Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Emina Redzepovic

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from Emina Redzepovic. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown

Lockdown, what a time to be alive. As I write this I’m on the upward trajectory from a very down couple of weeks but given the situation I think that’s very normal.

I am lucky enough to be in lockdown with my tall husband, nice cat and a lovely garden that looks mental thanks to #NoMowMay.

The shining light in this lockdown is the lack of cars on the road – less traffic, less pollution, more wildlife, walking/cycling/running on roads and general happiness. I really hope this can continue in some form after lockdown.

My only advice to you is just roll with your feelings – want to eat that whole Sara Lee chocolate gateaux? Do it. Want to have a little scream? Do it? Want to cut your fringe in the bathroom mirror with kitchen scissors? DO IT.

The Good

People – or should I say, some people. Kindness and compassion are often things that humans can easily forget but I have seen it in droves in my community and around the world. Key workers are finally being put on the pedestal they deserve. We all have the ability to love and be kind, more please.

Creativity – God bless the internet and all who sail on her, thank you to the memes, tik tik videos, insta stories, theatre, podcasts, arts, events, comedy, book reading, music and so much more that has kept me just about sane. Special thanks to Kiri Pritchard-McClean, Daisy May Cooper and the Baked Potato song for providing me with particular joy

The animals – my gorgeous cat George is a constant source of joy, she’s been loyal, funny, cute and bitey throughout and made life a lot easier. The animals we love have been working overtime to keep us sane and even if you don’t own an animal the videos have been life changing – elephants having a bath, penguins meeting killer whales in the Aquarium, dogs jumping over loo rolls.

Chanel Chanellington the escapee Scouse parrot – this is the news story of lockdown for me, a woman’s viral video of her shouting at people to find her lost parrot that had gone to the canal is a thing of undeniable beauty. There is a happy outcome and “Channnnnneeeeel” in a Scouse accent will forever have my heart.

Normal People on BBC iPlayer – I have the capacity to love fictional characters too much and that’s what I have done with this book and the series adapted from it. It stole my heart, soul and knickers. Marianne and Connell 4eva ❤

Crafts – I’ve done some truly awful drawings, made a card and used super glue to add glitter and inevitably glued my fingers together. I assembled a beautiful perspex rainbow made by my mate Fizz Goes Pop and used a pliers for the first time in my life. I’ve loved it!

The Bad

Mental health – I defy anyone to say that they’ve had a fantastic time throughout this period, you’d have to be a cyborg to have not felt down at least once. Our brains do not like this level of change coupled with a virus that is affecting everyone on the planet. It’s been hard to overcome my negative thoughts at times, clinging to them like they’re the only truth I have and letting them envelope me. Luckily I have good friends, crisps and books to see me through.

Productivity memes – I’ve seen so many BS memes telling me to ‘take care of myself’ and ‘learn a new skill’, ‘get up early’, ‘eat fruit’ and whatnot. Give it a rest mun, seriously, we’re in a global pandemic and if I want to get up late, learn nothing, eat a biscuit and just carry on with my day that’s good enough.

Lockdown norms – homemade bread, sourdough starter, wild garlic, pic of your legs in outside space looking like hot dogs, 5ks and maps, bookshelves, screenshot of zoom call, tik tok dances etc. Yes I’ve partaken in a fair few of these but honestly a lot of this stuff has made me feel like sh!t. Compare and despair has been real, what we curate vs reality is something to always keep in the back of your mind.

The Ugly

Death to Zoom – I cannot wait to see the back of this hideous platform, it sucks your life and soul from you without you immediately noticing. It can leave you feeling like you’ve had an uninvited lobotomy, be good to yourself before and after.

People – of course I have to put this in this column too, there are some absolute nasty pasties (as my Mam would say) making things a lot harder than they should be. Turds in government, floating about and pretending to be socialist, toilet paper and hand sanitiser guzzlers, pavement hoggers, social distance deniers, internet bullies, trolls and those who like Cats the Musical.

Human Poo – I saw a human poo in a doorway in the city centre which was really disconcerting, it was massive and a bit passive aggressive. It also made me realise that I have it very good in comparison to a lot of people. This virus has deeply affected those who are on the margins of society. Support, care and more will be harder to find so please think about making a donation to a refuge, homeless charity, refugee centre etc.

Emina Redzepovic is a freelance PR and communications specialist. Follow her – Emina Redzepovic website | Emina Redzepovic Twitter | Emina Redzepovic Instagram.

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