MINDFULNESS FOR ALL THE FAMILY
EXPLORE COLOUR WITH NATURAL DYES
TRY HEALTHY NEW BOWL FOOD TRENDS
TAKE TO THE HILLS & BE A HAPPY HIKER!
ISSUE #3 SEPTEMBER 2017
53 INSPIRING IDEAS
Letâ€™s celebrate the imperfect PLUS Slow style at home
FOR LIFE, LOVE & HAPPINESS
8-PAGE MINI MAGAZINE 3 COOL CACTI TO PRINT OUT & MAKE
Photography Priscilla Du Preez
Problems disappear if we talk to each other NEXT TIME YOU GO TO MESSAGE, TEXT OR TWEET A FRIEND, MAKE TIME TO TALK INSTEAD. ITâ€™S GOOD FOR BOTH OF YOU.
o pleased to see you again. We hope you’ve had a relaxing summer with your nearest and dearest (while we’ve been busy creating this issue for you). Whether you managed to get away from it all or not, “wishing you were elsewhere won’t improve your days,” says our columnist Ali Binns. “Learn to live the best life you can where you are now,” she recommends on page 36. Whatever you have filled your days with this summer, it’s spending time with friends and family that really counts and makes a true difference to our wellbeing and happiness. Throughout this issue, we consider and celebrate those people: the faces behind the stories, the how-tos, the recipes and the adventures. For without learning from each other – sharing experiences,
understanding and empathising and yes... talking with each other – our lives are far less rich and fulfilling. Here at In The Moment HQ, we like talking and we love a debate – and there’s nothing like a ‘hot topic’ to get us started. Take make-up, for example. Wear it or not wear it? No-one’s judging, but there are some great conversations being had – see page 38. How about a more feminine society where “in schools, kindness would be as important as traditional subjects” – page 14. Oh, and then there’s “Slow living – is it really possible to live like this?” We think so and so do others as you’ll read on page 72. Do join in the debate on any subjects we explore – and introduce your own too – we are always ready and willing to have a conversation.
JULES TAYLOR Editor-in-chief
PS: Take A Moment is our extra treat for you. Tap here to find it. WWW.CALMMOMENT.COM6003
96 81 54
Mindful ways to WELLBEING 17
FOR YOU! 4TREATS
18 MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF Simple ideas to help you feel calm and cared for.
54 DABBLING WITH NATURAL DYES Exploring colour without chemicals.
26 WHY DON’T WE TALK ANYMORE? How to get chatting more with friends and family.
60 SHOPPING: SHIBORI AND TIE DYE Natural and beautiful kits, accessories and linens.
30 FAMILY MATTERS Can mindfulness make an impact across many generations?
62 BOOK CLUB Review and interview.
36 NURTURE YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT... Says therapist and columnist Ali Binns. 38 IS BAREFACED BEAUTY BEST? Make-up or not – whatever works for you is good for you. 44 SHOPPING: YOGA KIT ESSENTIALS 46 SPACE TO REFRESH with yogi Charlene.
64 PRICKLY PEOPLE Strategies for dealing with spiky subjects, plus cute cacti to make. 68 FOR THE LOVE OF LOCAL Discover hidden crafts on your doorstep.
Feeling prickly? How to keep calm in any sit uation
LEARNING TO ENJOY THE VIEW
live your life well ... LIVING 71
72 THE WABI-SABI WAY Discover a slower and more honest approach to living.
96 RETREAT TO ANOTHER WORLD For long, lazy summer days at home and away.
78 SHOPPING: BEAUTY IN THE IMPERFECT Refreshingly different home accessories.
104 BE A HAPPY HIKER Take to the hills for a total body and mind workout!
81 SOUL FOOD IN A BOWL: Healthy, easy, laidback – this stylish food trend has it all.
106 SHOPPING: WALKING GEAR You’ll have more fun roaming if you’ve got the right kit.
92 MAKING DECOR PERSONAL Ideas for how to add individual touches to your interiors.
108 ENJOYING THE VIEW Travel can be a form of exposure therapy.
114 LIFE LESSONS Leah Vanderveldt on the real power of our relationship with food.
f-care Take a s–elbecause jo urney wort h it yo ur’ e
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Meet this issue’s talented writers It takes a lot to make your monthly guide to a mindful life, and it’s all thanks to these people (as well as everyone else working behind the scenes). Illustration by Yelena Bryksenkova
ANNIK A ROSE
ello again! These months just keep whizzing by, don’t they? And so much has happened. We’ve recruited a new editorial team (more on that next issue) and we’ve made contact with lots of talented writers who are busy researching and penning brilliant stories and features for you to read in the coming months. If you’ve reached out to us but not yet heard back – sorry we are taking a while to respond – but you will hear from us soon. Have a wonderful September!
