I was invited by Nakano Knives to be one of their ambassadors in a fruit carving challenge they have set online. For my entry, I decided to create a Fruity Duo version of George and I, made from strawberries and apples. If you think my creation is cute, you can vote for my fruit art by clicking HERE:

The first prize is a trip to Japan! If I won it would be a fantastic honeymoon for George and I! (Dreaming Big)

If it made you look at your fruit bowl with excitement, then you can enter your own fruit cutting creation for a chance to win prizes too.

On a more musical note …

This week I had the pleasure of working in a rehearsal room with a group of engaged and excitable artists again. I was invited by Improbable to take part in a research and development (R&D) week, where I had the opportunity to work with familiar faces and make some new connections. On the first day I found it quite hard to hold back my enthusiasm, but as the days progressed, being indoors with others and creating music started to feel more natural again.

I felt very safe all week. Before attending the rehearsal space, we had to provide negative results from a COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test. I was able to attend a free drop-in centre at London Bridge Train Station. The process here was very well organised. I could book a slot in advance via their website or simply turn up on the day. The Staff were friendly, and the testing stations were immediately cleaned between each examination.   

The group of collaborators included a cellist, stage manager, percussionist, sound designer, costume designer, baritone, set designer, director, composer, soprano, producer, and pianist. The research was facilitated by Open Space Technology. A process focused on improvisation, which allows groups of people from as few as 5 to 2500+ to work together and discuss issues or a creative idea. I found that this working style allowed and encouraged me to be a proactive listener, creative thinker, musician, actress, mask-maker, dreamer, analyst, and critic. This meant that the discoveries were both theoretical and practical. During the week we found answers by participating in discussions, performances, improvisations, art workshops and experimenting with sound and video recording.

To encourage the environment of Open Space, the group follow a set of four principles and one Law.

  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • Whoever comes are the right people.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that can happen.
  • When it is over it is over
  • The Law of two feet

(Any time you feel that you are not learning and not contributing, you can use your two feet to go somewhere else).

The idea of these principles is to make people feel safe about sharing their ideas. They encourage multiple voices to enter discussions rather than one or two people dominating them. Participants are given the confidence to take part.


At the start of each session the group would sit in a circle and pass around a “talking stick”. Due to the themes of Covid, the talking stick was replaced with a bottle of hand sanitizer, the talker would dispense some into their hand and then say how they felt that morning or ideas that had come to them in between the working days.

At the end of each day we would repeat this exercises and share our thoughts and conclusions of the day.

Call Sessions:

At the start of the week our host, Phelim, suggested that we write on paper a question or topic that we would like to consider during the week. You could propose anything. Once you have written it, you would write your name in the corner, announce your idea out loud and then stick it on the wall with masking tape. From this harvesting of ideas, we worked out our over-arching intention for the week and stimulus for creative ideas and tasks.

Say YES, and …

When we worked on tasks and actions inspired by the questions stuck on the wall. I found it helpful to approach suggestions similarly to an improviser developing a story. Rather than discounting an idea or call to action, we would try it out in the space and then review what was successful and what could be improved. From these experiences, even if they were unsuccessful, new ideas would emerge and the best solutions began to present themselves.

I found the process really stimulating and an enjoyable experience. It has made me hungry and positive for future collaborations and performances. But right now, I hope we can continue to improve the pandemic situation so that not only performers can come together but families too. I cannot wait to see mine again.

Lateral flow tests are now available for free to everyone in England, regardless of whether you have Covid symptoms or not. These tests are very quick, and you can receive your results in 30 minutes. If you are not able to visit a rapid lateral flow test centre and live in England, you can order a free pack via this link: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Photo By Giuseppe Belli

51 thoughts on “Fruity Duo

    1. It was just so enjoyable being with a team of people and doing what I love.
      All my best wishes Tim,

  1. Your fruity duo was terrific. I loved George’s tie. I hope you are going to explain the bird beaks. Glad you could get together and exchange ideas. I like the law of two feet.

