Monday, 27 April 2020

KATY: FIVE THINGS TO PASS THE TIME IN LOCKDOWN...

Reader Katy sent this fab blog on how to pass the time in lockdown... some great ideas, and guaranteed to put the smile back on your face!


Katy says:
You're not in school, you’re not allowed to see your friends, you're not even allowed outside much, oh boy! This is big change for everyone, and while on paper it sounds great… I mean, no exams? This is the stuff of dreams! Well actually it’s quite hard to get used to, isn’t it? I’ve come up with a few fun activities to keep your wandering minds at peace... 

Host a virtual sleepover with your bestie...
If you have access to a computer, phone or ipad, a great way to stay in touch with friends is to video chat! Why not make a batch of popcorn, grab some hot chocolate and cosy up in your pjs? You could read each other stories , have a drawing competition or just catch up on gossip! If sopmeone in your family has Zoom or Houseparty, you can even include more than one friend!

Baking... 
There may be a shortage of flour in the shops, but if you do manage to get your hands on some, learning how to bake is a very rewarding activity. Plus, there are plenty of recipes that don’t even need flour - we recommend flapjacks, French toast, chocolate truffles, chocolate cornflake cakes, rocky road traybakes... the list is endless! I tested out some of recipes on the BBC Good Food website and they worked really well! Link below...
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/kids-baking-recipes-without-flour

Write a short story...
A brilliant way to keep your creative brain dancing is to try your hand at a short story! Channel Jo March from Little Women! Even if you think it’s not getting anywhere, keep writing, everything counts... and writing your feelings down can keep the blues at bay!

Help someone else...
Currently there are lots of elderly and vulnerable people who have been isolating for weeks, so it's likely they are a little lonely. Why not write a letter to an elderly relative or neighbour, or maybe write them a poem or draw a picture? If they have email or text messages, you can send that way... even just picking up the phone to chat for a while can help someone feeling alone and sad.

Make a list of things you are grateful for...
I can’t be the only one who has realised how much we took for granted. Our health being a main one. Making a list really helped put things in perspective so I can appreciate things more when we go back to reality... there really is something to be glad about every single day.

Photo: thanks to Pexels.

Cathy says:
I love this, Katy! Not being able to see friends is hard for all of us, but perhaps for young people especially... these ideas should help us to stay connected and make the best of lockdown! What are YOUR suggestions for coping? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Friday, 24 April 2020

HELOISE - I CAN'T GET BORED, NOT LIKE AT SCHOOL!

French reader Héloïse, age twelve, tells us what it's like to be in lockdown in the French counytryside... 

Héloïse says:
The current situation is very strange but - I hope I'm not selfish - I am taking the opportunity to live my life. I can finally allow myself to strengthen the privileged links I have with my parents and my animals. Of course, I miss school and my friends. I do my homework. But I love my sweet home and all the people I live with, animals as well as humans. And I'm happy to spend time with everyone.

In France, you can leave the house only if you have to go to work - if you cannot work from home, or if you're a doctor or health worker etc ...) You must have a certificate which specifies why you're out, for example to do essential food shopping. If you don't have it, in case of police control, you risk a big fine. Some cities have imposed a curfew. We do not have masks here.

The French government has just extended the lockdown, we don't know until when, but beyond April 13 anyway. My father is partially unemployed but paid, and my mother has stopped work for childcare as proposed by the government if you cannot work from home.

I live in the French countryside, in a small village, in a  big house with a big garden. I am very lucky, even if a part of me worries about people suffering. Somewhere, in spite of all, nature found the way to breathe. At home, there are many of us: my parents, my dog I consider as my sister, our fourteen cute chickens and Bilbo the rooster, one of the nicest creatures of the world, our tamed fishes, my gecko and the snails I saved this winter. The gecko and the snails live in my bedroom! There is also our two Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, two cats and Samy the turtle. In fact, there is so much to do that I can't get bored, not like at school!

Cathy says:
Thank you Héloïse for an insight into lockdown in France... no wonder you don't get bored with all those lovely animals! How are YOU coping with the lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

ADELE - A YOUNG CARER IN LOCKDOWN

Young Carer Adele talks about the extra pressures she and others like her face during the Coronavirus Lockdown... and she has some good advice for all of us.

