Years ago, when I first started blogging in the days before Copperline, I had a property blog called The Property Files. I used to write about property every week for two newspapers, and when work stopped with one (budgets, budgets) and was reduced by over a half with the other (yes, also budgets) I found myself itching to still be sharing properties. So I started a blog about Scottish properties, and every week I’d feature something national, and then on Fridays, something international. I called this slot International Fridays as it always felt like a nice way to end the week, virtually strolling through a lovely house or apartment somewhere.
I’m sure most of us feel this way, but this lockdown period has really highlighted the things that are most important in my life. I realise this will mean different things for different people, particularly those who are missing their family and friends, but for me this means: my little family, both canine and human; taking photos (always, as I mentioned in my previous post); being out in nature (taking photos); getting on my yoga mat regardless of how I’m feeling, because ten minutes into practice, you remember why it is that you practice; and tech, because six weeks of sharing a MacBook with my other half in our new shared WFH life pretty much clarified how important tech is every day.
One of the things that’s really struck me over these weeks of lockdown has been the need for creativity. Personally, I’ve been taking more photos, creating more stories on Steller, and feeling the need to write more. For me, it’s been a means of keeping my head positive and focussed, and scrolling through Instagram and talking to friends, it’s clear that I’m not alone in this.
And as many of us are now spending more time at home – pretty much all our time in the last six-plus weeks – chances are that we’re also looking around and considering the improvements we could make, and the creative interior projects we might embrace. Textile designer Claire Gaudion responded to this when launching her Collaborative Moodboard Project.
I started collecting beach finds when I was very young, walking on our local beach with my Dad and our Corgi Smut. My family moved to the coast when I was just three, so the sights and sounds and scents of the beach feel as if they are wound into my DNA. I had a collection of shells that grew and grew over the years, some picked up on our walks but others, including an entire collection of sea urchin shells, that my parents must have bought somewhere, although looking back, goodness knows where. I’m not sure what happened to them when I grew up. I’d like to think that they were passed on to someone else, but I guess they were thrown out, a childhood hobby that I’d outgrown.
As we find ourselves in week four of the UK’s lockdown, knowing that there will be more weeks stretching ahead – and many more with some level of restrictions even once this lockdown has been eased – I realise that I feel very differently about my home these days. I appreciate it differently. I’ve always appreciated it. The recession taught me never to take home for granted – indeed, my youth taught me this – but still, my perspective has shifted. I’m glad that I don’t live in the city any more; that I can walk to our local beach or around the ash lagoons, a place where I walked as a child, when the landscape looked very different, and that I’m rediscovering now, unexpectedly. I’m so glad that we have a garden, even though it’s tiny, as that slice of outdoor space has never felt more important. Just knowing you have some space beyond your walls.
And when I’m scrolling through interiors, while I’m always drawn to spaces that exude an uncluttered sense of calm, I’m also looking at houses that I could imagine escaping to. Places that are connected to nature in some way.