Your Isolation Creations

Since opening our virtual doors, The Courtyard, in partnership with Feral Productions, have had a flood of creative entries to #IsolationCreations. See them all here, we post a new one each day! To find out how to send in your entry, visit this page.

With thanks to Herefordshire Community Foundation and Herefordshire Mind.

Day 1

Buster Pile Isolation Creations

Our first submission comes from Buster Pile (age 4) who was asked to draw what matters now. This is what he came up with… Well done Buster! We agree!

Day 2

This song comes from Ken and Keith Hartland and Gareth Smith who are thinking of their daily bus journey to the Buttermarket from South Wye.

Day 3

Carrier Pigeon

This #isolationcreation comes from Mr Brian Jackson, director of The Phoenix Theatre in Ross-on-Wye. A sorry vignette of life in Lockdown… poor Horace!

Chronicle from the Gulag No 4

Sad to report I’ve had to resort to technology to continue these bulletins. ‘Horace’ our lovely carrier pigeon is no longer with us; he was carrying Chronicle #3 to the outer world when he was reportedly shot down from an upstairs window by someone who had fashioned a bow and arrow from a coat-hanger. With deep regret I was told Horace ended his days under a pie-crust.
I worry about Judy. At random hours throughout the day I hear sounds of knocking coming from the dining room but I’m not allowed in. She says it’s only the sound of her trying to chip a couple of frozen sausages from the 3lb pack she’s had in the freezer for the past four years. Can it be true?
The guards continue to patrol outside with their dogs. We lie low when they’re about but the strain is palpable and our habits are changing already. For example our preferred reading is currently ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’ (me), and (for Judy) ‘Escape from Alcatraz’.
Oh no – there’s the sound of knocking coming from the dining room; it can only mean one thing – Oh God! – sausages again for tea! Would it be insensitive to wish ‘Horace’ were still here to join us…?

Keep safe; lie low.
Prisoner 4472

Day 4

Clare's Haiku

Haiku: Rural Self Isolation by Clare Witchbold

Living lives in quiet slow motion.
The silence broken:
distant greetings.

Day 5

Hereford Cathedral


Head bowed, he awaits
His daily appointment under God’s wing.
The steel gates are swung shut, silent.

In Wuhan they hear birdsong
And there are murmurs of dolphins
swimming in Venetian canals.
From balconies voices ring out
like mountain streams.

At some point a key was turned.
As when I looked again
the door was open-mouthed

And he was gone.

Day 6

Yearning for freedom and the sea air… Brinsley Morrison sings “Sea Fever” by John Ireland

Day 7

L.Gwynne’s Isolation Creation.

“I sit.”

Day 8

Becca Whittaker's Isolation creation

🌸Becca Whittaker’s #isolationcreations photo from her daily dog walk with her children. The Magnolia displays its spring colours while the world is out of joint.

“There is lots of beauty quite literally round the corner,” she says. “It will be all we see for months so we will be focussed on the smallest of changes.”

Day 9

Today’s #isolationcreation is from the poet Erin Bolens.

Miss Pandemic 2020Miss Pandemic 2020 Isolation Creations

You do not have to be productive.
You are not a dairy cow or a field of wheat.
Nothing will grind to a halt
if you do not take up the ukulele,
learn Spanish, start to crochet, master Pilates.

This is not a competition,
there will be no ‘Miss Pandemic 2020’
you cannot get a sash out of this,
you cannot win a crisis,

only hold each second like you might
hold a hand and think what can I do with you?
And you and you? before long
you will have collected a minute.

Minute collecting is my new hobby.
I’m practising a lot. I’m trying to do it carefully
and slowly as possible and when I cry
I use the minutes I’ve collected to keep myself up.

I look around for those minutes and see
what lives there and then I start again.
Everything has changed. It is okay for this
not to feel like a holiday. It’s not a holiday

we are scared of air. I tried to do yoga yesterday
but instead swore at the screen
and had a coffee and that’s okay.

More of her powerful writing can be found on

Day 10

Vismaya Vini Vasudevan Isolation Creations

Today’s stunning #isolationcreation comes from Vismaya Vini Vasudevan and needs no words.

#NHS #StayAtHome

Day 11

Today’s evocative #isolationcreation comes from the poet Jean Atkins.


