The tortoise and the hare

'Lockdown is very slow,' Gemma pops up, and then ducks out of sight on the screen. 'I was furloughed for the first four weeks, and as soon as I started loving furlough life, they called me back; our systems aren't set up for working from home.' The first week was weird, she says, mainly because... Continue Reading →

Planes, sailboats and faffing

Scott spent lockdown with his girlfriend, who moved in with him when the UK lockdown was announced. It went well, with Scott wishing he’d asked her to move in sooner, and they celebrated their anniversary with a BBQ and local adventures, rather than the sailing trip with friends they’d originally planned.  Generally he’s felt fine,... Continue Reading →

Race against the moving clock

It's been two and a half years since I last saw Charlie, when we ran across the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan together. I'd forgotten how calm and collected she is, and how soothing her voice is to listen to. "I would probably say our lockdown has been better than some other people have found... Continue Reading →

School dayz

"Do you know what," Kim says, coming closer to the screen like she's telling me a secret, "lockdown hasn't really changed any element of my life whatsoever. I was already antisocial," she says with a smirk, "it's just now I'm doing it on someone else's terms, so, you know, it's just like 'yay, I don't... Continue Reading →

Birthday rollercoaster

It's Laura's birthday the day we speak, the 7th May, and she's planning a chilled day with the family. Not that she can really do much else, she tells me, being in the middle of the UK lockdown. The way Laura pronounces the words 'music' and 'avenue' remind me of my Mum, and I have... Continue Reading →

Bacon fries and Nicky Campbell

“I started lockdown a week or so before everybody else, because I knew what was coming. I kind of risk assessed myself, as you do.” Lily anticipated she would be in the shielded category. “In the UK, they categorise people who are at risk. There’s ‘vulnerable’, who’s anyone over 70 or anyone with an underlying... Continue Reading →

Dr Sam, patron saint of bikes

The screen comes into life as Sam joins the call and I immediately start laughing. His hair is all stuck up in different directions and looks crazy wild. “What the hell is going on with your hair?” I laugh. “I’ve just got out the shower, this is what it looks like,” he replies, in his... Continue Reading →

COVID-19 – end of lockdown (NZ)

It's like the end of an era. A friend said, "it feels a bit sad almost, like it's the end to an exceptional time." He's not wrong. We went into the heavily restricted Level 4 lockdown when there were only a few cases in New Zealand and no deaths. Compared to the rest of the... Continue Reading →

Grief, unemployment and remarkable hedges

“I’ll probably get emotional, just a forewarning,” Katie preempted before we started our chat. “My lockdown landmark has been the shift into the final quarter of my visa, and...I’m already going to cry,” she laughed, her eyes welling up. Katie is in New Zealand on a two-year Working Holiday visa from Canada which is due... Continue Reading →

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