    1. I had a great week John, really inventive and fun. Difficult to sing in a mask though so it was just a small part of that process. It was good to be with a team of musicians again.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Cindy 😀. I tried carving a melon at first until I realised how rubbish my knives are so even if I win a knife it will be a big treat. If I were more talented at carving I’d have done a piano stool for Strawberry George to sit on 😂, he looks like a strawberry Schroeder from Charlie Brown.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you I appreciate it 😀. We’re way down in votes on the honeymoon votes but even a nice sharp knife will be a nice treat and I had fun doing it.
      Best wishes

    1. Hehe. I had a great week working and fun doing my strawberry duo 😊.
      All my best wishes

  2. Blueberries…!! My favourite fruit! Your creation looks very beautiful, Charlotte. A trip to Japan would be wonderful so hoping you get lucky.

    1. Typical singer gave myself a blueberry audience hehe. Yes we enjoyed eating everything afterwards. I don’t rate our chances some people are already in the 1000s, however, even a nice sharp new knife will be a nice treat.
      Best wishes

  3. Love your fruit sculpture and I’ve voted for you! Is that the set from Bambino I see? You were fabulous in that. Good luck with the fruit competition, fingers crossed🤞🥰😘

    1. It was a great week Gill back working in a team with other musicians, directors and designers just fab. Thanks for the vote. Dad downloaded his book and now he wants a set of the knives 🔪 lol.
      Best wishes

  4. I enjoyed your fruit carvings, and hope you and George win that trip to Japan! And congratulations on being able to share ideas and collaborate in person again. All good news, we are happy for you! 🙂

    1. Thank you Lavinia, I had a fabulous week, can’t believe how much I’d missed this sort of teamwork even if slightly strange with masks and open windows to get used to.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Annette, fingers crossed but I was amazed to see that some people had over 1000 votes in just a day! So it may be a set of knives, which if so, will be a very nice treat too.
      Best wishes

    1. Hello my friend, I hope that you have had a super enjoyable week.
      Best wishes

  5. You have my vote Charlotte. Very inventive! That group work sounds a bit intense to me – lucky you are used to working in such a creative space. I’ve had three COVID tests, just “in case”. In Oz we then have to home isolate until we receive a negative result, but they are coming through within 24 hours these days. We are doing so well in comparison to other places. Although terribly sad for the families involved, our death toll for the last twelve months in New South Wales is 49 persons. I was even able to attend a wedding last night with 80 guests, and we were finally allowed to dance! Although I only managed ten minutes of that 🙁

    1. I’m so happy you were able to attend a wedding, did it feel relaxed enough to enjoy it, that is my concern for our 4th time rearranged wedding at the end of August. We haven’t stopped the flights in or quarantined properly here so new flare ups are happening all the time, just today we are warned that someone came to London from Africa and there is a known outbreak of 44 people, it’s like why can’t they just quarantine properly instead of putting so many people at risk.

      Then we’re told there may be 77 people infected today with an Indian varient and India aren’t on the quarantine list. It seems we’re never going to get out of this because people can’t be quarantining when they arrive from abroad we’ve been mostly locked down since Christmas Eve.

      Anyhow, we can meet outside now which is great I met one of my bridesmaids outdoors in the park first time I’ve seen her since August.
      Best wishes

      1. The wedding was brilliant Charlotte. Eighty persons, and about as normal as could be. The only thing I noticed was when the bride and groom were leaving they walked straight down the honour guard of people, jumped in a hire car and drove off with just a wave. Normally you would kiss and hug each person as you negotiate your way down the line. So – was that a personal choice, or a COVID choice, or a bit of both?
        Bearing in mind that our restrictions in New South Wales had recently relaxed in the wake of no new outbreaks. Mask wearing on trains is no longer compulsory, for example.
        You guys are in a completely different situation, and even though you are an island your borders are still very porous. People can’t be trusted to isolate properly on return from overseas travel, so over here in the main they don’t get the choice. Straight into hotel quarantine for 14 days. There is some talk of relaxing that when vaccination rollout is complete but ours is going very slowly. That’s something the UK has all over us!
        Your wedding too will be brilliant when you can finally enjoy it. All your friends and family will be doubly joyous for you and George.
        Love and Lollipops, Gwen

