The Lockdown Diary – Compendium

The Lockdown Diary 31
Copyright: Getty Images

Today would have been something like day 147 for the Lockdown Diary had the lockdown here in Geneva persisted. A reminder…. from India came one of the many totally bizarre but telling images to emerge from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just because some of us are now able to get out and about, it doesn’t mean that this pandemic is done and dusted. The recent rise in the number of cases is not a second wave; we have just – in some parts of the world – managed to put a dent in the massive first wave. We are still caught in the dilemma of an effective and responsible public health response (including protection of health-care systems and heroic workers) on one hand and limiting the damage to our economy, lifestyles and society on the other. It looks like that damage will prove to be severe and long lasting whatever we do in the near future. In the meantime, we twiddle our thumbs waiting for a O-so-hoped-for vaccine. At a personal level, I want to shake hands with people I meet. I want to hug my friends. I hate the whole mask thing.

The statistics remain central to everything we know and do about the pandemic and yet they are variably reliable, inaccurately reported and grotesquely politicised. This embattled optimist is not excluding a further period of lockdown. Many readers have asked if there is one place where all 57 days from 16 March to 11 May 2020 can be accessed easily. Here it is! BTW… the two most popular posts by far were those about my brother Garth (Day 26) and my friend Alastair (Day 33).

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12
Day 13Day 14Day 15Day 16Day 17Day 18
Day 19Day 20Day 21Day 22Day 23Day 24
Day 25Day 26Day 27Day 28Day 29Day 30
No postDay 32Day 33Day 34Day 35Day 36
Day 37Day 38Day 39Day 40Day 41Day 42
Day 43Day 44Day 45Day 46Day 47Day 48
Day 49Day 50Day 51Day 52Day 53Day 54
Day 55Day 56Day 57

Dry stone sculptures on Bohus-Malmön, Sweden

Home for a summer break. I head for the wonderful island of Bohus-Malmön with some of my oldest friends. We chat. We swim. We have a BBQ. We drink a few beers. We laugh a lot. Could it get better than this? Well, yes. It could and it does.

Dry stone sculpture 1

Day two finds us chilling on the rocky shoreline. A flattish pile of angular stones catches our eyes; maybe someone has built a sort of seaside cairn. We take a closer look. Holy moly! Check this out, guys! It’s a rocky crocky! It’s not just a pile of rocks arranged to vaguely resemble a massive reptile. The unknown person has spent quite some time and effort making this snapper and clearly has an eye for reptile anatomy. It really is quite crocodiley. I love the angular pebbles that have become those glinting predatorial eyes. I feel fascination for this work and admiration for its creator in equal measure.  

Dry stone sculpture 2

The permanent population of Bohus-Malmön is around 250. Someone must know whose deft hand has pulled these rocks together. I drop a line in a Facebook group. Willy Ociansson tells me that there are some similar and much older dry stone sculptures on the far side of the island and shares some of his own photos (thank you, Willy!).

Dry stone sculpture 3

Another crocodile! This one has lichen on it. It must be older. It’s mouth is open.

Dry stone sculpture 4

A giant python with forked stick-tongue. It’s almost smiling. It looks like it has been here for years.

Dry stone sculpture 5

The real treasure though is – for want of a better term – a technically challenging Goldsworthy arch sitting right next to a mini green Stone Henge. There is something really exciting in discovering these stone sculptures. The atmosphere is mystical and mysterious. It’s a little bit spooky. I feel some pagan ritual is about to start up any time soon. I imagine this is what it must be like to discover some cave paintings. 

Who did this? When? But most importantly, why? Is there anybody out there that knows?

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff – Part 18

“Spent a lot of time sewing rugby shirts in lockdown. I found it enjoyable and fun learning. My grandfather was a tailor so I think its genetic. I like making things and have no artistic talent and also I love the mechanical nature of the 80s sewing machine I got off eBay.”

– Nik Koehli

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff 20
Lockdown Beautiful Stuff 21

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff! Have you done a painting, taken a photo or made any other beautiful stuff as a result of having to self-isolate at home? Please send us a photo and two lines of text indicating the why of it and what it means to you. We guarantee to publish it on Talking Beautiful Stuff in the weeks to come. Thank you!

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff – Part 17

Gav sent us a pic of his Dad in a hat. Turns out that Dad of Gav did not make this particular hat during lockdown. We don’t know precisely where it comes from but the TBS team loves it!

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff 19

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff! Have you done a painting, taken a photo or made any other beautiful stuff as a result of having to self-isolate at home? Please send us a photo and two lines of text indicating the why of it and what it means to you. We guarantee to publish it on Talking Beautiful Stuff in the weeks to come. Thank you!

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff – Part 16

“Sweet stuff! Here’s what the Bs’ bees have been up to in lockdown!!”

– Roger and Suzanna Bunting

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff 18

Lockdown Beautiful Stuff! Have you done a painting, taken a photo or made any other beautiful stuff as a result of having to self-isolate at home? Please send us a photo and two lines of text indicating the why of it and what it means to you. We guarantee to publish it on Talking Beautiful Stuff in the weeks to come. Thank you!