The Blue Sky Makes Me Hopeful by Lola Clinton [Lockdown Diary 1]

Lola Clinton reflects shortages of toilet roll and compost that nearly derails her gardening.  She places George Floyd’s death in the context of 400 years of exploitation.  But, the smell of freshly picked herbs makes her smile and the blue sky makes her hopeful. 

Listen to a short extract voiced by Lati Saka, actor, or listen to the full reading of Lockdown Diary 1: The Blue Sky Makes Me Hopeful by Lola Clinton.

Lola Clinton says: “When you’re stuck in doors with a dozen rowdy boys you escape to the attic and read dusty books. It’s that or stay tied up waiting to be rescued by Zorro or John Wayne.  So began my love of words and soon I was crafting stories where girls had fabulous adventures and used magic to rescue handsome princes. My name is Lola Clinton and I’m a wordsmith.”

Read more: 12 Lockdown Diaries have been compiled into an anthology.

The Lockdown Diaries are part of Creative Futures, a Collage Arts Community project supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Collage Arts weaves together diverse stories to highlight women’s experiences during lockdown

Take 75 women from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities. Add the magnifying lens of the COVID-19 lockdown. Ask the women to participate in a creative process with a mentor. To write a story they want to share with the world, re-tell an experience that resonated with them in lockdown.  Then to translate these experiences into spoken word, monologue, creative writing, visual art, original music.  And so begins the Collage Arts Lockdown series of Monologues, Diaries, Compositions, Crafted Conversations, and Visual Arts, created by women of colour from Haringey and surrounding areas of North London. The stories and themes reflect diversity in perspectives and opinion, and include women from many backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, faiths, quite simply, real and unheard women’s voices of today.

Preeti Dasgupta, Collage Community says: “We strongly believe that arts organisations can and should make an impact on the important agendas of the day. As COVID-19 struck, it was quickly becoming apparent that ethnic minorities were taking the brunt of the losses. Some women found themselves isolated, or in over-crowded households, others found themselves fully exposed on the frontline.  We applied for funding to give these women a voice and platform to say whatever they felt passionately about, in the format that they felt most comfortable with, and mentored them through this journey. As the Black Lives Matter campaign took off, this project became even more important with its community-led approach in shining a light on diverse voices and unheard stories.”