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31.07.2020- Lockdown Lunch #14: Camilla Ackley

Friday again! I’ve long since given up chalking up how many weeks have elapsed since life turned upside down- it’s probably better that way to be honest! If I’m being blunt, I’m finding life right now a bit tougher than the start of lockdown, especially as the consequences of the last few months are becoming clearer. The last week in particular has been pretty stressful, and I’m finding myself more thankful than ever to be surrounded by such a great group of people- they really are worth their weight in gold. 

Anyway, on to the real reason for this post- another installment of my Lockdown Lunch series! This week my guest is the wonderful Camilla Ackley, founder and editor of brilliant Into the Fold, which I contributed to last year. I’m a huge fan of Camilla’s amazing writing, art and style, and lately she’s launched another brilliant new venture, the Prose Before Hoes podcast, which is a new firm favourite of mine and perfect if you're looking for some literary-inspired laughs. Catching up in between balancing spinning a serious selection of plates, here  are some of Camilla's reflections from the last few months: 

How are you coping with things at the moment? 

I’m lucky to work in publishing – people always turn to books when things get hard, so work has been busy to say the least. It’s been great to keep my mind off of the general existential dread that comes with any sort of huge global catastrophe. That being said, it’s not been easy and I feel incredibly lucky to live in a nice flat with a wonderful friend and some outdoor space. I know a lot of people have been struggling, especially when lockdown was stricter, and keeping positive has very much become an active task rather than something that just happens.     

What are you missing most about life? 

Travel! I’ve had a lot of holidays cancelled, which is obviously necessary and fair (and the majority of them were earlier in the year, before anywhere had re-opened). I don’t think I’ve ever spent this long in the UK in one go, and I really miss the buzz of a new city or a calm beach. Next year I’m coming for them all.     

Which foods/recipes have you been reaching for? 

This may seem odd but I’ve gotten very into smoothie bowls. I’m a breakfast food gal – I could eat breakfast for every meal happily. My current favourite is frozen mango, banana, oat milk and honey topped with strawberries, granola and peanut butter. I also recommend John Whaite’s book Comfort for very, very good comfort food. Lots of butter. Delicious.   

What small things are making you happy? 

Daily walks, drawing, the occasional pub trip now they’re open again and hugging my dog a lot.   

What's the first thing you're planning on doing as lockdown loosens? 

I can’t wait to have one of those spontaneous nights out that start in the pub around the corner and end up on a dance floor half way across London ‪at 3am‬ accidentally on purpose. Those are the best nights. That, and going to see some live comedy.

I've been loving having some more time for a proper breakfast each day too- it feels like such a luxury! Fingers crossed that 2021 will be a year of exciting new travel adventures for us all too!

A huge thank you to Camilla for taking part! Keep updated with Into the Fold here, and follow her on Instagram here.

(Image credit: Camilla Ackley, please do not reproduce without permission.)

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