Coronavirus: 'We couldn't go to Tenby so I recreated it'

Pete Hall with his model Tenby Image copyright Pete Hall
Image caption Pete Hall had to cancel his plans for his wife's birthday - so he brought Tenby to her

When the coronavirus lockdown stopped Pete Hall from taking his wife away for her birthday, he got creative.

The 57-year-old from Cardiff realised the Pembrokeshire trip might not happen for a while so he brought Tenby to her.

Using wood from old furniture, paint tester pots and the children's arts and crafts cupboard, Mr Hall built a model of the town for their living room.

"It's made up for the cancellation I suppose, in a little sort of way," he said.

Mr Hall, who owns the Halls of Llandaff shop and cafe, had found himself with the one thing self-employed people rarely have - time.

"I struggle to get seven days off, let alone seven weeks," he said.

"So how am I going to occupy my time?"

Describing himself as a "hoarder" and "a bit of a DIYer", with a background in mechanics and an artistic father, Mr Hall combined all those passions.

Image copyright Pete Hall
Image caption Pete Hall spent an hour or two per day on his project during lockdown

Mr Hall used Google to represent Tenby as accurately as he could, using a little "creative licence" with the colours of some of the houses and to bring the church into view.

"I looked up some old pictures and thought 'I could do something with that shelf', and it's one of our favourite places to go as a family."

Using scrap wood and old furniture, Mr Hall spent an hour or two a day creating his own little Tenby.

"I nicked the kids' paint from their art cupboard, it was just a bit of fun and it accelerated," he said.

"My wife thinks I should raffle it off for the NHS, but at the moment it's up on the shelf where I always intended it to be."

Image copyright Hannah Bartlett
Image caption Hannah Bartlett's origami butterfly bedroom wall - which she wakes up to every morning

Meanwhile in the real Pembrokeshire, Hannah Bartlett has made 1,500 origami butterflies in one month.

Despite never having done origami before, the 44-year-old from Narberth started by folding 50 per day - learning from YouTube videos and trying different designs to see what would work best for her wall.

Ms Bartlett, who has now made a tutorial on creating the butterflies, said the project help her cope with the loneliness and boredom of lockdown.

"The project also gave me focus both daily and on the goal of finishing within the 30 days.

"They are certainly cheerful to wake up to each day."

Ms Bartlett started fundraising for her origami-arathon, to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance which saved her daughter Hattie's life.

Image copyright Hannah Bartlett
Image caption Hattie suggested placing 225 spare butterflies on the window in a rainbow shape

Hattie was critically ill two years ago and was taken to intensive care at The Noah's Ark Children's Hospital in Cardiff.

"They flew to Withybush Hospital and with the team there put her on life support and airlifted her to Cardiff in around 20 minutes.

"I can honestly say without that, our story could have had a very different outcome."

Hattie spent a week on life support before being transferred back to west Wales.

Ms Bartlett said: "Once lockdown was put in place nearly all our normal fundraising activities were either postponed or cancelled and I still wanted support the charity.

"And that's when the idea of the butterflies came to me, as an at-home socially-distanced fundraising challenge.

Image copyright Wyn Jones
Image caption Wyn Jones used limestone from a house in France for this carving

"I've been carving 'something' all my life," 79-year-old Wyn Jones said.

Mr Jones and his wife Hilary have been members of the University of the Third Age (U3A) charity's art appreciation group in Flintshire for 13 years, with Hilary now the vice-chair.

Mr Jones said: "I have always been a practical guy, from my engineering experience in the John Summers steelworks, electronic engineering on radar for the RAF and before retiring, being an engineering training officer."

He said his wood carvings are the easiest, but after acquiring limestone from a wall in a French farmhouse, he had been waiting for inspiration.

And inspiration came at an unexpected moment - while Mr Jones was giving a slide show talk for U3A about the sculptor Rodin, and one of his pieces which shows a girl's face emerging from the stone.

"This fine weather has enabled me to be out in the garden, chipping away to my heart's content," he said.

Image copyright Wyn Jones
Image caption Another carving Wyn Jones created during lockdown, from lime wood stained to look like oak

Mr Jones, from near Holywell, said his work includes bowls, pots, candle holders, goblets, platters and clocks, and he gives tutorials to others wishing to take up the craft.

It has taken him five weeks of lockdown to create his limestone and lime wood carvings.

Mrs Jones, 73, said the majority of U3A's 16,000 Wales members fall into the "vulnerable" category and are shielding because the main criteria to join is to no longer be in full-time employment.

"However this has not stopped them carrying on with their pleasure in learning, within their interest groups, whilst embracing all the technology available to them to help."

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