Staying inspired and getting innovative.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Never, for me, have these words been more true.  Where I am in lockdown, we are only allowed the essentials and medicine – no extras.  Tried to buy some Rosecare yesterday no, and Art supplies, also no.  Use what you have, do what you can:  nothing like a make up brush for my online art class this morning.  Brought back the small box of watercolours, avec tiny bitty brush and MacGyver like, innovative use of said make up brush.

Day 10 of lockdown, and dare I say it, things are getting a little easier and only if the end is in sight, which sometimes fades … and then I really have a major anxiety attack.  It doesn’t last too long which is largely due to  the multitude of wonderfully innovative people out there, adapting and delivering on a whole new level. Viewed from my living room. Organisations keeping us entertained with viral beauty, online courses sprouting, literally, everywhere.  Delightful chefs sharing recipes, memes to make us laugh, the list of buzzing ideas makes me quite dizzy – so if my day is spent alone, mostly in front of my computer. I am in a world changed, but also remarkable.  We may all become very lounged and lazy, but bored, never.

When I left London a few weeks ago, one of the many things I miss, is my Art Classes.  What started as a weekend of Life Drawing at the Wallace, has become a group of friends, under the guidance of the delightful Alison – art teacher and lecturer supreme. Alison gives art classes in schools, privately and at the National Portrait Gallery, as well as bespoke tours of the National and Portrait Galleries.  Because of the current situation, Alison is, like the rest of us, housebound.  No longer missing out, for we have gone viral – Zoomers all, and today we did various Japanese Watercolour techniques. Even with my lack of proper tools, spent the morning transported to a make-shift studio dabbling with colour whilst jabbering away.  What soul stuff for me.

Of course we are all reeling and most stressing about our livelihoods.  Never more true then are the words of start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.  What about taking your business virally, or changing your direction all together? Find inspiration around you and always believe that ‘ ‘n boer maak ‘n plan’  – a farmer makes a plan, a wonderful Afrikaans expression.

What else inspired me this week?  A few little bits and bobs of articles for starters:

  • One of my favourite chef’s Janhas come up with a Lockdown meal plan, and it looks delicious!.
  • HiP Paris has a lovely article on how to experience Paris from you armchair.  First stop darling.
  • Country Living shares 8 magnificent gardens you can visit virtually.  How many have you been too?
  • For serious, uplifting inspiration, nothing better than watching Escape to the Chateau and the DIY spinoff.
  • Countrylife SA has some great articles on interesting towns in South Africa.  Uplifting stuff.
  • More Francophile inspiration from The Simply Luxurious life, a favourite of mine too.
  • Good for the exercising all, but ladies, did you know how important that pelvic floor is? Off you go …
  • And of course, my lovely National Trust has a blossom watch list for those going into spring.

Just had to pop the exercise link in there – now more than ever we have to fight the flab.  Inspiring too, to see how innovative everyone is getting for not being able to get out – I work out (all ten minutes of it) on the garage floor.

And there are many, many other places to find inspiration – when the chips are down, the ideas spew forth. Put the music on and pencil in hand …

Don’t know about you but sometimes I get a little iffy if others tell me what I need and should do – is it the ‘grumpy’ thing, I don’t know. Although I fail miserably at times, I try not to tell, but learn from, rather pep myself when things are askew in the world.

The lockdown, and I thought afternoon naps were going to be part of the miserable pattern of inertia and depression, Now I need to make every hour count.  Paint, chat, clean, exercise, cook …(feels a little like living in the last century),  you know the drill. and not justifying wine before the proper wine o’ clock (even after the mouse debacle).  If I had to wait for the first plane to fly over before pouring the cold medicine of the vine, I would be stone.

Hope your day was a pretty awesome one.  Till soon xxx