The restrictions will be lifted on the 19th July but we are not coming to the end of the pandemic. We are entering a new age of living with the virus. The discussion about mask wearing continues, the sun is shining and society needs to open up. Is this a good time? Vaccinations are high and therefore the government is confident (if this is the right word) that the restrictions can be lifted. For my photography journey. I wanted to catch life during the final days of the restrictions. I was in Solihull to collect my glasses in Touchwood. I was armed only with my iPhone. The following black and white pictures give a brief insight into the mask wearing and restrictions that will soon be a thing of the past. Let’s just hope so!
With this Lockdown, I am planning more varied walks. Openmap is a clever tool as you can draw a radius on the map . I am exploring what I can within 5 to 6 miles of where I live. This is a distance that I can manage walking. The weather has been cold and damp for most of the week and I planned an early morning walk into Solihull. Having my camera with me, the aim was to capture the centre of Solihull and then compare this to the previous Lockdowns.
My planned route took me via Widney Manor Rd into the town centre. At the back of Touchwood shopping centre, I took a picture of the derelict building that used to be Rosie’s nightclub. A delivery driver passing by wanted to know why I would be taking a picture of it. Interesting conversation on why I was taking pictures of buildings in Solihull.
I moved through the main shopping streets Into Mell Square. Here I found that there were many people just sitting around. Some were chatting over cups of coffee, whilst others were just sat around starring into space. Surely the present lockdown guidelines are not to linger and to treat the time you leave your house as exercise. The place looked drab and people were listless. The Angel murals lightened my mood although there was no one around to photograph by the mural. I will come back to take one when life is normalised.
I moved into Tudor Grange park where it was much brighter as the sun started to break through the clouds. I took several pictures here including one of the duck pond. The reflections of light made it look very attractive and the picture I took made the Midlands today weather bulletin. The change of mood was palpable and there were more people moving around.
Feeling more cheerful, I made my way back home through the Monkspath housing estate and then onto footpath over the M42. During this lockdown, I am being more adventurous with my walks and seeing more of the countryside. It was an experience seeing the town centre and how people were coping with the lockdown. With my camera, I hoped that I documented a day of Lockdown what I saw in Solihull was not pretty and was depressing. However the parks and the countryside part of the walk cheered me up.
Photographic tip. Documenting the lockdown is not easy. You can get drawn into what is happening around you. I took the pictures carefully and tried to ensure that people were not identifiable. I did also want to convey the difficulties that people find trying to keep to the lockdown.