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How We Live Now / Denise

Century General Store

When Future Us look back over this period, I think we'll remember a few things clearly: the surreal, Black Mirror-esque nature of the pandemic's sudden impact on our lives; the way it's opened up space for seismic shifts in behaviour and perspective; and home... so many, many days at home. 

A while back, we asked our followers on Instagram if they'd like to take part in a new series exploring how our idea of "home" has changed during lockdown, and how we've all adapted our living spaces to meet new demands. It's been a while since we posted on here. As anyone who's ever begun a blog knows, in a perfect world you would post regular content. But, well, good intentions and all but we were perhaps a little optimistic. (Ironically, someone who could probably help with blog scheduling is today's interviewee...we'll be in touch, Denise!) So this post was submitted a while back but, as we ease out of lockdown, much of it still holds true.

It's a really tough time to be running a small business or trying to keep the momentum going on any creative project or ambition, and time and again it seems like it's a matter of trying to ingrain tiny positive habits into each day. Today's tour comes from Denise, one of our customers who lives and works in Abbeyhill, and there are some real gems in this interview for freelancers, those in the creative industry, and for those still working from home. We've had lots of messages lately from people who are moving to Edinburgh, and Denise's words about community are so spot on. Hope you enjoy her words and photos as much as we did. Over to you, Denise...

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Can you tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and where do you live? Do you share your home with anyone else?

Hello, I’m Denise and I’m a brand & marketing consultant for small businesses. My husband and I live in the Abbeyhill/Easter Road area and when not working from home, I have a studio in the converted public toilets on London Road.

If we ever get more space, we’d definitely get pets (a cat and a dog) and more plants (!), but currently, we’re only looking after friends’ cats when they’re on holiday.

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How would you sum up your home in five words?

Bright, cosy, quiet, safe and ours :)

 

 

On a perfect day, how would you like your home to feel?

For me, our home is my safe haven, a retreat from the hustle and bustle of work and the outside world – now more than ever. It’s my calm oasis where I can recharge and relax. 

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What does the idea of home mean to you?

For me, Scotland and Edinburgh are home. It’s the place where I can be me, where I feel “at home" and am surrounded by like-minded people. It felt like that from the very first moment I set foot in Edinburgh, that’s why I moved here from Germany over a decade ago.

 

 

How have you had to adapt corners of your home, or your whole home, during lockdown? Has anywhere or anything taken on a new significance?

Before lockdown hit, we got all our things from our respective office and workshop and set up shop in our home. As a result, our spare bedroom got turned into a makeshift workshop, our living room/kitchen doubles as our office and our bedroom comes in handy when one of us needs some peace and quiet for a video call.
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It works really well and in the evening, we usually go for a walk around Holyrood Park or up to the Castle to walk off any signs of cabin fever.   
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What are your tried and tested methods for "blowing away the cobwebs" when you arrive home after a challenging day?
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I definitely think that going for a walk and getting some fresh air does wonders. I also have a video call every Friday afternoon with a group of fellow freelancers which covers everything from discussing work and celebrating wins to simply having a natter. It’s a great way to unwind after a busy week!
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Has your idea of your neighbourhood changed during lockdown?
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Yes, after moving my office from the New Town to London Road, I already felt more connected to the Abbeyhill area, getting lunch or having client meetings at one of the small cafés here. 
When the lockdown hit, it was lovely to connect with people and businesses from the area on social media, seeing what everyone was up to and helping each other out. And the same goes for the people in our building. 
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Has your idea of "community" changed during lockdown? 
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For me, Scotland is a place where people are friendly and always happy to help and support each other. And during lockdown, that has gotten even more pronounced. People have been more understanding and have shown up for each other and for local businesses. It’s been great to see the community come together.
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What are your favourite wellbeing habits at home? What makes you feel happy in your space?  
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I am an early bird and first thing in the morning, I like to do my exercises. There’s nothing better to enjoy the early morning sun and the peace and quiet before the day starts. 
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Where can we see more of your space / find out more about the work you do?
You can find out more about me and my work on my website (https://www.sandstonecastles.co.uk/)  and on various social media platforms like Instagram (@sandstonecastles.marketing) and Twitter (@SSC_Marketing). 
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Thanks so much, Denise!  
We're looking to feature all kinds of lived-in homes inhabited by people from all walks of life, wherever you are. We want this blog to be a place for community and conversation. If you'd like to be featured, just drop us an email at: shop@centurygeneralstore.com.