Adele says:
Our parents are everything to us as we grow up. They give us every ounce of love they have and raise us to be the best we can be. When they become ill, we want to fix them so badly but all we can do is look after them and give them every ounce of that love back. I care for my parents, my Mum more recently but my Dad also, since I was just two. My Mum has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, just like me, and my Dad has a brain injury and Intracranial Hypertension.

Right now, the world is in a state of fear. For Young Carers, there is a lot of responsibility because it’s not just themselves they need to protect and there will still be the usual caring role to carry on with. Even though I’m a young adult carer now, I still understand the feelings that younger carers have. I remember being at school, impatiently waiting to get home but also being thankful for the break. Now, I stay at home to get my degree through the Open University but even at home, I worry and when I go out, I sometimes feel thankful for the peace.

Going out is no longer an option. Now, everyone is at home and everyone is worrying. However, if you’re a Young Carer, you may be quite anxious so it’s extra important to take time for yourself. You could take time out to read your favourite books, have a bubble bath or phone family and friends. You can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure you look after yourself too. Most of all, focus on the here and now and try to enjoy this special time at home with your loved ones.

 Always remember, just like the people we care for, Young Carers are amazing warriors.

Cathy says:
Thank you for the thought-provoking post, Adele! Most of us know people who are coping with the lockdown in much harder situations than we are ourselves... like Adele, perhaps they are caring for others, or struggling with other issues on top of the stress of quarantine. What can we do to help those people stay connected? COMMENT BELOW to have YOUR say...

Monday, 20 April 2020

JENNY - KEEPING FIT & HAPPY IN LOCKDOWN!

Musical Theatre teacher Jenny has some top tips to help you stay fit and happy during the current lockdown... they might just put a smile on your face, too!

Jenny says:
HOLA! I'm Jenny, and I am a Musical Theatre nerd and Physical Theatre nut.  I love all things creative (and I adore Cathy Cassidy and her brilliant books.) I’d love to share some tips and tricks with ya on how to stay fit and upbeat during lockdown... I’ll attach some silly videos for you to watch as well!

I’m lucky in the sense that I already had a really solid routine in the morning, which I’ve kept to; I  shower every day, get dressed, have coffee, put a little bit of make up on and do my hair.  All of this gives me a bit of focus and I feel prepared for the day. Most of my lectures and classes are now via video call, so it would be a bit weird if I was in my jamas!

I don’t work out heavily every day – sometimes I just don’t feel like it, and that’s okay. I try not to pressure myself because then it just becomes a chore, but most days, I’ll stretch. It gets the oxygen and blood flowing around your body and makes you feel more awake and alert! It’s something you can do at any time – you don’t need to necessarily do it at the start/end of a big workout. My stretchy-movement comes from a massive influence in yoga and flow, with some contemporary dance practice in there too, but it just means I move with breath.

I stretch my arms up high around my body – I breathe in. I lower them around my body – I breathe out. That sort of thing. If you are working at the computer a lot, it’s really helpful to stretch on a tea break when you’re waiting for the kettle, or just having a walk about the house. Any body part that you feel like needs waking up, apply the same process; side stretches, forward bends – just be gentle with yourself.  Here’s a chilled physical video I posted online last week:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAvEJWn-ysQ

If you don’t fancy any of that, which is sound, then I’d 100% suggest just popping on a great playlist of upbeat songs and having your own dance party!  Twenty minutes of boogying is 1) fun 2) makes you laugh and 3) gets the blood pumping!
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-bv1ZnHvcd/?igshid=1hxs6scg69yw2

Another way I keep myself busy and happy is with music and theatre; I write songs, I play piano, I sing, I watch theatre and make theatre-y things.  I’m in a duo called Limerance with Cathy’s son, Calum. We were gutted to miss out this month on our favourite festival, Threshold Festival in Liverpool and we’re both missing playing music together.