O wooden cogs, Russian dolls, cats’ whiskers, whatever
the weather, regardless of the soul’s plummet, you
are sublimely satisfying. In your tactile precision,
your grainy use, you make my heart sing
within these four walls, you leaven even

a pandemic.

Also, by my mouse, a stone that I picked
once out of a French river in a place
named, and how I love this word,

 Day 12
#IsolationCreations Skye Butterworth
🧚‍♀️Skye Butterworth (8) wanted to help everyone in Herefordshire at this crazy time so she created a fairy hospital (complete with helicopter pad and adjacent bug hospital). It was officially opened by the king and queen of Gnome Land and they were also lucky enough to have Merlin present to advise the doctors…

Day 13

👩‍🎤Today’s #IsolationCreation is a song from musical comedians Russan and Royd ?. We hope it raises a smile on this sunny day 😊

Day 15
Today’s #IsolationCreation is brought to you by Gilly Semple. What a county of poets we seem to have!

A New Day - Poem - Image of trees


The dawn is stealing night away like some sly thief,
But gifting me a fleeting grace of childhood innocence
Before my ageing heart and mind and every sense
Have reassembled to remember our shared grief.

With spear shaped buds along the brittle branches breaking
It seems that Spring’s afoot with apathetic stance,
But are we being held in strong green arms to dance
Towards a resurrection, that is not forsaking?

So now the daylight warms a rain washed sky again
And blackbirds fling their songs into a pearly haze
Rocked on a blossomed sea, their Easter music plays
A fluted, gentle benison to ease our pain.

Gilly Semple 2020

Day 16

Good Friday’s #IsolationCreation is a spoken word performance from Leish Molino and is dedicated to the NHS.

Day 17

Tom Hancock’s photo of the empty Lockdown streets brings home the reality of a Saturday night during the coronavirus crisis. #StayAtHome

Tom Hancock’s photo of the empty Lockdown streets in Hereford.

Day 18

Easter Sunday – a time to be together. Some of us are unable to be with our families just now and some of us are constantly together. Orla Dixon’s wonderful film gives us a window into life during Lockdown with her brothers in rural Herefordshire.

Day 19

Easter Monday’s #IsolationCreation comes from Olive Eliot who is thinking about what she misses most while we’re all Locked Down. We can relate to this one but hope Olive has plenty Easter treats to keep her going until Shepherds Ice Cream Parlour is open again…

A Poem by Olive Eliot

Day 20

Emma L Davies sent us this contribution to #IsolationCreations with the tag line…

“There is light at the end of the tunnel”
We ❤️ the happy, sunny picture! #thistooshallpass

Two girls make a heart shape with their arms in a sunny photo

Day 21

A Million Dreams.

Becks White’s Isolation Creation is a little ballet piece that she put together for her RAD Silver Swans, but she invites you all to follow along, feel the music and move! She’s joined on piano, from his own home, by Mr Andrew Easton who does “piano in his pyjamas” every night.

Day 22

Today’s #IsolationCreation is this dramatic picture story of how to stop your head exploding when you’re in Lock Down together… Thanks Clara Hickman and family. We hope you’re enjoying your daily exercise outdoors! #theresalwaysawayforward

A drawing of a person's mind-blowing, then they get a lightbulb idea, then they go out on a bike ride

Day 23

Fun Friday – today’s #IsolationCreation SAVE THE BEES, SAVE THE PLANET, is from art student Jasmine Winter who’s home from uni and missing her studio. Her parents aren’t too keen on her request to pop nails into the walls at home!

This isn’t any ordinary artwork… Download the Luis Merchan app and scan the images to see how the landscape should look…

Save The Bees, Save The Planet Jasmine Winter

Day 24

Today’s #IsolationCreation is a snapshot of Life In Lockdown for Dom Lasek. Technology is a gift for many of us – from entertainment to connecting with loved ones, 2020 would be very different without it…

Dom Lasek

Day 25

Beautiful images of the River Wye at sunrise and music from the Hartland brothers for today’s #IsolationCreation. What a stunning county we live in. Enjoy.

Day 26

We’re starting strong this week with a powerful #IsolationCreation from artist Sally McKenna. Happy Monday everyone.

Sally McKenna

Day 27

This impressive #IsolationCreation is called “Inbound” and comes from artist Alison Crick. We love the relevance for Herefordshire with the richness of the apple tree contained within the frame.

