Hope or No Entry?

Two weeks into 2021 and London has started the New Year with a lockdown. It’s hard to imagine London empty and shut down.  I hope these photos from Bank , down to the Thames and onwards to Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Kensington capture the emptiness and beauty of this silent capital city.

For all the trials and difficult times I’m sticking with with ‘Hope’. Stay safe, well and creative, the days are getting longer, we’re on track for better times.

No handbag???Keeping things to a minimum, going out with my Zrow Lifestyle Phone holder and that’s it.

Norfolk: from Seago to Constable with a sprinkling of Repton

From the Norfolk Broads to the Norfolk Coast and up to Sheringham Forest, escaping London the weekend prior to the 2nd lockdown was the perfect getaway.

Landscape near Hickling by Edward Seago

On what turned out to be a wild , blustery, winter weekend, complete with Covid restrictions, the solitude of Hickling Broad and Marshes felt like stepping into an Edward Seago landscape. The unique thatched boathouses on the canals, reminiscent of a children’s fantasy novel.

The picturesque village of Horning on the River Bure was empty, but the busy canal was still the place to watch the boats float by.

The ancient coastal fishing town of Cromer, famous for it’s fresh crab and fish & chips, picture postcard beautiful and full of charm. strolling along the beach and long wooden pier made me feel like i’d stepped straight into a Constable painting.

Yarmouth Jetty after 1823 John Constable 1776-1837 Bequeathed by George Salting 1910 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N02650

The winds were so strong that gate keeper at Sheringham Park advised the forest observation point was closed, not that it would deter me from a long walk, especially as this park was landscaped by Humphry Repton . Repton was known for creating new, free flowing landscapes with no barriers between the gardens and natural surroundings. he also said Sheringham was the favourite of the gardens he created and I have to say it is breathtaking.

Not to be missed, rain, wind or shine! The coastal views are amazing as is the clearing and views leading to Sheringham Hall .

Some other details….

Stayed at: Sprowsten Manor Hotel

Ate fish and chips at No1 Cromer, where else?? 5* all the way

Bag: Zrow Lifestyle Mobile phone holder in Natural

Thank you as always to my resident photographer Dennis Madden

Out catching colours

I’m sure that for many other small business owners like myself , life since the first Covid lockdown in March has been a daily challenge with the unknown. I realise I’ve been so ‘consumed’ with my effort to keep going and to find a strategy to see the business through Lockdown and beyond,that I’ve taken no ‘time out’ to do some of the most fundamental things that have been my core inspiration. Little did I know when I took off the last 2 weekends in October that my luck was in, lockdown is back as of November. I was fortunate to re-charge my batteries on time.

For my first inspirational weekend off , I ventured out of London to the Chiltern Hills for some autumnal inspiration. ‘Catching’ colours as I call it.

I always choose my new season colour palette from nature, match the images to my desired Pantones and start forming my range

Here I am, lost in my thoughts

with my Silver Abstraction Pouch, I mean why not do muddy walks with a shiny silver bag?

Sawako’s New beginnings

During the lockdown, one of the most satisfying things I have done is to give some proper attention to my house plants. I had been noticing little plantlets popping up in the soil of one plant in particular, and I hadn’t found time to care for them properly until now. There was the added issue of not being able to get my hands on any compost for a while.

Having grown up in a house filled with plants I always hoped I had inherited the green finger gene. As soon as I moved into my own place, I was excited to fill every windowsill with pots, and have over the last few years, learned a few dos and don’ts of house plant keeping.

My biggest success so far is my beloved pancake plant – a pilea peperomioides. A quick look online proves what a popular and Instagram-worthy houseplant this is. The satisfyingly round, glossy leaves and easy-care make this a particular favourite with fellow Millennial plant parents.

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The mother plant that I’ve had for around two years.

Once your plant starts to sprout little plantlets, it is easy to propagate them. Carefully, cut through the root under the soil and plop the plant into a small jar of water.

The little plant can be put straight into a new pot of soil, but I like seeing this stage of the growth. It is so satisfying to see the roots develop, and I feel like I’m doing my own little science experiment.

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Here are some I made earlier. At the beginning of the year I also had a few sprouts that I’d removed and they are doing nicely. One of these babies was supposed to go to a friend who I will hopefully get to see soon.

Windowsill space is getting tight around here. Any takers for a new pancake plant?

Sawako is the Merchandiser at Nadia Minkoff London, currently in lockdown at home

 

 

 

 

Dana’s Quarantine Diary

Hello everyone!

Hope you are staying safe with ample amounts of toilet paper, and that you’re enjoying your one form of exercise a day.

During this time, it is easy to be inundated with suggestions to enhance “productivity,” how to spend this perilous time learning Mandarin while homeschooling 3 children, or growing botanical herbs in the garden. If one more person tells me Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine I might cry.

However, I prefer a more realistic approach to lockdown. Below are a few things I’ve been doing to pass the time.

  1. A jigsaw puzzle

Somehow I had managed to reach the ripe old age of 24 before engaging with a jigsaw puzzle. To be honest I have no patience and didn’t really see the point of spending hours putting pieces together to pull them apart at the end. But desperate times. I’m proud to say with the help of my father I completed a 200 piece puzzle aimed at children ages 8 and above. Hold your applause.

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2. Netflix

I must admit, I got a little nervous that I would finish all the content available on Netflix. I even watched some Argentinian true crime (thanks for the rec, Nadia) in trying to stagger my viewing, which ended up being the best thing I’ve watched in years. Using this time to slow down and veg out in front of the TV with family is the best. Trust me.

     3. Nadia’s Workshop Take Home Kit

Once this is all over, your first outdoor excursion should be to one of Nadia’s workshops. I happen to have the hand eye coordination of a newborn lemur, but Nadia and the most amazing team managed to coach me into creating a beautiful necklace (if I may say so myself) which made for a wonderful birthday present for my mum. The new at home kits paired with her Youtube videos allow you to make the same creations at home. I can’t wait to make more to wear to all the post quarantine soirees.

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4. Download Tik Tok, feel old, get confused, delete it

This activity I cannot recommend in good conscience, it will leave you feeling geriatric and googling what the “Savage” is.

To conclude, this time is weird for everyone and we’re all just doing the best we can. Don’t let people online make you feel bad for not doing at home Yogalates or creating healthy and “delicious” (I don’t buy it) kale protein bars. If you woke up this morning and washed your hair, you’ve already accomplished more than I have.

Stay safe and take care of each other, as me and my best friend demonstrate below.

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Dana

Bag fit for a blogger

My sister in law Sharon, is a lady of many talents. Apart from being a photographer and global traveller, she is also an amazing cook, consummate foodie and writes her own food blog.

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It goes without saying that as my sister-in-law she has a decent collection of Nadia Minkoff handbags, mostly large bags that can accommodate her camera and lenses and are suitable for travelling.

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So when we launched our Borough Camera bag she was intrigued to know if it would work for her ‘ bloggers’ camera and we decided to let her test-drive it and tell us what she thinks.

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So here we go, Sharon and her Borough Camera bag, on location in Cadiz Spain. And for those wondering the camera is a Fuji X-T20 with a 18-55 lens.

We’re happy to confirm Sharon has advised that bag, camera and photographer are very well matched!!

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