I think it’s important to:
1) Talk to your friends – Cal and I speak every day, whether it’s posting silly quarantine videos, catching up or video calling each other.  It’s important that you’re reaching out to your friends and still making each other laugh!
Cal: https://www.facebook.com/calum.gilligan/videos/vb.1724578015/10207457297386985/
Me: https://www.facebook.com/jenny.coyles/videos/10157283712692452/

2) ‘Do’ your passion – even though Cal and I can’t sing together right now, I’ve been trying to suss out more songs on the piano, been recording music videos, singing at any point I can - I’ve stopped caring about my boyfriend or the neighbours being able to hear me! I think the more you do it, the less you care!

I have quite a wide range of taste – sometimes I feel like singing folk/country stuff, sometimes my own songs... but most of the time it’s Musical Theatre. If you’re into Musical Theatre like I am, you’ll know the importance of acting and the journey of your character.  By exploring different MT songs, it can be a really good focus but also a very cathartic experience; a good outlet for your worries and anxieties.  It can also be really uplifting for yourself to get really into a positive or cheesy MT number! If you do any of the above, I’d love to see them! Please tag me in your vids on Insta @jencoylemt

Cathy says:
I love Jenny's ideas for keeping fit and happy in lockdown... I'm going to try the yoga breaths, I'm already doing the kitchen dancing, and the funny video links from Cal and Jen made me laugh out loud! I'm also doing an early morning dog walk while the streets are empty, and it's my fave part of the day. What are YOU doing to keep moving - and smiling - during lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to share your tips!

Friday, 17 April 2020

ELLA ROSE: A LOCKDOWN POEM

Reader Ella Rose, age twelve, responded to the virus situation by writing a powerful, beautiful poem... with a gorgeous illustration to match. I asked her to tell us more...

Ella Rose says:
The reason I wrote this poem is, I didn’t have anything to do during the “school day” so I wanted to write a poem about what’s happening right now in the world. The poem took about fifteen minutes to write and it was written right at the beginning of quarantine but I do still feel the same way about the situation now. I love writing poems when I’m bored, and creating stories, but I’ve never really thought about writing as a career - I’m sure it would be amazing.

I’m feeling strange about the current situation as I’m not used to not being able to see my friends every day. I know a lot of other people feel this way but we need to stay safe. I’m turning thirteen in just under a month and it will be really strange to not be able to see my friends on my birthday... it’s really important that we stay safe though.

Lockdown Poem
Trapped inside and locked,
Frozen streets no people out
Eyes pressed up against glass.

Type down sweet rhythms
In hope that life will sing clear,
Isolated fear.

Silence broken by
The sound of laughter through sky
Piercing, sweet, quiet.

Main roads seem broken,
Only shadows in presence,
Minds controlled by power.

Families glued
Like dolls in a doll's house, trapped...
Months of repeating.

Amazing artwork by Ella Rose

Cathy says:
Ella Rose's poem really gives me shivers... it's really powerful... and I love the quiet melancholy of her illustration too! Have YOU found that you've been more creative in lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to have your say or tell us if you liked this post!  

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

HONOR - MY BIRTHDAY IN LOCKDOWN!

Reader Honor celebrated her ninth birthday during the coronavirus lockdown - we asked how she managed to make it cool and special!

Honor says:
I've been finding the lockdown a little stressful and weird - I'm not used to it. It's difficult when you need things and you can't go to the shops, and I suddenly feel very far away from my friends and my nanas and grandads. At first it seemed like a long holiday, but that has worn off now, and it just feels endless. What has been good is that I've realised how much you can do to have fun without needing to go anywhere... I've had more time than usual to read books and spend time with family.

My birthday felt very different, though. I had to cancel the arranged sleepover with my two friends but I guess I can look forward to having it when the lockdown is over. Instead, we had a tea party at home with Mum, Dad, my big sister Eleanor and my baby sister Evangeline. We had lemonade in a teapot and used proper cups and saucers and there was lots of party food. We all got dressed in our best clothes and mummy didn't do any of her work (she is working from home now) which all helped to make it special.

We also played board games - Cluedo and Exploding Kittens, which was fun. We video called my friend Evie and my nana. My other friend who lives on our cul-de-sac came up with her mum - they had made a Happy Birthday poster! They stood at the bottom of my garden and I looked out of the window and they all waved to me... that was great!