Alison Crick Inbound

Day 28

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Penny Butterworth, aged 8. Penny was missing her school-friends so she took herself off to the garden to find some new friends. Then she created a gym for them to work out in… #snailtraining

Snail Training by Penny Butterworth

Day 29

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from French student Owain Denning whose touching reading of Apollinaire’s poem Mirabeau Bridge extends a poetic hand across the Channel to our nearest Lockdown neighbours.

Day 30

“Once upon a pandemic!”
Mark Stewart’s #IsolationCreation has reimagined how some classic fairytales might have been written if they had been created during these surreal times.

He says, “Amidst the unusual; we reflect and we react. I find myself thinking in pictures again. Sometimes a bit of humour helps calm the mind. Keep smiling…”

Mark Stewart Once Upon A PandemicMark Stewart Once Upon A Pandemic (2)

Mark Stewart Once Upon A Pandemic (1)

Day 31

Today’s bright and breezy creation comes from Tara Dempsey and is just the ticket to take us into the weekend with a flash of colour.

Tara Dempsey - tigers silly colour 4

Day 32

Christine Richmond offers us a poem for today’s #IsolationCreation. “The Dandelion” celebrates what she describes as “the invincibility of Nature” in this time of trial.

Living on the Bromyard Downs, she says she feels very fortunate… “We residents are proud of our little town; proud of our community; proud of the unspoiled beauty which surrounds us. What in ’normal times’ might have seemed a disadvantage, now, when we are self-isolating, turns out to be a blessing in disguise.”

The Dandelion Chris Richmond

Day 33

This visual treat from Charlotte Pile is named “Sky Blue Pink” and comes from a tree at the bottom of her garden. Charlotte says that she might not have noticed how lovely it is if she’d still been rushing around…

Sky Blue Pink

Day 34

🏖“When you can’t go to the beach, maybe the beach can come to you…”🏖

Let’s go on a mini holiday with Liz Chave!

Day 35

We love the mythical feel in today’s #IsolationCreation by artist Sally McKenna. The stuff of fairy tales…

Sally McKenna

Day 36

Kiera Langman’s inventive and timely take on ‘Part Of Your World’ made us smile. #notquitedisney

Day 37

Sue Fishbourne’s clever illustration is the #IsolationCreation for today.

Sue Fishbourne

Day 38

We’re reminiscing with this fantastic performance from our friends at X-entricity Theatre, can’t wait to see them back on stage with Shrek in October. ❤️

Day 39

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Gabriella Karney. Gabriella says how much she’s enjoying hearing the birdsong in her garden. She hopes to share some peace and calm with you through this beautiful little slide show. #mindfulness #silverlinings #smallblessings

Day 40

Wendy Purnell’s heartfelt delivery of ’Somewhere’ from West Side Story is today’s #IsolationCreation. Wendy chose this song to share with us now as it offers a message of hope.

Day 41

If you’re missing the sunshine of two weeks ago then take a moment to absorb today’s breathtaking #IsolationCreation which comes from Courtyard board member Bruce Freeman.

Bruce says “We may be in lockdown, but nature certainly is not! We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful county!” We agree…

Sunny Day Bruce Freeman


Day 42

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Flora Forbes-Robertson, aged 7, who has created this magnificent self-portrait for Michaelchurch homeschool where they have been learning about Frida Kahlo. 👩‍🎨

Flora Forbes-Robertson - Frida Kahlo

Day 43

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Gilly Semple who shares the gentle story of a pair of swans on the River Wye.

Pair Of Swans On The Wye

Today I saw a tranquil swan, alone the current drifting,
Her feet were still, behind her tail the water feathered out to glide
Just like a lacy bridal veil, the gentle wind uplifting,
She scanned the banks, she seemed forlorn, she searched from side to side.

I heard him, then I saw her cob, the river surface skimming
He flew with rhythmic whirring sound upon the wind’s trajection,
His urgent neck outstretched, a white arm reaching as in swimming,
Each wing tip poised to overhang its obverse in reflection.

He landed, paddling to his love with heart-stopping precision,
With heart-shaped necks their greeting was a life-affirming vision.
And watching them I wondered could they teach the human race
And show us what we ought to know of nurturing, fidelity and grace?

