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Frances Tulk-Hart's Corona Diaries featuring Grant Woolhead
Photographer and Illustrator Frances Tulk-Hart spoke with Fashion Stylist Grant Woolhead about his thoughts and daily routine for her latest on-going series The Corona Diaries. Read a snippet below and head to Frances's website for the full interview and more.
What is your name?
Grant Woolhead. Uncle Gragra to some of my friends babies and the cat. Groobs to my best friends.
What do you do and are you still able to do it? If not, what are you doing on a daily basis?
I’m a Fashion Stylist. I’ve been able to Marie Kondo my closet but that’s about it as far as fashion is concerned. For what I do daily in my job I physically have to be somewhere working with the clothes so I’m unable to do that right now unfortunately. It’s still important to me to do something creative though so I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking. My collared green and roasted butternut squash lasagne was a hit. I love drawing, listening to music - I’ve been playing Benjamin Clementine who’s a fellow Brit and who I think is brilliant and some Mama Africa (Miriam Makeba) and Chavela Vargas who are my husbands favorites. I also enjoy podcasts I’m doing my beloved Desert Island Discs and Dear Joan & Jericah for a bit of light relief. I’ve also watched Tiger King along with the rest of the world which I was addicted to and love to dissect with friends.
Where are you social isolating and with who? How is it being home with them all the time?!
I’ve been socially distancing with my husband in our apartment in Harlem. He’s a nurse working at NY Presbyterian Hospital so he’s at work all day and I’m very excited to catch up with him in the evenings. I’ve always been extremely proud of him but never more so than now. I’ve basically turned myself into a 1950’s housewife with dinner on the table when he gets home from work and pouring him a glass of his favorite whiskey. I’ve been cleaning and organizing like a maniac which I get a kick out of. I’m lucky enough to have a garden too so I’m going to start working on that a bit this week I also have our stray tabby cat 'Kitty' who we took in a few years ago who keeps me company during the day. She sleeps most of the time but I like it when she lays next to me purring or when we play with her favorite piece of string.
Do you have a routine you try to stick to?
I’m a real creature of habit generally. My routine is that I wake up around 5.30 or 6am, which I always do, make tea, mine is good old builders PG Tips With milk and honey and Kwaku likes his tea black with lemon. We cycle up the Westside Highway together to the hospital and then I cycle back and usually do some weights in the garden. Then I shower, I tidy up, do laundry, then I FaceTime a bunch of my friends and family. It’s nice to see everyone’s expressions at this time for some reason, it feels less distant. In the afternoon I do my drawing, listen to podcasts and music, read. I try not to turn on the TV until 7pm and only allow 30mins of news, I don’t care to listen to too many talking heads, it stresses me out unnecessarily, but I do like to get the facts.
How is your life and your headspace changing as the weeks of isolation continue?
My headspace right now is very calm but I’ve been through a spectrum of feelings over the last 3 weeks since I started isolating on Friday 13th! I decided to use this time to have 30 days no alcohol. I love to socialize over a cocktail with friends but I figured when will I ever get the chance to not see any friends for at least a month? so it was a good opportunity. I’m at 20 days today but I’m an excited to have our usual Friday night drinks with my husband once I’m done. I’m much more appreciative of the freedoms I had before. Just the simple things like going to a restaurant with friends, it reminds me to appreciate those things.
What frightens you the most about this? Do you have ways of calming yourself?
I think the most frightening thing is the lack of control. The not knowing when I’ll go back to work. Not knowing how long we will need to isolate for. Not knowing if we will all have to communicate differently until there’s a vaccine or cure, and obviously the worry of catching it. Just the uncertainty of it all is stressful BUT I’m trying to live more in the moment which is the only way through and the best way to calm yourself, I think. Being busy usually keeps me calm so if I feel overwhelmed I tend to focus on a task, for me it helps.
Have you managed to find any silver linings?
Many, many silver linings. Like most New Yorkers I’ve had to realize that I’m not defined by my job which is hard when you spend so much time doing it. I also appreciate the change of pace and having the time to look inwards, a time of self-reflection. I love watching the birds and the water on my early morning bike rides along the Hudson, especially when it’s misty or raining with the GW bridge looming in the background so definitely taking those moments to be more connected to nature and the beauty of a silent NY has been a gift. I also realize how important my close friends, family and work friends are to me, it reminds me that we are all in this together and how much we need each other. I’m looking forward to a time when I can physically give people I love a hug.