#WFH Diaries: Mareka Stake of 72andSunny Amsterdam

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform life before our eyes, we're checking in with creative industry folks to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Mareka Stake, senior writer at 72andSunny Amsterdam. 

Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.

I'm Mareka Stake (pronounced: ma-ray-kah stah-keh), a Brit with the most un-British name possible, and I've been working as a senior writer at 72andSunny Amsterdam for almost two and a half years.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I reside in the Oud-West of Amsterdam, overlooking a little city goat farm, with my husband (who also works at 72) and our two young kids.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

It's tricky, balancing work and kids at home all at once, but we're taking it half-day by half-day, and just about managing to share the load.

Describe your socializing strategy.

FaceTiming my family, spread around the world in the U.K., Brazil and Sweden, plus friends further afield in places like Japan. And the ping-ping-ping of various chats.

How are you dealing with childcare?

Haha, "dealing" is a good word. Coping is not quite so applicable. There's a lot more wine and beer floating around.

What are you reading?

Slowly, slowly, I'm reading Haruki Murakami's Killing Commendatore.

What are you watching?

I binged Love Is Blind right at the start of the lockdown days, and now will move on to Tiger King on recommendation from our all-agency WhatsApp group.

What are you listening to?

I find jazz calms the nerves, things like Jan Johansson or Alpha Mist.

How are you staying fit?

I miss riding my bike every day, so now it's chasing my kids 'round the garden or up and down the stairs. And doing lunges and stretches as I put away their toys of an evening. But I'm going to do some yoga online, too.

Have you taken up a hobby?

When I settle into things a bit more, I plan on doing some sewing, as it's something I like to do to relax when I have a spare five minutes.

Any tips for getting necessities?

We subscribed to The Good Roll to avoid being in a supermarket standoff over the last packet of toilet paper.

An awkward moment since all this started.

I had to go to the supermarket for other necessities and found breathing really difficult when people got too close to me. The scarf went over the face in defense/to hide my worries.

Best work email you got since all this started.

We get nightly roundups that include observations on people's conference call habits and backgrounds, and freebies like Love Is Blind commentary podcasts starring members of the agency.

An aha! moment since all this started.

That our homes are actually spaces that we don't appreciate enough or spend enough time in usually. I notice the light in different rooms, and find new little spots to just be each day (the chair in front of Ian Stevenson's "Eat Crap" being a fave). I also notice the dust...

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

That this may actually be the future of agency life, even the 150-people Monday morning Hangouts. But on the plus side, I think we will all get a much better grasp on our concepts of humanity and community.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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