My Lockdown Story
My Lockdown Story My lockdown has been pretty different to the vast majority. I’m one of the lucky ones. I still get to go to work every day, get to leave the house, get to get in my car and drive into town like any ‘normal' day.
For those of you that don’t know me I work in sick kids. I get to spend most days with my work family, a completely dysfunctional family, but family non the less. We have laughed, we have cried (those who know me won't be surprised by this), we've tic tok danced. We even had a social distancing party for international nurse and ODP day.
Again, I’m one of the lucky ones, I work with kids. We haven’t seen the same effects that the adult sector had to deal with. Things that these health care workers will probably never get over. I’ve still seen the victims of COVID even if it isn’t the disease itself.
COVID has very much ruled my life, like most, for the last 3 months and will do for the foreseeable future but there is light at the end of the tunnel Don’t get me wrong, lockdown has not been easy. The guilt I feel for not being there for my kids. Thank God for their dad who has pretty much taken over home schooling. Thankfully he's been able to work from home for this time. This in itself has proven challenging for him but the kids have benefited so much from having him around.
Even when I’m home I’m not really here. Head full of policies and protocols for PPE. What’s going to have changed in the 24 hours I haven’t been there. The kids have been amazing. They have just gotten on with it. Adam especially has coped with not having his end of P7 that he was expecting.
On a more positive note lockdown has brought out so many positives.
I’ve found I have a love of building things. Garden furniture, planters, bathroom shelves, pretty much anything I can use a power tool for.
The kids and me have been able to go on some beautiful walks with Lily the jackapoo. You'll never believe it but we even found a Gruffalo...didn’t you know...
Basically this village has been my (our) saving grace. I don’t know of anywhere else where you can go for a walk and see giraffes and dragons and Gruffalo. We have locals who truly have gone above and beyond to make sure others are safe and looked after.
The community spirit here is like no other. Ironically my Facebook memories have been about the GBC 6 years ago, another time when West Linton really showed their amazing spirit. Day 12 guys, never gonna happen! There have been so many great moments in the 12 years I’ve lived here. We need to keep going. It’s easy to forget why we are doing this. I look forward to mass gatherings on the green, karaoke in the Gordon and having the hottest week in June we've ever experienced seeing as Whipman is cancelled! Stay safe.
Isobel and Cate Everest
“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Lockdown Stop Animations
During the lockdown, my friends and I starting making little stop-frame animations with Lego figures for a school project. This got me thinking that I could do it as a hobby to pass the time.
The first two are show what we could have been doing on the cancelled school residential trip to Winmarleigh. The last one is a video diary of a typcial lockdown. Enjoy!
Charlie Wood, P7
A Typical Lockdown
Puzzling and Pedalling Times
Pre-Coronavirus, I think most people viewed working from home (WFH) as a cushy number. You get to sit around drinking tea with your feet up. Nice work if you can get it 😉
I’ve worked in the biotech industry for over 20 years and have always been ‘field based’. Visiting customers at their labs, visits to the company HQ and working from my home office. I’m pretty used to challenges WFH brings (I do enjoy drinking tea ALOT!).
As a hardened WFH veteran, after 9 weeks and counting of only working from home, not seeing family, friends, work, colleagues, customers, anyone, even I am finding the monotony and surrealness of this situation hard to manage. Throwing home schooling into the mix has certainly added a whole new dimension to the fun. Let’s agree that home schooling is just HARD, and that’s before you try to do your own job at the same time!
I’m certain we can all agree that right now everyone’s reality and lives are extremely different, and the reality of WFH now is also rather different. We’re all managing different challenges, juggling myriad problems, jobs, roles & responsibilities. Its really hard. We’re all battling on through, tackling each day at a time and all having to find ways to cope as best as we can.
My ‘escape’ to keep my sanity has been cycling, PE with Joe, jigsaws and the odd GnT!
Every morning I’ve got up early and gone out on my bike, whatever the weather. Its been wonderful to experience quiet roads (they are getting busier ☹), stunning scenery and beautiful sunny mornings with pheasants, deer and squirrels for company. Plus, the bonus of seeing all the amazing artwork (Thistles & Bees) and painted stones (love, love love these!) placed around the village.
