It was March 2020 when our way of life started to change. This new virus would shape our day to day lives like we could never have imagined. Covid had crept into the country and into our psyche. Panic buying, social distancing, mask wearing, sanitising, sanitising, sanitising. We all went a little crazy. We all had to find ways to cope.
I remember feeling as though someone was sitting on my chest. I would head to work feeling at risk. At home I would watch the daily news conferences and cry as I watched the daily numbers increase.
At work we were open, but no one was coming in. Too fearful to go out for non essentials, picture framing was the last on peoples list. We scrambled to finish the work we had knowing that any day we would get the word that we would have to close.
And then we closed for the first time.
Covid Life – At home, we were safe. Of course there was the dash to the supermarket, but I got good at planning and only had to go every 10 or so days! We sat, we watched TV, we comfort ate, we baked, we walked the dogs. We did what ever was required to help us get through the days. To do lists were created so that some of the time felt productive.
The first lockdown was sunny days. The fresh hell that was home schooling was punctuated by time outside in the sunshine. Bouncing on the trampoline or simply laying on the grass.
We reopened again. With reduced customer contact hours we were really busy. We got to see how you spent your lockdown. We have framed jigsaw puzzles, diamond art, embroideries and certificates that have been in the drawer for years that finally made it onto the to do list of getting it framed!
We saw how peoples homes became sanctuaries. Our customers filled their homes with their achievements, their creations, their memories of lockdown. Artworks, prints were purchased and framed. The blank walls we were all forced to stare at for hours on end were filled with colour, with life, with love.
Amber left us during lockdown. Moving to Adelaide with her husband. She was a much loved member of The Picture Framing Shak team. We miss her. Although we look forward to catching her exhibitions at Boom Gallery in Geelong.
Covid Life – The second lockdown was longer. It was colder, it was harder. We were all tired, battle scarred by the invisible enemy. Home schooling was still a nightmare. Covidkilos were piling on. Phone calls and Zoom catch ups were a lifeline to the outside world. I was over baking, cooking, washing dishes, tidying the house, the monotony.
Opening again weeks out from Christmas. It was head down, bum up, treading water. We worked hard getting orders done for Christmas in a challenging time. Couriers were taking longer due to demand. Stock from overseas delayed due to the crisis that their countries were facing.
After so much time off, I was looking forward to time off! The new year always brings a chance to renew. A fresh start.
So we start 2021 nervously optimistic. For starters we are grateful to have survived when many businesses haven’t. We are grateful that we are here and healthy. We are ever so grateful the kids are back at school. And although masked, life is returning to some normalcy.
Covid Life – We are still here. Creating. Loving the stories that go along with each piece that is bought in for framing. We are still here, framing the jigsaws, the embroideries, the certificates, the diamond art, the memories of lockdown. Hoping that this year brings us stability and certainty. Hoping to see you all soon.
Slightly heavier picture framer.