Five Weeks in NZ LockDown

Here in Autumnal New Zealand we are preparing quite excitedly for a change in our national status. We are to move down ( or up, depending on how you view it) from Level 4 to Level 3 at 11.59 pm Monday 27th April. Five weeks after shutting the country down our leadership team thinks we can give a bit more physical freedom a shot. It’s not too much more than we have become almost used to – Level 3 has been variously described as ‘Level 3.9’ or ‘Level 4 with takeaways’.

We didn’t really have a chance to experience Level 3 as we progressed quite quickly from Level 1 (no pandemic) to Level 2 (cases of Covid19 being dealt with in hospitals) to a two day panic stricken, toilet paper buying frenzied Level 3 in preparation for the Level 4 national Lockdown to halt the spread of the pandemic that had entered our shores via international travellers returning home and visitors arriving and a cruise ship or two off loading infected tourists into our ports. As a country we travelled at lightening speed from a blase disbelief to an understanding that this was now a ball fairly placed in our court – we could pretend it wasn’t here or we could accept that it was and take full responsibility for halting the spread. We could as a nation ‘Stay Home’.

And we did – we stayed home! On the whole, as a nation of grown ups, we’ve handled this quite well. There’s always numpties and VII’s (Very Important Idiots) to contend with in life generally – they are here in times of crisis as well – they are a global pandemic all their own really – and despite them the rate of infection has dropped, there appears to be little or no community spread (I type that with my fingers crossed) and the deaths that have resulted are all from age care facilities where the virus snuck in undetected in the early days prior to the borders being closed. The tragedy of course has been that lockdown meant families could not be with their loved ones in their last days and funerals could not be conducted in the way those families would have wished. You have to be Class 1 VII not to be sobered by that simple fact.

A week into Lockdown and I decided to use some of my time productively and joined in with an on-line sketching and doodling group that came out of the UK. Some of you are aware my arty type mojo packed up and left a couple of years back and I’ve been on the whole completely unable to do anything more than make an endless array of greeting cards. With no confidence, no ability and no idea where to start this seemed like a good idea – at least this way I would pick up a pencil and follow some instructions on a daily basis and empty my mind of everything while I tracked the movement of said pencil on paper.

I’ve loved it – and I’m still doing it. It’s my dose of daily Zen. It keeps me sane and happy and cheerful. I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I took an instruction and ran with it and in less than three weeks that elusive mojo was back sketching, drawing, colouring, creating ……

I woke late this morning and the room was light and filled with bird song. We had a warm and sunny walk and met several friends along the way – there is a more relaxed feel to everyone right now, a perhaps premature celebration that we might have found a way to overcome this thing….. Soon we hope to see an end to this lockdown, an easing of restrictions, the chance to meet a friend for coffee if we can get back to Level 2…. There is hope and therefore it seemed fitting that today felt like spring. I joined two neighbours and a passing friend on the street just now in the warm sun. It felt a little like a party with the dogs moving about freely and the adults a little easier on the physical distancing. We’ve all been in isolation for five weeks – there’s a common feeling we have nothing to pass on. And then there’s that sudden quiet moment, a brief pause and we make eye contact and hope we are right ……

When I shared this doodle on Facebook my friend Jan (The Snail of Happiness) in Wales attached this marvelous ditty from the late, great Spike Milligan

Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realised
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realised its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

Let’s pass on the good kind of infection – a smile, a kind word, a happy dance. Be your own vaccination and raise your immunity with positivity, hope and kindness. If I might misquote the great Mahatma ‘Be the change you want to see’ ………….

Thanks so much for coming by today, I love that you did.

99 thoughts on “Five Weeks in NZ LockDown

  1. I loved stopping by here and seeing your beautiful doodles. I have been sketching myself but don’t think I am quite in your realm. You have made your post so pretty! Am now a follower. Hello from across the ditch.

