The Loves and Loathes of Lockdown

Has anyone else obsessed over the Downing Street Briefings? Become addicted to statistics? Been horrified at the deaths, the pain, the isolation, the exhaustion, the inequity, so many have suffered? Has anyone else been perpetually conflicted over what, or what not to do?

I know I have been EXTREMELY lucky.

To date, my nearest and dearest are okay. I’m most grateful for that.

In business terms, I eventually decided not to invest in a new studio space for Airhedz. When I closed the doors, the rent stopped too. Many others were not so fortunate. Despite not earning since 16th March, I benefited from the ACE emergency fund, and was later eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. I know too many people slipped through these safety nets. I was lucky. They gave me time to research, think, plan, and implement a new way of working. For these, I cannot but be grateful.

And yesterday, more than three months after I cancelled Airhedz, not knowing when, or if, I might start again, I opened my garden and welcomed in my first two students. Thank you Alice and Sorrell, for taking those first brave steps, to trust I could and would do what I promised. Thank you to the others I’ll welcome this week, to dangle in the delights of the outdoors.

Looking up at the sky we see an aerialist suspended above, hanging from tails of white fabric.
Airhedz Sorrell Hangs Upside-down

I am now offering 1-1 or 1-Household classes for adults who have previously trained with Airhedz. Once I am happy that this works well, I will open sessions to my Aerial Youth Group participants, while also looking into ways of running ground-based Youth Circus activities later in July. I am excited about this, while also taking my time to ensure that we stay as safe as possible.

Airhedz Alice in the Air

Despite today’s new changes to social distancing, and new leisure spaces opening up, it is still very unclear what and when aerial activities will be able to return to gyms and studios. At the moment, therefore, I have to presume these will not start again before September.

I hope in time that we will be able to resume group activities together, to share the loves and loathes of aerial (do you remember the pain?) instead of Lockdown.

In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to the NHS, to strangers and loved ones still working hard to keep us safe. I also want to shout out to the Black Lives Matter activists, artists, and agitators, and say thank you for forcing me to think, learn, and cogitate over my own actions and thoughts.

I too WILL do better.

Accessible Aerial… for me!

Close up of a hand wearing a wrist support. Socked feet are in the far distance below left.

I turned 50 and my body started to rebel. Holding on is getting harder, but letting go? That’s not an option.

I have been exceptionally lucky in my life. I know this. Much of the time, I get to do what I want. I’m my own boss. I make decisions about what and how to do things, and although there are of course significant times of doubt, fear, frustration and panic, it’s not a bad position to be in. Most of the time.

Then some days I just don’t FEEL lucky!

Continue reading “Accessible Aerial… for me!”

Bye-bye Battersea

We have said goodbye to Battersea for another year.

I love this event. From a very personal viewpoint, it’s one that enables me to bring a fabulous team of experienced and novice circus folk together to share in our passion. Fun. Festive, educational, often upside-down, fun.

The team, pictured through an aerial hoop
Photo Credit: Kim Carter

Thanks to all the organisers, funders, volunteers and of course my Airhedz team.

See you all down the road. Soon.