Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The moment everything changed

For the last couple of mornings I have woken up to spring light pouring through my thin bedroom curtains, I've turned over to shut my eyes again for that extra 5 minutes of cherished sleep and as I've yawned and stretched for the first time every day I've remembered.  Each day there's that wonderful moment before I remember, life has changed, nothing will ever be the same because of Coronavirus.

I'm lucky I guess, I was one of the first to get sick, I experienced my body feeling so hot I thought I would burst into flames, my throat unable to swallow, blocked by shards of hot glass whilst my joints ached so much it made me sleep for 20 hours a day, this virus which invaded my immune system making me so poorly that I went from running a small business community to having a cyst burst and then projectile vomiting my own blood within just a few hours.  When this virus gets into your weak places, it really does it well.  So why am I lucky?  I'm lucky because I survived.

On the 27th of March, I can officially leave the quarantine period, I shall gallop through the park (Miranda style) with a grateful mind that I am one of the lucky ones.  I haven't been into the real world (barring hospital) since last week, Tuesday maybe?  Looby had been ill with a fever before I started to feel off-colour but when I was last out, the world was normal, I was, as I have always been, a freelance and mostly well-employed photographer.  

My previously recession-proof career died almost overnight, life stopped, weddings got postponed or cancelled and I went from a good income to no income, my business doesn't have premises so I won't get a grant and I think I'll be too small to apply for a business interruption loan when they launch next week and even then, when do I pay that money back, when will we switch from a public crisis where people are dying every day to wanting lovely family portraits of us all having fun.

Currently, none of my bills is suspended, I qualify for no help and the only piece of legislation which might help means that I won't be evicted whilst we have this crisis, I literally could lose everything but it could still be worse than that so for now, I am grateful to be here.

I see my job now to be one of the entertainers, I shall put myself out there, no matter how ridiculous I have to be to make people smile, I shall dance every day in my kitchen, I shall plant seeds and potatoes, I shall resume the redecoration of my home, I will bake cakes on Instagram, I will use the platform I love to cheer people up, to make people smile, laugh at me or laugh with me, as long as it makes you smile inside your tummy then it's all good with me.

Social isolation is hard and yet my hermity ways have been preparing for it for years, this is no time to complain or worry about the state of my own life because we are only just at the start so until I am dragged kicking and screaming whilst being evicted, and as long as I have an internet connection and something to broadcast on, that's what I'm going to do and I hope for light relief you will still pop by here and read my words or watch my Instagram and I promise to always be grateful that I am here and for now, whilst there's sunshine, my pets and a garden that I love, life could be so much worse.

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