A kaleidoscope of colour at Birdies sports and social space
Hidden under the iconic Battersea Power Station train arches, interior architecture studio SHED has created a cocktail bar and playful golf course.
While he hasn’t got an issue to work on, our Editor, Mick Jordan, found himself with itchy fingers and time on his hands – and so, having dusted off his laptop, he ‘kept his eye in’ by taking a look at what is currently going on in his own furloughed world.
Typically, he starts philosophically and ends up sounding like the angry ‘young’ man we all know and love.
A friend once said to me, while we were discussing the list of new words that had just been accepted to the OED, that surely there were already enough words – and he didn’t even know all the ones that were already in the dictionary! I still chuckle at that last bit. He works in the City now. Earns a fortune. In fact, he earns considerably more pounds a day than he has words in his lexicon!
Anyway, in these unprecedented and difficult days, we’re suddenly learning a raft of new words and phrases, as well as using words we already knew but had very little use for on a daily basis. Think about it; self-isolation, furlough, distancing, key worker, lockdown, Zoom, Meetings, Hangouts, unprecedented (the word is suddenly everywhere), pandemic, PPI, ‘R’ (yep, just the single letter) – and then, of course, there is coronavirus itself.
As an aside, it’s somewhat iconic that just about the only word that I can think of to rhyme with ‘furlough’ is ‘Merlot’! And yes, I am currently furloughed (there’s absolutely no stigma in that – it was the right thing to do for our business if we want to come back better and stronger).
There are also numerous phrases that we suddenly take for granted – yet, just weeks ago, we wouldn’t have had a Scooby about! We nod sagely when we’re told about the ‘flattening of the curve’, we respond enthusiastically to talk of ‘loosening the post-COVID shutdown’ – and then there’s even ‘do you fancy that Zoom sesh and a few virtual bevvies after the key worker applause?’
You what? A month ago most people would ask whether you’re feeling alright! They might recognise one or two of the words, but would have no sense of the meaning.
The there are the people we didn’t know just weeks ago – and are now household names to the entire nation. There are some good ones – Prof Chris Whitty, Dr Fauci, Captain (now Colonel) Tom and Joe Wicks to name but four. I’m still not quite sure what Joe Wicks is or does, but it’s important that he keeps doing it. For morale and all that. Then there was the fitness comeback of all comebacks in the shape of the Green Goddess – only for the BBC to get well and truly trumped with the return of Mr Motivator! What was that all about?
Speaking of experts, with our Prime Minister enduring his own battle with COVID-19, and his colleagues in the Cabinet stuttering and stumbling through the daily press debacle and interviews, thank gawd we have a number of brilliant minds to advise, teach and ease us all through this difficult time.
I’m still not quite sure what Joe Wicks is or does, but it’s important that he keeps doing it. For morale and all that.
We’ve got ‘experts’ from reality TV, soap ‘stars’, various actors and singers (who have probably been isolation for years, seeing as we haven’t heard from them in ages), failed presenters and aging models, who are now considered too old and hefty, all telling us how to school our kids, what to wear, how to make meaningful use of all the extra time we have and even instructing Government as to what the next vital move should be.
Then there’s the Davinas and Claudias of this world, who continue to command more than their fair share of airtime, switching seamlessly from overly sincere to OTT ditzy in a microsecond, while telling us, self-deprecatingly, that they are absolutely hopeless at cooking/baking/home schooling/technology etc. Their podcasts/DVDs on the art of lockdown cooking/baking/home schooling/technology etc will be available any day now.
I’m thankful to be told by brave daytime TV presenters that the likes of Warehouse and Monsoon (they’re not just for occasion wear apparently) have ‘massive’ sales on. I’ve even seen a feature on what tops to wear for your Zoom sessions. I’d suggest that simply making sure you have a top on would probably suffice right now!
My top tip for improving your Zoom or Meetings call is to first get a job on daytime TV or reality show. This, clearly, can totally transform your background from messy, tired flat/semi-detached to pristine white mock-mansion, complete with several acres of garden!
Speaking of tips, with many ingredients suddenly missing from the supermarket shelves, one genuinely useful lesson came from John Torode, who showed us how to flame-grill a tea towel – well, we’ve all got tea towels lying around!
My absolute favourite bit of TV during lockdown (Tiger King aside), however, was watching someone who failed abysmally on Big Brother (not good at isolation then) attempt to give advice on isolation – and immediately admit that that they ‘hate all this isolation!’ I genuinely felt for her – and wondered if there was a TV producer busily writing a P45 for whoever booked her. Hardly morale-boosting!
So the desperate wannabe celebs are enjoying their locked down days – whilst we have to endure the horrors of…well, them. I’ve no words.
Inspiration for your next read
The last in our series on how the current crisis will affect the commercial interiors (and wider) world, we’ve asked a number of leading end users and workplace experts to offer their opinions on where we’re likely to find ourselves post-COVID.
Angela Bardino, Design Principal at leading professional services firm, Jacobs, examines employees’ impact on both immediate business and subsequent end user groups.