22 thoughts on “Lockdown photo gallery”

  1. Great to see people when I go out even if it is behind their fences and windows. People are more themselves when you find them at home than at any other time and with lockdown in full swing, nobody is rushing around. Part of me wants this to carry on indefinitely!

    Wales is beginning to bloom, there’s no doubt. All my pots are growing shoots and I’m having a go at growing garlic for the first time, I’m discovering that I don’t really want lockdown to end, or is that spring, I certainly don’t want spring to end! I think the best thing about lockdown is the lack of tourists, they’ve never been popular here, it’s lovely to be able to enjoy quiet beach walks and not worry so much about cleaning up after other people. The problem of course, is not being able to visit people, to go off on occasional trips – but that mainly just saves money and I’m happy not to do that.

    Much love to you all, I hope we can make this a time in our lives that we look back on and appreciate.

  2. Nikki Chaplin

    This is such an awesome project. The pictures of faces behind glass are so poignant, and an absolute lasting record of what the future will see as a fascinating episode in our history (whether positive or negative remains to be seen). Please make sure that you find a safe place to store this work for the future… not just electronically.

  3. Beautiful photos, really moving seeing faces stuck behind a pain of glass. What i really like is that there is no litter at the side of the road. No Mcy D bags!

  4. Barry Kirkman

    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.

  5. Being part of this amazing project is an honour.

    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.

  6. Nellie I completely agree with you. There is great inequality within society and I empathise with the people stuck in high-rises and cities. We are quite fortunate to be living in such a lovely place and being able to go for walks in fresh air, enjoying nature and its secrets. even though Calstock is not the cheapest place to live especially being on a low income, it makes all this bearable.
    What I hope though, is that once this is all over things will change for the better, from an environmental, social and economic point of view we can not afford to go back to what it was.People need to wake up and actively seek change for the future.

  7. Lockdown in our home is full of ups and downs. The prospect of lockdown initially filled me with dread, the inevitable increase in my workload and the fear that I just wouldn’t possess enough strength in my reserves to cope.
    Whilst my friends worried about how to self isolate and coping with the expanse of time before them, I worried about my increasing exposure to a virus that I knew so little about and how I was going to create time to work and still be part of my family.
    The stillness and slowing of time that lockdown homelife has brought has been punctured with a fast pace and chaos in my worklife that never seems to knit together. I can’t seem to make meet my two personas, Nurse and Fleur, instead they co exsist and just take over from each other, not blending in any way.
    Isolation to me has felt like a journey of never quite being enough, I am not at work as much as I should be, I am not as present as a mum as I want to be, not as patient as a partner as I could be. Isolation has felt like a compromise in every area of my life. I just can’t seem to have enough time to unwind before the next wave of work that needs to be prepared for. I feel an immense pressure of juggling my roles and feeling that can’t drop a ball or we won’t have the money we need or the food in the cupboard or the chores completed that keep me sane.
    I have enjoyed having my children at home, getting to know them again on a level that I didn’t before, seeing them learn and grow and interpret their thoughts and feelings has been wonderful. Having my husband home due to all his employment evaporating overnight has been lovely but also challenging as we learn our new identities in our relationship at a pace of life we aren’t familiar with. Isolation has made me question who I am and exposed many things to me about what I prioritise and why.
    Given all the many things I feel I should be looking forward to the end of isolation but in truth I am not. I do not want my work to explode from everyone celebrating as I and my colleagues will be picking up those drunks from the floor and nursing those injuries from ‘fun times’. I will miss my children when they go back to school and I will have to learn to let them go again. I will need to be a single parent again on those long days when already on my knees with tiredness as my husband goes back to work. And most of all, I will miss the peace and simplicity, the quietness and ‘that time’ when everything seemed still with only my thoughts jumbling around making ripples around me.

    1. If you can look out over the Tamar Valley during a time like this, you’re very lucky. I’m not religious, but I’m counting my blessings.

      Somebody once said how we might be brought to our senses about global warming if the planet suffered a heart attack – a non-fatal one, which would shake us into making some changes. They pointed out that unfortunately planets don’t suffer heart attacks. Well, I guess this is society having a heart attack instead.

      Who knows where it will lead. It’s genuinely scary, but it’s not hard to see how good might come out of it. One big lesson is that we’re ALL in this together. I’m not just thinking about the next pandemic, but organised crime, climate change and other huge global problems. They make our petty nationalist rivalries look like a bad joke. Immediate question: will Argyle go up? Even more importantly – what happens to Trump in November? …..THAT really will tell us a lot.


