In these difficult days of social distancing and self-isolation, life can become exceedingly lonely. It certainly makes you appreciate all the irritating circumstances of your old life, such as waiting in never ending queues or being part of a herd of strangers trying to cross a busy road. Yet every cloud has something to offer if you look hard enough. Having excess time on our hands is something many of us are unfamiliar with and it takes a while to adjust. But once you begin to realise the advantages of suddenly having the freedom to relax and explore a topic you’ve always had in mind, it’s a golden opportunity to enrich our lives culturally and creatively. And thanks to the internet, almost anything is possible.
There are world famous museums and art galleries such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that have fabulous collections that can be explored through virtual online tours. The Louvre in Paris has several including one of the Galerie d’Apollon where you can view the magnificent ceiling painted by Delacroix in 1851.
As an immediate contrast, visit the Vatican’s virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and view the elaborate fifteenth century ceiling masterpiece of Michaelangelo. The ornately carved beams in the ceiling of the Great Hall of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace have a simplistic splendour all of their own that you can appreciate from the comfort of your own home. Although these tours have existed for some time, it is only now that many of us have the opportunity to sit and enjoy such a rich, cultural experience. Even natural landscapes can be enjoyed from afar. Explore the beautiful Lake District of northern England and discover for yourself why literary greats such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter adored the region. You can even view the ancient stones of Wiltshire’s Stonehenge in much closer detail than if you visited the monument for real.
Uluru or Ayers Rock in Australia is another awe-inspiring location that can be appreciated virtually while preserving it for the future.
Everyone has a creative talent hidden within them even if our attempts may never quite match up to the works of da Vinci or Raphael. Creating your own art using pen, paint, pencil or an online art package, can be relaxing and stimulating particularly if you follow your own instincts.
Inspiration can be found in all types of unusual places from the minimalist design of Shopify stores to the fascinating symmetry of multi-colored kaleidoscope patterns of an online search. Even cartoon cats and dogs or photographs of the scenery in famous theatre productions such as Broadway’s Sunday in the Park with George can fire your imagination and encourage your creative talent to flourish. Creating your own masterpiece is something you might never get the chance to accomplish other than during the times we are living in, so take advantage while it lasts.