My last few weeks have been spent doing ‘boring’ things like answering emails, doing taxes, filling in housing benefit forms, researching business loans , washing dirty clothes, cooking meals and occasionally tidying up. I’ve also been lucky enough to have some more ‘creative’ and fulfilling things to do like promoting local business or community groups and producing content for Radio Shepton.My favourite was running a really lovely ‘Virtual’ Easter Bonnet competition for local children. Helen Reader, from The Fairy Godmother shop , sponsored a fabulous fluffy bunny and sweets for the first prize winner, three year old Amelia from Doulting, and a Chic keyring full of candy for all the runners up! Though families have been isolating, many had great fun using bits and bobs from around their houses to make wonderful bonnets and easter themed crafts for our competition. They sent in pictures to facebook.com/radioshepton where you can still see these and loads more. I also edited together a really heart warming and uplifting Easter ‘Act of worship’ video in conjunction with Christian’s Together in Shepton Mallet, for Easter Sunday. It included prayers, stories and bible readings from Rev. Jonathan Hunter Dunn of St.Peter & Paul Church, Rev Graham Dart of the Baptist Church, Capt, Anne Chinye of The Salvation Army and a beautiful rendition of ‘Morning Has Broken’ by the choir at St. Michael’s. This too, is still available to watch and share on Radio Shepton’s Facebook page. I’m not religious as such, but am deeply spiritual, and in the moments between doing these boring, and fun activities, and wiping noses, or putting plasters on cuts - I have found quiet moments to contemplate and reflect.
I haven’t found it hard to find some silver linings in this unprecedented ‘crisis’. We will never return to ‘normal’, and we shouldn’t. Our normal was not good. Especially not good for women, who for all of recent history have been underpaid, under-valued and ignored.
The last big event I attended before lockdown was International Women’s day march in Bristol. Amazing that in 2020 we are still having to strike and protest, in order to be listened to and respected. Maybe now, society will see the women working from home ( with the kids running about in the background and asking for a banana whilst their mum , explains economic impacts from Covid-19, on live daytime television; or dads out of work will see how ‘housewife’s don't just stick on the dishwasher, put their feet up and watch telly! ) Perhaps, the role of Matriarchs and mothers, carers, and teachers will now be revered and respected like they originally were. Society might now truly value low paid but vital key workers like carers, nurses, teachers and teaching assistants, cashiers, administrators, refuse collectors, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, farm workers -who are keeping this country going. We all knew deep down it was wrong to pay footballers millions of pounds , whilst frontline NHS workers struggled to make ends meet. Lets not forget in a hurry.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)