Saturday, 27 June 2020

REBECCA - MY LIFE IN LOCKDOWN

Reader Rebecca shares her experience of lockdown as the child of a doctor working on a Covid-19 ward...

Rebecca says:
I'm nine years old and I live in a small village by the sea in Devon. I live with my mum, dad, six year-old sister and four year-old brother, and I love dancing, reading and hanging out with my friends. When the lockdown was announced, I felt sad and a bit confused because I didn't understand what was happening. My mum, brother, sister and I went to stay at my grandparents house because my dad was a doctor on a Covid-19 ward and my parents felt it was safer.

I missed my dad and my friends very much, but some parts of lockdown were good. We played in the garden and helped with planting seeds (we don't have a garden at home) and went for long walks in the countryside. I did the Joe Wicks workout with my mum every morning. I read lots of books and Mum helped me with my schoolwork.

After eight weeks away from my dad, my mum got a new job as a Covid-19 tracker, so we came back home and started school as we were children of key workers. It was great to see some of my friends, but school was very different to how it had been before the pandemic. We do the same work that is sent out to the other kids in our year, but we play outside a lot more and it's easier than being at home all day. I don't get to exercise with my mum anymore though! Now things have changed again as the lockdown is eased and more kids are returning to school.

Reading has helped me a lot though the lockdown - if I am bored or sad or missing my friends, I can read. I got the idea for the Cathy Cassidy Scrabble board picture when I was playing Scrabble with my mum and she played the words 'Finch' and 'Honey' without realising they were characters in a book! Summer is my favourite Cathy Cassidy character because she loves to dance like me. I hope that after lockdown I'll be able to have lessons like her, and I look forward to seeing all my friends again!

Cathy says:
I absolutely love Rebecca's artwork, and I'm so proud of her courage during the lockdown... it is not easy to be separated from  family. What have YOUR greatest challenges been during the lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Thursday, 25 June 2020

EMMA: CARELESS WHISPERS

Student Emma is working in a shop during lockdown... and writing amazing poetry in her spare time! 

Emma says:
I used to wonder why we have scars.
The body was developed as an instrument of defence
If we cut our hair, it grows back
If we scratch our knee it heals and fades into the background
It raises the question...
Why do some battles mark us differently than others?
What is their purpose? It was then I realised
The scar wasn't the trauma,
But the healing that comes after.
When we see the unruly stain of permanent marker
That is merely the warning shot of what is to come.
A shot led by the unfaithful hand of insecurity
Offering a false sense of security and relief.
Just one shot and it'll be OK they tell you
Have you ever noticed that when you try to rise from their ashes
The unfaithful hand that whispered biblical tales into your ear
Is nowhere to be found. They do not want you to know
How powerful you can be without them
Seducing you to feel as hollow as the marks you bear
In the hope that you'll come back ravenous for their rotting fruit
And take solace in their sinister spell.
However, these whispers always forget that while they
Have borrowed the spell book, you own the wand.
Without that their spells are useless,
They need an instrument in order to live
But you... you are far greater.
You have lived through a million days of Adam
Survived the touch of poison ivy.
You open your eyes and at last you can see.
The explosives are in your hands but
They cannot hurt you unless you ignite them
They may light an enigmatic fire, but you
Are the dynamite of your own life.
You can rewrite these biblical tales in the water you tread
Leaving the smooth sand unscathed and warm
You may even find solace in the marks upon your skin
They act as a starting point... of where your story really begins.

Image - Pexels

Cathy says:
Wow, this gave me shivers... and got me thinking, too. Has lockdown got YOU writing? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more!

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

SAFEEYA - FOLLOWING THE DREAM

Thirteen year old Safeeya from India writes about her experience of lockdown and explains how poetry helps her to express her feelings...


Safeeya says:
At first, I thought lock-down was going to be fun (no school, hurrah!) but I'm missing my friends a LOT although I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. This can be a time where you can learn new languages, pick up new hobbies, try your hand at writing poetry/stories or even learn some new skills like amigurami - the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. You can learn those skills you always wanted to, because during this lock-down we'll all have a lot of time on our hands. Why not make the best of it?

For me, writing poetry and stories help a lot. It's a way I can express my feelings through pen and paper, and the thought seems magical. Those words contain power, and bucketfuls of emotion. Writing a journal, diary or even your own story might help a lot too, because it lets you channel your happiness, fear, anger or sadness into something worthwhile, a piece of work that could change the world, rather than channeling it into a big tantrum. I've always wanted to be a writer, someone who could write something that brings out emotions from the readers, someone who could write something that could change the opinions of even the most headstrong of people. Each moment I spend writing, it feels I am closer to following my dream of becoming a writer.

I always start with a strong, special thought, experience or emotion and let my mind wander around it. Try to express how you feel, or which thought comes to your mind, when you think about the topic, and the feelings will become more specific as you work with the poem. Writing down a couple of words that are related to the poem also helps. Those words could rhyme, but remember, they don't have to. Keep repeating these steps and voila, you'll have your poem! Remember that getting the hang of this takes a bit of time, so don't hold your breath waiting for poetry to flow out of your head! Not to sound like your schoolteachers, but practice makes perfect! Here is one of my poems... I hope you like it!

Destiny:
This is who you are
The real you is never too far
This is who you're meant to be
This is you - your destiny

You might think you're beautiful - or ugly
But beauty is only skin-deep
Yourself is all you need to be
Because it's your destiny

Just hang on to your personality
That's what makes you so unique
Open your eyes, and you'll see
The whole world differently

Flap your wings, get off the ground
Soar up high into the clouds
Get out of that cage, be free
Fly on - to your destiny

Image - Pexels, posed by model

Cathy says:
This is lovely... it's comforting to hear that lockdown is just as challenging in India, and inspiring to hear how Safeeya is using the time to be creative! Have YOU tried something new during lockdown? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

WISHES FOR A POST-LOCKDOWN WORLD...

We asked which things you'd like to leave behind in a post-lockdown world and which you'd like to hang onto... your answers were ins...