You get a totally different perspective on the landscape, the wildlife and even life itself

New pleasures

Simple things – like escaping with a good book, swimming or baking bread – became part of our survival mechanisms during lockdown, but we aren’t giving them up easily as we head towards normal…

Wild swimming

Kay Prestney first remembers her first wild swim; it was in a lake in France with her mum when she was young. Nowadays, you’ll find her swimming in her local estuary in Essex with the Manningtree Mermaids. “I love wild swimming,” she shares, “there is something so incredibly freeing about being part of such a natural environment. The cold water forces you to focus on the moment, which stops my creative brain from fizzing.

Wild swimmers found sanctuary swimming in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes or the sea for a while.” Kay, who works as a stylist and interior designer (@kinship_creativedc) is not alone; it’s a hobby that’s soared in popularity during the Pandemic. The Outdoor Swimming Society, a great source of information, including safety tips on dealing with the cold. 

Bread making

I honestly think I have lived through one of the busiest – if not the busiest – periods of my life,” admits Louise Hurst, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer (@nordickitchenstories). During lockdown, Louise baked on a small scale for neighbours and those having to self isolate. “But interest in making sourdough at home was also growing exponentially, so I made a few tutorials and IGTV videos to help people get started on their own bread -making journeys.” 

Little did Louise know that she would become part of the sourdough story of the Pandemic. “I’ve been sent photos of loaves baked using my method during lockdowns from Surrey to Mexico! The excitement when people shared their first loaves was remarkable and a very welcome distraction.

Painting

“Art is always a journey, always an exploration, and I guess, a bit of adventure,” says artist Helen Stone (helenstoneart.com). “I was so lucky to have that when everything else around me suddenly fell through at the start of lockdown.” Sales of art kits soared during the past year. “Artists are known for being resourceful and resilient – it goes with the territory,” Helen shares. “As I’ve got older, my perspective has changed

Many of us rediscovered the joy of painting, kitting out home studios and I find I’m less swayed by the goings on around me and more tuned in to what I’d call the ‘undercurrents of life’. Art and painting and being in the flow take you somewhere else entirely.”

Whether you choose watercolours, pastels or oils – or something more contemporary like collage – art gives us a wonderful connection to nature, and a way of capturing the beauty on our doorsteps.

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