PE with Joe – totally love this dude! Only discovered him due to the lockdown and his PE sessions for the school kids. I’ve been a regular attendee (unlike my kids LOL!) and love it. I am convinced he’s trying to kill me though; the workouts can be pretty tough.
Jigsaws. Who knew?! So engrossing, challenging and downright annoying at times! As you can see, I’ve had ‘help’ … the cat has battled with particularly unruly pieces and then hidden them under chairs. Helpful.
Finally, GnTs … lockdown or no lockdown I love a GnT. I miss drinking them whilst chewing the fat & laughing with my pals in the Gordon Arms.
These strange times will pass, we will come through them & be stronger because of them and I’ll get to have a GnT with my friends again.
Somewhere Under The Rainbow
Lockdown at Springbank
Springbank is home to us, the Anderson family. Like everyone, lockdown has meant making changes to our regular lives. During this time, we have had many ups and downs but have also had the opportunity to appreciate the importance of time together as a family. Here are some of our best bits.
India has finished 28 days of 100 putts
raising £1,000 for NHS
Day28 - India has finished 100 putts done, done a total of 2,800 putts till date... we are racing to £1000 for NHS @NHSCharities thank you.
Checkout "Money Heist Race to £1000" movie we made for fun - Thank you once again for all your support.
we are still accepting donations on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/indiagill-golf
Mary Margaret in Mid-Air
"Upon hearing this song when home alone, I suddenly felt the deep urge to share it's warm sentiment. Life is boiled down to the basics at the minute and it seems that love, in all its forms, and the desire to share and feel it, is laid bare as one of life's true essentials. Long may it continue to be in charge"
West Linton Fire Station
West Linton Fire Station how is it for you?
This Corona virus is way worse than the flu
Drill nights are cancelled, crews reduced to five
It’s a daily battle just to survive
No interacting, no drills in the yard
Being asked to drive ambulances is still on the cards
Antibac gel greets you at the door
Along with constant hand washing, is what they implore
Aprons and face masks are now what we don
Days of simply gold PPE are pretty much gone
The station has been decked with bunting and pictures
Thanking the NHS should be permanent fixtures
We’ve still had some fun though, making a keepy up clip
And creating a beach bar from pallets destined for the skip
We watch our Chief online every week
Asking him questions for the answers we seek
The pager still brings us rushing to the station
We are a solid team it’s not simply a job but a vocation
So COVID19 you can upset life and do your worst
But at West Linton Fire Station keeping the community safe will always come first
The Thompson’s A-Z of our 2020 lockdown
A is for Artistic clay handprints we made to commemorate lockdown
B is for Bingo the game we played on Zoom with our family in Aberdeen – also Bake House Bake Aways (which are always delicious)
C is for Cat Walk and the beautiful stones painted and placed by the children of the village
D is for David the Cat who we are looking after for a year while his real family is in New Zealand
E is for Easter and for the first time spent at home
F is for Football and Harris’s daily coaching session
G is for Gardening - Our garden has never had so much attention - and Games across the fence with the kids next door (social distancing rules applied)
H is for Home schooling and Home working also Home learning jotters which will always be a keepsake
I is for Imagination and the endless games made up by Holly and Harris
J is for Jigsaws – the 1000 piece varieties also for Jessica our cousin who runs Zoom clubbercise classes
K is for Knitting which Holly taught Harris
L is for Lego and the 30 day Lego challenge
M for Music and Holly teaching Harris to play the piano
N is for Noise and the appreciation of the NHS we take part in every Thursday
O is for On-line dance classes by Studio 21 and Oti Mabuse
P is for PE Joe and his daily work out’s also for the Painted stones Holly & Harris put outside our house and the ones used to create a noughts and crosses garden game
Q is for Queuing to go into a shop – a minimum of 2 meters apart though
R is for Rainbows chalked on our patio and the fabric ones we sewed by machine and sent to Grandma too
S is for Sending cards to brighten people’s day including Captain Tom Moore for his 100th Birthday
T is for Thank You to all key workers and the teachers providing our home learning
U is for Uncool home haircuts
V is for Virtual Grand National and The Loan sweepstake we organised and the Veg boxes from Shaz
W is for walking - our family’s daily exercise and Water slides because the weather has been so kind
X is for Xmas tree burning - normally done at the Gillies party
Y is for Yoga brought to us by Cosmic Kids
Z is for Zoom thank goodness for Zoom!
