Barry and nelly

Lockdown what does it mean? It is a scary word, sounds like prison related. Well I imagine for many people it can feel like that being restraint to your four walls. I can’t imagine what it must be like if you have a small family , living in a high rise flat , no green and parks nearby , struggling to survive financially because you are furloughed or had a zero contract hours job on minimum wages with years of austerity . No family and friends around. How do you survive? Wouldn’t you go bonkers? I dread to think of the consequences this can have on families. Or imagine you are homeless and no way to have any donations.

But I am privileged to live in such a beautiful area with a lovely partner, friends who keep in touch and 3 wonderful children who are now ‘looking’ after us. They make sure we are alright, do our shopping, WhatsApp us and remind us to keep safe distances. Yes I do miss their close physical contact, a hug and a kiss. I have the space to have a calmer period in my life and reflect. Sounds almost like a bonus.

If that is all I have to endure, if we stay well, during this period well that’s okay.

But how did we get here. How did we allow society to turn into such an unequal, uncaring world where the rich and privileged have the power and control, are ‘robbing the poor’ by cheap labour. Where the elderly are forgotten and sometimes seen as a nuisance and where austerity has allowed poor health and social care financing to keep this inequality going. Shouldn’t we all have the right to a good physical, social and emotional quality to life? Aren’t we all valuable members on this planet?

Interesting that people are aware of the clean air now, the bird sounds, enjoy a lovely woodland walk and see nature coming into bloom.

Well and then there is the clapping on Thursday evenings. Is it support or a bit patronising or is it allowing the government to continue with its ‘miss management’ of society? Keep the frontline workers going and assume that when this is all over we can continue as before with poor wages, poor working conditions and poor financial investment in Health and Social care. Is that why they join with the clapping as their rhetoric claims: ‘we are all in it together’.

What about the emotional aftermath, unresolved bereavements, post-traumatic stress, mental health issues, domestic abuse and poverty.

What does it all mean for the youngsters, teenagers who feel their life has been put on hold?

So yes I could go on and finish on a really negative note but that does not feel right. Maybe we have to grab this opportunity to make society, globally a fairer, and more equal, caring, empathetic and humane society. A society where we live in more harmony with each, nationally and internationally and with the earth and the animals.

So yes I will continue to bang the drum on Thursday evenings for everyone who has lost dear ones, for those who are struggling and everyone working or not (it wasn’t their choice to stop) but most of all to make sure that we all wake up and don’t allow the future to go back to what it was. This is our opportunity for our children and children’s children to make it much better for all. 


I’m getting on a bit so me and Nell have been proper locked down. Not a lot of changes to our lives though. We live in the Danescombe Valley with the usual joy of the spring busting out, the birds, the bees, the insects and the transition from bare branches to every leaf leaping a different green all around us. The wisteria is exploding. This time has been special. Many more walkers, the footpath passes our front door, many more and longer conversations with passers by. We’re always looking for a chat as isolation is the norm for us. Many more birds, this year they have gone crazy, Many more delightful yelping kids building and bursting dams down the Danescombe stream. I have no routine so life goes on pretty normally otherwise. I have adopted an even less urgent gait. Life is sweet.
I watch the world outside of my paradise. leaders concerned with their own importance, power and glory, lacking in any empathy, concentrating on
decisions to enhance their electoral opportunities or express their Churchillian qualities. At this time in history when an empathetic leadership is most important we seem to have selected psychopathy and the sociopathy as electable traits.
I remain positive about the future, community friends and family are all so supportive of us and each other. Values seem to be changing everywhere to recognise the important contributors to our community. We all know who they are and how little they are rewarded. We now condemn the greedy and the controlling, we all know who they are and how little they contribute and how well they are rewarded. The Virus has accentuated the value of community and society. While we are still not quite all travelling on the same bus the virus has pushed into the background the divisions Brexit and its associated insularity imposed upon us. Covid 19 and other viruses have reminded us that mass confinement of animals for food production is no longer a viable future. The crisis has accentuated the need for us all to be concerned for the health of our planet.
I am concerned for the homeless, those domestically abused behind locked down doors and those in much poorer countries where the strive to survive is moor important than avoiding a virus. I am concerned that I do very little to alleviate that suffering. I am concerned that those who continually voted for the running down of the NHS, social care and help for those less fortunate, are exerting their Thursday night clapping credentials. I hope they recognise their hypocracy.
Thanks Aaron for this opportunity to look a little closer at what the lockdown means to me. I am writing and playing more music and feeling more vulnerable and sensitive.I’m spending lots more time looking at artists work and seeing what my creations would look like. 

All excellent outcomes.




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1 thought on “barryandnelly”

  1. This is the most wonderful ‘document’ and hopefully will be preserved forever. It is so heartening to hear the stories and the overwhelming wish for our lives to change for the better. I despair that this is just a passing ‘phase’ based on fear….I’m guessing the greed will return….I truly hope not. Thank you for this amazing piece of history.

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