It’s been two months since my last post, I hope you’ve been ok and not missed us too much. I totally spurned you for Instagram and the daily Lockdown Lunchtime Lives, can you ever forgive me?
The past couple of months has been challenging, though we are incredibly lucky not to have been directly affected by Covid 19. The Daily Lunchtime Lives were the perfect thing for me to focus on, I’m so very glad I did them. From DIY to gardening to random mini tours here at Moregeous HQ, they kept me positive and focused, and well as being tremendous fun. Chatting with you guys at lunchtime, hearing how you’re getting on and getting through was genuinely lovely, like creating a little bubble inside all the craziness.
I gotta admit, it was quite hard going at first. Instagram didn’t allow long videos to be saved, for small accounts anyway. After the chats I would literally video the Live – which then stayed on Stories for 24hrs (sadly now they don’t) – from Mr M’s phone, then AirDrop it back to my phone, then Airdrop it to the laptop before uploading it to IGTV. It took bloody hours and my already full phone struggled to cope. That’s why the quality and sound is a bit crap on them but I just loved the content so much and they were unrepeatable, so thank you for bearing with and not being too critical x
Cooking Renovation Recipes on a Friday was a step into the unknown. I must sincerely apologise up front, as there was probably way too much waffling, never having cooked ‘live’ before. Mostly it was just Mr M and the moggies hovering in the background, but huge virtual hugs to extra special guests:
To Michelle Evans-Fecci the baking whizz from 2019’s Bake Off for teaching me how to make Soda Bread and delicious choc chip Welsh Cakes. Even Mr M has had a bash at soda bread and it’s now a firm fav here at home. Michelle makes it all look so easy obv, but her recipes are so straightforward that even baking novices like me can follow them.
To Nick Carlucci at Tenuta Marmorelle for both selling such incredible pasta and losing his online chefing cherry making Cavatelli with tomato and prawns. I found his family food company via an email from Sugo Pasta Kitchen in Manchester and now will never go back to shop bought pasta again. Next order to include olive oil & more truffle treats. Go check them out, you will not be disappointed (5% off with #moregeousdisc as a code too, just for you)(not an ad, no affiliate link!).
To David Crichton, creator of the rather wonderful Careless Collection chocolate bars, first showcased on Masterchef in 2019 where North West based David smashed it, winning runner up position. We got chatting last year on Insta and during Lockdown we cooked Jersey Royals. Not posh enough for ya? How about with tarragon oil mayo, candied walnuts and breaded caper berries? Skills learned 🙂 Video to be edited and posted soon – it was 2hrs long!
Methinks this renovation recipes element of the Lives definitely needs to continue #watchthisspace
Chatting on the Lives in a sort of ‘interview’ format to some absolute Queens has also been a highlight for me. To those of you who just said “Oh go on then” despite never having done any Lives before, GO YOU:
To Sarah Parmenter Glamcycler from RelovedMcr for a conversation on all things furniture transformations and giving us her bang on insider tips. So generous with her knowledge, do check out the video. Sarah’s glamorous garden chats and drinks have also been refreshingly Ab Fab in a difficult few weeks. Moroccan vibes in North Manchester – brilliant!
To Alice Roberton, from Arthur Swallows Fairs, a force of nature during Lockdown supporting all the independent decorative salvage traders with Virtual Fairs and Insta guidance. We had a great chat about all things reclamation. The change in online confidence in some of these traders has been fantastic to see and it really does takes someone to take the helm and create a community to assist that – brilliant work Alice, can’t wait for the next actual fair in Cheshire on 27th June!
To Laura Jane Clark, the incredibly talented architect and star of our hit show Your Home Made Perfect. When the Lockdown episodes aired, Laura was a total sport, going Live with me at 9pm often after long days grafting on her house and being completely up for your endless questions about her superb designs on the show. There are several Lives on my IGTV to these chats, which focus on the various episodes. This is a link to just one of them, Thames Ditton, and you can find others there too.
To Jo Dyson, my fellow Homebuilding & Renovating Show speaker and pal, who chatted with me for a smashing hour on loft conversions, her speciality. We covered so much ground, from planning to design, and tips on how to find good projects and nail the perfect design. 20mins tops we initially thought… as we struggled to stop gabbling on at 58 mins 😉 Hopefully I’ll be working with Jo again in Autumn if the HBRShow at Excel goes ahead.
To Lynne Lambourne, warrior on waste, chalk paint queen and reclamation up-cycler. I am GUTTED to have done two chats with Lynne, one on her campaigning on plastic waste and general career, and another on how to use chalk paint, but because both were over an hour I just couldn’t save them. I hadn’t worked out how to Airdrop larger videos back then 😦 Maybe we need to get Lambo back one day…
To Pam Gruhn, Frenchic founder and recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise earlier this year. Pam started Frenchic (do try their innovative, fabulous paints) five years ago and her brand is ON FIRE. We literally discussed a press image on the Friday afternoon and by the Saturday at 1pm she was Live with me, totally nailing an engaging and educational Live all about her ace British company and business philosophy. It’s crystal clear there’s not only a brain but a big heart behind the brand. The mid-chat comments online from her stockists were very touching.
Many of us self employed folk had to step into the unknown during Lockdown. We’ve done things we’ve never tried before and taken chances with our businesses which didn’t feel like chances at the time, but like our only option. We’ve just gone for it, not knowing whether things would be a ‘success’ but needing to be active, positive and engaged.
I can’t sit still and not ‘do’, it’s not in my nature. Even when locked in my house. So once again huge thanks to the people above who helped keep me sane, teaching me new skills or about new methods or products. And to all of you who joined in at 1pm on the Lives, dropping in now and again to say hi, connect and offer words of friendship. We have become friends 🙂
As we all emerge out of Lockdown our real lives will start to get back to normal. Hopefully. As much as I’d love to hang around Moregeous Mansions and go Live with fun content every day at 1pm, I need to go earn some pennies. Mr M and I have been on lockdown since early Jan really, ’cause of his leg op, so we need to get back to work. We’ve a rental flat to finish (now we can actually get the materials we need to finish it!), client work is kicking back up, consultancy requests and a potential new TV show in the offing. Fingers crossed!
That said I’ve enjoyed the change on my Insta grid to it’s current triumvirate of a || Video || Detail || Wide || format. I’ve stepped away from even attempting a pretty grid, which I was shocking at and just couldn’t do. I’m going to stick with the video making, I like it! And I’ll still do some Lives, but can’t commit to certain times or even certain days. I’ll miss them, I will. But life, or a version of it, is returning. Lockdown did make me reassess what I enjoy and how I want to live and work going forward, as I’m sure it has done with many of you. So I’m having a think on how to move forward still creating content which can dovetail into normal life.
As some of you have asked for easy to access recipes, I’ll try to pop some of the videos on here, with accompanying text. Instagram is quite ‘immediate’ whereas info is easier to find on a blog.
I hope that you found some positives during Lockdown. It isn’t over for many people. Many businesses still cannot trade and we need to support them now, and when they -re-emerge. Actively help smaller independents to get back on their feet and start trading again. When we’re allowed, we’ll be holding socially distanced events in the garden here, with invited chefs and food traders. Roll on those days, I can’t wait. For now, let’s take it slow and careful eh, so we don’t reverse what’s been achieved.