• Ashley Hampson

COVID-19 Lockdown - Week Four

Updated: Apr 28

SO. Week four. A very busy week considering it's not supposed to be. So busy in fact that this blog post is four days late and I am cringing at the though of having to sit here and write it! But, it's important to me, so here we go!


Day 22


Eden started the day with some school work, he had to design a book mark and write a book review. Mummy helped and they both seemed to enjoy this task together. Whilst Dannielle and Eden were busy, Ivor napped on me and Zephyr had a good 'YouTube session.

After this, Zephyr and myself set up a game of 'hide the bananas, ready for a FaceTime call with Grandma and Grandad. Zephyr directed this game and told them exactly which ones they had to choose...and of course, he won. They were in the snail shell of course!

We all enjoyed our lunch together at the table after this. This has been another nice positive during this lockdown. Eating three meals a day together at the table. A simple but lovely experience that is important for any family.

After dinner, I had my first Zoom meeting with my work colleagues from college. It was really nice to see everyone at once and have a proper chat. My team are really lovely and I couldn't ask for a better bunch to work alongside.

As this took some time, by the time I had finished it was tea time and time for the daily news updates. Today was focused around the rise in fatality rates and the 35% drop forecast for our economy.


Day 23

This morning Eden and Dannielle chose to write a poem about the lockdown and map out our family tree as part of his school work. Zephyr got in on the learning experience for around ten minutes by working through some of his numbers book. He then decided to play with the duple for a bit whilst Ivor napped and I made some adjustments to last weeks blog on my laptop. I also managed to contact a couple of students and get a good update with things.

After I finished the work I was doing, I helped Zephyr to build a castle. Our castle was so impressive that even Eden couldn't wait to get in on the action.

Elevenses today consisted of jam on crumpets. Yum! Captain America is proving popular with Zephyr at the moment and he wants to order the big version of his shield. He needs another £1 to order though...

Zephyr then checked on the tadpole progress. We decided that we have too many for one container so we're getting another tub. I will have to buy some bottled water though because we're aware that tap water will kill them.

Before dinner, the boys continued to play. I had introduced Zephyr to the AR games on his DS and he was doing a great job at solving the puzzles by using his camera to find hidden dragons within our coffee table. He found this really magical and really enjoyed it. It's probably the first time I've really seen him master a computer based game or puzzle.

If you're wondering how I got this awesome effect...I shot the photograph through a duplo window!

Zephyr (and Dannielle) managed to wrap up some presents for their cousin Rowan and the boys both made lovely cards. Rowan doesn't live far away so we're going to head down later and deliver them to his doorstep (whilst social distancing).

Zephyr spent the next hour with Dannielle in the kitchen learning how to make a Bolognese! He seemed to enjoy doing this and was asking lots of questions from what I could hear!

This little dude got in some serious wagon time and I made sure he was surrounded by his favourite toys. He loves that Duplo pineapple that you can see him chomping on!

Dinner time. Eden and Zephyr had a good 'chocolate surprise' courtesy of Dannielle. Half an Easter egg each! Ivor destroyed his Bolognese. This kid is such a good eater, he will literally eat anything and not stop until it's all gone!

Nothing too revealing today on the news update. Death rates still increasing and the same old questions are being asked...with the same answers that don't really answer anything.

Tooth brushing club...

Sleepyheads just before bedtime.

Day 24

We woke up to another lovely sunny morning. Eden had a bit of school work to do so I got Ivor to sleep whilst Dannielle helped him get through his tasks. He had to design a family crest and complete a couple of computer based tasks. Zephyr was also keen to 'help'...as you can see!

Eden's family crest consisted of Porridge Club, Kindness, Adventure, Music, Brothers, Animals, Family and Playing.

After checking my emails, I found a message from a local news website called 'Helston Nub News' asking if they could feature me in an article to promote the 'Front Porch Project' I had been wanting to do. This article was brilliant for me, it really helped to kickstart my project and I spent the day intermittently replying to people and organizing a couple of shoots for tomorrow.


After the work was done, it was time to get some air. I took the boys over to the field for a kick about and a some scooter time!


The weather was glorious. The boys had a great play together and everything seemed almost idillic for a short period.

On the walk home, we noticed that the local playground was locked up and featured these signs on the gates and climbing frames...

When we got back. I walked through the door and instantly realised that I had left my camera hung on a tree in the field where we were playing football. I legged it back across the field to get it and it was gone. I looked everywhere, waited a short while and asked people if they had seen anyone with it. Nothing.

