It’s a few days after the first anniversary of the lockdown here in the UK so it’s naturally a time to reflect on this landmark date and look back at the last year. In a previous post, I used part of my photographic diary to look at the differences and similarities to mine and Richard’s lives due to the restrictions in place here in England. This post reveals a few more images from my lockdown photography diary and some of the good things that happened during the past year. Little things that would be so easy to forget if we didn’t have these photos to remind us…
Often a nervous moment for any dog owner, the first walk-off the lead came on Christmas day for this youngster. The best present he could have gotten right? It was down to the park with multiple in tow to ensure that the pup’s first experience off the lead was a good one. He remembered that we are a lot more interesting than the other dogs and people in the park but the most interesting thing was my gloves.
When we had guide dog puppies, we had them a little earlier and therefore their vaccinations were earlier, and they could be ‘released’ from the leash when then they were a bit less brave than this boy here. But he (and we) did great. And we’ve got the photos to prove it…
And if you need some additional cuteness, head on over to the virtual licks and cuddles blog from his arrival day. 8 weeks of fluff and chubbiness and gorgeous puppy smell.
Oh those eyes! Butter would not melt. Head on over to the dog gallery page if you want to see some more adorable puppy dog eyes.
I think one of my favourite things in the world is puppy cuddles. Warm fat bellies, that unique smell that you just want to breathe in, curious big eyes exploring new faces and places. It’s one of the most exciting days for a dog owner. The anticipation of all the adventures you’ll go on, all the love you’ll have for your new member of the family and all the tricks you’re going to teach them. Re-reading those puppy guide books and watching puppy programmes on catch-up.
For this family they’ve been through this stage many times before, each time just as special as the last. For many people this year they’ll be bringing up their first puppy in a long time, or perhaps ever. Embrace this time, treasure it, even if they are little naughty so-and-so’s. It doesn’t last long, which is why it is so lovely to have photos like these to look back on and remember when they were only relativly tiny in comparison to now, when they had to put everything in their mouth to taste it, and you were just starting to think about the dog that they might becom.
Here is pup’s first day meeting the family, and figuring the next chapter of his life out…
As you can imagine, we only shot a handful of weddings in 2020 due to Coronavirus and the restrictions surrounding ceremonies in the UK. The weddings we did photograph were wonderful, and we were so happy to be there on your day. As storytellers and photographers, it felt natural to document Lockdown, the progression of restrictions, the changes to our lives and relationships, with ourselves and others. There are so many stories to be told from the different periods of Lockdown. The new hobbies or skills people invested time in, the way we adapted to working from home or still going in to work during a pandemic. Spending more time with spouses or family, or spending more time alone. The way we celebrated big events like birthdays, and sadly funerals too. There was a lot to process, a lot to reflect on, and for us some good memories to document and look back on, as well as the sad.
I think like many people, the first few weeks we spent a lot of our time at home together. I think we’d gotten out of the habit of taking photos of each other before lockdown, apart from a quick phone shot as we topped another mountain. We love photography but we’d kind of forgotten to document each other as well as all the things we capture. I think having a photography project helped keep me sane and there are some memories here that I will treasure forever. One of the few things that came out well out of this was getting to spend more time with Richard. I adored sitting out in the garden watching the birds with him, camping in a tent in the garden because we couldn’t go on holiday. Discovering that night that there are owl’s nearby and the Stratford Road does go quiet, eventually!
Below are a few images from my Lockdown photography project. A memoir of what we got up to, what we were allowed to do, and thinking about the little things that stayed the same, as well as what changed for us due to Coronavirus.
Various restrictions and times throughout the Lockdown(s) of 2020…
I finally did it. Not the coast to coast cycle – I mean, yes I did do it, but that was ages ago. No I mean I finally made my one second everyday (1SE) video documenting the training (and a few other bits of life) in the run-up to the Open Adventures C2C cycle ride in a day.
I’ve been doing 1SE for few years and I love watching them back with my family, they reflect little snippets of life in an accessible and way. Showing the changes that go unnoticed day to day, which amount to a lot over a year. That’s why I decided to use 1SEin a new way this year. I decided to record from the day I bought my first bike on 19th February last year (a Cannondale Synapse Alloy road bike with Sora gears and rim brakes, if you’re a bike geek like I now am) and capture little snippets of learning how to ride and maintain it, then I found out about the Coast to Coast in a day and kept recording to show my progress before completing it this summer – just over a year after learning how to ride on the road for the first time ever.
As kids, we’d had bikes but we weren’t allowed to venture off the grass outside the front of the house, my dad in constant fear that we would get hurt. As an adult getting a bike I could just about steer but it felt completely alien being sat on a road bike with its drop bars and weird shifters.
My very patient husband helped me teaching me from the very basics of how to do arm signals to how to use the shifters and gears. I soon found myself borrowing books from the library about road cycling and trawling the internet for training advice and tech talk, navigating through a whole new language of cycling terms. Going to the local bike shops trying to not look like a total newbie. And soon I was cycling 150 miles in a day across the country.
It’s been a whole big adventure and I’m so glad I captured it. There isn’t a shot for every day (thank goodness, the video would be very very long) but enough to look back on and think ‘hell yeah, I did that’.
Why did I get a bike? I’d never considered cycling before I started working at the local running shop, I was marathon training and running 50-mile weeks but being on my feet all day was making my bunion really sore. A friend at the shop was looking for a bike for a triathlon, and her enthusiasm and research got me thinking…
I am now one of ‘those people’ who have a winter and a summer bike, a turbo, a tool kit, a whole wardrobe full of jerseys, bib shorts and bike accessories. A subscriber to GCN (thank goodness for their training videos and maintenance tips, I love those guys) and a proud member of Solihull Cycling Club.
But you don’t have to become a ‘cycling obsessive’ to enjoy life on two wheels. You could get a motorbike…:)