Date27 Aug 2020
We went into lockdown in mid-March and have been living a very limited life ever since. My husband, Francis had only just moved to London and my exhibition, Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, was open for two weeks before the museum closed its doors. Initially this meant working from home, but I was soon furloughed, which gave me time to settle into our small flat in East London’s Forest Gate. I moved here last November when I was busy with work and barely at home, so we spent the first few weeks hanging pictures and working on the garden, where we’ve been planting vegetables and making friends with the scurry of squirrels that live in our tree.
Being unable to work has allowed me to embrace my leisurely instincts: reading in bed, going for walks, making cocktails and watching films in the bath. My uncle gave us a radio as a housewarming gift and it has been an essential part of our lockdown, particularly when we were losing track of what day it was. I am now back at work but mostly doing so from home, moving around the flat and setting up my office wherever seems best suited for my mood that day.
Josephine Rout is a Curator in the Asian department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is co-curator of the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk and author of Japanese Dress in Detail, published by Thames and Hudson. She was born in Ōtautahi Christchurch and studied at the University of Canterbury and the Royal College of Art.