Emerging from lockdown

It’s been a while since I last wrote a diary entry on here – specifically since it was announced that the schools would be closing and I’d be home schooling my two primary school age boys!  Once I got over the shock of that, I realised how incredibly fortunate I was that my husband was able to work from home and that I still had money left from my redundancy to allow me to look after the kids.  We have actually had a great time, once it became the new normal. We have had the freedom away from rushing to and from school and backwards and forwards to clubs and hobbies and been able to live a bit more slowly.  We have had creative time everyday and tried things from acrylic paint pouring, to Calligraphy Club (thanks to the lovely Betty Etiquette) to trying our hand at Van Gogh with Art Enthusiasts London – all through the magic of the internet!

Trying our hand at ‘Sunflowers’ with Art Enthusiasts London kids online events

It has been tough not to be able to see family and friends, particularly those who live alone and have struggled with the lack of social contact. Today’s announcement that I can let my mum come and visit us at last is a welcome relief for us all.

And this period of home school has really put the brakes on my hopes and ambitions for Salvia Glass this year.  We had invested in January in a number of craft fairs to try and get our pictures and cards seen by a wider audience and were particularly looking forward to taking part in the RHS Wisley Craft Fair in April.  This would have been by far the biggest fair we had undertaken.  Understandably all fairs have been cancelled and its not clear when indoor markets may be able to open again.  This was a big disappointment but totally understandable given the situation.

However, the closure of high street shops has shown a big boost in people wanting to shop small and support local businesses, and shopping online.  This has been a life line for us and many other small creative businesses who would normally rely on fairs and markets for their income.  I certainly have tried hard to change my shopping habits and buy more locally, whether it is a takeaway delivered from our local fish and chip shop, a meat box from the butchers or having veggie plants for my garden delivered by our independent garden centre.  Once the world reopens, this is certainly something I will try to continue (even the though pull of convenience from supermarkets and Amazon is strong!) and I hope others will too.  Shopping small allows you to choose businesses that reflect your values.  Many go out of their way to try to be environmentally friendly and use only ethically produced products.  

Loving the revival of ‘snail mail’ – send a card to show you care.

The other thing that has had a revival is that of sending letters and cards to people to show you are thinking of them.  There is no better feeling than getting ‘happy post’ through your letterbox – something unexpected, a card for no other reason than to say ‘hi’ or ‘I’m thinking of you’.  Even the envelope that is handwritten makes me get a little buzz.  I hope this is something that will continue, and I will endeavour to (when I’m not making my own) buy my cards from independent retailers or makers online.  A bit of small biz karma in the world!

Over the coming months the world will reopen and the pace of life will pick up again.  And alongside the fear and sadness for those working on the frontline, and those who have lost loved ones, I will look back on this time as an opportunity for us to be together as a family and to make memories together.  

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