A piece of paper with a red heart drawn in pastel. Behind the paper there is a box of pastels waiting to be used.

From London with Love: Welcome to My At-Home Workspace

By Nicola Caws

One of the key changes over the last year that has been brought about by the pandemic has been a shift for us editors to start working from home. Initially we (well, certainly I) thought it would only be for a few weeks. I remember hunching over my little laptop screen on a hard-wooden chair at the kitchen table! But now, whilst we’re starting to make forays back into the office from time to time, I’m lucky enough to have a much better set-up, after creating a little working nook for myself here in my flat in South London. So welcome to the tour!

Editor Nicola Caws at-home workspace

Firstly the essentials of working from home… Doesn’t every editor need a hand-drawn picture of Patrick Dempsey? My very talented friend (check out her Etsy page) sent him to me as a gift to cheer me up during lockdown. Amazingly, I had never seen Grey’s Anatomy before lockdown hit, and I’m quite proud to say that I’m now totally up to date. Although waiting a week before the next episode is released feels so cruel after being able to binge…

I also got into crocheting when I was stuck at home. I’ve never really got on with knitting, but I found crocheting much easier and rather calming – although I do have a tendency to miss stitches during particular tense episodes of Grey’s… Here’s one of too many small dogs (and one zebra!) I made. Nice to have a bit of company to chat editorial ideas through with, right?

On the next shelf is a bit of family history. My grandparents used to run a greengrocers’ when my mum was very small. So these are the brass weights that they used to balance the scales for weighing the fruit and veg. My Nan was about to get rid of these last year, but I couldn’t let them go, so I have adopted them!

I’m also a big fan of houseplants. I don’t have any outside space in my flat, so I fill my shelves with greenery instead. But I have been much better whilst working from home at getting out at lunch time for a wander in the nearby parks and green spaces. Although if it’s raining, I’m more likely to be found in my orange chair, people watching out of the window!

Aside from my computer set up, I’d be lost without my to-do list, my kindle for settling in with a manuscript, a notebook where I can scribble quick notes and a rather boring blue biro! Apologies to all you stationary fiends! Anyone who knows me knows I have a tendency to misplace everything (rings, bracelets, umbrellas, gloves, hats… you name it, I’ve lost it!), so I’m always wary of buying anything too ‘special’ on the pen front just in case. You might also be able to spy some paintbrushes in my pencil pot… To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why they are there!

Cosy as my set up is, there’s nothing quite like having a tea break with a colleague or lunch by the River Thames. So I’m looking forward to venturing into the office a bit more in the not too distant future!