West Linton Legacy Project
Having taken over as director of a local business four years ago, I expected that this would bring with it substantial risk and reward. But I would never have anticipated such disruption to our local, national and global economy as we are currently experiencing. I run Green Field Marquees along with my business partner and we recently moved our premises from Peebles to West Linton. Living in the village I was looking forward to my shorter commute to work and in the long term, building things up how I wanted in our new premises, rather than continuing with the inherited methods.
As it stands today, we have had all of our work cancelled for the remainder of March, April, May, and June and July are now beginning to cancel or postpone. All the large corporate events we service even into September and October have cancelled or are forecasting doubt over the go ahead. To begin, it was hard to not take these terrible circumstances to heart. Being a seasonal business, we basically have to make enough money in April-October to last us the rest of the year. We were looking forward to getting busy. We had all worked hard through the winter to service, maintain and fix any of our kit which needed work in order to look and function its best during a busy summer. That was suddenly all gone. Not only that, it isn’t just myself and my business partner who rely on our income for mortgages and bills, we are also responsible for three full time staff who have their own families and outgoings. And then I started to suffer from a fever, terrible cough and headache and the other symptoms described as suggesting Covid-19. Quarantine it was! But during this time we were forced to put plans in place on how we could reduce our monthly outgoings for the business and still look after ourselves and our loyal staff. And I got better.
Fast forward to today (23rd April) and I can only look at the positives out of this. Yes it is a far from ideal situation, but being negative about it will never get anyone anywhere. For a start, we’ve had sunshine and blue skies every day for about three weeks. I’ve taken a job on a local farm and spent my first few weeks lambing which has been glorious and made me realise just how fortunate I am that I’m able to get out every day, taking lambs out into the fields in the sun with their mothers. With the early cancellation of the rugby season I have the time and energy for running in the hills in the evenings, seeing incredible views from Mount Maw, Mendick, Weather Law, Deans Hill, White Side looking over our landscape with the sun starting to set. In terms of my business, we are (in the long process of) agreeing loan terms with our bank in order to sustain our outgoings, which we have managed to reduce by taking all lorries and vehicles off the road, reducing salaries, using the furlough scheme etc. I’ve even used some of our equipment plus some stuff I had to make a fairly decent functional strength gym in our warehouse.
Not only this, our local community has begun to thrive, and the community feels a bit more like it did when I was a boy here. People talk to their neighbours. Going to the shop or to the fish van is quite an exciting part of the day. There are positive messages left on stones around the village, helping lift spirits and brighten up others days. People are offering help, selflessly, to others in the village. It is bringing a realisation to some, hopefully to more, that we don’t need all the entertainment that we usually go elsewhere to seek, at least as often. People are re-learning ways to amuse themselves, families out for walks who maybe haven’t ventured to these places before.
It’s a situation that we are all in together, which we will get through. It will be very difficult for my business to bounce back from this, but my job is always difficult, so I have no doubt that we will manage. We are resilient, my team is hard working and we will survive this. And then we will look forward to next year, providing the marquee for the Whipman, employing some locals for our part time summer staff and probably really enjoying a few beers after work on a Friday in the Gordon Arms!
But we will never forget what we are currently experiencing.
Director – Green Field Marquees
West Linton Night TIme
Night time in West Linton is a pretty quiet in normal times. With this little portfolio of night time images, I aimed to capture the serenity of our lovely village after dark which is normally the domain of dog walkers, pub revellers and restaurant goers. During Covid19, as I wandered around the village taking exercise, it seemed fraudulent to do so without my two Wire-Haired Fox Terriers, Dylan and Rosie. The solace ingrained in the night imagery is a metaphor for the Covid19 induced isolation. St Andrews church helps put things into perspective given that a church has been on this site since 1160. The modernity of the light trails trough the village contrast with the history of the Weavers’ Cottages, Telephone Box and Post Box of which only the latter survives in this modern age. The village clock reinforces that time waits for no man.
