How the SUITCASE Team are Entertaining Themselves During Self-Isolation

time of year is usually dedicated to spreading our
(aeroplane) wings and getting a head start on our base tans, but
with our travel plans on pause, we’re using this time to slow down,
reconnect and get a dose of inspiration. To keep cabin fever at
bay, we’re picking up past passion projects (read: dodgy DIY),
flexing our culinary muscles and sashaying down Margate pier (for
one-hour a day) in our finest loungewear.

Passion projects, culinary experiments and the SUITCASE team’s
top lockdown tips

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Serena Guen


Keeping a positive attitude and mindset has never felt so
important, so I’ve been using my five-minute gratitude journal from
Intelligent Change every morning
and evening. I’ve traded in my usual travels for a little armchair
adventure – it’s a great time to research around the destinations I
want to visit. I’m also raising the bar on my workout game with

online pilates classes
and hopefully some dance lessons soon,
as well as going on walks – staying two metres away from other
people, of course.

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India Dowley

Digital Editor-in-Chief

I’m holed up in incredibly sunny but very windy Margate,
using my outdoor allowance each day to go for a bracing march along
the pretty seafront. They have several seawater swimming pools
here, but I’m yet to pluck up the courage to dive into the
icy-looking waters. Having somewhat neglected cooking for myself
due to busy London
life, I’ve thrown myself heartily into cooking three proper meals a
day – thrilled to say I nailed my first attempt at pork crackling
last night; mushroom stroganoff on the menu tonight. A friend of
mine has started an online pub quiz which has swelled from five
people to 50 in a matter of days, so I’ll be tuning in to that
tonight, after I’ve watched James Blake live stream a gig.

Otherwise, I’ve set up a lovely little work station by the
window, and look forward to seeing my team’s smiling faces on video
calls throughout the day. We’re doing our best to keep spirits high
and keep you lot entertained with plenty of armchair travel, as
well as suggestions for
reading lists
, podcasts,
what to wear on your virtual hangouts
(don’t forego your bottom
half, I’ve already heard one horror story about this). If there’s
anything you’d like us to feature, let us know by sending us a DM

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Robbie Hodges

Assistant Digital Editor

I’ll have endured 10 days of working from home and 12 days of
social distancing by the time this is published, and I have to say,
I’m not entirely hating it. For the most part, I’m tapping away
from my pop-up SUITCASE HQ – opening the window intermittently to
expunge scented candle pollution – and wobbling down to Sainsbury’s
for my daily fill of Oatly. This is what happens when Soviet Russia
and North London collide, folks.

I would have spent the past week monging about in my pyjamas if
I had any; having not worked from home much before, I missed the
memo. To rectify this, I’ve ordered an excessively long ream of
white cotton which, in the coming weeks, I plan to refashion into a
two-piece PJ set – my unofficial quarantine uniform. Most likely,
I’ll get frustrated and divert my energies into making evermore
experimental, microwaveable mug cakes. But if I nail it in eight
weeks, that’ll give me at least four weeks of expert, hand-made
slobbery. I can’t wait.

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Rae Boocock

Sub Editor

I’ve decamped to my parents’ home in rural Lancashire, where,
between my cats and their dogs, animals outnumber humans. I’m
extremely lucky – especially as one of the dogs is a new puppy,
Bertie. It does mean that isolation involves a lot more urine than
I’d anticipated, along with monitoring whether one of Bertie’s
undropped balls has finally made an appearance, but the snuggles
make up for it. When not monitoring fur babies, my family and I
have got seriously into quizzes. The Chase, University Challenge,
Mastermind… you name it, we’re arguing over answers. Boggle is
among my favourite no-screen activities, especially when I’m
winning. As always, I have a good stack of books; I’m currently
seeking literary refuge between the pages of Hilary
Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light

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Fleur Rollet-Manus

Editorial Assistant

As soon as Boris started making his daily appearances on our TV
screens, I hotfooted it to my boyfriend’s family home – knowing
that there would be a full fridge and a family-size pack of loo
roll waiting for me. I’ve been sticking (fairly) well to my daily
routine (read: hitting snooze on the alarm five times), although I
do feel like a Love Island contestant going downstairs to work in
the living room with a full-beat face and matching outfit each
morning. In the evenings, I’m being (forced) to learn how to make
my Italian boyfriend’s family secret pasta sauce – I don’t like
pasta nor do my
culinary skills
extend beyond making an omelette (that turns
into scrambled eggs), but I’ve got nowhere to hide and can’t fake
attending a gym class now. Who knows, maybe I’ll emerge from this
as the next Gregg Wallace with an “Introduction to Italian
Classics” cookbook
under my still-in-its-bag apron… or simply a few kilos heavier.

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Sebastian Bland

Creative Director

I couldn’t have picked a better time to move into our new flat.
Having transplanted all our belongings, I’m channelling my energy
into unpacking, painting and picking the exact spot to put the
dining table, before putting it back where it was before. I like to
think I’m a dab hand with a whittle, so I am going to try to get
back into woodwork. I’m thinking big and want to have a go at
building our own furniture or storage units.

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Jacob Elwood

Senior Creative

“Staying sane” isn’t a term I’m all that used too. Even out of
self-isolation I’m often found fidgeting, singing loudly (badly)
and generally being a nuisance to those around me. Self-isolation
has made me focus all this energy into my poor flatmate, luckily
we’re cut from the same cloth – he’s also a keen creative with a
passion for photography. Between turning our bin into a basketball
hoop for banana skins and choreographing a dance routine to a song
we have written about Gary the fly on the wall (our new third
housemate that moved in since this all started), we have found time
to revisit a lot of our old
and quiz each other on editing styles. We’re
learning how the other one works – picking up tips, tricks and
knowledge. Normally we’re so caught up in our everyday life that we
don’t share work, but now we’ve got time too. It’s been a great
opportunity to learn different skills from each other and keep the
creative juices flowing.

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Linda Blank


I’ve found that following (as best I can) my usual routine
really helps me keep focused. I make sure to take breaks regularly,
sitting outside on the balcony for five minutes and getting some
fresh(ish, this is London) air and to soak up some vitamin D. Of
course, the British weather would get nice now. I’m making time to
have breakfast, instead of jumping straight on the computer and
diving into emails. It’s so easy to just be on all the time but you
need to create some boundaries for your brain to take a break
between work and downtime. Usually, I get in my 10,000 steps with
no problem but now it’s a bit more difficult. I haven’t got a home
gym (sob) so I’m improvising by pacing on the balcony and walking
the length of my living room – it all counts, right?

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Caroline Baneth

Head of Content & Strategy

I’m using my time in self-isolation to watch Games of Thrones. I
know. Having never seen a single episode, I’m practically living in
the 1900s. I want to use my time to join the rest of modern
civilisation and see what the cult-like obsession is all about. At
least with the lockdown there’s no chance of anyone in the office
blurting out spoilers…

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Line Charles

Office Manager

How am I keeping sane? Eating, eating and more eating. I’ve
always loved to cook, but now I’m really throwing my all into my
imaginary YouTube cooking show. Sometimes I pretend I’m live
streaming to my fans, when in actual fact I’m actually just talking
to my partner. I’m balancing out all the grazing with a spot of

and morning meditation, it’s only seven minutes long but
at least I can tick exercising off of my to-do list.