Sally Greenbrook of West Ealing WI shares some lockdown positivity
My husband Chris and I have long known that our friends are all interesting and intelligent people, and we have for years toyed with the idea of hosting salons – gatherings of like minded individuals discussing things that are of interest to them. Of course, life gets in the way and we never actually got around to doing it.
Until, that is, March 2020 came along and we were locked down for the first time. We decided to try hosting the salons online via Zoom. The idea was that for each salon someone would give a short presentation about something that interests them and then we’d have a discussion about it. We weren’t really sure how it would go or whether people would be keen but nothing ventured, nothing gained and we kicked off with a presentation from me about the Halifax Explosion.
To our slight amazement, the salons have been a resounding success and we’ve hosted them every Saturday night since late March last year. By the time you read this, we will have been going for a year. We’ve had some incredible presentations about some fascinating subjects including (to name just a few) witches of Scotland, the history of profanity, the A55 in North Wales, British school dinners and John Singer Sargent.
For us, it’s also provided a way to keep in touch with our friends and actually to make new friends. People have joined us who we vaguely knew pre-lockdown but are now friends. We’ve even gone international with one of my husband’s school friends joining us from New Zealand, eating his breakfast while the rest of us enjoy a drink.
At a time when a lot of people have been quite lonely and isolated, we’ve managed to build a little community. We’re all looking forward to the day when we can meet in person, some of us for the first time.