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It’s become a modern cliché that neutral decor is not only the best way to sell your home but almost the only way. Yet it’s really not true that people are blind to anything but oatmeal carpet and magnolia walls, and we’re certainly not faced with buyers looking around the homes of The Highlands or Moray and recoiling in panic the moment they see a room that isn’t cream.

Looking for upsides can feel a bit tricky as the moment, yet being stuck at home with time on your hands can give you the space to nurture existing hobbies, or cultivate new ones. Gardening is continually proven to support the soul and whether you have acres and acres, a small balcony or even just a windowsill, lockdown could be your opportunity to create the greenest, most pollinator friendly and most fragrant bit of garden­ ­you've ever had.

Now that the property market in England is open for business again, moving plans south of the border can get back on track. Demand from buyers has been up right across the country, with enquiries to estate agents and visitor numbers to the property portals almost at where they were before lock-down began and now that in person viewings are back on the cards, there should be a gradual return to normal, albeit one of a different kind.

With the latest review of lock-down it’s very tempting to make predictions about the future. Forecasting is a notoriously difficult task, you might even say it’s a fool’s errand but we humans are hard wired to think about what’s around the corner and how we can plan for it.

Now that most of us are eating at home for every meal of the day, the stress might be starting to show from producing so many dishes on top of shopping, running a household and working from home as well. Even if you fancy yourself as the next MasterChef, it can still be hard to stay inspired and energised about cooking when you're doing so much of it.

 

So we've come up with some ideas to help reinvigorate kitchen time and free up some brain space in to the bargain, with a bit of batch cooking, a bit of store cupboarding, a bit of mini growing your own and some much, ahem, kneaded bread making!