JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN

Project Description

SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR, RICHARD JONES and CHILDREN, Lockdown 1, Day 53

SOPHIE
Covid-19 has affected me in many ways but I suppose the most stark is the work. Turns out Richard and I didn’t choose very practical day jobs when there’s a lockdown and you’re not allowed near other people. I miss gigs and at the moment have no work in sight for 2020.

As for what it’s taught me, I think the true answer might be a while in the making but at the same time, the core things of what we value here: what makes us laugh, what makes us sad, they are all the same. I don’t know that I needed a pandemic to know that I love my ‘normal’ life and being able to see my family and friends. Richard and I are in lockdown with our 5 kids and it’s as peaceful as you’d imagine. We also have our au pair here who ended up stranded after she got unwell and the flights were cancelled. Jelena has been amazing, but I’m very conscious of giving her her own space and a break from us.

There’s no let up for the rest of us. It’s not been easy and there’s been many tears and tantrums but it’s not been terrible either. Same for most families I’d imagine. It’s hard to put into words what i miss. I’ve thought about it a lot.. it’s not the tangible although of course Sunday lunches with loved ones, singing with my band in front of a crowd and making plans have been things I’ve pined for.

I think what I miss most is the usually casual nature of my life. Watching my kids running about outside without worrying they are too close to others, choosing which days I’m free to grab a coffee with someone, making a plan for a date night. I miss not having to second guess everything and I miss not worrying I’ve stood too close to my mum when I’ve waved at her from the path outside her front door.

Our current situation has been a bit barking. The last two and a half months have been a heady mix of domesticity and discos. We’ve broadcast a little disco party from our home every Friday at 6.30 and even though it’s the maddest thing I’ve ever done (kids and wires everywhere), it’s also kept Richard and me sane. He focuses on the technical side and does the filming and sound while I put on my sequins and sing. The kids dance and it gives us all a lift. It’s been special and has made the heaviness of the world’s reality a little easier to bear.

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