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  2. I cannot imagine what is going on with my iPad. I absolutely know I commented here, but don’t see it anywhere. I even thought you had responded. I tried to figure out if there is a way to search for a comment you make on someone else’s post, but don’t see a way to do that. I apologize, Pauline. I can’t imagine what happened. But I hope you are still down to no cases and things are going well in NZ. Sending love from AZ.

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    • Oh dear, that’s a worry Luanne! I had a hunt but its not in the spam folder either. It’s a mystery! We are on Level 2 now, which is a small step away from business as usual but are still being very cautious. There was one ‘new’ case announced yesterday, but came from a person who was exposed when the virus first arrived and was the dregs of a minor infection. The test that is used here locates even broken down, non-infectious remnants of the virus that linger after a case has recovered and many of our stats contain these early cases, now recovered, non infectious records from people who have just recently gotten tested. There are no cases of community transfer which is what has saved us because we went into lockdown so early. With life being conducted more freely now we have a wait of three to four weeks to test the validity of the theories, conduct more testing and find out if we have contained the virus in this country. It’s a process! But we are among the fortunate! xoxo

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      • I am not always able to read blog posts on my computer, so my iPad has been handy, but this is happening too often that the comments I write disappear. That’s why I have taken to little spot checks to see and this is how I discovered I couldn’t find my comment on your post! I am so happy for you to live in a country where you are not dealing with all this virus! I just wonder how long it is going to take to eradicate it here. I am worried it might go on for a very long time. But I am keeping too busy as usual–really more so–and trying not to dwell on the future concerns. We planted some pentas and vincas and coleus today, so that was a positive thing :)!!! XOXO

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        • I think it is a wise step to not worry. Worrying never makes anything better, just makes us feel bad – and generally lowers our immunity too. Your planting sounds nice – colourful, I cannot imagine what it is like to live in Arizona – it seems very exotic to this seaside dweller in the land of evergreen….. As to the pandemic – well, I count my blessings every day. We have a woman at the helm who – like most women would – puts people ahead of corporations. It’s not eradicated here – who knows if it ever will be. But it is managed and we feel relatively safe which in itself is a positive situation for the time being. I hope to see some photos of your garden with all those colourful plants doing their thing as winter is about to close in on us here.

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          • I will try to take some, although they don’t look so great yet as they are newly planted and put in with old leggy ones to save $ and time.

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  3. What a lovely hopeful post with gorgeous artwork, Pauline. I’m sorry to be so late in stopping by, but I’m glad I did. I hope you are still doing well. I haven’t heard much news of late so I guess you are still on the right track to recovery over there. We’re doing okay here in Queensland – not so well further south.

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    • Thanks for coming by Norah ๐Ÿ™‚ My friend Carol (she blogs at the eternal traveller) also in Queensland has just sent me your ‘roadmap’ which contains well laid out and clear directives and directions. We have just spent 24 hours or so back in Level2 – and the Budget has just been released with economic plans for recovery and assistance. We are doing well – though I and many of us are still staying home. We are among the fortunate here and I have never been so grateful to live in this tiny country!

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      • I am grateful to be living in Australia too. I think we are doing well, and I hope everyone remains sensible and it stays that way. Keep safe. Enjoy!

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  4. Pauline, I finally made it here, and I’m so glad that I did! Your words of wisdom are always so on point and so meaningful to me, and I know, to others. Somehow it reassures me to know that there are some “numpties and VII” in New Zealand. I tend to have your lovely country on a pedestal.
    Your “doodles” are wonderful! I particularly adore the tree with birds on the branch and flowers below, and if you ever sell copies on your Etsy site (do you still have that?), I’d love to buy!
    I’m finally putting pictures back on the wall and cannot wait to put the painting that Alys carried back home for me from Dunedin on the wall. I’m also making a Gallery Wall of a variety of small paintings / local art and I’d love to include one of yours.
    It feels so good to visit here โค

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    • Oh that’s lovely Laurie. As it’s your special day here tomorrow – well in two days for you really – and I haven’t sent the usual card due to restrictions I’ll happily send you that tree drawing as soon as I am able to. It’s in a sketchbook, so not on high quality paper or anything you know – but it is quite cute ๐Ÿ™‚ And panic not, there are numpties and idiots galore here. They are a global pandemic all on their own. It’s a pity we can’t get a vaccination to administer to them! ๐Ÿ˜€ Lovely to have you come by xo

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  5. OH MY Goodness! What delightful sketches you have included in this post. What a sweet talent to hone during your time at home. You really put a smile on my face. Thank you so much!

