Now and Then

This week Amy has given us the Lens-Artists challenge of Now and Then. Amy was looking at how life was before the Pandemic and how it is now. What a thought provoking topic. At first I was not sure how I would approach it. But then I thought about what I was doing in November 2019 and also November 2018. I looked at some photos and the thing that struck me the most what how much we just took for granted and will never take for granted again.

In November 2018 my husband and I were in London and we took part in a guided tour of arms and armouries . Here are a couple of photos where we are having dinner, in some amazing locations, having looked at the arms and armour at those places.

This room is in the Tower of London and we were told that back in the day it was used by Henry VIII as a bedroom!
This was our group photo after our final lunch together. I am wearing a bright pink scarf!

THEN

We all sat next to each other, stood next to each other and thought nothing of it. No one wore a mask. No one social distanced! We travelled in a small van/bus from one location to another; no restrictions on numbers. We thought nothing of it. We took all that for granted. That was life as we knew it.

NOW

Now the person who organizes the tours is not organizing any tours as no one would be comfortable going on them. The place where we always stay in London is struggling to make ends meet. No visitors are coming from outside England and the only visitors are business people who live outside London that stay there during the week. They have turned the dining room into a work place with internet access and work stations.

Looking toward the White Tower at the Tower of London This was in 2018 but the distancing could be from 2020 as long as those two people are members of the same bubble!

Finally, here is a photo of my loose black tea purchases in 2019. I love the little shop in Soho where I buy the tea. They sell both tea and coffee. The width of the shop might be 12 feet and the teas and coffees are stored on shelves right up to the ceiling. Space is at a premium. When the Pandemic hit and London locked down they had to close their doors. They have a big business in mail order but they stopped that as well as they said the space available for their employees to work and package the shipments was too cramped. I was worried that after 133 years in business Covid might be the end of this unique little store. But our son tells us it opened up again. He got me some gift certificates. I hope to eventually get there and use them!

33 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    Such a striking contrast between the “now” and the “then”. I would wonder how it will be the same time, next year … if our reordered life will be meeting our personal expectations. There are so many who are barely hanging on now, health wise and/or keeping a roof over their head, food on the table. The vaccines do bring promise, but how much is an unanswered question – and the biggest “now and then.”

    More positive, we went out, today, looking at three horses. More correctly, Elizabeth is. Her golden palomino is nearing retirement in a couple of years. She would like to get one into development, next year. It’s her “now and then.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Elizabeth is wise to start that process now and beong a younger one along. And I know that we are fortunate. Our son is still working albeit in different parts of the world; most recently Romania and Mexico ‘City. Our daughter’s work has been cut back but she still has a good job she likes
      I often think about the hellish existence for people who have fled wars and are living in refugee camps. No healthcare, no hospitals and no vaccines. We are very fortunate . Thanks for your comment David. Always nice to hear from you.

      Like

  2. Laleh Chini says:

    I hope everything goes back to normal soon, Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think we all.hope for that.
      Thanks for commenting Laleh

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Laleh Chini says:

        My pleasure sweetheart.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kunstkitchen says:

    Such a contrast of the before and after in your photos. What a beautiful travel memory.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. kunstkitchen says:

        By the way, I am reading “The Perfect Horse”. I have to read it in pieces because it is heartbreaking to read. The people who worked to save the horses were extraordinary heroes. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          There are some very harrowing scenes in that book. But don’t despair it has a good ending.🐎

          Liked by 1 person

          1. kunstkitchen says:

            I finished the book. It was a tough read. Well written. I actually was surprised to realize, I lived just 2 hours from Venden Museum of the Horse, but never knew about it.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Small businesses have definitely suffered. I enjoyed seeing your photos and reading about your visit. I am currently doing a pencil sketch of the London Tower for my artlessonsonline, it may take me several weeks to tackle it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      The Tower is a place with a real atmosphere. A lot has happened there and there are a lot of ghosts. Apparently Anne Boleyn is seen walking the ramparts carrying her head under her arm
      Having been there at night I can believe that . I look forward to seeing your sketch!

