Social distancing hobbies – energy team edition

As we pass 50 days in lockdown in the UK, the Aspectus Group team has fully embraced working remotely – from livejack replacing hijack drinks to sessions for meditation and hearing from inspiring speakers. We’re lucky that the culture we’ve worked so hard to create and maintain has bound us together stronger than before.

And we are keeping busy outside of work too and putting that first hour that we usually would be commuting to good use! This week it’s the energy team with an impressive list of social distancing distractions:

Catherine Hunter, Junior account manager

Having escaped London to my parent’s farm, lockdown activities have a slightly country feel

  • Dog training – much to my 9-year-old Jack Russel’s delight, she is being taught dog agility skills (successful jump attached)
  • Painting by numbers – I’m not yet brave enough to do my own designs, but this has been a great way to de-stress
  • Yoga with Adriene – her YouTube videos have been a great way for me to keep doing yoga without my usual classes
  • Quizzes – Friday night’s in the Aspectus bar have been replaced with virtual quizzes
  • “Can you just?” – as is common with a family business, I’ve been receiving a few “can you just: update the website, put together a poster, save a cow from the brook?” tasks since being home!

Chloe Tucker, Account executive

  • Looking after my 10-week-old kitten – plenty of cuddles involved, but mostly spending my time picking up after her mess and worrying about what she will destroy next!
  • Walking – making the most of my daily exercise and taking long walks along the seaside
  • Cooking – and eating way too much!
  • Catching up with all the movies and TV series on my watch list
  • Taking the time to read, play board games, do puzzles and enjoy all the little things I would normally not make time for

Chris Bowman, Strategy and content director

I have used the extra time given back in lockdown to do all the things I usually do/want to do, but finally have the time and energy for. I have been:

  • Running – often into oncoming traffic or bushes to cater for people too dim or selfish to practice social distancing. Still fun though
  • Gardening and landscaping – attached are images of a shed I built and a rare cat bush I planted
  • Reading – getting through – some I’d started ages ago but struggled to find time for and some new ones
  • Hairdressing – my wife is very happy with the cut I did for her. I was less pleased with her reciprocal attempt
  • Cat bothering – very good for mental health (mine, probably not theirs) to have a cat or two on hand to bother in office hours
  • Sleeping – I feel better rested than since I was a kid without a commute!

Claire Wych, Content director

  • Training to join the Army Reserve – which mostly involves learning how I can get my short legs to run fast enough to pass the fitness test!
  • 141 – the number of Netflix films and TV episodes I’ve watched since we went into lockdown on the 23rd March – from Dynasty and Peaky Blinders to Unorthodox and Too Hot to Handle – there’s really nothing I won’t watch
  • Carpentry – amongst other DIY tasks, but building a cupboard in my hallway has been the most adventurous
  • Cheerleading – conditioning every Sunday evening with my 27 team members via Zoom

Laura Iley, Head of energy

  • Exploring London – using my daily exercise as an opportunity to discover new parts of our neighbourhood
  • Running (ok jogging) round Regent’s Park and – if you time it right – catching the giraffes being fed at ZSL!
  • Puzzles! A new-found form of meditation (pic attached)
  • Cooking up a storm. We may have been over-reliant on Deliveroo pre-lockdown, cooking is now a genuine highlight of the day (barring a few near misses in the kitchen)
  • Reading… Finished my first book in as long as I can remember, now onto Motorcycle Diaries!
  • At home beauty treatments! Facials, body scrubs, manicures – even a home haircut or two

Louise Douglas, Senior account manager

  • Yoga – I tried my first ever bit of yoga in the garden, don’t think I am quite zen yet (also learnt that jeans are not the best attire)
  • Sunsets & walks – I have walked on the beach almost every day and watched some beautiful sunsets
  • Cooking – enjoyed having the time to cook with my other half making homemade Wagamamas and Pizzas!
  • Sitting in the fresh air – it sounds strange, but I am loving being able to nip into the garden and have a coffee and a think
  • Quizzes – We have a theme for our zoom quiz with friends every Saturday. One week was Tiger King!
  • DIY – done a lot of painting in my new house and had an attempt at DIY which ended in a trip to A&E so I think I’ll stick to PR
  • Jigsaw – also managed to finish our 1,000 piece jigsaw that we started in Jan – woohoo!

Lucy Buglass, Account director

  • I relocated to Aberdeenshire for lockdown so I’ve been making the most of being in the countryside with regular weekend runs in the nearby hills (piccy attached)
  • I’ve been making an effort to get in 10,000 steps a day and I like to listen to a podcast whilst I’m on my walks. True crime documentaries are the current favourite
  • Rinsing Netflix for all it’s worth (Ozark, Fauda, Dead to Me and OBVIOUSLY Tiger King)
  • I have two online personal training sessions a week which surprisingly works quite well (we’re 8 weeks in and I still feel silly jumping about my living room which I have taken to calling ‘the gym’)
  • Playing the guitar (badly)
  • Doing the weekly shop and forgetting to buy anything other than prosecco

Megain Buchan, Account director

  • Gardening – planting new bushes, building a 2.4m long raised planter, and nursing our grass back to health!
  • Baking – reigniting my love of baking recent treats have included lemon cake, triple chocolate monster cookies and white chocolate rocky road
  • Walks – and finding fairies houses with our little one – the favourite is the replica BrewDog
  • TV – Gangs of London, Hells Kitchen, Making the Cut and all the Real Housewives series
  • Trying to be healthy – working out every day and sticking to a healthier eating regime (such a conflict with the baking!)
  • Self-care – foot masks, hair masks, face masks!

Sam Eccles, Account executive

  • Getting back into the swing of practising/playing guitar again – not realised how much I missed it
  • Unoriginal – but BBQing – and lots of it. More to follow I’m sure
  • Picking up old books I’ve been meaning to finish but haven’t – currently working on an 800 page American Civil War non-fiction book
  • Running – slowly getting back up to my old fitness levels and hoping to get back to the 15km mark soon
  • Binge-watching boxsets – Gangs of London has reignited my love of good TV – evenings sorted for the next week or so
  • Discovered Articulate is in fact NOT a boring board game

Tamsin Jackson, Junior account manager

  • Upcycling the originally mouldy looking shed into a half-finished beach bar (progress so far attached)
  • Buying and eating way too much food, so much so that our weekly food shop for two hasn’t been able to fit into the fridge
  • Barbequing anything we can find, which has included grilled cheese sandwiches and barbequed watermelon on our new Green Egg
  • Walking and running around London – we completed an 18km walk into central London and along the Thames which felt like a ghost town
  • Getting to know all of our neighbours through ‘window drinks parties’

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