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  6. It is lovely to hear how New Zealand has controlled COVID-19 so well – reacting quickly and cooperating staying at home. Hopefully this is the tail end of it for you and there won’t be a second wave. Also lovely to hear you’ve been drawing and colouring all this while, and discovering your flair for it once again. I really like the image of the house and the colourful pebble footpath. Maybe you’ll keep at it for a while.

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  7. Pauline, your doodles are lovely, and my favourite (though it isn’t a doodle as such) is the great pause – it makes me linger and look and wonder what she is thinking. It is also beautifully shaded. We can’t have you losing your art mojo, you have such a style and boldness which is innate and can’t be taught. I used to teach art so I know this for sure. Your country has been one of the most successful so far at dealing with the virus, so that’s down to your PM. So well done. Here is Scotland, face masks have been recommended and I am prepared. I have some prewashed remnants ready to make some his and hers. That is my my next job after spending the last three days giving our kitchen it’s new coat of paint. It’s a sunshine yellow which glows with the sun at a certain time of day. That is what we will have again – an inner sunshine and an inner glow. Cheers for now :>)

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    • Lynne, thank you so much. I appreciate your positive critique of that particular pencil drawing – it’s so helpful to know what works and what doesn’t isn’t it. I’m about to write about my relationship with creativity in response to a question Cheryl asked and I’ve been having some aha moments about it recently. An advantage of being at home with time to pause!

      A sunshine yellow kitchen sounds delightful. I think it is important to have colours you love about you – a room that makes you smile everytime you enter it is a gift!

      As a rule we aren’t wearing face masks here – not unless you are a front line responder or entering the home of an elderly person. Or nervous. I think if there is an increase in cases that might change and while there is a sense that we have this thing under control, it is a tricky little beggar and could well sneak out into the community if we aren’t mindful.

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  8. Pauline, this post made me smile. Thereโ€™s so much goodness here. I saw Jacinda Ardernโ€™s speech on loosening restrictions. Sheโ€™s so classy, intelligent, articulate, and everything that we are lacking in leadership here in the US. It sounds like you all are well on your way. I feel less optimistic for this country where people are actually protesting in the streets for the right to get sick and spread the virus to others. I love your doodle art, especially The Great Pause. Thereโ€™s something that resonates strongly with me in that piece. So, if you donโ€™t mind, can you remind me of why/how you lost your confidence as an artist? This happened to me in 2014, when I lost confidence in everything about me. You can email me if thatโ€™s better and no rush:) I always enjoy stopping by, and I do so much wish to be the change. Thanks, Pauline. x

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    • That’s such a good question Cheryl and I will email you – I’ve just recently had an aha moment about what is going on for me and would love to share with you and hear how it is for you too. I’ll get onto this tomorrow – it might take a bit of effort to sort the thoughts into coherent sentences ๐Ÿ˜€

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  9. Good morning/evening, Pauline. I read this yesterday and again today. Keeping the smile poem and all your doodles for myself. They make me feel happy. Even the great pause speaks to me. I love that we have had a great pause. And I am not the least bit surprised that the countries with women leaders are doing better than the others. I don’t think all women leaders are better but so many are so much better. These doodles ARE works of art you know. If you put them into a little book and added some to color ourselves… Think about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love and hugs m

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    • Hello Marlene. That phrase ‘the great pause’ was coined by an author Joanna knows (and I’ve misplaced his name from my memory now) and I love it as it feels to me like it correctly identifies what is happening and how we should be thinking of this time. I will link his name to this post as soon as I get reminded of it.

