Life in Lockdown - Lulu Grimes, Managing Editor at BBC Good Food Magazine

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Life in lockdown


Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal.


Today we hear from Lulu Grimes, Managing Editor at BBC Good Food Magazine.


Where are you working from right now?
I’m working from home, sharing a house with my husband who is also working, and my 13-year-old who is technically ‘at school’ online.


What’s your new morning routine?
I look at emails and messages before getting out of bed because for some reason I have lost the battle of who gets to shower first. I also check Instagram and Twitter, our BBC Good Food Together FaceBook page and the far too many Whatsapp groups I am in for work to see if there are any questions that have come to me, then I check my own feeds. At the moment we are playing breakfast lottery as we keep running out of ingredients like eggs, oats and bread so for the last two days I have made sushi rice so my son can make tuna-mayo sushi for breakfast. For himself I should stress. I used my last batch of sourdough dough to make pizza and I’ve run out of flour to make some more bread so that’s an epic breakfast fail!


Have you got dressed today?
Yes, I did Instagram live Q&A today with our food editor Cassie Best so I can’t let the side down by wearing PJs.


How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
It’s changed completely, the biggest change is not having access to our test kitchen. While we can’t taste what each other are making our foodie lives have gone online, and we are writing, testing, photographing and filming recipes at home. We then share snaps of what we have made via our own and @bbcgoodfood Instagram accounts. We are all constantly hungry because we talk about food all of the time, and the fridge raid for lunch/dinner element is getting quite competitive.


What are the current plans for filling your pages?
We are in pretty good shape for Good Food, we have worked really hard to find new ways of working and to tweak content where it’s needed and we are led by the very proactive and creative Christine Hayes. Keith Kendrick who pulls everything together on Good Food and Easy Cook has done an astonishing job with his team and the designers, subs etc have turned things around brilliantly.


What does a work lunch look like these days?
I wish I could say that I lay the table and we sit down together as a family but that would be a lie. I’m eating leftovers, recipe tests or random items that I’ve found in the freezer, but not necessarily at actual lunchtime. My son gets his own lunch as does my husband, though if I make a batch of soup we might all have the same thing.


What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
Time. Home wifi is not as speedy as the office, the systems we use are often running more slowly so everything takes longer. Also, the availability, or lack of, ingredients is making recipe creation a very interesting task.


Has anything positive come out of this?
Yes, new ways of working always throw up things that could have been changed before. The content team will certainly come out with more skills, we have had to learn to be the camera person as well as the presenter, and we are getting increasingly adept at balancing a phone on a cereal box to get the right angle for a shot.


What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
Try and understand what kind of content might be helpful. In print we are still working months ahead so despite the uncertainty I do want to know what future plans are for brands, at some point we will come out of this. For online content I need to know what’s happening now, this may not be information that can be shared with the public but it might help me do my job better.


What’s your comeback plan?
We are still very much here!


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