AM to PM in lockdown with Sian Swift

By Anita Jaynes on 14 May, 2020

During COVID lockdown we’re reviving our AM to PM feature which delves into the lives and day-to-day diaries of members of our local business community. It’s great to be nosy and find out how others are coping, structuring their days and getting through these tricky times.

In this post we put the spotlight on Sian Swift.

Sian has been a freelance business development consultant for the last four years. She is a consummate networker and is well-known across the South West. In 2019, she won the South West Business and Community Networker of the Year Award for her amazing ability to connect people and businesses and help them grow. 

She is co-ordinator of the Executive Association of Great Britain (SW) and also runs a Welsh Society for Welsh exiles living in Bath and the surrounding area. The Business Exchange is one of her long-term clients and she’s passionate about flying the flag for our print and online offering across Bath & Somerset and Swindon & Wiltshire. 

Sian’s had a very busy lockdown and people have loved keeping up with her on social media. Here we share her lockdown diary.

7.30am – I get woken up by my two British Blue kittens Alun and Wyn for food. I make myself a cup of Earl Grey tea and leave it to steep while I feed the frantic, yowling kittens! I love tea and drink at least three cups in the morning – my favourite is Robert Wilson’s tea. A friend of mine’s family produce it and it’s delicious.

8am to 9am – Go back to bed and cuddle up with Alun and Wyn to watch the news. Mostly the news hasn’t been good, and as an eternal optimist I have found it difficult dealing with the lack of good news. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some return to normality soon.

9am to 12pm – I settle down to work at my computer supporting my clients as best I can. At the Business Exchange we are determined to support businesses through the crisis and are running our next print editions as Covid-19 specials. These are going to be focussed on helping businesses to move on after Covid with great ideas to help everyone pick up the pieces. I have a couple of Zoom chats, it seems that people now want to see your face, when in the past communication would have been through email or over the phone. We all need to see a smile and connect with people even if it is through a screen.

12pm – On a Wednesday and a Friday I pop in to Naturally Social’s Facebook Lives to listen to Natalie Sherman’s brilliant tips for using social media or ‘Shout Out’ Friday where she puts the spotlight on a particular business and how they are coping with the current crisis.

1pm – Cooking and eating has been my absolute focus through this. I love cooking but with a busy networking schedule I tend to eat and run. However now, I have been able to indulge my love of cooking. Lunch might be a Salad Niçoise made with fresh tuna or a delicious Burrata with vine ripened tomatoes and fresh basil and mint.

2pm – Walk the cats!! I do indeed put harnesses on my kittens and take them for a play in the communal garden where I live. I’m not sure if this makes me a mad cat lady but they seem to like it and I know they can’t get lost.

3pm – Trip to Kingsmead Square veg stall, Bartlett & Sons butchers on Green Street and Bertinet Bakery. I also might pop into Waitrose for any other bits and pieces. I have an old ladies shopping trolley which my mum gave me. I used to hate using it because it wasn’t trendy but now I love it. It’s battered and bruised but it’s invaluable, especially for transporting wine!

4pm to 5pm – I connect with one of my clients The Rising Sun in Lacock. Sadly, they had to close before they even had the chance to open. I’ve been managing their social media and comms for the last few months and amazingly through adapting they have made the pub a real success in difficult circumstances, by providing drive through takeway meals, veg boxes, flour, yeast and real ale. The profile of the pub is now fantastic and the local community can’t wait to support them when they are finally able to open properly.

6pm – Plan and cook my evening meal. This is my solace! I love to come up with delicious meals and even though it’s just for me I get a huge amount of pleasure from it and probably a few extra pounds. However, my philosophy is ‘One Catastrophe at a Time’!! I love Asian cuisine so I might make a Thai roast poussin with a cucumber, mint and soba noodle salad, deliciously refreshing with the distinctive taste of Asia. I plan to visit Vietnam when all this is over and enjoy Asian food for real.

8pm – Houseparty – My mum and dad are in their 80s but they aren’t like other oldies. They have iPads, iPhones and drop in on me every morning on Alexa to say hi! They even catch up with me on Houseparty and chat to my friends.  One of my sons lives in LA and the other in London. They have been amazing and stay in touch with me. I’ve even had a birthday at the end of March receiving lovely presents through the post, including a Dyson hairdryer – now my hair looks great even if I am only wandering around my apartment!

I like the app because it’s quite random and people can just turn up in your conversation. It feels like being in a local bar or restaurant and bumping into someone you know.

9pm – Netflix/Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer for some great series and dramas. I also like to binge watch Curvy Brides Boutique but I’m not sure that would be to everyone’s taste!

11pm – Bed and sleep hoping that tomorrow brings some better news.

Follow Sian’s cats Alun & Wyn on Instagram @alunwyn2020 and connect with her on LinkedIn