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:
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…
One of the great benefits of loosing track of what day it is, is that you can pour yourself a G&T every evening…
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!
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.
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'.
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...
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':
And YES, shopping IS a hobby!
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…
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.