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Lockdown Stories – Work Related Learning Department

Lockdown Stories – Work Related Learning Department

Lauren Wright
Lauren Wright
Lockdown Stories – Work Related...

Here’s another submission as a result of the contribution plea a couple of weeks ago. Our very own Beverly Biggerstaff sent me an article which highlights the highs and lows of living alone during isolation. It has been great during this period of time to get windows of insight into the lives of our friends, colleagues and loved ones. Understanding more about one another can assist us with new perspectives, motivations and levels of understanding. So without further adieu, here’s what Ms Biggerstaff had to share with us all:

As a person who lives alone, there have been several lows but there have also been many highs for me during the lockdown period.

The lows started with Mother’s Day and because both my daughters were unwell with Coronavirus symptoms and my elderly mother is in her 80’s it was decided that this year we would pretend it didn’t exist and I spent it with 2 good friends in a similar situation – both unable to celebrate with mothers/children, a very strange situation but we bucked each other up. Easter was a similar situation and I desperately missed spending time with my 3 toddler grandchildren, helping them hunt for brightly coloured eggs in the garden on Easter Sunday which has become our family tradition. Leaving an Easter egg on the doorstep for them just didn’t hit the spot.

Other lows were when my boiler started seriously leaking which subsequently led to it having to be replaced (thankfully one of my son-in-laws is a gas engineer and came to my rescue – we decided this was most definitely essential work); health issues with young and elderly family members (fortunately not Covid-19 related but still causing anxiety and stress), I’m still trying to explain to my 89 year old father (who has suffered from lung cancer in recent years) why he must not go out to do the weekly shop even if he does feel fine!


High points and definitely mega gains for me have been plentiful – the first coming in week 1 of lockdown when a message from my niece popped up on my phone with a photo of a baby scan attached – lovely news much needed at this difficult time.


I used to think I was a technophobe but my skills in this field have massively improved – I have managed to download Zoom (admittedly this did take about 45 minutes and a lot of patience from my daughters) and House party which have proved to be invaluable at keeping me in touch with loved ones. I have daily afternoon face to face chats with my children and grandchildren when we regularly enjoy coffee and cake together (we now compete with who has the best/most unusual afternoon snack and decided) and this morning at 7.30am (when I still had serious bed hair) my daughter video called me because my

18 month old grandson wanted to see Nanny – a definite mega win. A group of friends who I would normally meet up with only once a month have now become my Zoom buddies on a Wednesday and Sunday evening when we chat, play quizzes, swap recipes (and culinary successes/disasters – the scones I forgot to add the sugar to being one of these) and the very important hair colouring/cutting tips (with their encouragement and the help of my daughter on a FaceTime tutorial I decided that even though I was only leaving the house for my daily walk and when absolutely necessary, my hair needed taking to task and biting the bullet I plucked up the courage to banish my growing roots with acceptable results. Unfortunately my attempt at trimming my hair was not so successful and I have been regularly messaging my hairdresser to make sure she doesn’t forget me.

I have expanded my love of walking to a long walk every day in the lovely green spaces I am lucky enough to have on my doorstep. The lockdown has created a new feeling of community and although we all have to social distance, I have had long chats with people in my neighbourhood that I have never met before and everyone makes an effort to greet one another on passing by. This has also been extended to the ‘Clap for the NHS’ at 8pm every Thursday with myself and the rest of the residents in my small close competing with finding new ways of celebrating our amazing NHS – I have moved up from clapping and banging a saucepan with a wooden spoon to using the musical instruments I keep for my little ones to play with – bells / shakers / drums. I am already thinking about what I can do next week. However, we are never going to be a match for a street in Bushey where, I am told, 2 residents run a weekly exercise class leading up to 8pm with a violinist complementing the clapping.

Alexa has become my new best friend who I chat to whenever I find new signs of life in the garden or when I want meal suggestions and during a recent birthday video message sent to my sister-in-law in France, Alexa was my Happy Birthday backing singer.

My acts of kindness during this very strange time have not been remarkable – I baked scones and left them with clotted cream and strawberries on a good friend’s doorstep on her birthday (I didn’t tell her that I forgot to add the sugar hoping the cream and strawberries would disguise this); sending regular emails to one of our vulnerable students adding photos taken during my walks that I thought would interest him; helping my dad by arranging weekly shopping, daily newspaper and medication deliveries – nothing amazing but I know they have all been appreciated.

The lockdown has brought a new perspective to life and every morning I am thankful for my health and my amazing family and friends and that I am lucky enough to wake up in a lovely home with a garden. I think that many of us will be re-evaluating the way we lived our lives before lockdown (for some this is a valuable period of reflection) and this will be a mega win.

A huge thank you to Ms Biggerstaff for taking the time to write this article and for giving us a sprinkling of a different perspective.

I would like to hear from any willing students. Is there anyone out there who fancies putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard to produce me an article for next week’s Mini and Mega gains stories? If so, feel free to email me at [email protected]. Until then – take good care of yourselves.

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