West Linton - A Host of Golden Daffodils
Elizabeth McKeown, my late Grandmother, was a wonderful lady who lived into her mid 90’s. She loved the poetry of Willian Wordsworth. My grandmother was a key influence on my life. Aged 95 she would often recite ‘As I Wander Lonely As A Cloud’ in a word perfect and animated fashion, despite suffering from dementia in her later years. I am reminded of her every year as the daffodils bloom. This year, especially during these exceptional times, I am moved by the beauty of West Linton as the daffodils blossom and as we wander ‘lonely as a cloud’ in social isolation. She started working in the Tartan Weavers' mills in Bannockburn aged 14. Whilst things may seem tough at the moment, we will get through this and everything will be alright. I captured these images, inspired by my grandmother’s love of daffodils, combined with the natural beauty of our village.
Still Lifes of Pebble Art in West Linton
During the Covid19 lockdown, the kids of West Linton turned their creative skills to painting pebbles in the hope of offering motivational and inspirational support to the community. As a photographer, they inspired me to capture the genuine sincerity of their messages in a portfolio which not only amplifies kind messages but also allowed me to embrace the natural beauty of our wonderful natural woodland environment. The portfolio reflects things that we often take for granted in our normal day-to-day life. The appreciation of our NHS was evident which I sought to capture with creative interest to reach a wider audience that may physically wander in the steps of the Cat’s Walk. But most of all, I hoped to refect the juxtaposition of young art with the mental wellbeing of adults through combined creativity with honest messages. The artwork made me smile, whilst appreciating youthful innocence. I hope the photography embellishes the artists’ original creativity whilst communicating their intended messages with warmth and sincerity.
Heleen & Torcull Kennedy
The Lockdown Pheasant
After hearing Obama say “Yes we can”,
This West Linton pheasant came up with a plan.
Tired of waiting for some bird seed to fall,
He made up his mind that he wanted them all.
So he jumped on the fence post and started to peck,
Then a whole lot of seeds fell down on the deck.
From now on the pheasant’s as happy as Larry,
Eating as much as his belly could carry.
From this example the moral is sound,
No matter how hard, you can turn things around.
Therefore don’t despair but STAY SAFE at home,
And use up your time by composing a poem.
"I've wanted to get my DJ decks up and running again for years. They've been gathering dust and rotting in our garage since we moved to WL in 2007. A chance conversation with Martin O'D and suddenly I have some old scaffold boards to make a DJ 'booth'.
A couple of nights of sanding and treating, some headscratching, a bit of 'why is that still shoogly?' and my booth was complete.
Now I can 'entertain' folks queuing outside the Co Op with some quality 90's and 2000's chooons!
All Killer, No Filler! Get your hands in the air!"
Ella Clark and her lockdown adventures
Make sure you have your sound on for this one!
I am writing on behalf of India,
During the lock down and going through all changes of life, isolating form friends , family and watching her Mum working hard trying to keep the nation moving, a lot has been going through her mind and questions galore , why what if , why not and on and on and on ....
then one morning we saw Captain TOM doing his 100 laps to raise money , this inspired India to do the same for her Mummy and the NHS ,
she started the Putt 4 Pounds - India will be putting 100 putts a day to raise £500 starting from 11th April , we thought we will do it to the end of the month and be lucky if we do raise half the money , we hit the target in less than 4 days , absolutely overwhelmed with peoples generosity, all messages and money coming in from Professional golfer from all over the world, friends , family and total strangers with no background of golf.
all the love and support has now motivated India to keep putting till Lockdown ends and keep raising money , she has started a putts4pound challenge by nominating her friends hoping to motivate and encourage all the way she was. She hope this will not only introduce a lot to the sport but also keep their minds healthy and curious.
there are daily updates on twitter @indiagillgolf and facebook : https://www.facebook.com/indiagillgolf/
we are still accepting donations on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/indiagill-golf
Easter lockdown fun for Morven, Ailish & Cally. Humming the Benny Hill theme tune while watching, optional.
