actually video calling is a real help and I want to give them a big hug as soon as I can.
On June 5th I went to Hastings by train. I had a facemask, I took a tablet and the train wasn’t busy so that was all fine. It was great to get away from my flat and have a change of scenery, get photos of things I couldn’t get otherwise. The weather was good for photography, a bit clouded over which reduces the light and gives you definition on your subject against the sky. I got some good photos of boats, buildings and street portraits. I spotted one man with a cool long white beard and hair and asked him “do you mind if I take your pic? You look like Gandalf, you get called that often?”. “Yup” he laughed. It was good to laugh.
I’ll put some on my website. It’s all new to me but I’m making one to share my best photos over the years. It’s a good project to have just now and I really want it up and running by my birthday, 17th June, so my family and friends can see my photos, it will be a treat from me to them on my Birthday.