What I Did in the Lockdown

As requested by Rachel Bending, here is a little something of what I did during lockdowns 1 and 2

So what did I do during lockdown?

Well as many of you will know I was ‘shielding’ for the whole of the lockdown period, and longer, so what I did was fairly limited.

As I had to be in isolation a few years ago when I had radioactive iodine treatment I was fairly well prepared for the lockdown shielding period. I was told then a few simple things to help pass the time. They were:-

  1. Don’t get up before 9.00am (if you wake up earlier listen to the radio, watch TV, read a book but don’t get up.
  2. Make a list of things to do each day. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do them, they just carry over to the next day. 
  3. Have a rest (on the bed) in the afternoon, again it doesn’t matter if you don’t sleep just do the same as in the morning. 
  4. Keep in contact with people by phone and if possible social media. 

So that was me set and ready for shielding.

The first thing I quickly learned was that Zoom did not only mean a type of camera lens but it is also an application on your computer, tablet or phone that allows you to take part in virtual meetings etc. Next my family showed me how to use “FaceTime” so that I could not only talk to them, but could see them too. This was especially nice as I was able to see my granddaughter as well as the rest of the family. Then I learned how to do online shopping at Sainsbury’s. Can’t say I like it. I prefer to go to the shops and see what I am getting but it’s OK If you aren’t able to go out.

Another thing I learned was how to watch the online Church Services each week. 

All this just goes to prove that the Masters Degree course at the “University of Life” never ends.

A short time into the lockdown I realised that I was missing singing either at church or with the Gospel Choir. Then one day when I was fiddling about on YouTube all of a sudden the hymn “Beauty for Brokenness” came up complete with the words on the screen. So many of the words were very meaningful for the times we were and still are in. I decided that as part of my routine I would sing it every day during the lockdown — and I did. Plus a few other favourite songs. I am now, during lockdown 2 singing ‘It is well with my soul’ - another beautiful and uplifting song that I found on YouTube. 

I was very lucky and had friends that would do the odd bit of shopping etc. each day for me as my flatmate had gone back to his family in Devon. As a freelance musician he had no income and was not able to pay his share of the running costs of the flat.

One thing I managed to organise, from the confines of my flat, was a socially-distanced garden party to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE-Day for all the residents of the block of flats where I live. I also dressed the lounge window of my flat for the occasion. 

At the start of the lockdown Classic FM (the radio station I listen to) was running an ad for the RNIB promoting their “talking books”. Well, I eventually managed to get the phone number written down (you never have a pen and paper to hand when you want it) and called them not knowing if the ‘floaters’ I have would qualify me. When I got through to an absolutely charming lady she confirmed that floaters were one of the things on their list, took all my details and signed me up. It has been a god-send as I never read books because of my problems but listening to them is wonderful. 

At one stage during the lockdown Henry (my flat mate and out of work musician) was doing live sessions from Devon on Instagram and he asked me if I could do the timings for each session. This meant that I had to keep a stopwatch running and log the time into the session that he started singing or playing a new song. I really enjoyed doing this and it made me feel that I was doing something useful.

During this second lockdown for the week before Remembrance Sunday I started decorating my window adding something new each day so that by Sunday it was complete.

I expect there are a few other things that I did, apart from having a few “senior moments”, that I can’t remember.

Brian Morris

Pitshanger Methodist Church