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A spring cold perhaps,

No temperature.

No persistent cough.

A snotty nose and tickly throat,

normal for the time of year,

just the cold taking hold.

Coffee tastes bitter,

but then I haven’t brushed my teeth.

Still no temperature.

No persistent cough.

Yet a positive test.

Phone calls begin:


parents of the Little girl two doors down,

neighbour across the street,

the respiratory nurse next door,

that trip to the chemist,

That trip to the dentist for all three children we felt lucky to get.

Do I answer the door?

Do we have a family bubble?

unfortunately / fortunately ‘no’

Work contacted,

cover organised.

I hate to be so easily be replaced.

And then we wait,

unsure what is psychosomatic,

the deep ache beneath my shoulder blades,

the pressure on the small of my back.

Its easier to watch each other

Only slight peeks in temperature every now and then.

Still no persistent cough.


10am -

Andy sets up national forum with 40+ attendees.  
Ruby has Rice Crispies.
Evie has waffles but I burn them and she is accommodating at first then refuses to eat them so toast and honey it is!
10.30am -

Ruby (8) has online registration but I need to get amended timetables for BA and MA to admin for meeting at 2 so we completely miss it. 
Evie (11) starts to draw out the reproductive system of a flower
Alfie (14) still in bed – I forgot to bring him up a wake- up fruity tea but not sure it would have made a difference
10.30am -

Ruby completely misses her first HW task 
11am –

kids hand over to Andy and hope he does a better job (he will!) I now have online meeting re/ new Masters provision.
Evie completes her maths HW – I wonder if she even needs a school?
Andy continues with Ruby’s 2nd task drawing ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’ as a comic strip
12am -

LUNCH – soup outside in our postage sized garden. So pleased the sun is shining!
1pm - Ruby has a next HW task but wants to stick with her first as its drawing – she is also more interested in the cat having fleas or if the rabbit has  
died as its so still (enjoying the sun)
2pm -

Alfie up and onto Welsh home work. I have online meeting re/ timetables for BA, MA next academic year followed by lovely colleague wanting to chat who is obviously not home - schooling 
3pm -

Amendments needed to timetable, emails sent out to confirm to relevant staff. Andy continues with resources devised as a follow on to the mornings National forum
3.30pm -

Ruby starts to poke the rabbit and chases the cat and preen it like a monkey
3.31pm -

Evie starts complaining about Rubys treatment of the cat
3.32pm -

Alfie cant concentrate with the noise and starts arguing with both girls to keep quiet
3.33pm -

Andy cant concentrate
3.34pm -

I cant concentrate
3.35pm -

Girls suddenly go quiet – we know that this is not a good sign but have too much work to do so just leave it and hope for the best….

they re-appear dressed in Andys shirts and with drawn on facial hair talking in Yorkshire accents – quite good actually. They want to go for a walk but we are too busy to take them.Ruby starts to speak really loudly in an old mans 

Evie starts complaining that Ruby wont stay still for photos

Alfie cant concentrate with the noise 

Andy cant concentrate

I cant concentrate

We agree they can go for a walk together JUST around the block so long as they accord with social distancing, don’t touch anything and keep their voices quiet –this doesn’t go well

TOO MUCH NOISE! Everything falls down – at least we made it to 4pm 
that’s not bad except for the tempers

Repeat this utterly crazy scenario for 10 weeks!

COVD - DRAFT thoughts...


Your ability to focus on sound requires you to filter, to push certain frequencies away from attention, whilst bringing others to the fore, you hold a point of balance.

I can maintain this when the birds are busily talking to one another – I can push away the sound of cars from a nearby road and focus on their variable pitch and song but my focus is immediately lost during their pauses, when the sound of an engine rudely pushes back through and I have to start the process of tuning-in all over again. 

For a while, during COVID lockdown those interruptions stopped and I could hear the quality of the spaces between. Those small pockets of time – usually compressed by a multitude of conflicting demands – stood more resolute and clear, took their place in the rhythm and movement of the day, slowed it down, helped me hear.

As the world speeds up again those opportunities to pause, to breathe, once again move just out of reach, become illusive to touch. 


How can we hold onto the point of balance outside the enforced circumstance of a Global lockdown? 


How as artists can we maintain the connection between art and life when both get smothered by constant acts of doing?


Surely illuminating those spaces between is precisely what the practice of 'art' should do> 

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