Term is about to begin. Usually for me that would involve packing, agonizing endlessly over which books to bring back to school, an eleven-hour plane flight, and a frantically excited train to Winchester. I don’t think I have ever walked through the gates of the Porters’ Lodge, wheeling in my suitcases, without a sense of the theatrical; the feeling I like to think MI5 agents or the PM must have most days. It’s one of the best feelings in the world: going back to school. Our beautiful campus, my amazing friends, a hundred projects and never a dull moment.
This time it will simply involve me waking up an hour or two earlier, changing into normal people clothes, and sitting down at the same desk I have been at for the past four weeks.
Looking back over the last months of my sporadically-kept diary, it’s astounding how much the world has changed - but also how resilient we have been, as a global, national, and school community. Many people have likened this time to the war effort. And, truth be told, being summoned to meet in our boarding houses - our numbers already depleted - to be told that school was closing and seeing the slow drip of boys dragging suitcases out of their dorms did bear a strange resemblance to London children escaping the Blitz, eighty-odd years ago.
Partially it must be our ability to adjust to new circumstances but during these holidays, locked away at home, it’s been very easy for me to forget what is actually happening outside my house. The panic and fear I felt has ebbed away to normality. As a community we are incredibly lucky; we are able to go on lockdown and stay safe. We have the resources to go back to school - many children will not. It may not be the full experience of returning that I so love but I will see my teachers and friends again. Many school groups and societies have been transferred online, and I will continue learning.
But these are still strange times. This post will (hopefully) form part of a thread incorporating other boys’ ideas, feelings and thoughts during lockdown, and showcase some of the creative work boys have made during this lockdown. We hope to create a sort of time capsule showing how Winchester pupils reacted to these times of crisis that will end up being a testament to our strength as a community. There are many lessons to be learned during lockdown, much to be thankful for and much to be saddened by. I hope that through this project we can record something of this baptism of fire to look back on and learn from.
2nd July 2020
In our last postcard from home this term, Anvesh explains that, whilst he misses friends and school life, he has enjoyed spending time with his family, learning recipes from his older sister and playing games with his parents.
29th June 2020
Struck by the terrible hardships facing vulnerable communities in his home city of Bangkok, Toh started making nutritious, tasty food to be delivered to those most in need. In an inspiring postcard, he explains how he's balanced his charity work with his school work.
22nd June 2020
Denied a public stage on which to act out the drama that is such an important part of his life, Oscar has improvised whilst in lockdown and created his own set, costumes, and cast family members, to bring theatre to life inside his home.
18th June 2020
Tristan is finding new enjoyment in classically British pastimes and literature, as well as finding the increased independence required of online learning the perfect preparation for university.
15th June 2020
Volunteering in his local village and cycling for charity, Alfred is using his time away from school in a particularly inspiring way.
11th June 2020
Writing from Hong Kong, Seb is missing dorm life in his boarding house. He's working his way along the main island's walking trail, to escape his apartment whenever possible.