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

Monday, April 27, 2020

The 8 positives of Lockdown

Planty Mandy's Gardening Gand, the 8 positives of lockdown, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

It may sound weird to say that there have been some positives to lockdown but aside from missing people, the financial worries and rising anxiety which comes and goes, I have to say that there are definite positives.

  1. I've rescued some relationships I thought were gone forever and I'm so thankful for that.
  2. I've had time to start teaching kids the wonder of creative photography.
  3. I've started a brand new business, Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang, something I wanted to do last year but just never had the time.
  4. I've spent so much time tending to my garden, sowing seeds, planting things and watching the plants grow.
  5. I've sat in the sunshine every day and felt the warmth on my face and every day I do that, I feel less anxious and better about life.
  6. I've embraced cooking and baking like never before, you can tell that from my ever-extending waistline.
  7. I've wandered with Holly Bobbins not worrying about the time it takes (she's very slow) and enjoyed our gentle walks observing nature and the wonder of spring.
  8. I've reacquainted myself with the enjoyment of a glass of good wine, I couldn't drink alcohol from around 2011, I was completely intolerant and it turned out when they took me off bendroflumethiazide that it was that medication which made me intolerant.  Hurrah for wine and gin and an Aperol spritz in the sunshine. 
Now please don't think I'm being glib or that I'm not empathetic to the pains of lockdown, I've had anxiety at least once or twice a day and some days the lockdown malaise is so bad that I simply don't have the energy to do anything.  The thing is though, I'm a perpetual optimist, I live on the bright side of things.  For instance, some of my favourite restaurants are now doing great organic grocery deliveries, bakers are doing treat boxes and you can get most things delivered straight to your door, which is handy, if like me, you're in the increased risk category.

There's so much talk about ending lockdown, about saving the economy and it just doesn't sit well with me, even though I'm out of work I'd always favour saving lives over saving the economy.  For me, I want lockdown to end, when it's safe to end, even if that means setting free our young people whilst I languish in lockdown for just that little bit longer, better to do that than die and that's pretty much our choices at present.  I won't feel safe until the day I can access an antibody test that confirms that yes I've had Coronavirus and yes I have antibodies.  It seems for the latter part though, we still don't know just how much immunity the antibodies will gift us and that's anxiety-inducing too.

Last year I had an idea to start a subscription gardening club for children, I wanted to teach them how cool it is to grow your own plants and flowers whilst also learning about just how amazing wildlife and nature is, the bees are like the rockstars of the insect world and I will wax lyrical about that as often as I can.  Would I have launched Planty Mandy's Gardening Gang if we hadn't had lockdown?  Maybe, but I was always too busy.  Having no business to worry about has certainly been a boon at times.  In less than a week I have broadcast my first episode, I have set up a Facebook page and I have ordered all of the elements for the very first gardening gang boxes, including the boxes, thankfully it's all tax-deductible and good use of what little savings I had.  The gardening gang won't replace photography because I'll always be a photographer and really, having good photography skills is very helpful for such a business.

Quite simply I'm putting all of my passions together and starting something wonderful, it's unlikely to make a million but if it enthuses small children to save the bees and care about the wildlife then saving the world is much bigger than anything that financial gain could provide.  It does also help that I ran a membership site for the last couple of years so I've gained a lot of skills in that area.

I feel quite confident about the future, about my future and the future for us all, it might be bumpy but it can still be truly wonderful, as many have said, this too shall pass.

If you have enjoyed this article, I would love your support in buying me a virtual coffee for every person who supports me before May 7th I am entering them into a draw to win a 12x8 print of beautiful Newcastle, I have over 25 prints to give away so you have a really high chance of getting one of your walls.  Thank you!


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