My advice to anyone having a birthday during lockdown is to not overthink it too much and be grateful for being safe at home with your family. There will be lots of time later to have celebrations. Have fun with the things you have in the house and enjoy your family. Cathy Cassidy is my favourite author and it was amazing to receive a happy birthday message from her... and of course, my lovely birthday cake was iced to look like one of my favourite books, SWEET HONEY, only it said SWEET HONOR instead!

Cathy says:
Honor's birthday cake is the coolest one I've seen in ages... and I love how she has made the best of a difficult situation to have a brilliant birthday no matter what! What things are YOU doing to get through the lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to let us know... or to wish Honor a fab birthday!

Sunday, 12 April 2020

KASSI - FOCUS ON THE JOURNEY!

Kassi, an expressive artist working in Scotland, has come up with a cool art activity to help you work out your feelings about lockdown - and get creative too! Watch Kassi's video, below, to guide you through the whole relaxing process...

You will need: Paper (old wallpaper will do), Scissors, Crayons or Wax Crayons, Oil Pastels, a Sharpie Pen or Uni Posca Pen, an old plastic card or Palette Knife, Paint, Glitter Paint, Glitter

Kassi says:
I believe when we make art it is more about our experience and the process rather than the end result.  I don’t concern myself with making ‘beautiful art’ - I focus on the journey whilst making it. Using painting paper, wallpaper lining or the back of left over wallpaper, cut or tear a piece that feels ‘just the right size’. If the paper curls because it has been rolled, wet lightly all over to flatten and leave to dry for a while. Pick up a crayon and begin writing some 'feeling' words about your experience of lockdown all over your paper. Don’t worry about keeping things neat and tidy - I wrote my words all over the paper, some sideways and all layered on top of each other, a lovely jumble of pink, blue and yellow chaos.
 
Next, I used neon oil pastels in yellow, pink, orange and blue and made big,  swirling, curly spirals all over my 'feeling' words... this felt pretty good and I loved the colours. Using my plastic palette knife (an old plastic card works too) I scraped fluorescent pink and metallic blue paint around over the words, sprinkling a little pink glitter on the wet paint here and there. While I was waiting for the picture to dry, I made another in the same way and finished this one off by scraping a night sky blue all over it.

I took a photo of both of my paintings and began to wonder what they would be like if I added a ‘focus’ image on top -  I found an app that let me draw on my paintings. I drew trees, flowers, butterflies and a rainbow... perhaps you would like to give this a go too?

Setting the app aside, I wanted to add a hand drawn tree to one background and opted for the night sky blue painting. I drew an outline of a tree with white pastel to go around it. I noticed my inner critic pointed out lots of faults with my tree, but I tend to let go of those things because they get in the way of creativity & enjoyment. I added pink fluorescent paint in the negative spaces between branches and roots - I really liked seeing all the different colours and markings from earlier layers showing through. I added a layer of navy glitter paint on my tree to make it more sparkly and vibrant and sprinkled cerise pink heart sequins on top of the wet glitter paint.

I wonder if you would like to add an image to your paintings? Trust that whatever you want to add will be exactly what you need to express right now. It could be a cat, dog, rainbow, horse, face, a tree, dragonfly, a unicorn…  anything at all! Just keep on going, following your intuition and see how your painting emerges. I sense my blue tree is all about love & hope. I love it! I wonder if you can sense what your painting might be about for you? Perhaps you would like to share your work in the comments! Take care of yourself, you matter!

Watch Kassi's lovely video here... and work along with her for a lovely, expressive art project that's soothing, fun and cool!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTgZ9IMle24

Cathy says:
I love Kassi's ideas and her video is so gentle and encouraging... it's well worth setting forty minutes aside to do some expressive art along with her. A perfect way to tune into your feelings about the coronavirus lockdown and do something arty and creative with those feelings! Have a go... and COMMENT BELOW to tell us how you got on!

Friday, 10 April 2020

DEBORAH: LOCKDOWN IN CZECH REPUBLIC...

