Personal history

Getting on With It.

 

The Distance Project 24

Here are a few shots from late last year, before we went into the Tier 3 and Tier 4 lockdowns. The lighter restrictions of that time are now just a memory.

Social Distancing Project 191This is my cat, and I can tell by his body language that he’s had just about enough of this; it’s just as well this was the end of the examination. You should be able to see the thick plastic sheets hung between me and the vet, but we are both wearing masks too.
Marmaduke is fine; I had just brought him in for a routine examination and his once a year injections. Thanks to Laura at Vets4Pets for letting me take photos of her examining him.

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Distance Project 22

Social Distancing Project 180On the last day before the second lockdown, I found some of Bucks County Council’s signs in Buckingham. It’s difficult to keep your distance in some parts of this town, where the pavements are extremely narrow and the roads are often too busy to step into. This is West Street.

 

No Armistice in Sight For Covid.

After a hopeful Summer, we headed back towards a stricter regime. Bucks County Council were concerned enough to take action in October, sending out letters to householders and erecting signs warning about the increasing number of infections.

They were right to be concerned, as the number of cases in the UK had taken off in mid September, followed not long after by the number of deaths. The Government had to do something, and the second lockdown began on the 5th of November, to run for four weeks.

This meant that the Armistice Day ceremonies, planned to be held in a limited fashion, could not go ahead as usual on the 11th November. But I took a walk via the local war memorial on the day.

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The Distance Project 14

Testing Times.

I had a letter recently, asking me to take part in a study into Covid-19; I had been selected randomly. I accepted at once, and a test kit arrived on Saturday.

The letter with the test kit said:

“Thank you for registering to take part in the in-home coronavirus antibody testing research study, which is being conducted by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI, an independant research organisation, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

“This study will help the government understand how many people in England may have already been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and to help develop its approach to COVID-19 antibody testing.”

On Tuesday I followed the instructions and did the test. To find out what happened, read on…

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The Distance Project 11

Social Distancing Project 95With my electro-mechanical hat on instead of my photographer’s one, I maintain and fix the machines at the Washeteria launderette in Church Street, Stony Stratford. Here, I’m checking to see that a dryer is working okay. Since the lockdown, If I work there it’ll be in the evenings, when the launderette is closed. There are no issues with distancing then; I’m on my own.

More From Stony Stratford, and what I’ve been up to under lockdown.

Many of these photos of Stony Stratford were taken back in mid June, and some lockdown rules have been changed since then. There’s also some shots from my own life, to show you how I deal with social distancing.

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Portrait of the Artist

Photographer's self portrait
The Monday Photo

Here I am, at dusk, on my own doorstep. This photo was taken as part of my Distance Project, where I am photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

I’m affected by the lockdown just like anybody else, so like many of my Distance Project photos, there’s a good two metres either side of the subject, myself.

Quite a lot of my photos from that project were taken while down on one knee, so I’ve duplicated that by setting the tripod to the same sort of height.

The project is going well, and I have a list of subjects still to cover; the list keeps growing as I’m given leads by my subjects, and when lockdown restrictions are changed. In years to come, this is going to be a strange set of photos to look back on, but I’m hoping this project will be a useful historical resource.

I have little idea about how this project will end; that’s not really under my control and neither should it be. I will just keep taking photos until it’s all over.

This, by the way, is one of the few self portraits I’ve made in years. It’s a selfie, I suppose, and I used to make them quite often with my film camera and a nice wide lens, held at arm’s length. The lens and camera were not too heavy, and it was easy.

When I went to digital photography in 2009, this all stopped. I soon found that the camera and lens combination I’d bought was much too heavy to hold at arm’s length, for a self portrait. That’s when I stopped taking selfies, long before they were even called that.

I will be showing you new photos from the Distance Project on Thursdays, as long as the lockdown and its effects continues.

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The Distance Project 6

Social Distancing Project 48My sister in law has been bringing “the boys”, my nephews, to see me nearly every week since they were babies; they are now 19 and 21. With the lockdown in place, this couldn’t happen. But with the changes to the restrictions, the whole family came to see me on Tuesday.
They brought camping chairs, biscuits and drinks, I sat at my garden table. It was great; nothing beats seeing the people you care about, face to face.


The Rules are Relaxed

Some lockdown restrictions were relaxed on Monday, so there’s been a few changes in behaviour. The more vulnerable are allowed to venture out, though there are still some curbs on what they can do. Visitors in the garden are now permitted. Meanwhile, I take my car to be fixed.

All the other photos from this project can be found here. In the project I'm photographing what people are doing differently under lockdown.

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