LOCKDOWN IN THE CITY

It’s interesting how quickly words change their meanings or acquire new ones. Until this spring, ‘lockdown’ had something to do with prison dramas and security threats. Now it has only one meaning – having to stay at home for more hours than I care to and being unable to go to galleries, cinemas, or to meet with friends. The summer freedoms of picnics in the park with family and loved ones have been put on hold not only by the weather, but by government regulations.

A November lockdown was never on my dream list. Living in Central London and working from home there’s little opportunity to find a special silent space when darkness seeps in before late afternoon and grey skies at weekends can keep you inside.

Despite that I have tried to spend time in local parks, green places, and on the riverbank – in fact in any space where I can be in contact with nature. Now that my almost two-hour commute has been replaced by daily walks, there’s more time to notice how beautiful a season autumn is. There are so many ways a leaf can turn yellow, red or brown. Places change from day to day and the light is different. I’m compelled to stop and breathe and to marvel, just as I did as a small child.

It’s comforting to know that I can bring some of this beauty into a small flat in the city by something as simple as collecting leaves in the park. Although they don’t last long, I can still capture their colours in a renewed childish fascination with painting. I find the comfort of ‘green’ by caring for an out-of -control multitude of house plants – 120 at the last count. Why not create your own indoor garden silent space and make yourself comfortable with a cosy blanket and a good book? Hot chocolate is optional.