At the very start of all this, the idea of lockdown didn’t seem too bad. Online school sounded like an exciting change and having my sister, who would normally be away at uni, with us at home for a long period of time felt like a treat. Four months on and I’m aching to go back to school, longing to see my friends and a little fed up of disinfecting every item of our shopping. This virus and the lockdown have had devastating effects on many people, and I know many people have lost their loved ones. I lost my grandma amongst all this, although not because of the virus. I found this very hard as I was closely attached to her and the lockdown meant I couldn’t visit her. Lockdown has also been really odd at times. The principle of Zoom violin lessons will never seem completely normal to me and seeing friends and family but having to stay two metres away is becoming irritating. Then there are moments – such as when you’re in a Zoom yoga session or simply when you hear your grandparents are spraying the post – when you wonder what on earth the world has come to.
Despite all the limitations of lockdown though, being stuck at home has given me more time to take up new hobbies that I hadn’t even thought about. For example, photography. One day out of boredom, I was searching through old boxes in our study when I came across my dad’s old camera, a decent Canon. Next thing I know, I’d hooked the strap round my neck and had run out to the garden to test it out. Very quickly it became a regular activity; going out in our garden in the evenings and climbing the tree to wait for birds to perch upon a nearby branch, sitting by the loft window and watching them fly in and out of a vent, or even putting out leftover food and hiding in a bush, hoping that a rare species would come to eat it but getting disappointed at the sight of a fox instead. Now, I spend my Saturday mornings getting up early to set up a tripod on the top of Parliament Hill to watch sunrise or going to various parks or animal sanctuaries, to take photos of the wildlife.
Not every trip is successful though. Like the time when we spent forty-five minutes strapping bikes to the car only to find out Richmond park is closed off for cycling. Or the time when we drove forty minutes to St. James’ park for a walk to see the pelicans and as soon as we got there my dad needed the toilet. We ended up spending twenty minutes looking for a bathroom, waiting half an hour in the queue and waiting a further half an hour whilst the toilets were closed for cleaning. Then we split up, and I went to see the pelicans by myself, but as if it couldn’t get worse, dad’s phone ran out of battery and I had to wait for an hour by the pelicans, which I now have about five hundred photos of. Finally, he came back a century later, but we immediately had to rush home for a music lesson. It’s moments like this that I wish everything could just be normal again.
It’s nearly the end of the school year now. To be honest, finishing Year 10 by closing my laptop does feel rather anticlimactic. That said, I’m looking forward to a relaxing Summer, slowly returning back to our normal lives in September, and seeing family and friends – hopefully with a hug too at some point.
Annabel – Y10 Pupil
Annabel is currently a year 10 student at Highgate school. She loves taking part in musical activities at school, such as symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra as well as getting involved in solo concerts. She is taking GCSEs next year and is studying Geography, Music, French and Drama as her chosen subjects.