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Post "Lockdown" Dreams Anyone?

The Blitz, Doodlebugs, and walking 50 miles a month by Carlos Gastron Johnson

I have been shielding since March, and I am really looking forward to seeing my way of life get back to normal. I am trying to keep myself motivated and as busy as possible but it is not always easy.

Recently I have been approached by a friend/staff member, from the Queens Park Resource Centre. To do some talks about the Blitz, in some of the local primary schools in Queens Park. I am really looking forward to doing this, sometime in the future, when it is safe to do so.

Being able to do these talks after lockdown is so important. This generation of children really don’t know about World War ll, the Doodlebug Bombs, the underground bunkers, and the night raids. They don’t have an understanding of what our generation went through, to fight World War ll and what we had to give up. I have been asked to give the children an insight into what it was like, from first-hand experience and I hope it will be educational.

I personally remember having to put my hands over my ears as the Doodlebug Bombs came down, and the long periods of time I spent queuing for food. When you have lived through something like this, it makes you a stronger person. It was such a different time, with so many parallels to what is happening now with Covid 19, and has given me a lot to think about in the last three months.

Finally I am really looking forward to my 50 mile a month walks. I like to visit a lot of the local parks and I generally spend a huge amount of time walking. I like to keep myself fit and healthy, which is important at my age. I have not done much exercise indoors, but hopefully when lockdown is fully lifted I can start my walking again.

I look forward to seeing Open Age when our lives get back too normal, hopefully very soon. I will pop in and say hello to staff.

The Two Necessities by Daniel Kassem

I am looking forward to two specific things, after this lockdown. The first thing is getting back to Westminster Library Service, and the second thing is returning to Open Age (physically). I can’t wait to access these two services again and see all my friends.

When I retired from my job I decided to go to Westminster Adult Education Service, to learn more about computers and mathematics.  When the course finished I spent most of my time in Westminster library. Using their facilities and using the library computer, to practice what I had learnt in the class, in order to refresh my memory and keep it sharp.

Using the Westminster Library Service has been a big blessing to me. As well as brushing up on my mathematics at the library. I would watch strategic YouTube videos, based on what I have learned, in my weekly classes with Open Age.

Westminster library Service has provided a lot of support for me and others who don’t have the internet at home. Through this service I have been able to go to the library, whether it is for information or to use their facilities which have been a huge help.

Alongside Westminster Library, I had been attending Open Age. This time of being away from Open Age (physically) has really opened my eyes, to the importance of having Open Age. My classes are so important. My learning has expanded, and I am really lucky that I am a member.

Open Age gives me something to do, something to focus on and it is a part of my weekly schedule. I am able to socialise and be a part of a fun community. I bumped into another Open Age member recently and she was commenting on how much she (physically) missed Open Age, and needed to get back, we had a long conversation in the street.

Open Age is a part of my life and I am looking forward, to us all (physically) coming back together again, maybe we could all have a big Open Age sing along! when we get back!


Bursting To Get Out There by Gerardine Heneghan

I am planning to do so much when I come out of this lock down. I really miss going to my meetings, getting my shopping, talking to people in Sainsbury’s, going for long walks and linking with friends and family.

So much freedom has been removed from my life because of my age group. Which has been very frustrating for me and others of the same age. I am classed as vulnerable but I don’t feel vulnerable.

I feel strong and vibrant, and I believe that I can do so much after the lockdown and really make a difference. I am about as vulnerable as Mike Tyson! I am bursting to get out there, and do new things and am really looking forward to it.

I have been talking with Queens Park Council, to put together a Street Party for adults and children, in a socially distanced manner. Queens Park Council is really enthusiastic about me putting something like this together, for the community.

It could be either fancy dress, dancing in every street, or gate. Where the neighbours could gate-crash any party. It would be a lot of fun and something to look forward to in the community. I don’t know all of my neighbours, but this event would be a good chance to get to know them. Where we could all feel part of a community.

I also wanted to create a booklet with information. About what people in the neighbourhood do e.g. finding out what neighbourhood plumbers or builders we have, who would be willing to help out other people when needed.

Or people available to help, other neighbours who need food or a meal. It is just a way, where we could come out of this crisis, looking after each other a bit more. Basically to build a community directory of handy people, in the neighbourhood that could help everybody, out when needed.

Most importantly what I really miss in this lockdown are my trips to Primark, every person needs a trip to Primark! I love Primark and I miss visiting it and getting my bargains.

Just The little Things by Theresa Murphy

I am looking forward, to exiting this long lockdown and seeing my everyday life begin to resume as normal. I look forward to getting back my independence, and going about my daily life as I did before.

I am also looking forward to being able to carry out the little everyday tasks, that you don’t really think about, when you are not in lockdown. Buying my own shopping from the supermarkets, going for walks, etc. These were all a part of my daily routine. As well as travelling on various buses, to get to my many destinations, which I really do miss.

All these daily tasks become so precious, especially when they are taken away. And you haven’t been able to do it, in a long time.

My neighbours and friends have been amazing during lockdown; they have brought me my weekly food shops and have helped me, in many various ways. It is wonderful to have such a caring community, looking out for me which I am very grateful for.

But I am looking forward to traveling again on the buses, seeing familiar faces getting out and about, and having that freedom again to do the things that I did prior to lockdown. You don’t realise how important these little things are until you lose them.

Catching up with friends is another thing; l am looking forward to doing. The little things in life are so important.

A Restful Lockdown by Mary and Pat O’Sullivan

Myself and my husband have been taking it very easy. We never realised how much rest we needed and have spent a lot of time, managing our new found free time.

We have always been a very active couple. We would go out every day, whether at classes, with Open Age or other organisations.  We have always thought that keeping active and having a varied social life, is a positive thing and we still believe this. But it has also been really nice to slowdown, do nothing, and have time to think and plan for the future.

In the past our days have been so busy, that we have had no time, to watch the TV. The lockdown has created a time of rest that we were not aware that we needed. Even though our daily routine has been altered in a big way, we have been able to maintain a happy frame of mind and just take each day as it comes.

Myself and Pat have been using our back garden to grow some potatoes and cabbages .This is something which is relatively new to us, and it has been a lot of fun. We have become green fingered in this lockdown and have enjoyed eating what we have grown.

This has also been something nice, for me and Pat to be able to do together. We have spent a lot of time having fun on our patio. And there is always a job to do in our house, that hasn’t been done before.

We have celebrated Pats birthday, in lockdown and a Wedding anniversary, and have really enjoyed each other’s company. We both have been able to adapt to the new way of living and we are really grateful for the small things in life.

Myself and Pat are looking forward to getting back, and looking forward to seeing other Open Age members and staff.



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