      Feel free to download and print off whatever drawing takes your fancy – colouring in is a very zen pastime so please do make use of whatever you like. Most of the doodles that I display coloured happened just because I couldn’t leave a plain pencil drawing without colour ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Thank you, Pauline. I was certain you would say that about the drawings How wonderful to be able to capture life and thoughts in art. I just spent 3 1/2 hours pulling weeds and am quite zen now. Other than the constant drone of machinery somewhere I could not identify. I finally just tuned it out watching bugs and spiders scamper. I will pay for this tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sending love and hugs to all of you. The girls and fuzzies too.

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  10. Pauline, your “doodles” are works of art. I’ve enjoyed all of these pieces as you’ve shared them on Instagram. You’ve been prolific. It’s interesting to note what’s been released for us during this unusual time. For you, this amazing work.

    The piece with the birds in the tree is my favorite for how it makes me feel: calm and uplifted. What a gift.

    I love you, Pauline. xo

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    • I was spending a large chunk of each day drawing and doodling and then of course all the things I hadn’t done while doing that, caught up with me and now I haven’t done anything with my pencil for four days – this is why I’m always losing the ability rather than improving! And now this week is filled with zoom appointments because I kept delaying meetups in favour of doodles ๐Ÿ˜€ Sigh! Why is it so hard to find a good balance? I like that tree too – thank you for cheering me on. Lots of love to you too xoxo

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  11. I love your doodles (which look quite like art to me). I’m so glad to hear that you are doing well, and that things might open up for your world soon. It seems to me that the women in charge did much better than a lot of the men.

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  12. Hello Hello ! What a wonderful stop along my day. Your doodling is more like fine art. The birdies chatting at the feeder is really awesome. I love the shingles on the roof of the feeder ๐Ÿฅฐand the vine that climbs up to greet them. I should think life in a pretty garden must be every birds dream.
    It’s great to hear your positive news on the Covid front too. Leave it to the NZ’ers to get things done straight away, in a calm and sensible fashion. A tentative, but sincere Good job! I did a screen print of that poem. Brilliant ! Loved it ! So glad you shared it ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’• Sending love xK

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    • It’s worthy of a screen print. I have a desire to do an arty version of the Desiderata and now a desire to do an arty version of ‘Smiling’ too….. Might get on with that soon ๐Ÿ™‚ We too are tentative about the gradual releasing of the strictures. Basically Level 2 just allows many businesses to begin trading again via on-line stores with adherence to keeping their staff safe and distanced from each other. There will be an enlarging of bubbles allowed, which means extended families may come together and a tad more relaxation around our daily walks for example. I could get in my car (if it still starts) and drive to the High Road or a beach for a lovely walk instead of just trundling around the local park. That’s about it – and at the first hint of trouble boom, we’ll be back in L4!

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  13. Hope the transition from lockdown works. I fear we won’t see an end to this virus until there is a vaccine. I love the art work. So much beauty and positivity. Stay safe and stay well.

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  14. Wow! What a beautifully written and illustrated post – perfect. Those really are fabulous doodles. I love the way you’ve added a zen phrase to each pic. Were they prompts or your own addition?
    Do hope your transition out of lock down level 4 goes smoothly. We’re talking about it here, but not ready yet.
    When I first read the VIIs, I read it as roman numerals and thought, ‘who are the sevens?’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful pics xx

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    • So, the Stay Home and Craft one (SHAC) is the byword of the course and we began to refer to our homes as our ‘SHAC shacks’ so that was the general prompt for that house sketch.The sign with ‘smile’ on it was part of the process and I added ‘it’s contagious’ The Great Pause and the Lockdown Dancing are the sketches I made on my own when the mojo showed up so abruptly – and there was another one in between those two that I haven’t shown here (yet) The remainder of the phrases are my own additions because I tend to always find something that pops into my mind when I’m quirky drawing that fits the theme…… I laughed at your reading VII’s as 7. I did the same the first time I abbreviated the phrase ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. Wow Pauline. I just love all your ‘doodling’. Because of the way you have shown us your mojo at work is it too inquisitive for you to say how you mojo left you? And if I’m being too nosey then please just delete this comment.