Deborah is a British girl studying at a university in Czech Republic... here she shares her experience of being in lockdown in another country...

Deborah says:
When my university announced that they were closing due to the virus, we were all under the impression that it would only be for a couple of weeks and would just apply to universities. We were relieved that we had some extra time to ourselves to focus on our weaker subjects and half of my class even decided to travel back home for a while. However, two days after our university closed, an announcement was made that the whole of Czech Republic was entering a strict quarantine, where only pharmacies and supermarkets would be open, masks had to be worn outside of dorms and houses and worst of all, borders would be closed to foreigners. Even locals were banned from leaving until further notice.

My university sent out an email the day before the lockdown saying anyone who had travelled home should return that day, as there was no indication as to when foreigners would be able to return, but due to lack of flights most were unable to and ended up being locked out of the country. Our university continued to update us in the next few weeks and gradually the younger people on my course travelled home to be with their families during the crisis. Me and four other members of my class decided to stay, as we didn’t want to be locked out when the university decided to resume.

During the lockdown, I’ve been in a cycle of studying and keeping myself entertained. My university still sends me work and is opting to change our exams to online exams so we are working as we would have if the lockdown wasn’t going on. Adapting to a new schedule where we don’t have to wake up at a certain time had been difficult. The days seems to merge together and sometimes we end up forgetting about the due dates of tasks as every day seems the same. We only leave the house to buy food and when we do we always wear masks and gloves from the moment we leave the building to when we return. While it’s hard being away from home, I FaceTime my family every day and I also have friends here that stayed, and we are allowed to come to each other’s rooms to keep company.

While the circumstances are hard, if we all stick together and help each other out, we will get through this.

Cathy says:
Thank you Deborah for a fascinating account of what it's like to be separated from family and in lockdown in another country. Stay safe and well, and good luck with the completion of your studies! How are YOU coping with the lockdown so far? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

MAYA: ANIMALS ARE MY LIFESAVER!

Animal-lover Maya is a real-life version of Coco from my Chocolate Box Girls series! She found a very different way to pass the time in lockdown... spending more time with her gorgeous animals!

Maya says:
I’m fifteen and I live on a farm in a village in Scotland. I am in lockdown with my mum, my sister and my dad... and also with my ponies, my dogs, my pet sheep, my hedgehog and my cat! And they are now getting all the cuddles they can possible get! Lockdown has been frustrating for lots of reasons but I’m trying to see the bright side of it and see what I can do with no school to get in the way!

One of our ponies, Stew, is a little rescue pony we bought a few months ago. He was horribly mistreated and for a long time couldn’t be separated from the rest of our ponies. He is still a little nervous but now we have built up a bond and he is the sweetest little baby I could have ever asked for... he loves cuddles and kisses and sunbathing in the summer!

I love being creative and I love being with my animals, so the perfect lockdown project for me was to  combine the two to make a model pony and have some fun! I have started doing photoshoots with all  of my animals, and the fall is my favourite time of the year so I thought with Stew's colouring he would be perfect for an autumn themed photoshoot.

I started off by making paper cutout leaves that I painted, but unfortunately these were too flimsy to stand the rain, so I ended up recycling some leaves that were bought from a crafts store. I cut two small lines and put yellow wool through the leaves and tied them to plaiting bands on the back of the leaves, weaving them into Stew's mane and tail. He also wears little ribbons on his plaits!

Stew was very sweet and patient whilst the leaves where going in, he stood perfectly still and even let me put leaves in front of his eyes into his forelock. He didn’t bat an eye he was such a little doll. He was also very patient when I took the plaits out and the leaves and his hair was beautiful and curly!

Having my animals is my life saver! There’s nothing like relieving the stress and worries by with cuddling my ponies or chilling with my sheep. The hedgehog always appreciates a good chunk of pepper and the dogs are loving all the long walks they are getting, plus the cat has regular naps on my lap. Anytime I feel stress, the kindness and beauty of animals always quells any worries I have. I just love being around them, any opportunity I can get to snuggle the animals I will gladly take it!

