When Sydney entered lockdown in early July, several Melbournians posted ideas on how to keep up the spirits of lockdown-ers. After their own hideous experience of prolonged lockdown in 2020, the Victorians knew what they were talking about.
So with family and close friends now into their fifth week of misery in Sydney, and as I’m spared the bulk of that pain because I live in regional NSW, I came up with a plan to
#103 Cheer up Family and Friends in Lockdown
Fortunately, the digitally-savvy ones knew how to create a WhatsApp closed group, so we’ve been holding daily photographic competitions to keep up morale.
At around 8 am each morning I post the topic of the day, one that is amenable to being photographed within the confines of the Sydneysiders’ restricted lives working from home:
Entries are posted throughout the day, then at 8pm, once I’ve chosen the winner, we have the ‘Rose Ceremony’ where the lucky person gets to accept a [virtual] rose.
It was great to see that even in lockdown, they were managing to spoil themselves:
Another readily accessible topic was this one:
The next challenge was especially good fun …
… because it produced these two rip snorters among others:
At the end of the week, we move onto the People’s Choice award where everyone gets to vote for their favourite entries of the week and an overall winner is declared.
Because I can still go out browsing and shopping, I’ve collected an assortment of small gifts to be bundled up and posted to the winner each Monday.
The aim is to find items that create a spark of joy, like yummy chocolates, fast-growing seeds for planting, items from craft shops that can be readily constructed, painted and decorated, or an engaging book to read.
When life is tough, you realise that having something to look forward to, however small, is so important.
My main worry is that if this goes on as long as it looks like it might, I’ll run out of engaging topics and be reduced to asking for photos of things like the fluff gathering underneath everyone’s beds, or dust motes floating in the sunlight.
Perhaps all these small glimpses of locked-down lives can eventually be collated into a book I’ll call “Passionless Moments”, in homage to Jane Campion and Gerard Lee’s 1983 short film which reduced my sister and me to helpless, uncontrollable, side-holding, rib-hurting laughter in a small Melbourne cinema all those years ago.
It’s the small, seemingly insignificant moments of life you recall the best.