People of the Peninsula

"We’re all acquainted with the meaning of new. We get new jobs, move to new cities, make new friends and forge new ideas."

The start of another year always makes us think about ‘new beginnings’ and ‘fresh starts’. Promises are made, resolutions are shared, and unchartered territory awaits. We’re all acquainted with the meaning of new. We get new jobs, move to new cities, make new friends and forge new ideas.

But new is a small word with big feelings. It can conjure up memories of a first experience: your first snowball fight, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, or a once-and-never-again helicopter ride.

But new is also in the minutia, an unfamiliar route during a familiar journey, an exotic drink tasted, something new to wear. So, we asked Peninsulists about their lastest foray into the unknown, big or small.

All images by Nina Manandhar

Kojo Tawiah, travel consultant at AfricaOracle

“I just got back from Tanzania. I did a Safari in the Kilimanjaro area, and that was amazing. It was a life changing experience and something that I hadn’t done before. I saw some incredible animals and we did a trek as well, across the country, stopping in Zanzibar, the Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania. New experience is all about new insight, seeing things from new angles, new life and new belief.”

Sarah Whitaker, event management

“Oh, my newest experience is easy! I’ve just had a new baby. She’s eight months old now, but she’s still new. She’s my second child.  I think that this idea of newness comes from something you haven’t ever seen before, that you’re laying your eyes on for the first time, something that’s created from scratch. So I think a baby is the perfect example of new.”

Naomi Bonafoux, actress (and her daughter, Perla)

“My daughter Perla has just started Year 1 and is starting lots of new classes; ballet, guitar and singing – it may be the making of a rock and roll star!

New can mean lots of things. I’m a big fan of collecting vintage things so I get really excited when I get something new. But it’s not necessarily new in the traditional sense; a vintage piece can smell of another perfume or someone else, but it’s new in my hand. So new is very relative, I suppose. Something old that one person wouldn’t dream of touching and calling new, is something another person would be proud to own afresh.”

Hester Connell, events and exhibition assistant

I went to my first life drawing class a few weeks ago. I haven’t drawn (apart from secretly in my room) since school and I’ve wanted to give it a go for quite a while. While I was there I plucked up the courage and drew some odd bits that vaguely resembled boobs and a belly. Admittedly, my drawings weren’t great, but the feeling it gave me afterwards was fantastic – I’d finally done it! For me, new means overcoming nerves or hurdles to experience something that’s special and unique.

John Phoenix and Brando, sales executive

“We often associate new with something of material, a new winter jacket, new shoes, a new bag, the newest phone; but I’ve recently started volunteering for Blind Aid to buddy up with blind or visually impaired people. It’s bought a new experience for me, as I’m exploring what life’s like for blind people living in inner city London. We sit, we chat, we walk in a park, we laugh, and they met Mr B, the most adorable Labradoodle!”

Pin Mirin, fashion design student at Ravensbourne

“It’s actually my first time living in London. I only just moved here from the countryside in Peterborough, so being here is a really new experience for me. I moved here for university, to study fashion design. And I’m really enjoying it. I guess university is another new experience too; it’s a place where you can make new friends and learn new concepts. I recently collaborated with a friend actually for one of our university projects. And I’d definitely work in that way again, I think it helps me, or us both really, to move forward. It allows us to develop our ideas together and draw inspiration from each other.”