  8. I’m not one who often finds themselves lost for words,
    yet over these last 6 weeks, words feel less fluid or animated
    for me than before our destructive industries and the relentless
    churning of our hyper-active society was put on pause. (mostly).

    The solitude and at times inevitable loneliness, for not just myself
    but others who live in the surrounding valleys and greater world
    out there and beyond is often palpable and has had a profound
    effect, but on the other hand,
    the quietness and pace of life in our strange ‘bubble reality’ is also bliss.

    I think for ‘everyone everywhere’ the complete realisation that electronic social media,
    will never replace the tactile warmth and empathy of real time human companionship
    has in many ways been difficult , which is a common ground we all share which will help
    people rethink society in ways that are ultimatly more humanistic and empathic.
    hopeully we can ‘evolve ideas’ towards more cooperation and community thinking?
    Life feels to me like an exceedingly odd contradiction, Mr Baggins,
    Yep it’s defiantly the shire down ere, as other orcs are ordered to remain
    in their boxes in downtown Mordor and are banned from outside spaces.

    It’s been an exceptionally beautiful spring in Cornwall as lovely
    as any I can remember.
    Every part of my surrounding is just pinging with the natural
    electricity of spring. I wake up just before dawn so I can hear the
    free orchestra the birds perform routinely every morning as I drink
    coffee and read morbid existential philosophy, I sometimes write
    pretentious poetry about socks just
    to kill a few hours but I’m not mad.. Yet

    I’d still sell a kidney to be tightly squeezed into a jungle/techno
    rave at 6 in the morning as I feel the empathic connection and
    rush of 300+ strangers, after not sleeping all weekend,
    even if it meant working a dull and uninspiring job to fund the escapade
    to just feel the same as every one else, not seperate.

    For me, this time has been an odd contradiction of feelings,
    of overwhelming gratitude for how lucky we are to live in such a
    lovely community, but also at times sheer guilt for the difficult
    situation so many are stuck in all over the planet, at times I find
    that very difficult, but not as much as they must, knowing full
    well my life could be much harder than it is, the Tamar Valley is
    a beautiful and pretty valley to live in, and a community that’s
    been home on and off for many decades.
    I feel very blessed and humbled to live here, so close to nature.

    I dunno, I guess we find ourselves where we find ourselves,
    things are as they are: I know that’s quite vague and myopic
    but what else can you say; we live in crazy times.
    To quote Johnathan Pie: the only news I’ve heard in 6 weeks.

    “We have an American President whose reiteration of a global pandemic
    is like trying to read a Joyce novel written in crayon.“

    I’d add to that and say we’re extremely fortunate in the eyes of Jesus that millions
    of trump supporters won’t die, because dettol bottles have child proof tops.
    Look who am I to judge?
    It’s still a very wonderful world dispite all the nutters, and I’m truly grateful for the
    time and space to reflect on all this in solitude sometimes without thought but
    usually always with music.
    Like many, I’m just looking forward to spending time with family and friends really.
    it’s been a long ol’ spring.

  9. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t feel lucky and privileged to live
    where I do, with the park, woods and river outside our back gate. It’s
    made me really conscious of how different lockdown can look and feel
    depending on, amongst other things, where you live. Yes, I got not much
    money, and there’s a lot that I’m missing, but many folks have it so
    much worse.

    Through helping driving deliveries for an anarchist free food distribution
    across Bristol I get an idea of the extent of the desperate situation people
    have been forced to survive. Left for dead estates and tower blocks have
    never been a priority for any governments and it’s clear that this crisis,
    for people living there, is just the latest in a long list they have had
    to endure. Food poverty is nothing new and nor is the arrogant and callous
    disregard for our lives shown by politicians and their rich friends in high
    places. The pandemic has exposed and laid bare a lot of things to us
    all, not least that the emperor has no PPE!

    But times like these can bring out the best in us and the rapidly formed
    networks of mutual aid (it’s not just for anarchists!) are, despite the grim
    times, the source of a lot of hope – not just in helping each other out to
    meet basic needs in the here and now, but for getting used to the idea of
    organising for ourselves and laying foundations for a new world. I’m really
    proud of how we hit the ground running and continue to learn so much on
    our feet.