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    • Not nosy at all John ๐Ÿ™‚ Interested! I think my mojo just up and left because I got distracted with other projects and interests and wasn’t caring for her and mojo’s are apparently slightly prima-donnaish. You know that old adage ‘use it or lose it’ ? In short I have to practise ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you for your interest โค

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  16. Always good to hear from you, Pauline. I love your drawings and I love that you are feeling your Mojo again.

    Best wishes with the new regulations. I think it will, in the beginning, be up to each of us to decide what is safe and what is not. I don’t think, just because restaurants are open, that everyone will be suddenly back to their former restaurant habits. It will be interesting to watch.

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    • I hope you are right Jodie. It’ll be ages before restaurants open here I think, so for the interim that is not a choice we have to make. It’s certainly true that people tend to decide for themselves – even during lock down there have been those who contend they have the right to move about as they wish. There’s no accounting for numpties and VIIs ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. This whole thing has left me experiencing seven shades of upside down. I’m drawn to the detail, the science, the analysis and then I’m rabbit punched by an individual tale of excruciating sadness, weeping into Dog’s fur in a messy moulting mumble, ending up looking like I’ve sneezed my beard across my cheeks. I wave at bus drivers and thank the lady from the bank for answering my telephone banking inquiry while wondering why I didn’t do that before. I understand with a visceral reality who are and are not key workers and I make efforts to smile at everyone (when my rather jolly (homemade) mask isn’t in place) as I pass two metres away. I actually feel quietly proud of our response at all levels – there’s stupidity, there’s still politics and we’ve made and continue to make mistakes but you know – you know with a bowel deep clenching certainty – that everyone, politicians or whoever – want this to be as right as possible and it can’t be right because which ever way we go there will be deaths that there wouldn’t have been with slightly different decisions – and these aren’t some sort of abstract friendly fight, necessary casualties of a war that isn’t a war but people loved and now lost. My son was 30 yesterday. I waved at him, he grinned back. Where was my effing hug? Wrapped and unopened, that’s where.
    I’m lucky. I have my best friend as my soul and house mate, a garden the size of most city parks and a passion that is solitary and carried on indoors and I could find a positive in the ash of any crematorium chimney but this is twisting me like over-masticated gum.
    And I ended up in A&E with an overzealous dose of cystitis this week, which apparently makes me 16 and female so that’s undermined my macho credentials too.
    Look what your optimistic post has done to me! Bum.
    PS love the doodles; keep up the good work, major!

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    • Well now – I love you even more than before! It’s never a bad thing when the macho credentials are turned upside down. I love to see a man cry, it always makes me feel hopeful and open hearted ๐Ÿ™‚ This thing is ripping us all open isn’t it – and that’s no bad thing. I think we all needed to have another look at the world we created and have a bit of a rethink of how we want to leave it. Tears sprang to my eyes as I read that bit about your boy’s birthday and that wave and cheery grin in place of what you both wanted – just a hug. I had it too at the beginning of lockdown when my girl celebrated her 50th and neither I or her sister could be with her and I’d had a melt down about getting a parcel posted to her in time as this land was closing down…. It felt devastating in the moment but of course wasn’t and then it became just another example of being privileged.

      In the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about how very fortunate we are here. There’s this woman, she’s young, she’s determined, she’s clearly got one hell of a destiny. She’s just now starting to get crucified at every turn because, you know, there’s a sector of society that can’t stand to let someone shine without trying to lop them off at the knees. I still remember the old white boys club yelling at us we couldn’t elect her PM, she was too young, too inexperienced, the wrong gender, she’d lead us all to hell and let us rot…. I was both excited and scared at the same time and put my vote in early just to make sure it would be counted. Now I think it was an intuition that we were about to witness a change that mattered.

