As we continue with our At Home blog series, we caught up with Ambar Miraaj Driscoll @ambardriscoll on life at home in London and why communities like the one she has created are even more important in times like these.
WHERE IS YOUR CURRENT HOME?
In South London. I’m isolating with my boyfriend, his best friend, and his best friend’s girlfriend, which is really nice.
WHAT DOES YOUR ‘AT HOME STYLE’ LOOK LIKE MOST DAYS?
I’ve seen so many memes of people saying things like ‘people wearing jeans at home during isolation are psychopaths’ but I put jeans on every morning! I feel so much more productive and ready to work if I’m not in loungewear. So actually, my home style is minimal loungewear! (except in the evenings of course), I’m wearing simple basics.
HOW DO YOU WEAR YOUR JEWELLERY AT THIS TIME?
I like putting on earrings every morning - just some small gold hoops. The same way jeans make me feel more put together, wearing earrings, some makeup and perfume makes me feel more like pre-isolation Ambar.
IF YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE YOU’VE MADE AN EFFORT, WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO JEWELLERY PIECES?
Hmmm. I actually have some RUIFIER earrings that I love - they’re gold hoops with this little hoop of pearls in the middle, they’re very noticeable so I wear them when I’m making an effort.
COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE PLATFORM THAT YOU CREATED, BAMBY COLLECTIVE, AND WHY YOU STARTED IT?
Sure! I started Bamby Collective just before the end of 2019. I was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that even though we all spend so much time on our phones, no one has really taught us how to use social media in a positive way - social media tends to have negative effects on our mental health. I wanted to create a safe online community that serves as a place for girls to make friends, learn about various topics, and ultimately brings girls together who want to be part of a positive space. The Facebook group has almost 3000 members and the girls use it to ask for advice without judgement - it's grown into such a wonderful supportive group of girls who have never met, yet just want the best for each other and want to support each other. I'm planning to do events so that everyone can meet in real life after this is all over, but having set up Bamby Collective before coronavirus was perfect timing in a way, and we've seen so many new girls join because they want a space to talk to other people and feel less lonely during this time. There's a big group chat that lots of the girls are on and it's so lovely seeing how they've formed friendships through the community - we do Netflix party's together, and zoom calls. The regular stuff you'd do with your friends, but instead with our online community. I think feeling like you belong to a group is a wonderful feeling - and it's open to girls of all ages around the world.
WHAT’S THE BEST AND HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AT HOME?
I think I’ve really adjusted to this style of life now - smaller things make me happy, so I’d say the best thing is probably that I’ve learned to appreciate the simple things in life more. The worst thing is definitely not being able to see my friends and family, FaceTiming them often just makes me miss them more.
DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE OR HAS ALL ROUTINE GONE OUT THE WINDOW?
I have some semblance of a routine - I usually wake up around 9, have a shower and get ready, then make everyone breakfast. We pretty much always have breakfast together and have some variation of bacon and eggs. Then I sit and work in the living room for a few hours, then around noon I migrate into the bedroom and work there (or pretend to).
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU HAVE WANTED TO DO FOR A LONG TIME, WHICH YOU NOW HAVE TIME TO DO?
Oh god - I cleaned out my wardrobe the other day and I hated every minute of it. I’d been putting that off for weeks, I got rid of so many clothes that I’ve been hanging onto. I feel so much better now it’s done.
IS THERE SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING WHEN LIFE STARTS TO RETURN TO NORMAL?
Honestly, there’s nothing in particular that I’m looking forward to - in a way I think I’ll miss the simplicity of this way of life. I can’t wait to sit on a beach. I’m slightly worried that I’ll have forgotten how to have social interactions with people!
HOW ARE YOU KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
I am not good at using my phone to stay in touch with my friends and family - I’ve always been the type to never really text people except to plan to meet up, so this has been hard! Sometimes I find calls so awkward. But I’m getting better.
IS THERE ONE PIECE OF JEWELLERY THAT MEANS A LOT TO YOU, AND A REASON WHY?
I have a silver diamond waterfall ring that I wear on my right ring finger and never take off. My boyfriend gave it to me for our first Christmas together. It was 6 months after we started dating, and we were skiing with his family - it was such a special time, and the ring fills me with happy memories.
FOR ANYONE WHO MAY BE FINDING STAYING AT HOME HARD, IS THERE ONE TIP YOU CAN GIVE WHICH HAS HELPED YOU?
I think being grateful is really important - if I’m feeling low I like to just say in my mind a few things I’m grateful for and why. It really does change my mood and outlook.