“Our annual burst of creativity emerges for our Christmas card inserts. There was only one story in 2020 and I thought - with tongue firmly in cheek - a riff on the British Museum’s major exhibitions was the way to present our family’s year. I had a lot of fun putting it together – respect to curators everywhere”.
A History of a Pandemic in 12 Objects
1. Technology - With the sudden advance in home working many households needed wi-fi boosters. This is a typical device of the time. Tech-meltdown was a common side effect of the virus, particularly among the over 50s.
2. Festivals and Ceremonies - Sadly, many engaged couples had to postpone their weddings. This “Save
the Date” card attempts to introduce some humour by mimicking the Government message of the time.
3. Employment - As the pandemic took hold, many thousands of workers were furloughed. Non-essential
shops, as well as the entertainment, leisure, and hospitality industries were closed. Supermarkets were some of the only places offering temporary employment, buoyed by the rise in online grocery shopping.
4. Education - Final year students found graduations cancelled or postponed, and missed out on the last
weeks of university. Some families attempted to replicate the experience by hosting home graduation
ceremonies, creating a highlight of the entertainment-starved lockdown period.
5–8. Sport and Recreation - Cycling was permitted throughout, to the great relief of some. As restrictions began to lift, tennis and kayaking were also allowed. Stand up paddle boarding became the surprise hit of the staycation summer.
9. Travel - Overseas travel was ruled out. The Norfolk Broads were an unexpected choice for summer holidays, and the River Thames provided scope for a six-day kayak trip.
10–12. Family Life - Young adults around the country returned to the family home, resulting in increased
shopping, cooking, and many, many shoes. But also days out on the river, picnics, and suppers that
lasted long into the evening, filled with fun, games and laughter.