After the success of last year's fundraising calendar, we asked our friend and fellow Long Covid advocate Kim Horstmanshof if she would again kindly donate her beautiful photos to us for another charity calendar.
Kim is a photographer who contracted Covid in early 2020 and has had Long Covid ever since. Her way of looking at the world has changed in the last four years- but if anything that has made her photography even more evocative and meaningful.
Being invited to create last year's calendar by my wonderful friends at Long Covid SOS was an amazing surprise and I was astonished at how quickly they sold! What was almost more wonderful was the really lovely messages I received through the year, as people turned over new pages and found something uplifting in the photo they saw.
I was completely over the moon to be asked again by the Long Covid SOS team to work with them on a 2024 calendar. I feel as if I haven't taken as many photos this year, and it felt like most of them were either of parakeets in my apple tree or squirrels raiding the bird feeders! As it turns out, there were many glimpses of beauty and the natural world that made it into the calendar, from the flowers in my garden to a wonderful glimpse of a kestrel shown to me by a friend on a short trip to Bushy Park in summer.
Long Covid can be dispiriting, isolating, and feel endless. Finding tiny beautiful things around me and sharing them with the world - as well as my longhauler friends - gives me a sense of connection and purpose. I hope that you enjoy these photos and, whether you have Long Covid or not, are inspired by the wonderful natural world around us.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, peaceful and safe 2024,