The Time We Spent

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“ Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”

- Matt Haig, The Midnight Library



The Time WE Spent A collection of stories and experiences that shine a positive light on darker days Produced and Illustrated by Ashleigh Blades



Catching up with friends back home on video chat, we drank and laughed together and even played bingo! - JBR


Me and my partner used every single time the weather was nice just to go out for a walk, sometimes even grab some beer cans and some sandwiches and go to the canal - JBR

So grateful for being able to go for walk and runs during lockdown along the canals and rivers, and for the changing seasons - Ally

I went on a walk through some woods for my dad’s birthday. It was nice to see him smile and have fun. Me and my older sister acted like little kids and played on the playground and had sword fights with branches. It was nice to be around trees and nature and have fun with family - Heather


I started a new job gardening and taking care of peoples houses. Getting to be outdoors and getting to be physically active is good. I also get to meet lots of dogs -Tom

Walks by myself during lockdown, nature makes me feel peaceful so helped with bad lockdown feelings, and helped my mental well-being for getting some exercise and some air, and being amongst plants and animals; shinrin yoku - Jess I met my boyfriend last summer. We had our first date in Castleton - we drove through some nice hills and had a beer outside next to a war memorial because we weren’t allowed to meet inside pubs yet - Hannah


The moment I real ised that giving a little time to yourself to build your mental strength and personal confi dence is completely OK and deserved. Like the time I sat on the Quay in front of the sunset, My mates and I ordered a massiv e fish and chips and ate it with 2 bottles of prosecco on a picni c blanket facing the sun. It was very wholesome and felt li ke all the difficult times had di sappeared for those few hours - Ellie




In the summer I took my niece out for a walk to the park. We went to the playground and fed the geese on the way back. I hadn’t spent a lot of time with her before and it was a really quiet and pleasant day. We spent time feeding the geese and running around the playground. It was wonderful -Elliot


So many board games


I’ve been having a lot of fun sitting around playing old board games, we now need two cupboards for all the games we have- it’s getting out of control! - Richard



In my city flat, I felt alone and missed the warmth and smell of home. So I quit my job and moved back to Italy to live in a tiny flat with my parents and siblings...


...There is not a lot of space for my things, but I feel peaceful and loved, and every day we find a reason to laugh together - Federica



Going to the supermarket has been really fun when there’s not much else to do. I like looking at all the food and sweets I could get - Jasmine




Making crafts with my sister, going back to the days of earring making, painting, lino printing, puzzles...



...and knitting. - Lily


Playing dancing video games into the early hours of the morning - Richard




I took an interest in learning the ukulele. It’s great to have a hobby that isn’t related to anything I have to do, and I can just do it because I want to. And it’s nice to learn new things and exceed my own expectations. - Heather

I finally mastered playing Hurt by Johnny Cash on the guitar -Niall


I have focused more on my workouts. I came to realise how small things can really help me and make me become more conscious of my mental and physical health - JBR



I left the country and visited my family for a while, it was so nice to be able to see them. We all ended up having a much needed break, we ate nice food together and swam in the sea, and said goodbye to my Grandmothers house before it was sold. - Celine



So lucky to have had time with my family that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, especially our dog Wallace who passed away in July. So thankful for those months together now -Ally I am loving the peace and quiet of working at home. From my office window I can see the trees in my garden - initially blossom and buds, then through the full leaf of summer, the yellows and reds of autumn, and now the bare branches. The constant is the birds blackbirds, pigeons, goldfinches, robins. - Phoebe My horse Harvey is now up to being ridden fully and schooled on a minor scale after 18 months of rehab after an injury. A small achievement in the grand scheme of things but a very large step in the right direction for us - Charlie I spent an entire day woodworking and reading in the sun with my two dogs and my girlfriend, then in the evening we had a camp-fire and slept in a tent in the garden, which was a great day and probably wouldn’t have been possible without lockdown - Jim Getting a dwarf hamster with my partner, both of them bring so much light into my life every day - Ally A puppy came into our lives- my friends mum was re-homing his Frenchie so my friend went to see him and came home with him the same night, he now lives the country life, is the owner of many a squeaky toy and has tried his best to make friends with the cats

- Charlie



“Remember the blue sky. It may at times be obscured by clouds, but it is always there.”

-Andy Puddicombe, Headspace cofounder




Thank you to all the people who took the time to be mindful and provided their positivity to this project: Ally Celine Charlie Ellie Elliot Emma Federica Hannah Heather

Jasmine JBR Jess Jim Lily Martha Niall Phoebe Richard Tom

See more work and find out more about The Time WE Spent project at www.ashleighblades.com