Wasting My Days
When we went into lockdown all my work stopped overnight. I had a full programme of live gigs and festivals, alongside leading weekly community choir sessions and facilitating singing/music workshops in a number of settings. I am usually constantly rehearsing and preparing music and it came as a shock to suddenly have no reason to.
When the lockdown started I found myself with little motivation to sing or pick up my guitar apart from when recording or delivering some small bits of on line work. I developed a throat problem which stopped me speaking and singing properly for a while, and then I fell off my bike and broke a rib. This resulted in spending a lot of time lying on the sofa staring out of the window! Eventually I started to write a song about ‘wasting my days and watching dust motes’, and it was then that I knew I was starting to get better again and able to deal with the situation more positively.
All experts agree that singing is good for your physical and mental wellbeing, relieving anxiety, stress and depression. Apart from the few weeks on personal singing lockdown, I have been running a weekly Facebook Live singing session, plus live and recorded work for another singing organisation Shared Harmonies. Once we were able to meet with 6 people at a time, I started socially distanced outdoor singing sessions. Everyone involved has fed back that singing and creating/maintaining social networking through song has been extremely beneficial during these times.
Nothing can compare with live singing in a big group, or performing in a gig, but we have adapted and ensured that the singing has continued. Singing raises your spirits, allows you to express yourself, encourages deep measured breathing, releases endorphins, and connects people together at a soul level.
I have been inspired by the birdsong, having time and space to appreciate the changing seasons, and the kindness of people in my immediate community. I am constantly inspired by people’s resourcefulness and ability to adapt. I am inspired by the Junk Food Project which has continued to find volunteers, and to adjust to safe ways of working. They have done an extraordinary job of helping to stop food waste, of which there was more than ever when all the restaurants and food outlets shut down.
I am hugely inspired by many of my artist and musician friends, many of whom just manage to seek out a living sharing their gift in normal times, and are somehow, so far, managing to perform on line and in gardens and surviving in these uncertain times.