Apologies that it’s been a while. But I’m still on the wagen, and it seems there’s no time like the present to share a little light. As I walk in from the garden having just set my mother up with full visual and audio on Zoom for her and her six girlfriends. It strikes me what a strange but incredible time this is.
Four weeks ago I was made redundant. I was working in Cabaret the musical, touring around the UK since August 2019. We’d finished our week of shows in Canterbury, a local venue for me with lots of loved ones visiting the show. We had a final banger on Saturday night and just like normal threw things on our tour bus, packed up, jumped in our cars and sped home for a couple of days rest. We were all due to be in Sheffield the next week, I’d got myself prepped and ready to drive, also in the know that the pandemic was growing, knowing we may not have long left of this dream job and to enjoy every second. On the Monday it was announced that mass gatherings (theatres) were to be avoided at all costs. On Monday evening around 8pm, we lost our jobs. When our income, dream job and newly made best friends are taken away from us unexpectedly it’s quite the shock. My boyfriend kept me upright and wine sure helped. WhatsApp groups erupted, emails were flying and tears were shed.
The first thing I allowed myself to do was to mourn. To let it sink in. To have the blues and be angry, or sad or whatever which way I felt. I usually find there’s no point in making yourself do something or feel something, unless you need to for work or your family. But with no work to be done and my loved ones safe and sound I let myself. I ate pastry with a recent love of my life (cast mate) Mary, to debrief, and then drove home to get comfortable for what I thought could be a bumpy ride. One week passed before lockdown was announced.
The Pressurised Positive.
Here we find ourselves three weeks into isolation. It’s simply unrealistic and slightly funny that we are all learning three new languages, signing up to online courses and becoming triathletes in the safety of our own homes. Social media will be our saving grace but also the devil in these times. Most importantly we must look after ourselves and our loved ones’ health. Including mental health. Try not to worry that Peter from down the road has made six quiche Lorraines and Sandra from your university is doing back hand springs on Instagram live. You don’t have to do that to feel good. Go slow. For goodness sake we’ve got the time. We’ve never had as much. This could be a wonderful time for all of us to communicate, develop a skill and be healthy. But let it be gradual. And let it be balanced. I wake up some mornings and have no motivation, I worry for our worlds health, for the people on the front line and for my loved ones. Whereas some days I feel more present and have a different perspective. I want to spring clean and run for England. I realise I’ve got 10 FaceTime and Zoom catch ups booked in for one week and I’ve made a banana bread. And at the end of the day, there’s always wine. Try to find joy in Pandemic Positives rather the Positive Pressure. Draw an NHS rainbow and forget about that back hand spring. Everyone’s journey is different.
We’re all in this together.
The globe changing Pandemic Positive, not that any of us wanted this to bring such a change (but it is a wonderful change nonetheless) is the world’s emissions. With strict border control, social distancing and working remotely our world is still and thankful. Emissions are reducing hugely with New York’s pollution levels at 50% of this time last year and similar stats are happening globally. The government have had to take these measures but we have implemented the rules with a touch of togetherness. With the sense of community that COVID has brought, think about what we could do for our climate together once we’re out the other side.
We can still move forward. Take time to plan.
This is my new favourite hashtag. Let’s over use it. Plan your first date. The first pub you’ll run too. The first meal you’ll want when we get out and all the small magical things we’ll do after isolation. The first public swimming pool you’ll be at getting a new PB. Driving to your local gym again. We’ll get to try clothes on in Zara, and spray perfume on ourselves at Selfridges. Sunbathing at the beach, evening cinema trips with fresh popcorn and going dancing. Children’s play parks will be full and doing your weekly Sainsbury’s shop will be social again. Our NHS and key workers will find quiet, the workload will ease and we’ll all book holidays. I hope the theatre industry is bustling, with people being able to find escapism in live theatre again. I hope my cast mates and I get to reunite and feel what we felt during those shows again. I can’t wait for the hugs. To move in with my boyfriend. And to spread love a little easier. We are soon to have so many wonderful firsts. And in the meantime all we can do is stay safe.
As Ronan Keating once sung, life is a rollercoaster. But embrace the ups and the downs. Let yourself be, over use FaceTime, download Disney + and remember to look up at the stars.
We’re experiencing a little turbulence, please return to your seats and keep your seatbelts fastened. Support our NHS heroes. Stay home.
And I can’t wait to see you on the other side.
Here are a few links if you fancy a peruse, from volunteering to pub quizzes.
How to sign up and become an NHS volunteer.
COVID-19 Symptom Tracker.
My favourite YouTube Yoga.
My delicious first vegan baking. First bread. First banana bread.
Subscribe to Disney +.
Loads of useful links and articles for everything we might be feeling at this time.
Martin Lewis for money saving and surviving.
Tax help for self employed and performers.
Some fabulous pub questions for Zoom or your dinner table.
Happy Easter! xoxo