4.6.2020 | Jeanette Aurdal

Lockdown Lessons Learnt... v2

The Lockdown Lessons Learnt (LLLs) are numerous. A few are clichés, because they were always true; others come as a bit of a surprise to all of us...

Overall I feel we have done better than we would have predicted if anybody had run us through this scenario before it started… Are things going to be easier the second time around, as we have learnt from the last time, or will it be harder because we know what to expect?

You’d be amazed at how many of these life lessons actually relate to what we do at Oak & Rope…

I guess that is what you call #workshopwisdom!

I don’t think these are going to be in any particular order of importance, but it starts with:

Our Happy Place/Office

LLL#1 Home is where the heart is…

We all got the chance to have a good look around our homes, and realised that it really is worth making this our Happy Place!

This time of year we normally make a lot of wedding presents. These clearly went completely out of fashion, but luckily our loyal customers have been looking for treats for themselves!

Our unique home making designs is just what you need when looking to make your home personal to you and your way of living. The sense of humour coming through in people’s engravings have had us smiling all the way…

Stay Home, Stay Safe, by the fireside...

from £50

This little gem of a match box has become a Lockdown favourite.

Evening drinks... every day of the week!

LLL#2 If in doubt we drink GIN!

One of the great benefits of loosing track of what day it is, is that you can pour yourself a G&T every evening…

Breadwinners turned Breadmakers!

LLL#3 Make bread…

It goes to the root of everything. In a crisis, you do what you can to feed your loved ones, even if it means you have to make the bread yourself. Breadwinners have surprised their families and turned actual home bakers. The shops and even ‘the internet’ ran out of yeast and flour and never has so many people made sourdough bread from scratch at home!

More than ever it meant that every piece of the loaf was appreciated and used, to the last slice of toast, and those beauties need to take centre stage on a beautiful bread board!

Old swings returned...

LLL#4 Take care of what you’ve got…

This is important in every aspect of life, at all times!

In the first few weeks of lockdown we re-roped more swings than ever.

Our customers were taking stock and contacted us to ask how to best look after their swings.

As we use all natural materials, after a few years the rope might wear out, depending on the conditions where it is hanging and how it is used.

They look at least as good as new...

We do however offer a rope replacement service where we collect your existing swing, take it back to the workshop for some love and care and it is then sent back out to you with all new ropes, looking even better than new!

We also encouraged our customers to do some chopping board maintenance, applying the butcher block oil on to their cheese, chopping and carving board.

You can see our ‘how-to-video’ below or see our step by step guide under our 'resources page'.

One of the main reasons for buying ‘the best’ is that you know it will last… With the right ‘looking after’ all our oak designs should be passed on to the next generation in due course!
- BBC Good Food website voted The Oak & Rope Carving board 'The Best Investment Board' April 2020
A special place to sit...

LLL#5 We all need a special place to sit…

Spending more time than ever at home we have focused on creating both sanctuaries for us to enjoy important alone time and improving our social spaces so we can all gather comfortably and relax together.

Our garden swings and sun loungers create those unique spaces where you can go and sit by yourself. Our benches create comfortable seating around the table, where mealtimes have been extended. They can also be moved around and used in different places in the garden, meaning that you literally can create a 'change of scenery' whenever you feel you have seen too much of your four walls!

During the first lockdown this is a theme The Sunday Telegraph was writing about, and they came to us for our expert opinion!

I have tried to photograph all of the profound engravings as they have worked their way through our workshop, but I must admit I have had trouble keeping up at times...

LLL#6 Everybody needs a hobby!

Whether you are working from home, are furloughed or suddenly have had your home space invaded by members of the family who normally 'go to work', you particularly need a hobby now.

The definition of a hobby is "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation".

Everybody is talking about the effect of a lockdown on mental health. It is easy to get stuck in a repetitive routine or working all the time. Breaking this up with a variety of other pursuits that fill us with a sense of achievement and makes us use our brains and bodies differently releases a lot of feel good hormones. Which I think we need right now.

Below is a list of Oak & Rope suggestions of 'pursuits for relaxation':

  • Edit and print your favourite photographs, and put them in one of our frames
  • Make your own chopping board with our 'Create Yourself' kit.
  • Construct a place in the garden to hang a swing. (see our 'how-to-guide'here).
  • Take up Yoga or join a gym class and access them with one of our tablet holders.
  • Go birdwatching with our new binocular solution (coming soon).
  • Learn to whittle spoons... I might show you how when I have worked it out myself.

And YES, shopping IS a hobby!

To Do - chalk board

from £125

What's on your To Do list?

LLL#7 About time...

One and a half Lockdowns have taught me that ‘time’ is not the real reason why I do not achieve certain goals!

If you are born an optimist you start off thinking anything is possible, but somewhere along the line you suddenly realise the boat has probably gone for you learning to do summersaults, becoming a world class skier and maybe also climbing Mount Everest.

There is nothing sad about these realisations. It is simply our self-awareness growing. As I have reached this next level of insight I am finally admitting that I will never live in a tidy house, do yoga at the same time every day or clear my email inbox of unread messages!

Life is a lot happier when we put things we actually will do on our To Do Lists…

LLL#8 Always go the extra mile... and make the most of those on your door step!

Any distance shorter than a 2 week quarantine is always worth travelling, as you never know when you might not be allowed to travel at all. I will not complain about a long haul flight again. An indirect flight or 24 hours in the car? Sure, we’ll pop over! See you at the weekend!

Always make the effort.

In March I felt smug about having squeezed in a trip to Norway in February, but 9 months later the smugness had worn off... It looks like it won't make much difference if your family lives in Norway or the next-door-village at the moment, but that's not to say that you don't go the extra mile, even if it is metaphorical for Christmas 2020.

Door Step Doorstop

from £95

Who's door step would you like to turn up on?

more lessons to be updated in the next couple of days on things like why signage imperative, why screens are not all bad and why 'just-because'- presents are so important JA (10/11/2020)