What did you do in lockdown?

The spectrum of people that I meet through Freemasonry never ceases to surprise me.

Being a brand new companion of the Holy Royal Arch, with a whole seven weeks of experience, I have been pleased to receive several invitations to Chapters in the Southeast and Central areas.

The warmth and fellowship of Craft lodges very evidently continue to this degree. My first visit was to Gosport Chapter #903 on the 5th of March. The ceremony was a double exaltation and was carried out superbly, at least to my untrained eye. But that is not why I am writing this article.

Whilst dining I was fully engaged in conversation with three fellow companions. We put the world to rights on several issues, as you do before we got onto the subject of hobbies. Companion Ken Grant, who was seated opposite me, casually mentioned that he painted. “During lockdown, somebody bought me paint by numbers. It took me ages to complete, and I thought it may be easier to just paint freehand.”

Ken had spare time on his hands, as did many others during this strangest of times. As he reached for his phone to show me some of his efforts, I was filled with dread. Thoughts of how I may have to praise a piece of work as bad as any that I would produce! Well, take a look for yourself and remember that Ken has had no art training whatsoever!

Ken is modest in demeanour and brushes off (excuse the pun) his obvious talent as “merely having an eye for detail.” To date, I believe Ken has not parted with a single painting. He speaks of them with an emotional glint in his eye. I think they may have become family members.

Perhaps, during that lockdown period, others of you found a new direction or a hidden talent. I would love to hear about it if you have the misfortune to be seated alongside me!