Lockdown Projects

Tig Thomas - 2020 Miles in 2020

At the beginning of January, I took on a challenge to walk 2020 miles in 2020, which meant at some point every day I stepped out from the house for two or three hours’ walking. Because I was often treading the same paths, I started scrutinising things more closely, and enjoyed discovering tiny details in my landscape. Sometimes I would walk into Woodbridge taking any footpath or alley I passed, making my way deeper into unknown areas of the town until I finally emerged somewhere I knew. The walk along the Deben gave me broad vistas and the chance to see the many shore birds, including herons and egrets. I found a new bluebell wood with a host of orchids in spring. I watched two foxcubs playing for half an hour, got dodged by a running deer, stood on a bridge observing a small vole eating under a riverbank and learned where the slow worms and grass snakes sunned themselves.  I discovered new mushrooms and flowers: the pyramidal orchid, the heath orchid and the small, uncommon town hall clock with its four-sided flower face. Often, I’d end up walking home by moonlight. Every night I’d go to sleep with a feeling of well-being because I’d walked that day and on the first of December I completed the 2020 miles.  

In the photos below are some of the highlights of my year-long project, each with its own caption.

The female members of the Anderson family have been keeping busy sewing. This is Sophie May's lockdown rainbows for the NHS dress, made for her last day at primary school. The leavers' party was cancelled but they were allowed to wear home clothes. I've been sewing in the evenings to regain some sense of calm.

Tamsin Anderson

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Out-Foxed

The skull from a dead fox found in a field near the village. I cleaned it by boiling off the meat and then bleaching it in laundry detergent. I think it's a great decoration with a lot of character, but I'm not sure if my university housemates feel the same.

Barty Thomas

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"Rainbows for The NHS" Dress
by Sophie May

My own lockdown project was a humble affair compared to Sean’s (see further down the page) but I did make a loose cover for a rather worn chair in our sitting-room - I haven’t got a ‘before’ picture - would have been far too embarrassing anyway!

Jen Whitmarsh

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Nick Crocker tackled lots of home and garden projects during Lockdown

The "Eyesore" before renovation starts

The "Eyesore" before renovation starts

The "Eyesore" - starting to look good

An "Eyesore No More" - a shack to be proud of!

The Covered Bird House - a fly-through avian restaurant

Jen's "Garden Office" - 240 hours of loving labour

The all-weather gazebo with canvas sides

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Sean McMillan's
Lockdown Productivity Bonanza

Project No 1

No 3

No 2

No 4

The Deben Soundings Project

Simon Read & Helene Burningham

PDF about the Project

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Deben Soundings  Watercolour, ink, pencil on paper 2020 – present 2m/1.5m
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Lockdown project No 1. I've always wanted to develop a wildflower meadow and this seemed the ideal time to try. We cleared an area of the grass, raked and smoothed the soil and have sown wildflower seeds. I can see that the plants are growing so I hope we will have a lovely meadow in the spring with lots of humming bees                                               Jane Cochrane

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Our second Lockdown project was to reconfigure our office into an art studio for me and a bespoke office for Peter. This was a significant amount of work on some of the hottest days of the year!

Jane Cochrane

Lockdown project
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Our lockdown project - now closed away waiting for better weather!

Ann Chaplin

During one lockdown or another, we and our wonderful neighbours Joanna Coates and Daniel Metz, noticed that the sign to their house, which sits in our garden, was looking a bit dilapidated. Jo offered to paint a new one and I found a suitable bit of wood and a tin of paint. Jo asked us what sort of design we'd like and we said that given our age something 1960s-ish would be perfect. She subsequently asked us what our favourite flowers are - poppies and wild roses - and this is the beautiful result.

Jeremy Eyres

Lockdown Tapestry to a Danish design

Kirsten Berridge

Lockdown project "Gravel Garden"
Lockdown project "Gravel Garden"

Lockdown project - making benches and chairs to view the watermeadows from.
Lockdown project - making benches and chairs to view the watermeadows from.

Lockdown project - creating a woodstack
Lockdown project - creating a woodstack

Lockdown project "Gravel Garden"
Lockdown project "Gravel Garden"

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As I run my own business and I find WFH too difficult for many reasons (mainly distractions) I have not had a vast amount of ‘spare’ time to fill and didn’t really consider I had the need for any lockdown projects.  But in 2020 I chose to create a gravel garden around the side and back of the house and with it came a number of creative ‘extras’, not least of which was instigating a barter system for plants to get the beds going. 

Reusing also came to the top of my list and having been gifted a large outdoor table and chairs I repaired, sanded down and painted them ready for my 2021 creation of an arbour area. In a dark and overgrown corner, we removed an overgrown and half dead ugly shrub and I used an old French tin bath to create a pond area, with the help of my friend Janet ‘s (Slattery) woven products. We can see it from the windows and it is now a bright and attractive spot. 

We had a number of trees taken down in 2020 and in the absence of exercise classes we have been cutting wood and stacking it, creating tables and benches to overlook the meadow and utilising wooden pallets for a variety of storage and display items.

Leann Giovnilli