At peak of panic mode, Dannielle suggested trying Facebook to see if anyone had posted about it. I posted on the 'Helston' group and within minutes someone alerted me that it had been found and who to get in touch with. Wow. Faith in Humanity restored!

I picked up the camera of the lovely man that had found it. He had been jogging and noticed it there after we left. He had seen me playing with the boys there so he knew it was mine. I felt very lucky! I informed him that if he ever needed a photographer, he knew where to come, no charge.


Today's new update confirmed what everyone already knew. Lockdown extension of three weeks.

After getting the boys to sleep I came downstairs to find this happy chap playing with Mummy.

Tonight is the weekly 8pm clap for our key workers. I decided to visit a different part of the estate and get some more photographs of people clapping on their door steps. Here is my set...


Day 25

Today started with another well attended porridge club and then a bit of a rush to get everyone sorted because I had to go out and shoot a couple of my first 'Front Porch Project' portraits.

Here are my first couple of portraits that I have shot. Instead of featuring this work on this blog each day, as it's something I will be doing regulally, I will simply be referring to it instead of posting all the portraits. I will leave these ones here so that you can get a bit of an understanding as to what I've been doing. Each future reference I make will also link to the current full gallery over on my Facebook page.

After shooting these, I picked up a 'click and collect' order for my parents and delivered it to their doorstep. It was nice to see them in the flesh and they had kindly included a couple of extra bits for us to keep. This included beer.

When I got home, I treated Zephyr to a bit of 'Ben and Holly' on my laptop and found Eden upstairs chilling on his bed, watching a DVD and also playing his DS. What a legend. Is he a teenager already?!

Zephyr then caused the usual toilet based chaos. I managed to get this cheeky little shot of him which to be honest, completely sums him up today.

After bath time, the boys had an hour or so downstairs with us to relax, we forgot to watch the daily update. They don't seem to be delivering any particularly crucial information anymore so I wasn't really that bothered anyway.

Day 26

This morning all the boys had a good play. Eden and Zephyr were busy playing with their Marvel figures (we're up to Black Panther now - Eden's new favourite). Zephyr I anxiously awaiting his surprise gift from Grandma and Grandad. Eden received his a couple of days ago, a new Beast Quest A-Z of beasts. They played very well together for most of the morning which meant I was able to entertain Ivor after his morning nap and Dannielle was able to deep clean the upstairs!

I charged up Zephyr's Leappad today to see if it still worked and it did! He enjoyed re-discovering this and the massive amount of games that Eden had collected that he was no longer bothered about...until Zephyr was.

Zephyr got a mini treat in the post. His new school bag decorations for September, which will probably be the next time he actually goes to school by the look of it! No more preschool!


Zephyr was very impressed with Dannielle's Toy Story display upstairs. To be fair, who wouldn't be!?

Afternoon nap time for this guy and I had arranged several 'Front Porch Portraits' around our local estate. This took about two hours to complete and by the time I came back, I discovered that Zephyr's surprise treat from Grandma and Grandad had arrived in the post. A nerf shooting version of Thor's hammer Mjölnir. He was keen to show me how it worked and I could tell Eden was very impressed with it too! I had also ordered a Captain America shield from the Disney store for him, which was due to arrive in a week or so!

5pm news time arrived and they didn't seem to have much to say, again, so we switched the channel and watched something better. Zephyr watched a bit of YouTube on my laptop. Todays video of choice was the building of a rainbow mansion using magnets. This video was designed to be satisfying to watch through autonomous sensory meridian response techniques. Here's the link if you're really interested.

I then spent the evening editing my portraits and uploading them to my gallery. I had a great response from today's session and found it very motivating to get out and shoot more.

Day 27

A morning of school work for Eden, he had to design a street sign for the road that we live on and draw a picture of our house and a view of our street. His drawing has got really good over the last six months or so, he's become much more interested in drawing and designing things.

Zephyr, Ivor and myself had an easy morning with some telly and a bit of play. Zephyr enjoyed choosing various Duplo animals for Ivor to chew on.

Dinner consisted of fried eggs, beans, fried cherry tomatoes, rice cakes with cream cheese and avocado on and some ham. This has been a popular lunchtime favourite recently.

After dinner, Zephyr 'helped' Dannielle prepare a roast dinner whilst I 'helped' Eden complete his drawing of our street.