    It’s a lot of work (I think it may even be the mythical “Get a proper
    job” we have always heard about!) but organising with a lot of awesome
    people helps with a sense of being alive and being part of something
    pretty big. Our free food distro project is just one part of so many
    amazing community led efforts to look out for each other and the ideas
    and practice of community care and solidarity are seen everywhere around
    the world. We are showing what we can do and that other, better ways are

    Despite their lockdown, we’re picking the locks, breaking out and refusing to
    obediently “go back to normal”…

    In such uncertain times, now seems as good a time as any to put the work in
    to make capitalism history and make sure the future belongs to us.

    Love and solidarity.
    Look after each other and stay safe.
    And stay angry!
    We have to make the rich pay!!!

  10. Malcolm Baldwin

    I just love these pictures. In the 1980’s I photographed many aspects of village life in Calstock, and those black and white negatives are now held by the AONB office. I believe some of them are still displayed in the Village Hall. I hope in time that some of these pictures will also get a permanent public display. It’s wonderful to have such an archive for future generations to understsnd how it felt during the coronavirus pandemic.

  11. Claire Darbyshire

    What a wonderfully creative,supportive and beautiful place Calstock is, and very special. I was being very careful to avoid infection for health reasons
    before lockdown, more so since , but Steve I have felt very supported and cared for here. We are thankful, and I really feel it has helped me keep well
    and positive. Yes a special place and nuturing. Thank you for setting up this project, and for the great images.

  12. Nellie and Barry I so resonate with both of your comments. Loving Calstock and Danecombe Valley as I do and missing my family living in the region, I nevertheless appreciate how lucky I am, in so many ways living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia. We have certainly been a lot luckier with the number of Covid infections but have still had to undergo some very strict restrictions. Personally we had to move back onto our 5acre block because all of the housesits we were organised with, collapsed. We were lucky to be able to rent a comfortable caravan and to be honest this period has been a beautiful, peaceful and tranquil period, very close to nature (This block was officially registered as Land for Wildlife many years ago.) So we’re been enjoying all of those uniquely weird and wonderful birds, marsupials and so many insects whilst gardening, growing seedlings and veggies and trying to chill out. We make a conscious effort not to listen to the news too much, as in the UK we also have politicians whose light doesn’t shine too brightly as well. For us this pandemic following the horrendous bush fires this season, couldn’t have come at a worse time.
    Hoping and praying that as the future unfolds all of us, especially those of us blessed to to live in the ‘western world’, will appreciate just how lucky we are and what a beautiful and fragile world we live in, become more determined to look after it and the environment for our future generations. To love and live more peacefully and show more concern and consideration to those less fortunate than ourselves.
    Thank you Aaron for all of those photos and drawings, many I recognise though some unsurprisingly are looking a little older than I remember but then I did leave Calstock in 2003!
    To everyone over there do enjoy the Spring and Summer, Calstock is such a wonderful piece of paradise, I miss it dearly.
    Wishing you all well and a speedy return to ‘normality’. Jan Bolders


    Yes!what a strange event we are living through,I personally am loving the quietness of it all particularly being able to hear &see the wildlife.this is gonna change hellava lot of people’s attitude to the planet,massive drops in pollution ,animals reclaiming there rightful territory, love it,I’m retired so no financial probs but I really am worried for the younger generation. where do we go from here.keep chilled and carry on.

  14. Thank you for taking my photograph and making this a fabulous work of social history.

    As many have already said, we are fortunate to live in such a caring and beautiful valley.
    It’s amazing how little we need to live a contented and good life, maybe for some the virus has helped us to understand what is important.

    If anything positive comes from the catastrophe of this virus lets hope we all try to respect the planet for everyone in the future.
    Perhaps this is our wake up call!

  15. Just a beautiful project… I still recognise so many faces even after all this time! We lived in Calstock about 15 years ago and the magic of the place has never left us. Stay strong everyone, much love from Guangzhou… Nige and Arianna

