The Lockdown Diaries: Volume 2, Day 4




Today is day four. Desperately needed rain is finally falling, the fire is burning, I have lit a candle and here in our home, as the raindrops clatter on the corrugated iron roof, we feel cosy and safe. The puppy has given up (unsuccessfully) tormenting our old and crabby cat and is asleep by the fire, the kids are quietly entertaining themselves and my husband has finished feeding out to the stock for the moment. It really does feel a lot like we are in a bubble, and there is a peace to it.

The last few days have been balanced between catching up on jobs, writing ( me), running the farm (my husband), and trying to keep the children’s spirits up by inventing little things to break up the monotony. We have played board games, toasted marshmallows, and spent a good lot of time resurrecting the vegetable garden. I walk every day on the farm, finding my own space, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, and slowly we start to find a routine in this new normal.

The internet is a useful tool for all of us now more than ever , a way to lessen the sense of isolation, although one that needs to be monitored and kept in check. Watching the PMs 1pm update is part of our daily routine now, although played out of earshot of the children. I have always been honest with them about the hard things, but I’m careful that they do not need to know everything, and the gravity of it shouldn’t be dumped on the shoulders on ones so young. It is hard enough for us to comprehend. New Zealand had its first loss from Covid-19 today, and it is sobering and real, and deeply sad.

To stay connected and positive, the children have been video chatting with their friends on a new app suggested by another parent, as well as facetiming their Grandmother daily, and I have started a messenger group with our neighbouring friends so we can share jokes, and keep in touch. It is not quite the same as our usual dinner party sessions, but is entertaining and uplifting all the same. Our sense of humour, at this stage, remains intact.

I have the sense that this experience will undoubtedly change all of us. It has the power to transform our entire culture. This lockdown is forcing us to whittle away everything unnecessary to reveal what is important. Family, connection, self-sufficiency, sustainability, stillness. The disposable society of never ending consumerism is being turned upside-down, and how we shop may change forever. The importance and value of local produce, New Zealand agriculture and small business has been amplified and recognised. Even as early on as this, there is a shift towards thinking like our Grandmothers did, reusing what we could, growing what we can of our own food, living frugally and shopping small and local. Reading, sewing, cooking our own food from scratch.

What we should have really been doing all along.



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© 2016 Claire Inkson. All photographs copyright Claire Inkson

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