Upstairs, Downstairs Life

We are well into the rhythm of Lockdown 21 in South Africa. Into week two some people are sighing, moaning and groaning. Most of my friends are coping well and it seems that if one has a set schedule for the day it works better than if there is not.

My husband still goes to the veterinary hospital almost daily (although he does have this long weekend off-we were meant to be at a Moore family re-union) but their consulting times are much more controlled and supervised. Working with 5 teams, they seem to be managing the lockdown more easily than they thought although the admin and paperwork required from the government may bury them before Covid-19 or any other virus does. Our son David travels to Baragwanath daily where they are waging a war against many more viruses than the one we are concerned with at the moment. I think the staff (all of the people who work) at any institution should be given special mention every day. I really don't know how they remain positive and brave.

In the meantime, I am living an Upstairs-Downstairs existence not very different from when I have time out over the December holidays when most of my friends are away and I'm not teaching. In the mornings I to do some sort of creative piece, sometimes more than one and find that my inspiration changes as I work through various themes. I find that I am 'colour bound' and seem to work in similar colour-ways for a few days until I challenge myself to clean the pallet and start again. I've also started doing water-colour vignettes and incorporating these into my calligraphy.

My students send me work as they practice and work through their days. I seem to have mastered the Zoom app and we've had one very successful get-together including people from the UK, the Cape and Gauteng. We've begun a most exciting conversation and will continue this next Monday. We will probably turn this into a forum for a virtual Guild which will add a new dimension to our calligraphic life even after lockdown is over.

I've made a number of toys for the little grandchildren (afternoon schedule). Not teddies, but bunnies, bears and a few new bunny patterns. Again, my yarn stash is being depleted, but I am quite sure there are yarn imps who add to the pile over-night. I'm also making 'little people Pocket Pals' with clothes. Having a great deal of fun, especially knitting, not necessarily crocheting. I've also pulled out an embroidery sampler which I shall complete as the days slide by.

John our artist son tells me that his schedule too is not very different as his normal routine being a reclusive sort of existence that he lives. He has contributed to an art collaboration 21 day Lockdown and is working on various new series one being 'Friend or Foe'. So exciting things are happening for him. For more information and to view his new works follow John on Instagram.

As I woke early during the week as the sun streamed through the window which is a great difference over the past few days of rain-filled moments. I looked into the garden and the mist was rising turning it into a magical space.

As the rhythm of our lives are changed by regulations and new social restrictions an enforced slower pace is demanded. I am transported back to the months I spent in India working with Tibetan refugee children escaping from China. There the children only arrived at the care center at 10 where we connected to care for them daily, before they were eventually relocated to care homes in various parts of India.

While this time is extremely difficult for us, I imagine that we too are refugees in our own country, trying to make sense of our fears and anxieties. The simple pleasures add a calming charm to these unsettled times.

Find something new to do every day, be grateful if you have someone nearby for whom you care and most of all be thankful that you are privileged to be a refugee in your own home. Hope the week is special.

Till next time, take care.

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