  16. Currently Living in rural South Australia, my experience with the lockdown has been very different to my family and friends back home in the UK. When lockdown was officially put in place here my boyfriend and I were living in a small town with a population of Around 160 people so apart from the cafe and the pub only been open for takeaway food and drinks, it was rare to see many people out and about on a ‘normal’ day. Of course if we had been living in a big city I can imagine things would feel a lot dissimilar. Been a foreign visitor in a country has been noticeable Different living in the countryside. People been a lot more wary of us than before. Before it would be totally standard to be approached in a shop, cafe, pub or even in passing in the street by a local person intrigued about our journey or plans while we are in the area. The first few weeks of the pandemic people would honestly cross the street when they saw us, especially if we were out with our car which is a typical “backpackers car”.
    Since the restrictions has been eased considerably in the last couple of weeks it has been felt like it’s getting back to normal. And even though we still can’t travel interstate at present (14 days quarantine each time we cross state borders) we can still travel around with ease. And finding work hasn’t been difficult (we have mainly worked farms whilst travelling the country) So the feeling of travelling, freedom and living one day from the next is still there.
    It has been difficult mentally having our families so far Away and the fear watching whole pandemic unfolding On the world news. Technology has played a huge part in putting our fear to rest, knowing that we can talk and video chat With our family whenever we like is an amazing thing. Seeing them healthy and happy.
    Hopefully when world travel starts up again we can come home and see and touch them in the flesh. But for now we are comfortable in continuing our journey of experiencing the world and all the cultures that come with it.

  17. In a way we have been living with the virus since late last year. We first became aware of the virus on 31st December last year when we sent a Happy New Year Wechat message to our son and his family in Wuhan, the city of 11 million people that until recently no one had ever heard of. He replied to say that their was a SARS outbreak reported in the Fish Market area of Hankou, a district of Wuhan which we have visited a number times. He said not to worry it will all be fine we are not going anywhere. Over the coming days he kept us updated on the progress of the virus the measures being taken in the city and how it had been identified as a new virus. As we all know, the virus took hold and spread very quickly and around the 23rd January just before Chinese New Year the City was locked down. They managed to do a big shop and had enough supplies for about 4 weeks. So they were locked indoors for 76 days on the 14th floor of their block with a one month old baby and a 3 year old. During the lockdown they never went short of food or supplies, food prices were capped at 2019 prices and James was on full pay doing online tutorials for his students. We were in daily communication on Wechat with video calls at the weekends. We were worried about them of course but thought that they would be OK. During this time we followed the progress and the numbers on the Hubei Province Local Government Website daily and saw just how bad it was, so when the virus came here as it was obviously going to we were shocked at the slow response of our government and ignorance and arrogance of our leaders. He is now back at work as year 12 and year 9 students have resumed their education with strict controls and his wife Zhi Zhi have taken our grandchildren to her parents home in the countryside for some fresh air and vitamin D.
    Now of course we are on lockdown and they have been worrying about us. Life for us though has not changed too much, we continue to go to our allotments, I have carried on working as a gardener. My work on the Parish Council and with Tamar Grow Local has continued all be it in a different way with more emphasis on helping the community and we are continuing doing volunteer deliveries for Tamar Valley Food hubs which we were doing before all this happened.
    The biggest change and worry for us is not being able to visit our daughter who has learning disabilities and lives in her own home with care staff in Liskeard. She finds it very amusing that her carers are now wearing PPE, we are able to do video calls with her but she does not really know what is going on.
    We were also due to visit our other son in Glasgow in May, hit first by the collapse of Flybe and then the virus. Postponed for now I think as is any future visit to Wuhan.

  18. What an amazing idea Aaron!
    Lock down for me has been a complete mixture of emotions, with a huge amount of adjustment required. I found it extremely difficult in the beginning; going from leaving my house at 7 in the morning and returning usually 12 hours later after work to only being allowed to leave for an hour!
    I have worked for 25 years now with children on a daily basis and found this disconnection from the children I currently work with very hard. Without doubt though the hardest thing was not seeing my grandchildren; who normally stay over twice a week. Although we have the wonders of technology and could talk to them over the web, to sit in front of my laptop while my 6 yr old granddaughter sobbed in front of hers was heartbreaking. No amount of crosses on her cuddle chart could console her; an experience I never want to have again.
    We are however unbelievably lucky in where we live and I have kept up some sort of fitness level walking around this amazing area. To begin with I met very few people on my walks, but as time has gone on I’ve met more an more. This has lead me to realise just how incredible the people are in our village. And how old I now am!! Having met some of my pre-school children now driving!(Reuben and Issac) And way taller than me. Equally talking to parents of children as they’ve told me how they are succeeding at university!
    Everyone I’ve met has been positive about the situation and optimistic for our futures. Not that there haven’t been some days when people have definitely struggled.
    With my husband working in the ambulance service and my son working at Derriford Hospital I’m never going to truly relax about the situation and worry everyday for them and their colleagues as this virus continues to reek havoc across the world. I do worry as people return to their form of normality that they will quickly forget what has happened and we will just end up on the treadmill that we all to briefly stopped!
    Take care everyone, keep safe.

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