      2. It is a relief to me that people are getting back to some normality in Australia. My grandparents have all had their second jabs and my parents are due their second jabs in May. I think they’re down to 40 year olds at the moment but they have slowed down in order to do all the second jabs and I think they’ve had problems getting all the supplies they need.

  6. Of course I sent in my vote – you knew I would!! To win Japan for your honeymoon, THAT would be outstanding!
    The group was an amazing idea. A lot of thought went into creating it and making it all go well.
    Enjoy your week and continue to stay safe!!

    1. I’d love to go to Japan. However, even if we only get a set of knives after trying to carve a melon and an apple with our blunt knives that will be a blessing.
      So great being able to work in a musical team I was buzzing all week.
      Best wishes

  7. Charlotte, looks like you had a very exciting week.
    I loved your strawberry sculptures, and I voted for you, so good luck with that..xxx

    1. I had a great week, I was exhausted every night after using up so much energy all day.
      Thank you for voting 😊 even if we only get the knife set we will be very happy, I hadn’t realised how blunt our knives was until I tried to intricate cutting.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you very much Don we appreciate it. It was a bit of fun too.
      Best wishes

  8. Those masks are very much alike the masks people wore during the Black plague… Impressive.
    Your carvings are very cute. 👍🏻Voting for you as of this minute.

    1. Thank you very much I appreciate it Brian. I had a super week, it was nice to feel absolutely exhausted each night hehe.
      Best wishes

    1. Oh dear! Well thank you for trying anyway 😊. Did you get your free cooking book?

  9. Hi Charlotte, your fruit carving sounds fun and totally bizarre! Your R&D sessions sounded ‘fruitful’ and I am glad you got so much out of it. Thanks for the link to the lateral flow tests, you reminded me that I needed to order more as I use them once a week before work. It’s good to see you are doing ok and hopefully soon we can all see our families again:) xx

    1. I love bizarre, my parents always tell me I’m bonkers. Loving the ‘fruitful’ hehe.
      Fingers crossed Christine.
      All my best to you and your family,

    1. Thank you very much it was great getting back into a group activity.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte 😊

  10. YAY!!! So happy you are creating with other people.
    We are in trouble in Toronto. The lockdown will become more severe, and our cases are sky rocketing.
    I’ve had 1 shot of AZ. We keep running out of vaccine in Canada. That should change soon, thanks to Pfizer, so we are told.
    I VOTED!! I hope Fruity Duo wins! 🤞
    Okay, time to draw foe awhile. Best to both of you! ❦❦

    1. Can’t tell you Resa what a brilliant week I had, being inventive and singing. I’m glad you got your first shot, my parents are due their second ones in May, Dad had Pfizer, Mum had AZ. Good luck for lots of inspiration in your drawings.
      Best wishes

  11. I love your description of the Improbable working space and activities. It reminded me of Art College days. In our big open sculpture studio, every now and again someone would say ‘I need a workshop’ and five or six people would gather round. Someone might pick up a rag and pass it to the next person, who might prop the rag on some upright pencils, the next person might sit on this, or put it on their head… we didn’t talk much, but something would develop as we played with materials and ideas and after perhaps an hour we might wrap up, but all of us felt enriched.

    1. Thank you Hilary, it was so nice to be back working as part of a team. It’s amazing how many new ideas spring up and I enjoyed just being silly, playing and having fun in this sort of session. I’m just trying to make the best of every opportunity to sing so this covid has made me appreciate all the little things.
      Best wishes to you and Edwin,

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