Ivor working the cuteness whilst Eden finishes off his street drawing...check out the 3D houses!

When tea was all good to go for later on, Dannielle helped the boys make birthday cards for their Auntie Ruth. Zephyr made a funny card with boobies on.

Dannielle then went to finish off the roast whilst I entertained the boys. Zephyr was keen for a bit of YouTube again but I managed to coax him away by creating a huge Duplo pirate ship with him...also with help from Ivor.

Tonights update was pretty much based around the fact that people are starting to become a little more complacent to the lockdown. The towns have become a little busier and their is a fear that people are not taking this seriously.

Ever wondered what noise a roast chicken makes when it falls onto the floor? I hadn't but I now know. It's a moist slapping sound followed by 'oh you've got to be shitting me'. At last we had carved off the best bits beforehand eh?!

We then rounded off the day by watching the news update and I managed to get the best photograph I've taken so far...this guy eh?

After the boys were asleep in bed, I went out shooting front porch portraits. it was a busy one tonight, so the editing took me a while after to. This took me until bedtime to complete. I have a few booked in for tomorrow but I only chose to do three because it is Dannielle's birthday. The ones I am doing, are all birthdays also!


Day 28

Dannielle's birthday. The 20th April. Apparently the most cursed day...and also the birthday of Adolf Hitler.

Not in our house! The boys were up early and keen to deliver their home made cards and presents (and my home made card).

We decided that today, we would also take our own front porch portrait. The boys planned to hold hand made signs to wish Dannielle a happy birthday and make the day memorable. I had a top secret plan with Eden too...but you'll find out more about that in a minute.

After dinner, we went for a stroll across the field to pay a visit to Dannielle's Nanna. I had arranged to take their portrait and they hadn't seen any of us for weeks. It was lovely to see their faces light up whilst talking to the boys. Ivor has grown a lot since they last saw him and I could tell it was a bit of a shock!

On the way home, we noticed a few unusual sights. A waiting tent outside the local doctor's surgery, some lovely drawings in windows featuring 'Captain Tom' and a new, huge sign promoting the government slogan of 'stay home. protect the NHS and save lives'. I also received a call from BBC Radio Cornwall asking if they could interview me tomorrow morning about my Front Porch Project. Obviously I agreed!

We also pit stopped on the field whilst walking home to make flower crowns, play some football and shoot some super cool photographs of the birthday girl with attitude.

It wouldn't be Dannielle birthday without power tools and DIY. So, she decided to quickly knock up a new stool for the bathroom...and then another one.

The time had come. Our 'Front Porch Portrait'. The boys gathered their signs and hand made rainbows, slicked their hair into place, put on their party hats and got ready to rock our doorstep. I too began 'operation birthday surprise' with Eden, who had a secret sign ready to produce after the initial 'test shot'.

Are you ready for it...

I had intended to do this some months ago. We visit the Eden Project on a regular basis and we have a tradition now of taking a family photograph in a specific spot there. I had bought a ring several months ago and I was going to get down on one knee during a half term visit, whilst having our photograph taken. The weather that weekend was awful so we decided to postpone our visit and wait until easter holidays. This didn't happen due to the lockdown, so I had to either wait, or improvise. I was going to wait but our family front porch project presented me with the opportunity to make this a memorable moment, (kind of sticking to the original plan) and I couldn't resist suprising Dannielle, especially on her birthday.


Eden, my eldest, has been in on this since way before I even found a ring. I'm amazed he kept this secret so long! Check out his sneaky sign that no one saw until after the photograph was taken! I am one happy man.


Attentive viewers will notice that I made sure she'd had a drink before I asked...and the subtle bottle of Corona!


ALSO, huge thanks to Rough Seas Calm Souls for creating the most perfect engagement ring! Dannielle loves it.

So, week four of Lockdown complete. Hopefully now you can understand why this is late and why I have been so busy. This week I shot over seventy Front Porch Portraits and got engaged to my dreamboat!


I'll be updating this blog weekly, let me know what you think though in the comments below.


I am planning to turn this work into a zine or a photo book once this awful situation has passed, with any/all profits going straight to the NHS.

You can follow me on Instagram here.


Back to my homepage here.


#COVIDー19 #covid19UK #cornoravirusuk #coronadiaries #coronavirus #lockdown #IsolationLife #covid19 #quarantinelife #safeathome #capturethegood #frontporchproject

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