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News > Old Girls' News > Read how some of our alumni are spending their time during lockdown

Read how some of our alumni are spending their time during lockdown

Our fantastic alumni community are a pretty enterprising bunch! Read on to see how they are making the most of lockdown.

"What a strange world the lockdown has put us all in. As I live in the same area as when I went to FHS, namely South Kensington, I have found myself doing things that I used to do with my mother when I was at the school. She used to take me up the Exhibition Road to Hyde Park to feed the ducks in the Serpentine and watch the men sail their yachts on the Round Pond. Now, after 60 years I find myself doing this again, only men don’t seem to sail boats any more and anyway I go at 5.30am so I don’t see a soul except for the occasional jogger on my way home, and while walking I think about one of the most important lessons I learnt at FHS. In my class of 1963 we were so lucky to have Miss Scrivenor teach us English and one year the school play was The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlinck. For those of you that don’t recall the story, it’s about a boy and girl who go round the world looking for the Bluebird of happiness, as they couldn’t see any merit in the little brown bird that was in their cage in the kitchen at home. By doing this journey, they gave their parents lots of worry and put their lives in danger many times, and when at last they returned home feeling defeated as they hadn’t tracked down the elusive Bluebird, when they looked in the cage of their own little bird, they saw it was actually Blue! Happiness is where you find it and one can make it your own, and I am reminded of this every morning as I watch the sun come up, listen to the ducks, geese and swans, observe the blossoms of the trees and smell the flowers at dawn. All this had been more or less on my doorstep all these years but it took the lockdown for me to relive my childhood again and once more enjoy the magic of a London park.

I doubt whether I could keep these hours had I not been trained form the age of 11 till 14, to get out of bed to be a newspaper delivery girl before coming in to school. I loved my morning job and my measly 12/6p, which eventually went up to 17/6p, was money that no one could tell me what to do with it so I spent it on drum lessons and sheet music which my 'guiding light' teacher, Miss Muriel Ashby, allowed me to play on the piano in the practice rooms. I think I was the only pupil that was allowed to play jazz and had Miss Ashby not let me do this, I doubt if I would be a musician now. She and the school shaped my life and every time I meet up with Henrietta Usherwood (Mahaffy) for lunch in South Ken., we always go down Memory Lane and sing the praises of our beloved school! This blasted lockdown has kept me working most afternoons with my co-author on my memoirs but both he and his wife have had the virus so it’s done by video link and I’m not at all a techno person. I’ve got a publishing deal for this epic but haven’t a clue when it can go to print and I’m old fashioned as I prefer a real book in my hand as opposed to something on a screen. Also, just before the lockdown my 70th album was released, called ‘Under My Bed’, which I recorded with my group, The London Blues Band, but doing any promotion just went out of the window as all concerts and tours have been cancelled and rescheduled for next year. I hope I’m still alive to do this!!!! So instead I am writing more songs but actually getting to a studio to record anything seems a long way off, but if, in the future, I look back at my time in lockdown, I’m ashamed to say that probably the one thing that I will remember the most is that I have eaten way too much chocolate!"
Love Dana Gillespie

"I am living in rural county Limerick in southern Ireland and so enjoy isolation anyway, which means that the ‘lock down’ has not changed life for me a great deal.  It just means that I can no longer get on a plane to return to UK to see my family and also assist run the British Eventing Horse Trials with which I am normally involved at this time of year. This I usually do for most of the summer but this year I am continuing the winter habits of enjoying the Irish countryside, walking the dogs, looking after my retired eventer (horse), cooking and gardening more than I usually do .. trying out new recipes and writing more letters. My children ring me on Facetime so I keep up to date with my grandchildren’s activities and this makes sure I remember to brush my hair!" Best Regards, Felicity Reason (formerly Seear and nee Munro-Ashman)

"I run an aerobics workout for neighbours in our cul de sac for 3/4 of an hour each morning. It’s vital to our mental state as many of us are single, retired women. Every 3 or 4 days we do tai chi instead as a rest day. They are enjoying as am I and at last I am putting my fitness leader certificate to use!" Jan Kent, former Head of Geography.

"I am seeing this thing out in Zermatt, where my husband runs a chalet business (sadly closed for the time-being). Each night Zermatt Tourism projects an image onto the east face of the Matterhorn whence it is beamed all over the world. Very powerful. Best wishes, Belinda Scott (née Bennett)"

"Sharing this campaign that I’m helping to put together called Compassionate Action: https://www.instagram.com/compassionate_action/. We showcase little actions of solidarity that people/companies/communities are doing all over the world during this time. Submissions are also welcome :)" Gaia Brignone

I live in Jersey in the Channel Islands and we are now in our second week of lockdown but 4th week at home as had Home Schooling for 2 weeks, and the schools are closed till at least 1 May! My husband works for our Customs office so is a Key Worker and still goes to work each day whilst I am at home with the children.  They play in the garden each day and we go for bike rides around the country lanes behind our house and along the north coast road, we also visit the beaches and collect stones for painting.
My name is Alexandra Martin, née Hudson

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