This week's letter from my home office...


In the small confines of my home office, probably working the longest hours I've ever worked, reassuring clients, double and triple checking investments for recession risk... I need to feel *connected*. I want to feel I am part of the solution, not just a body working from home, waiting for life to normalise.


If you don't know your neighbours, particularly older ones, this is the time to knock on their door (then take a great big social distancing step back) and ask what you can get them on your next trip to the supermarket. Or put a handwritten note under their door with your phone number. Studies show that volunteering is great for mental health and even the simple act of writing a note will make you feel good.


Just between us, I have chuckled at the very specific list of groceries I have received from a stylish older lady who lives around the corner. A list on flamingo headed paper no less! For example, UNSWEETENED (yes she did capitalise) soya milk ONLY from the chiller, purple sprouting broccoli NOT ordinary, Arla Kefir NOT other makes, small bananas and duck eggs. Another neighbour requested lime pickle, I'd never heard of this before and who knew this was so delicious!


I really love volunteering on the Underdog Unity program. Dog owners that are in isolation or sick are paired with someone in their local area to help walk their pooch. I have been walking a cockapoo named Scout (see attached) amongst others. I highly recommend signing up to the Underdog program if you want to spend a bit more time outside but stay within essential travel rules.


Finally, I've been hosting a virtual wine tasting for the last two Saturday nights, aided by the "wine" app. It delivers wine to London and surrounding areas within an hour. I select the wines and tell my friends what to order and the geek in me gets very excited when I read the winemakers' notes and share the highlights. This week I am also pairing cheeses to the wines and I wrote mocktail recipes for non-drinkers to participate and it almost felt like we were "out out".


Please let us know what you are doing to maintain your community spirit!