      Barely 18 months into her Prime Ministerial duties this country was rocked by a white supremacist massacre. To this day, because of Jacinda’s stance none of us spoke the name of the killer and he has floated off into obscurity while his victims and the heroes are remembered and honoured. Nine months later White Island abruptly erupted killing a boatload of tourists and she led the way through that mess too. All this while carrying, giving birth to and parenting a baby daughter.

      A year after the massacre, Covid19 arrived on these shores and she has led with determination, compassion and inclusivity, putting people ahead of economical concerns and juggling a thousand different opinions to find a way through that makes sense to the greater majority of us.

      She has an approval rating of somewhere around 90% – that in itself is a miracle given the amount of numpties in the world.

      I think we are living on the cusp of change and there is inside of me a great anticipation that we are reaching a tipping point – a time when there are more of us with a clue than there are numpties and VIIs.

      Thanks for your wonderful comment. Take care of yourself and keep on keeping on xoxo

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      • Itโ€™ll be alright in the end and if itโ€™s not alright itโ€™s not the end. I do hope Ms Aherne doesnโ€™t listen to your eulogies and remains blessed with enough imposter syndrome to consider sheโ€™ll never do a good job… that way she just might end up doing no harm which is quite an achievement for any politician. I still recall the sense of renewal and hope, of coming together that presaged Tony Blairโ€™s first term. Weeks in he had to deal with Dianeโ€™s death which he did with aplomb. But sadly the fault lines were there, partly systemic in the Faustian pact heโ€™d made with Gordon Brown that ground him down domestically and partly his own hubristic belief in his own good that took us from the moral successes of the Balkans to the egregious disintegration of Iraq and Afghanistan. The signs are yours has a more realistic philosophy and no need to grandstand. Hereโ€™s hoping we can continue to envy…

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        • I think the danger for good people put into positions of power comes about through the ivory tower syndrome which separates them from the ground where they formed their good intentions. Up there in leader in chief roles where there are lots of VIIs and also lots of commerce and politics and of course the VII’s leading other countries and beating the world to death with their little egos and sycophants and general numpties looking to line their own nests it is easy to lose touch with the impulses and the people that put you into that position. It’s easy to get led off piste, to believe you have the answers and then it all goes to hell in a handbag. It’s so important to have someone beside you who will tell you the truth and keep you grounded. I think our PM has that going for her.

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  18. Your doodles are works of art, Pauline, and I love the smile poem. How sweet and glowing with kindness. I’ve been watching the way New Zealand has handled this pandemic with a bit of longing. So responsibly and charitably and like grown-ups. You will now start reaping the benefits. You all deserve it. Enjoy your bit of increasing freedom and keep up the creativity. Be well, my friend. โค

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  19. Thank you for sharing that Spike. It’s absolutely the poerfect thing for the moment, wonderfully #cheeryuppy, accessible and timely. Especially as I was just sent an email chain from someone I care about so for the first time felt obliged to semi-participate. Normally I just delete them, but this one was asking for a poem, and did so very sweetly. It’s been stuck in my in box for a fortnight, waiting for me to think of something – anything – poetic, but this was the perfect reply. Thank you.

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    • It’s a great little ditty isn’t it – he had a way of disguising a deep truth in a ditty. It’s the perfect time for it to be sent back into the world ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I confess to deleting an email exactly as you describe yesterday – and one last week too. I just find those things really odd.

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  20. You are so talented, Pauline. As I read your post and admired each drawing I thought, “Oh, that’s my favorite…no, that one!” I came to the conclusion that I love all of them! You are certainly using your time well and we are all the lucky recipients. Thanks so much for sharing. Stay well! Hugs to handsome Siddy. โค

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  21. ‘Doodles’ seems too frivolous a word for your lovely drawings and it’s clear your arty mojo is up and running again. France and the U.K will be slower to lift restrictions I think but I’ve got so used to them I think it will take some getting used to when they do.
    Love the Spike Milligan poem. When I was young, I had a book of his poems called ‘Silly Verse For Kids’ which was a lot of fun.
    X

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    • I understand how you feel. There was a lot of pressure on Jacinda here to go to Level 3 last week. I wept with relief when I heard her say – one more week, we have to be sure we have it right…… I trust that she will proceed cautiously and if there is any need to protect us from this virus further she will close us down again until it is safe. Last week was too early, another three days and we might have our heads around what it means to be able to have some personal freedom with proper physical distancing and great care of each other. My fresh ground coffee beans will be delivered to my letter box by my local roaster as soon as we move into Level 3 and if in another two weeks he can open his coffee shop, I will go there first thing, one of his first customers lining up for a good barista made cup of coffee. It will be a special treat!

