Everything is and will change rapidly as everyone adapts to each new situation although there are a few trends and comms messages that are current right now that we have learnt through attending webinars and having conversations with our database and media monitoring suppliers. We have been trying to apply these to our clients to help them navigate through these unprecedented times. I’ve had to personally learn fast and not be afraid of technology whether that be hosting frequent Zoom meetings, updating websites, coordinating live Q&A’s on social media or analysing the data that is beginning to appear. It’s been a brilliant, if tiring learning curve.
We followed the guidelines early and planned to work from home. The situation developed so dramatically quickly that our reaction was swift and thank goodness it was as Patrick, Conor and I managed to get everything from the office – computers, files, printer (invaluable), Lola’s bed and toys and brought everything home in the car on Sunday, just overfour weeks ago. We’d left the office just under a week before although our little back street in Marylebone, Portman Close, had been pretty deserted for a while before this. The next day lockdown was announced so we had been just in time and it meant we could set up a functioning home office for all of us before the working week started.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve found it hugely stressful looking at how the business is looking and could look and what the best options are. We are in unchartered territory and only time will tell whether the proposed government schemes will be able to help a business such as ours. We’ve tried to help clients as much as possible directly as really want to be there for them on the other side. These are deep running, long-standing relationships and however they look on the other side, I want them to look like something! There is always a way.
Not a day goes by when I don’t count my blessings. London may have lost some of its glitz and appeal (understatement) although there’s always a silver lining. I’ve helped set up a support group in our road where the reality was I knew very few people before and work a couple of shifts a week as a call handler on the local aid group in Kilburn. I’ve also started to see possibilities of a new way of working and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have projects to work on that inspire and mentally stimulate me. We had a life changing food delivery from our amazing friends at Lincolnshire Game at the beginning of lockdown and I’m not sure they will ever know what that meant to us.
I’ve been thinking really carefully about anything I buy – it’s been a great opportunity for me to look into who I am actually supporting so, I have stopped buying from Amazon – such an easy go to – and started to source the suppliers directly, preferably someone I have a connection with. An old friend of mine, Thierry, works for a business, Les Cave de Pyrene, supplying top restaurants unique and delicious wines. Naturally the restaurant business has evaporated for the present and they are now doing home deliveries of cases of wine normally only easily sourced by the trade. We have our first delivery arriving shortly J Plum, the new miniature wire haired dachshund is not a fan of yoga mats – that may be because she does not get full attention for an hour at 7am so thinks if she can eat the mat completely, I won’t be able to practice… Ha! So, instead of diving straight onto Amazon, I went straight to the Yogamatters site – professional and well-priced equipment delivered to your door. I’ve bought all Plum’s new toys direct from Orvis as not only are they a much-loved client, their dog range is second to none and they also give back to the environment.
There have been a few things that have been really helpful to keep me sane and positive. I’ve developed a routine which consists of a Skype call with my best friend in France from her yoga shala at Yobaba Lounge in our village in the South of France. Today was day 27 of consecutive Ashtanga practice – something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my life for months now. My glutes ache satisfyingly and the breathwork has been proven to improve your immunity – it’s a win win. I’ve moved ‘office’ a few times now. The kitchen table was Zambuni HQ for a while although with a new puppy, the fridge, Patrick in eyesight in the dining room and my son making breakfast at lunchtime or teaching a Zoom football and fitness coaching session in the garden didn’t do wonders for prolonged periods of concentration so I’m now in a quiet bedroom and have a lovely view of the street, the blossom and safely tucked away. Also, I found I needed to change room when I finished work and the only option was the garden or the sofa so now the kitchen will hopefully become exciting again. I qualified as an aromatherapist in the ‘90s and have picked up on my skills using diffusers and room sprays for to relax and boost the immune system.
We’re trying to watch less TV and not consume the news every minute. It can be too obtrusive and not allow you the space to create something interesting and frankly I don’t need Paul McCartney to tell me to #stayhome – I’m not a complete moron.
We’re sending our next newsletter at the end of the week so as ever, the offer is always there if you have some good news you’d like us to share – we’d love to hear your stories.