Nadja Ellen Occam Penfold

Designer / Founder of Occam

Instagram: @occamlondon

“Songs I have been cooking, sewing or gardening with throughout lockdown.”

Isolation location:

Rural Dorset, usually South London.


What positive things have you been doing during the downtime?

Throughout lockdown I have been volunteering making ‘scrubs’ for frontline workers, this has been a rewarding experience and allowed me to connect with my local community. I’ve been able to spend time on the allotment growing vegetables and building a greenhouse, it has been wonderful to engage with nature and I love building. I am fortunate that lockdown has enabled me time to slow down the manic thought process or internal narrative most small business owners face.

What cool books / articles / films / stuff have you recently discovered? 

Whilst at the allotment I’ve realised how creative growing your own vegetables can be. The allotments that surround ours are small installations within themselves, some using reclaimed timber to make beds or recycled structures to grow your runner beans.

This has reminded me to revisit Derek Jarman’s work and his installations. I have several books about his garden in Dungeness and his conceptual films are mind boggling. Jarman lived and made work in Dungeness, an incredible place on the Kent coast with desolate shingle beaches and a power station. I’ve spent a lot of time in Dungeness over the last few years, I celebrated my 30th birthday there and often adventure there with Seymour my dog for a day trip.

Dungeness is strange and special. It’s unlike any other place in England. Read Derek Jarman’s Garden and watch The Garden (1990) for incredible visuals and Tilda Swinton.

I’ve been listening to Louis Theroux’s ‘Grounded’ podcast on Radio 4 – honest interviews from famous people around the world whilst in lock down. The first episode with Jon Ronson really struck me when talking about lock down anxiety. Go listen!

A good friend sent me a book for my lock down birthday – ‘Expectation’ by Anna Hope. An exploration of friendship, feminism and ambition. Worth a read!

Jump over to our Spotify for more ace playlists

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