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Robin's paradise: 20 seconds of Bermuda-centred sanity

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Feeling the stress of Covid-19? Robin Trimingham believes she has a cure.

It's a YouTube series that she calls Robin's Paradise: 20 Second Sanity Breaks. The idea is that watching short clips of Bermuda scenery might help people to cope with the turmoil the world has faced since March of 2020.

"As much as I worked really hard to have everything in my own life together, I'm not immune to the stresses and the pressures from the huge change in business dynamics and personal life and I needed an uplift," Ms Trimingham said.

"What we all need is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny completely immersive experience that actually transports us to another part of our brain for a moment or two when life around us is spinning out of control."

She started thinking about a project or hobby that might help when the obvious hit her: she could utilise the video skills she drew on for her 9 to 5.

"So I started down that path and then of course the next big thing was what to video about," said Ms Trimingham, the managing director of The Olderhood Group Ltd, a company that offers life-transition consulting and coaching for corporations and financial advisory services for individuals.

"Suddenly it hit me. You live in the most beautiful place on earth; it's right outside your front door. Why don’t you make videos of that?"

Although certain that it had already been done to death, she decided to search on YouTube for Bermuda content. To her surprise, she came up empty-handed.

"With the exception of Bermuda Broadcasting, which now, after a concerted amount of effort, has a huge presence, there is very little that’s findable," she said. "I want to be very clear, I'm not saying there isn’t great original Bermuda-created content; I'm saying that I can't find it. Which means if it's sitting there it's virtually undiscovered, unknown."

Most of what she did find had been created by visitors. What she wanted to share was the "unique, passionate" voice that only someone who lives on the island can offer.

"I realised watching a little bit of that randomly throughout the day instead of scrolling all the negativity on social media, if I was intentionally looking at something positive, that that actually helped. And I thought, well, I can't be the only person who might benefit from this."

Once she started filming, she realised that she could also use her micro movies to help "a lot of really small authentic Bermuda tourism entities".

While shooting at Gates Fort in St George's, Ms Trimingham ran into a man who owns a glass-bottom kayak business; at Clearwater Beach she met a man renting umbrellas and beach chairs.

Her plan is to feature them both.

"It's kind of like it is just sort of growing from there," she said.

She started at the eastern end of the island because that is where she lives but her intent is to showcase all of Bermuda.

"This is a soft launch but I've done quite a few places — Gates Fort, Turtle Bay beach, Clearwater, Shelly Bay, the Flatts Railway Bridge, Carter House. I have a friend who is a Bermudian beekeeper so I did a minute-and-a-half video of opening up the hive. That was incredibly cool.

"I've lived here 30 years and I got to go down this lane in St David's that I never knew was there. It was all absolutely amazing and fascinating at the same time. I'm so in love with the potential of this project to help so many people and have a little bit of fun myself all at the same time."

The videos range anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes in length.

Said Ms Trimingham: "That’s the point. It’s a very quick immersion into something that’s completely different from the tourist-type perspective and hopefully leaves you wanting more."

She got interested in learning how to film while shooting Resetting the Wheel, a television show she hosted "a few years back" on ZBM with her business partner Bill Storie.

"That was a fascinating experience because it was my first time sitting in front of the camera," she said. "There were other people manning the cameras and doing all the editing and I realised just how much I didn’t know. So now I've got to the point where Bill and I have our own video show on the internet called The Ozone. I do all the filming for that and all the editing for that but I wouldn’t pretend that I was the expert on all kinds of fancy camera angles and sophisticated editing.

"I'm literally learning editing online. I got some great editing software and I've been taking tutorials on how to use all of that. Am I perfect? No. Will my videos be better in a year? Possibly. But I have learnt enough that they're watchable and it's been really fun to push myself and challenge myself to learn a new creative skill."

Working out "the mechanics of YouTube" added another layer of learning.

"You have to understand how the YouTube algorithm functions, how to attempt to make a video findable in a strategic way regardless of what your subject matter is. So I've been doing a lot of research into things like that.

"If you think of everything on social media as being like a tree then YouTube can be the trunk and all the other platforms are the leaves and you can send your content from this one hub out to all the others more effectively — if I'm understanding my researching — than if you just randomly post to Facebook here, Pinterest here and Instagram over here. It’s a much more strategic process."

Her hope is that her research will put her films in front of anybody looking for a bit of stress relief.

"[I'm targeting] anybody who is Bermudian, anybody who has lived in Bermuda and is now somewhere else, anybody who was here on their honeymoon 40 years ago but also, ultimately, an awful lot of people who are just interested in learning about a very foreign place from where they are."

It is that type of interest that has kept her following the progress of a man on YouTube who is building a cabin in the wilderness in Wisconsin.

"That’s 180 degrees in the opposite of where I'm sitting," Ms Trimingham said. "I thought, if I'm interested in that I bet there are people in very faraway places who just would really be interested in seeing what a completely different and very beautiful place is like.

"There are tourism experts who market the island to a strategic audience on behalf of everybody who lives here — and it’s a very difficult time to be doing that — but I realise that there's an awful lot of beautiful, cool, unique, undiscovered, forgotten places in Bermuda that I think people would also really love to see. So I'm going to focus on all of that."

Business owners who are interested in having their company featured in Robin's Paradise: 20 Second Sanity Breaks should contact Ms Trimingham at robin@olderhood.com

"It has to be a fully functioning business and it needs to be something that is uniquely Bermudian or something that would be very interesting to a tourist or something that is some kind of activity," she said. "[But] I'm pretty open-minded about it. I don’t want someone to feel she didn’t mean X or Y so that rules me out," she said.

Robin Trimingham (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Robin Trimingham (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Robin Trimingham (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published November 01, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated November 02, 2021 at 8:08 am)

Robin's paradise: 20 seconds of Bermuda-centred sanity

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