Freelance guide Vicky Inglis is spending lockdown living in a caravan on the Aberdeenshire coast. Here, she talks about the insecurity of being self-employed during the coronavirus crisis.  

Pictured: Garden camping, Vicky Inglis

I’ve not long returned from working overseas for the season, and have been staying in a caravan at the end of my parent’s garden for the last few weeks. They’re shielding my elderly granny in the house, as she needs round-the-clock care, so this means I can help without compromising their exposure to the virus; going shopping, running errands for neighbours, doing maintenance jobs around the place.

Pictured: the views on Vicky’s daily exercise

It’s helping me too, as I finished my contract at the end of March, and don’t know how I’ll find more work at the moment. I’d been wildlife guide on a traditional sailing ship last year, and had just started building my freelance guiding work up. As I’ve been self-employed for only a year I don’t qualify for any support. It’s been overwhelming at times; with no work to focus on I feel like I’ve lost my direction. I’ve signed up to help with the volunteer response, so hopefully will get something out of that soon.

I still feel like I’m lucky through. I’m in a rural area on the beautiful Aberdeenshire coast, a kilometre or so from the nearest village, surrounded by farmland and have the sea just metres from my doorstep. I have space to go for walks and runs along the coastal path, and just to get outside, watch the birds, potter about on the shore, and breathe. I took my tent to the front garden for a ‘camping trip’ over the Easter weekend. I have friends and family who have to remain isolated indoors, so I know how fortunate I am to have this right on my doorstep.

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