To all my fellow animal lovers out their, lockdown could be a opportunity to spend all your time with your pets and teach them al the tricks you thought you would never have time to do! I’ve just taught my sheep how to jump and do little courses! And for all the people who don’t have pets but really really want them? Do some research on the pets you want, and do some non stop parent pestering! They can’t leave the house... so they can’t ignore tour argument! Good luck!

Cathy says:
This is such a lovely, joyful post, Maya! It's definitely taken my mind off lockdown and I hope it will do the same for all DREAMCATCHER readers! I totally agree that animals can help hugely at a time like this... my dogs Finn and Ziggy, and Mary Shelley the tortoise, of course, are helping to keep me sane! Do YOU have pets? COMMENT BELOW to give them a lockdown shout-out!

Sunday, 5 April 2020

KATHRYN - OUR CORONA DIARY

My awesome writer-pal Kathryn Evans is launching an amazing project to help young people document their feelings during the lockdown... will YOU get involved?

Kathryn says:
This pandemic is a bit rubbish isn’t it?  I’ve been really gloomy but I have managed to find something else to think about than people breaking social distancing the rules when I have to go shopping! Just before we were all told we had to stay at home, I finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank. If you haven’t read it, it’s the real life diary of a young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazi’s for the last two years of the second world war.   She kept a diary about life with her family concealed in a tiny annex, recording all the details of food and school work and arguments and friendships, the way she felt, the things she hoped for. That diary became a hugely important historical record and a testament to her life.

Right now, we are living through an unprecedented period of history. Just like Anne Frank, I think that you, the children of this pandemic, should have a voice that is held forever. It’s important that the world knows what life is like for you and that you have space to express yourself in your own way. I set up Our Corona Diary as a place to share and encourage you to make diaries – in whatever way you want! And when all this is over, we will archive those diaries and hopefully, produce a book in which every child involved is named.

So many people have helped me get it up and running and I was reminded how important our friends are, even when we can’t be together. In less than 24 hours my friends Candy Gourlay, Jo Wyton, Addy Farmer and Matt Killeen  came together to make the Our Corona Diary Team. Writers and illustrators like Cathy Cassidy, Sarah McIntyre, Philip Ardagh, Robin Stevens and Frank Cotterill Boyce have all shared resources to inspire you – with lots more to come!

Now all we need is for you to write your diaries. You can join us on Instagram for prompts and info @OurCoronaDiaryGram . If you  want to share your work with us as you go, get your school, parent or guardian to send it to us and we’ll try and  post it on Instagram. They need to  sign up at OurCoronaDiary.com  to stay informed about  submitting your diaries for inclusion in the archive at the end of the project.

Kathryn Evans' new book BEAUTY SLEEP is out now...

Cathy says:
Wow... this is such an AWESOME project! I hope lots of you will want to get involved - I think it's really important for you to have your voices heard. Check out the website and Instagram and get writing! Are YOU keeping a record of this unique time in history? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Friday, 3 April 2020

MARTI - A SEASON OF UNCERTAINTY

Sixth form student Marti shares her diary from before and after lockdown, documenting some of the fears, confusion and hope that all of us are feeling right now...

Marti says:
Monday March 23rd.
It's a sunny Monday afternoon, the flower buds are beginning to blossom, the sky is an endless blue. There is a light breeze that makes the air feel fresh and crisp.  But we are all inside. It's a very strange set of circumstances that have meant I am sat with my laptop writing a blog post. I should be in sixth form studying for my A Levels, or more realistically, sat in sixth form eating strawberry laces and complaining about going to work this evening. It's in this season of uncertainty that we begin to realise how much we have taken for granted.

Coronavirus has meant that we are all attached to the news apps on our phones, glued to our TVs at 5pm, and waiting for the next piece of breaking news to hit. The most recent notification I got on my phone was from the BBC news app nine minutes ago: "Hold this device at an arm's length. Double that distance, and that's how far you should stay away from people...". The world has changed in ways we cannot imagine. Schools, restaurants, bars, gyms, and cinemas are closed. We cannot visit elderly grandparents or relatives for fear of transmission; vulnerable people have been told to stay indoors for months.  Supermarkets are having to put restrictions on the amount of toilet paper, medicine, and household cleaning products we can buy, and pasta, milk, and flour have become luxuries. The safest way to talk to our friends is over the phone, and yet we have been told our phones could be harbouring the most dangerous bacteria.