Lockdown Linton...Cake eating, gin swilling and trying to find the homework logins.
For someone who has a pretty ‘hamster wheel’ life this lockdown has provided some much needed rest and a re evaluation of what’s important and how lucky we are to live in this beautiful part of Scotland. We have filled our days with beautiful walks, cooking and bit of home schooling. I’m not worrying too much about my snap chatting, tick tocking teenagers who’ve become nocturnal sugar craving mood hoovers. Instead I’m trying to laugh along with them and embarrass them by joining in on dances I’ll never learn to lyrics I’ll never understand. I’ve let go of the reins a bit and I’m starting to enjoy a Monday wine and a Tuesday gin! I’ll never get this chance again. I’m thankful for the brave key workers and that I’ve got a happy healthy family and that so far this awful virus hasn’t laid it’s hands on us.
Stay safe everyone
West Linton Lockdown Daily Bike Commute
On day one of our business taking an early decision to close up the offices and get everyone working from home, I made a pact with a colleague that we would still do a daily commute, of sorts, to our 'desk'. For me, this has involved a bike ride in one of various directions out of the village and back to my home office before 9am every day. I started posting photos of the commute on Facebook to keep myself honest. And of course this turned into a game of 'where's Alex' with locals guessing which route I had taken. Five weeks later, I'm still doing my daily commute but I'm now finding that I'm cycling in more and more off-road locations in order to take the photos, and change up the daily grind. This little project has had me getting out of bed every day, feeling fresh and ready for my working data - even on the week after the clocks stole an hour from me and the weather wasn't all that appealing. If lock down continues much longer, I may have to sign up to a cycle event with all this training under my belt!
Rory and Leo's Linton Lockdown Adventures
Rory and Leo McHaffie put together a video compilation of their exploits around West Linton on their Mountain Bikes
“Lockdown will mean different things to different people. To some it will represent a wonderful opportunity; to escape, however briefly, from the rat-race, to learn something new, to spend time with their family, to get fit. To others however, it will come to be associated with loneliness, frustration and perhaps grief.
These images form part of a sequence touching on these different narratives.”
“Is the glass half full, or half empty ?”
During this lockdown ...
I’ve found myself irritable and frustrated over not being able to go to the toilet in peace or sit on the floor without being flattened and bruised, yet in equal measure I seek my children out to smell their hair and clutch their sweaty hands, still dry from all the scrubbing, into mine.
I have been exasperated by their quick tempers and tearful tantrums, yet I have blubbed (twice !) over their end of term teachers’ video and find myself welling up when they delight in their post bath, pyjama clad, bum wiggling and bed jumping.
I’ve pulled my hair out over ‘homeschooling’ and separating squabbles, and looked forward to my rota days at work. But when I get there and feel the ripples of uncertainty take hold I start messaging home to check everyone is ok and crave my welcome home with sticky fingers in my hair.
I just want to eat my breakfast without being called upon to tell a new ‘Pokemon story ‘ , I just want SPACE!, yet I find myself awkwardly eating with the one arm wrapped around a bony bum on my lap and the other draped over an excitable shoulder to my left.
So grateful for the comfort these little tornados bring during these strange times. It’s ok not to be ok ♥️
By a lockdown parent who has found that the answer is “there is at least a glass, and that is all you need”
Oren and Innis 30 day Lego Challenge
I've put together a wee collage of Oren and Innis' 30 Day Lego Challenge (currently on day 26). It started old school with a letter and from there moved to a what's app group to share daily creations (moderated by parents! ) . Both boys have been super creative and supportive of one another's creations from a far. It hopefully won't be long until they can play together again 'after the corona virus, in real life' but until then their commitment, creativity and friendship lives on ️
Dinosaur roaming the Catwalk - images from various members of the community
This is the lost Dino of the Cat Walk era who made it back through time to his bandy legged, gap toothed intrepid owner through the powers of community spirit, social media, government mandated strolls, human kindness and a skoosh of disinfectant. One happy adventurer when reunited !