Bollywood dancing, daily walks and painting - How Leeds grandma coped in lockdown

Daily walks, painting and Bollywood dance classes via Zoom have helped one Leeds grandma to stay active and connected during lockdown.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 5:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th March 2021, 5:50 pm

Dot Overfield, 80, was widowed in November 2019 and had only just been getting used to living alone when the first lockdown came.

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"Being away from my family was very, very hard," she said. "We didn't know about Zoom at first so we were just phoning each other. I found that extremely hard until they allowed us to go into a bubble."

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Dot Overfield's hobby of painting is one of the ways she has kept busy during lockdown. Picture: James Hardisty

She has kept in touch with friends and family over the past year through regular phone and video calls, even joining her daughter, son-in-law and their two children for dinner via Zoom.

"That's just nice because it's somebody to talk to," Dot said. "Because sometimes you don't hear your voice all day long. It's just nice to have a chat and see how they're going on."

A daily walk in Rothwell Park has become an important part of her routine, with her hobby of painting also proving a great distraction during times when the strictest Covid measures have been in force.

Dot said: "Once you're painting, you lose yourself. You can, for a couple of hours, be out of it.

"The trick is to keep yourself busy if you can. If you've got a hobby like that, it stands you in good stead."

Her weekly Bollywood dance group has continued by moving online, with a WhatsApp group for participants helping them to stay in connected in between sessions.

As restrictions now ease, Dot is thinking about getting back out and about again.

She said: "I’ve had one of my vaccinations and I’m due to have the other soon. I’m feeling more optimistic and safe.

"I think I’m a bit nervous about shopping and going where there are a lot of people, but apart from that I’m looking forward to being able to have friends for a meal or in the garden."

One of the activities Dot has most missed is going to the theatre, but she wondered how safe it will feel when the time comes.

"We don’t know what we will feel like," she said. "We’ve missed it all but we’ve sort of got used to not putting ourselves out there.

"It seems really strange to say but when people were being optimistic and saying we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, [staying in] suddenly feels like such a chore. We’ve done it all this time because you feel like we had to do it. We want it finished and hopefully it will be."

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