'Isolated? Yes. But still connected.' - whynow

If you are in the same situation I am, and your living room has turned into your new office, this is something we encourage you to join me in doing as often as you can in the coming weeks. Isolated? Yes. But still connected.

Primrose Hill Cottage

To capture the spirit of the times, we are looking at the Primrose Hill Cottage. Located at the corner of the park, looking over the busy Prince Albert Road on one side and over the many passersby, runners, and strollers that come in and out of the park on the other. Despite its hustling environment, however, we cannot help but think that the cottage is somewhat lonely. 

Despite its hustling environment, however, we cannot help but think that the cottage is somewhat lonely. 

It might well be that we are projecting our own feelings onto the little building. But this is fine. Empathising with the world around us might be the single healthiest thing we can do to face uncertain times and come together as a society. And a beautiful realisation comes with that: we are all in this together. Every window that you can see from your sofa, every closed door along your street, has someone behind it who knows exactly how you’re feeling.

So if we feel like the Primrose Hill Cottage in the near future, sitting in one of the most wonderful cities in the world without being able to fully enjoy it. Let’s look out the window and think about the community we have just started to appreciate so much; that community that just became a little closer by sharing the experiences and emotions you are feeling as well.

BT Tower, Fitzrovia

There is a London landmark I used to take for granted. However, seeing it as I do now every day while I work from my living room, I have come to develop a very personal relationship with it. A prominent beacon in the middle of London, the BT Tower rises above the rooftops of Fitzrovia sending its multicoloured LED messages across the city. The most powerful message it sends right now, however, is a much subtler one. To me, it brightens the view saying: “this, too, shall pass”. 

The BT Tower has had several names and multiple uses in the past. As corporations rose and fell, the 189-meter high structure went from its original General Post office “GPO Tower” christening when it was completed in 1964 to being known as the Post Office Tower, to then adopt the Telecom family name until BT put its stamp on it. It was even known as the Museum Tower at some point. And in that time, the tower has been used for anything from TV broadcasts to top-secret meetings and university stair-races. In short, the building has changed hands often and gone through its fair bit of history.

To me, it brightens the view saying: ‘this, too, shall pass’. 

When I look at the tower, it reminds me that change is normal: ownerships shift, uses are adapted, the economy receives blows, and then it gets back up again. When the future is full of uncertainty as it often is, the BT Tower standing out form the London skyline tells a story of positive resilience and perspective. The tower has withstood economic depressions, corporate bankruptcy, and even a bomb attack by the IRA in 1971. Events that must have certainly felt overpowering when they happened. Yet, it still greets me every morning as if nothing had perturbed its slender figure during the 56 years of its existence.

Unexpected events make dents in our lives, as Covid-19 definitely has. Circumstances like the present pandemic can shock us and even blind us to the point that we can only think of it and its consequences. As we look at the window, however, we can start to realise that, after all, we have collectively already withstood similar or harder blows. The BT Tower is a good reminder that surprises are history’s oldest trick and that, one way or another, things will go back to normal sooner than later. I, personally, can’t wait for the time when I start taking the structure again for granted! In the meantime, it is great to have it there to remind me that events come and go, but none of them have yet deterred the tower from standing tall.

Rampa  They Will Be