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  22. You have no idea how much I needed to read your post full of optimism today, it made me smile, so it turns out smiles can be passed over the internet. I love all your drawings and am thrilled that your skills and vision have helped you through these weird times. Keep that pencil sharp, stay safe , xx

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    • Well, good, I’m pleased if it helped lift you up a bit โค It seems to me that things arrive when you place yourself in a position to be amazed and I know I took up this course simply to provide myself a bit of inner peace and happy contentment for part of each day and maybe re -learn a few drawing skills along the way. I said 'It will be amazing if I do!' And I did ๐Ÿ™‚

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  23. My favourite of all your new creations so far has to be that beautiful tree, Pauline. I’m so glad you’ve got your artistic mojo up and running again. We’re hopeful that our restrictions might begin to lift a little and gradually soon too. And I’m hopeful that all the Class 1 VIIs and numpties have all got the message by now.

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  24. Yup, you all did it right. I hope things go as planned and smoothly. I love the girl on the step, the crafting shack, and that colored tree with the birds. I’m glad you got your groove back. Your black and white drawings are really luscious. I can see them in black and white and visualize them in color. Take care!

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  25. You guys are setting the gold standard for the rest of the world on how to combat a virus, Pauline. And Jacinda is the real deal. You are lucky to have her. No chance this time around for a woman president here — two old white men running in November — but maybe a miracle will happen. And can I say you definitely got your groove back.
    Also, a funny thing happened to me while stuck in lockdown. I started drawing again, too. Just a little bit of sketching, but really I gave up drawing and painting decades ago and substituted photography and writing. It felt nice to hold a pencil again and really steady my powers of observation. My friend had given me a sketchbook and a box of Blackwing Pearl pencils by Palomino — some fancy-schmancy pencils that I thought were probably overpriced, but they were ah-mazing! Sending healing vibrations your way. xo

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    • Iโ€™ve not heard of those pencils Pam โ€“ but the mere name is something that makes me salivate, they sound gorgeous โ€“ pearl pencils yum! You guys get all the good arty stuff โ€“ Iโ€™ll placate myself by assuming itโ€™s some small compensation for the old white guys. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think our Earth has quite enjoyed this pandemic โ€“ its given her time to breathe and clear out her sinuses a bit. Iโ€™m not in a great hurry for us to โ€˜return to normalโ€™ I hope we donโ€™t โ€“ normal isnโ€™t that hot for most of the earthโ€™s inhabitants and the earth herself. But I do miss hugging. Happy arting Pam โ€“ enjoy those pencils!

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      • I love the visual of the earth clearing out her sinuses, Pauline! I am putting in an order for those greeting cards if you ever get a wild hair and want to make them. ๐Ÿคฃ I agree that the earth has been able to take its first breath in decades. Storms and floods didnโ€™t work. How about a pandemic? And I, too, miss hugging more than anything. Iโ€™m going to have to break the rules when my son leaves for Idaho in May. Heโ€™s finishing his last semester in college and then doing an internship with Americorps for five months. He hasnโ€™t been living here but at school and will be home for less than two weeks before he leaves. I canโ€™t let him go without a hug. I get teary-eyed thinking about it. Have a divine day. โค๏ธ

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        • I’ll keep that in mind Pam ๐Ÿ˜€ It would be a big ask not to hug your kid when they head off – it’s a tough time for all the mums with kids heading off these days. I often think about that and how it must feel. So many challenges for us to get our heads around in these days of novel coronavirus…… Have a peaceful weekend xo

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