Gilly Semple

Day 44

On 1st April, Herefordshire Jeweller Elizabeth Terzza set herself the task of making a pair of unique earrings every day of Lockdown. From every pair sold she donates a portion of profits to Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue.

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Elizabeth’s Lockdown challenge. To find out more follow Elizabeth Terzza Jewellery

Elizabeth Terzza Jewellery

Day 45

Laurie Cousins made this #IsolationCreation film to represent “different thoughts and feelings surrounding my experience of Lockdown. Some are memories, some are things that keep me happy during an uncertain time…” Music is by Dan Stokes.

Day 46

Another beautiful #IsolationCreation film from our favourite brothers, Keith and Ken Hartland. A throwback to 2014 when we were free to wander at will across the unbeatable #Herefordshire countryside.

Day 47

We’re kickstarting the week with this glorious picture of the view that met Bruce Freeman on his daily walk only a fortnight ago…!

Yellow Field

Day 48

More musical theatre musings on offer for today’s #IsolationCreation. Sisters Livi and Sofia are looking for the good during Lockdown with a recording of ‘My House’ from Matilda.

Today’s #IsolationCreation is a short film that Melanie Denning put together from last week’s socially distanced VE Day activities in Dormington. At 7pm the bells rang out across the five local churches – Lugwardine, Weston Beggard, Westhide, Withington and St Peter’s, Dormington. #peaceatlast

🎨💒 If you’re struggling to remember the beautiful Hereford Cathedral after all these weeks, Mark Felix’s #IsolationCreation should help!

Drawing of rooftops with Hereford Cathedral in the background

Flora Forbes-Robertson is using her time at home creatively and offers this acrostic poem to transport us to far away lands…

Safari Poem

Adam Morris says he has always had an interest in art and comic books. In search of a creative outlet during #Lockdown he decided to try his hand at digital illustration… This fantastic self portrait is one of the results.

Image may contain: text

Today’s #IsolationCreation is from prolific local artist Beryl Karney (89). This stunning painting is one of many that she has created during Lockdown. We love the vibrancy of this striking picture and thought it would launch the weekend for you all!

Image may contain: flower and plant

🦔 This heart-warming and entertaining study of garden animals and their interactions is the second Karney family #IsolationCreation we’ve seen. Gabriella Karney filmed her garden friends for over a month, and these are the best bits!

Watch out for the hedgehog rugby section! #animaldynamics #whoknew

Today’s #IsolationCreation is an entertaining poem (and pic!) from Alison Falls who says that, like the Lone Ranger she is ‘over 70’ but that “Any resemblance between the characters portrayed here and living persons is strictly coincidental!”


The Lone Ranger’s over seventy
that puts him
in the at risk category.

The Lone Ranger rides into town
meets Dick Turpin
in the queue for the fish van.
Hi ho Silver! neighs Black Bess.
They pull up short
and back off.

The Lone Ranger spots Darth Vader
in the greengrocer’s
breathing over the beetroot.
Sounds bad, I’d say
he’s not long
for this world.

There’s Spiderman,
who usually stays home and
sticks to the worldwide web
and Zorro, I miss our Tex-Mex
evenings in the pub
staying out late.

Scheherezade at the newsagents
veiled as usual
must be laughing
at the lot of us
but even she can’t tell
the end of this story.

As for Neil Armstrong
in the full visor,
PPE on the streets
what is he saying?
Is it one giant leap
for mankind?

The Lone Ranger rides home
and waits for Tonto
to bring him the milk.


Image may contain: one or more people and closeup, text that says 'NEW NORMAL'

We asked Board Member Bruce Freeman to give us an update on his photos of the Herefordshire countryside. Looking at how much has changed in a few short weeks he says…

“After a spring of abundant blossoms, the plant’s energy transfers into forming fruits and seeds to assure its future. Rather like us during lockdown…”

Image may contain: tree, grass, plant, sky, outdoor and nature

Today’s #IsolationCreation comes from Ruby Thorogood and Robyn Barratt who say…

“Anybody Have A Map? is traditionally sung by two mothers in the show Dear Evan Hansen. They are searching for a way through motherhood with no map and no clue. Living through lock down and social distancing feels like that some days so we wanted to share this song from a new perspective.”

We can relate to that!

A gentle #IsolationCreation this sunny Monday with an atmospheric painting from Beryl Karney… pottery evocative of far off climes.

No photo description available.