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Health / Home time need not be dull time creatives say

Hilary Seatter prepares for her Barre session.

MANY PEOPLE following official advice to stay home because of the Covid-19 pandemic will be wondering how best to fill in their unaccustomed free time. Shetland News spoke to a few creative professionals to see how they are coping.

Nesting based Hilary Seatter has been teaching Barre Concept (a series of ballet based moves and exercises) for the past year and a half and before that Jazzercise and tai chi for a number of years.

Having given up her Lerwick Legion based barre and Jazzercise classes two weeks ago, Hilary is mounting live Barre Facebook casts three times a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm – and Ti Chi on a Saturday. Interested people can send a “join” request and they will be part of the group via the internet.

She is also posting her sessions on Facebook where they can be watched after.

According to Hilary, now is the ideal time to tackle the myriad of household chores and activities and projects that have been gathering dust for years, while observing social distancing.

“I was brought up to think ‘if you say you are bored with something, you are not bored, you are boring’, so I am never bored,” she said.

Hilary has launched herself with typical enthusiasm into her online instruction. In her “off” days she is following her other creative pursuits like painting (latest canvas is the Holywood Joker) and making short sketches.

She is also joining in her daughter Adele Lidderdale’s online Orkney Yoga class, having used her extra time to take up yoga again.

Hilary’s routine consists of rising early, personal grooming and make up before her own preparation for the barre class which lasts till 5 or 6pm before taking the actual half-hour class a couple of hours later.

She added: “I have to watch what I am eating because I have celiac disease. I have coffee and porridge for a routine breakfast and I have to be mindful of the amount of food I am eating because I cannot go out and about. It is almost like rationing, it is a controlled diet.”

Hilary is getting food deliveries from her son, Sam, and is lucky to be able to rely on others if need be, or use the South Nesting shop.

She urges people who need to self isolate and keep social distancing. “This is really important,” said Hilary. “This is real, it is not a game.

“At the end of three months, there will be people I will never see again and that is a sobering thought for anyone out there just pissing about.”

Keen dog walker Amy Cheyne.

Self employed upholsterer Amy Cheyne works from home tackling a variety of jobs, from traditional and modern furniture to industrial upholstery, and so has not had her work affected other than arrangements for pick up and delivery.

In fact she has seen an upturn in some work as pubs are taking the advantage of imposed closures to get seats and the like recovered.

A keen walker, Amy has been getting exercise taking her jack russell for daily walks along the hill at the back of Scalloway.

She said: “I have still got jobs to finish off, whether they get dropped off or not. In many instances I will just do them and keep them as you cannot really go along folks’ houses unless there is somewhere to drop the furniture off.”

Amy said that while the situation is generally worrying for everyone, she is concerned the government has not yet announced plans to support the self-employed sector.

She added: “We do not know if the self-employed are going to get money – they are meant to be doing something, but I am not expecting much.”

Skeld based one-time entrepreneur and film maker Dave Hammond meanwhile has thrown his energies into setting up a website intended to pool information and resources about the coronavirus.

The Shetland Stands Together site is a bold attempt to bring diverse coronavirus resources and information into one single entity, saving time consuming and bewildering browsing of the web.

According to Dave the idea originated with Amy Garrick-Wright and Nicola Stove of the Red Cross.

Dave said that social distancing has inevitably thrown a spanner in the works for most people’s social lives, but he and wife Debbie are continuing to make “sensible” decisions about what’s going on and avoiding close contact with people.

Dave Hammond

“Obviously we are on WhatsApp and Facebook, but there are not many people going about now,” said Dave.

The site is a work in progress but includes a “Play” area with a recipe from Westside chef James Martin, who is off work at the Peerie Shop Cafe for the past week.

James added: “I will be posting a soup recipe every day just to encourage people to cook. A lot of people do not cook at home and it is a great time for people to learn because it is not difficult – you do not need to be a master chef.”

James also said that developing a routine is a good way to stave off monotony and his routine has included taking half an hour a day to pick up bruck, as long as social distancing is observed.

“It is a good time to get the island clean as long as you keep your distance from others. It is also a form of exercise.”