Life in Lockdown

Immigrants and Coronavirus

In her recent podcast Immigrants and Coronavirus, anthropologist Dr Maruska Svasek explores the impact of the pandemic on the lives of various migrant women in Ireland:

Life in Lockdown

Lost to Oneself

Gemma McHugh – QUB School of Law professional staff

You blink to find the staring eyes of someone lost staring back at you.

Change came and shook your foundations.

Apathy is now saturated in your every pore.

Grasping for anything which will ignite flames within.

Finding joy in the stories of others, for your tale would fail to excite.

What happened, what to do, what to think?

Yet happiness is not a stranger and hope of what tomorrow brings still prevails.

Waiting, hoping for something.

What, you do not know.

Perhaps the stain of a lost year has imprinted too deeply

Belfast Community Life in Lockdown

Book Fairies – Hold Still – 7th May 2021

I am joining The Book Fairies and hiding a copy of the beautiful book Hold Still, published by the National Portrait Gallery! One of my photographs is featured in the collection! The Book Fairies and contributors to the collection are leaving books at places that gave them hope during the lockdown. Whoever finds a copy will discover beautiful images from all around the UK, which reflect the experience of lockdown across many communities. 

About the book:

Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still was an ambitious community project to create a unique collective portrait of the UK during the lockdown. People of all ages were invited to submit a photographic portrait, taken in a six-week period during May and June 2020, focusing on three core themes – Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal, and Acts of Kindness. From these, a panel of judges selected 100 portraits, assessing the images on the emotions and experiences they conveyed.

Featured here in this publication, the final 100 images present a unique and highly personal record of this extraordinary period in our history of people of all ages from across the nation. From virtual birthday parties, handmade rainbows, and community clapping to brave NHS staff, resilient keyworkers, and people dealing with illness, isolation, and loss. The images convey humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope – expressing and exploring both our shared and individual experiences. Presenting a true portrait of our nation in 2020, this publication includes a foreword by The Duchess of Cambridge, each image is accompanied by the story behind the picture told through the words of the entrants, and further works show the nationwide outdoor exhibition of Hold Still.

 #ibelieveinbookfairies #HSBookFairies #HoldStill

 — Tags to add for social media:

 Hashtags across all social: #HSBookFairies #ibelieveInbookfairies #HoldStill2020

 Insta: @NationalPortraitGallery @bookfairiesworldwide @bookfairies_uk @dukeandduchessofcambridge @TheRoyalFamily

 Twitter: @NPGLondon @the_bookfairies @KensingtonRoyal @RoyalFamily

 Facebook: @bookfairiesworldwide @theroyalfamily 

Life in Lockdown

Lockdown Baking Competition

We are delighted to announce the winners of our Staff and Student April baking competition. Take a look at the winners and honourable mentions below and the mouth-watering photos of their creations!


Cake Category Winners
Luke Elliot – Joint Winner
Anna Nelson – Joint Winner
Cake Category Honorable Mentions
Mylie Brennan
Jennifer Roets
Buns and Bread Category Winner
Jennifer Roets
Buns and Bread Honorable Mentions
“Nailed it” Category Winner
Marcus Matthews: “My attempt at raspberry buttercream….Who doesn’t like lumps in their icing?”
“Nailed it” Category Honorable Mentions
Marie McGarvey: “one of my pancake, after 6 attempts on Pancake Tuesday I was only able to make a tiny pancake that came out well, hence the size and the tin of cream for comparison”


Cake Category Winner
Viviane Gravey
Cake Category Honorable Mentions
Buns and Bread Category Winner
Susan Templeton (Assisted by Step Granddaughter)
Buns and Bread Category Honorable Mentions
“Nailed it” Category Winner
“Nailed it” Category Honorable Mention
Viviane Gravey