      Like

      1. One day I would like to visit the Tower and go on a guided walk.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          They have the Beefeaters in full regalia who do the guided tours. They are retired military and it takes months of study and practice before they are qualified and allowed to take the tours. They have to take one of the senior officials on a practice tour as well to make sure they have all the info correct. We went there during the day as well to see the horse armour and Henry VIII’s armour in the White Tower and there was one Beefeater who was prepping for his first day and told us he was quite nervous about it. We saw him later with his group and he was doing fine.

          Like

          1. Thank you Anne for this interesting useful information. I just googled tours of the London Tower and managed to see a brief video, it looks amazing.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Marsha says:

    I agree with you, Anne, that we will get through this pandemic just as we have gone through other tough times. This is the most widespread difficult time we have had in our lifetime and if anything, it has brought us all together. No flocking to one place that isn’t suffering. We have all suffered. Thanks for sharing this post. Your pictures are fabulous. I visited the Tower of London with my mom as part of a group of teachers through Fresno State University. We got credit, three weeks of plays and tours, classroom visits, and lectures from local education experts. I love how sharp your colors are inside the building. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Marsha. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Sounds like you had a good time in London!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marsha says:

        Mom and I had a great time. It was LONG ago, in 1992, but the memories stay fresh with photos. I must have taken a thousand of them! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. JohnRH says:

    Great photos. They look like wonderful dinners. I like the armory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It was a marvelous tour. We also got to see the Crown Jewels in a private viewing before dinner. That was a rea thrill
      Tha ks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “We took all that for granted” is what I’m thinking a lot these days too. I hope when things get back to “normal”, I will remain thankful for that and not forget how easily things can change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Me too! I think this is a real wake up for me. I have survived serious illness and that does make me give thanks for my good health and remember to enjoy every day. I now add in all those things that I took for granted.

      Like

  8. Leya says:

    Yes, let’s be patient. Now we are waiting for the vaccine. Beautiful memories, and I feel the yearning…for being able to move around without all this fear, for hugging my friends, for having delicious dinners together again. We have to believe it will come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. etikser says:

    When I see photos like yours, or watch scenes in movies, of people gathered around a big table, or out in restaurants, it makes me long for the chance to do that again. Hopefully, sometime next year. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I know we will be there and eating out and gathering with friends. We must be patient I suppose and I find patience difficult. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Tina Schell says:

    So well said Anne! Your example truly shows us how glibly we moved through life as we knew it without even thinking about how fortunate we were to move about unrestricted. Who could have imagined what was ahead just one year ago?! Your tea example is just one of many wonderful small businesses that have been so severely impacted. Happy to hear they’re back and hope many of the others will be as well. Happy 2020 Thanksgiving to you – much to be thankful for despite the many changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment Tina. I remind myself that as long as we are alive there is hope for the future. Happy amd peaceful Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Amy says:

    Thank you, Anne for sharing these beautiful photos and stories of now and then. I, too, miss the fun times of travels and dinning with people. Hope you will get back there and use the gift certificates. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Amy. We will have to be patient I think.

      Like

  12. Emma Cownie says:

    Grim times, Leueen. It’s hope they pass soon enough and we all get through this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes they are grim times. But I believe we will get through it. Stay safe and well Emma.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dprastka says:

    My heart goes out to all the small businesses. It truly is an interesting look at now and then. I have to think that eventually (even though we don’t know when that eventuality will be) we will all be back to a normal way of living and traveling. After all, there’s been many pandemics over the centuries and humans always flourish and survive! Praying we don’t lose those small businesses that are loved and are over a hundred years old!! πŸ’ž

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think we will get past this Pandemic. But we will not forget it. I think the Algerian store will survive. The other thing Iike to remind people of is that despite an entire generation being wiped out in WW1 and that followed by the Spanish Flu and then the Great Depression the Economy came back.

      Liked by 1 person

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