But we are not entirely without hope. The pace of life is slowing down for many people, and communities are being drawn together. Libraries are extending the number of books that can be taken out, schools are opening their doors to care for frontline workers' and vulnerable children, and neighbours are doing the weekly shop for those who must stay indoors. Despite the uncertainty, we can be certain that this is a time for hope.

Tuesday March 24th.
Last night it was revealed that from today, the UK is in lockdown. Obviously, this is a scary time. Plans must be cancelled, businesses forced to close, and we are only allowed to leave our homes once a day for exercise. The scariest part of it all is the fact that thousands of people still must work on the frontline, keeping the NHS in operation. These people expose themselves to the risk of transmission every single day in order to keep others alive. Similarly, essential shop workers, such as supermarket employees and pharmacists must remain at work in order to supply individuals and families with the things they desperately need. I work part time at a supermarket, and last night the shelves were being cleared almost as fast as we could fill them. Shelves of pasta, milk, and cleaning products lay bare, leaving many without the items they so desperately need.

It is an extremely scary time for everyone, but we can get through to the other side of it. Keep calling the people who you care about, keep helping others with their shopping, and keep being kind.

Cathy says:
These words are shared from Marti's own blog, which is a brilliant read and a fantastic and reassuring resource for anyone struggling with lockdown. How did YOU take the lockdown news? COMMENT BELOW to have your say. Do check out Marti's blog and give it a follow so as not to miss a single post:  https://martistelling.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR1us9XNaf_jpAPBM7DTFR9elXVBZ5DPU-d94lPg0mHr7fU2jZndF0bAL1s

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

LIFE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS...

The world has turned upside-down in recent months - but we can get through the difficult times if we help each other...

Cathy says:
The DREAMCATCHER reader blog has been drifting along for a while now, and I'd been wondering whether to close it down. Now, suddenly, life has changed in ways we could never have imagined. A new virus is sweeping across the world, and in an effort to keep their people safe governments far and wide are declaring that we must lockdown, stay at home, stop socialising and only go out once a day for exercise.

The schools have shut except for the children of key workers and the vulnerable, and you'd think that would be a cause for celebration... but not seeing your friends for weeks and weeks on end? That's hard. Lockdown brings many challenges. How to get through the day without strangling your pesky little brother; how to cope when your dance/ swim/ gymnastics class has been cancelled for the forseeable future; how to stop yourself going stir-crazy in general, in fact.

That's where the DREAMCATCHER reader blog can help... and where YOU can help, too. Email me on the link below to share your ideas on how to make the best of lockdown; tell me what it's like for you right now; tell me what helps, what doesn't, what worries you, what you plan to do once the lockdown is over... and more. I'll share as much as I can here on DREAMCATCHER... and there will lots of cool ideas, competitions and challenges to keep you busy, too, so if you haven't given this blog a 'follow' please do that now so you don't miss a post.

And here is the first cheer-up thing... a daily ten minute chance to escape the reality of lockdown and hang out in the world of my book LOVE FROM LEXIE. I'm reading a new chapter every day, so if you haven't watched yet head over to my CathyCassidyTV YouTube channel and binge watch those you've missed! If someone in your family has Facebook, you can see the daily links on https://www.facebook.com/cathycassidyauthor/ too, or follow this link over to my personal YouTube which is the first place I'm uploading each chapter! See you soon... and get those ideas coming!

Watch chapter one of LOVE FROM LEXIE and binge watch more chapters here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jg2TnTwsRI&fbclid=IwAR0pV3BsLuOHAec7PJm6TWfQOKBnyKUXpiqDtNDyxHHKp4fiSBPnY8nhXVE

Email me your ideas for DREAMCATCHER in lockdown here:
mailcathycassidy@googlemail.com

Follow my Facebook reader page here:
https://www.facebook.com/cathycassidyauthor/

We can get through this together... keep smiling!
Cathy xx

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