Annika lives in Western Australia and writes about, researches and designs new ways to achieve wellbeing. She empowers her clients to create joy in their lives and teaches them how to live more mindfully. You’ll find Annika at www.thewellbeingcollective.com. On page 18, Annika takes us on a selfcare journey. Try her 30-day plan with nurturing ideas for every day.
Editor-in-chief JULES TAYLOR
Get in touch www.facebook.com/ InTheMomentMag www.instagram.com/ inthemomentmag www.uk.pinterest.com/ inthemomentmag www.twitter.com/ inthemomentmag inthemoment @immediate.co.uk
Jo is a journalist and author of nine women’s fiction books. She has a certificate in holistic counselling and writes about meaningful living and wellbeing. After three years travelling abroad, Jo has moved to a new city and put her roots down again. This issue, Jo writes about how we could all do with chatting to our friends a whole lot more. Page 26.
SARAH DITUM Sarah hosts our Book Club, seeking out interesting novels and non-fiction and chatting with authors about their inspiration. She reviews fiction for The Guardian, New Statesman and Literary Review, as well as being a columnist and feature writer. Sarah’s website is www.sarahditum.com and you can find her on Twitter as @sarahditum. Our Book Club is on page 62.
HOLLY JOHNSON Holly is a UK-based freelance writer who recently moved from Bristol to the Dorset coast to spend more time on the beach and less time moaning about traffic. She has two children and a cocker spaniel named Charlie Bear. Connect with Holly here: www.thelifestylewriter.com
Photography: Chris Dean
Editorial Editor-in-chief Jules Taylor
Turn to page 38 for Holly’s piece on the no make-up trend.
ALLISON GREEN A full-time freelancer and travel blogger, Allison left her stable life as a public school teacher in New York City in favour of the unknown. She’s happiest when in the mountains, by the sea, or surrounded by good friends and good food. See more of Allison’s adventures on her blog www.eternalarrival.com Allison’s feature – ‘Learning to enjoy the view’ – is on page 108.
Editor Kirstie Duhig Senior Art Editor Julian Dace Deputy Art Editor Benedict Blyth Digital Editors Sarah Orme, Kate Evans Contributors Illustration Yelena Bryksenkova Becki Clark, Jayde Perkin, Matilda Smith Photography Simon Lees, Gavin Roberts
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Production Production Director Sarah Powell Production Manager Louisa Molter / Rose Griffiths
Licensing Licensing and Syndication Tim Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org International Partners Manager Anna Brown
CAROLINE ROWL AND Caroline, our Living columnist, is the founding editor of 91 Magazine. She is also a freelance writer and author of The Shopkeeper’s Home. Caroline lives in Surrey, UK, with her family, where they’re renovating their Victorian home. Follow her journey and find inspiration on her blog www.patchworkharmony. co.uk and Instagram @patchworkhrmy. Caroline’s column is on page 92.
CATH DEAN Cath is our Creating columnist. When she’s not surrounded by craft in her role as editor of Mollie Makes (www. molliemakes.com), Cath can be found hanging out with her two cats, Posy and Mittens. This issue she’s been exploring the creative talent on her doorstep, and encourages you to do the same. Find her on Instagram @cathdean85. Cath’s column is on page 68.
Publishing Publishing Director Catherine Potter Publisher (Digital) Charlotte Morgan
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Need support? If you’re feeling low and need to talk to someone, contact: Mind at www.mind.org.uk NHS Direct on 111 Samaritans on 116 123 Befrienders Worldwide at www.befrienders.org
Uplifting ideas, stories and inspiration from around the world.
Embrace your mistakes Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that making a mistake is ok. Mistakes are proof that we are trying. In fact, it’s all part of the human experience. Leadership expert Martin Webster is now teaching companies that making mistakes is better for their businesses. He explains, “Let’s face it. No one achieves anything without making many mistakes along the way. Making mistakes makes us uniquely human. It’s how we learn.” Of course it’s not just at work that mistakes happen, we make them at home as well. And that’s ok. Being honest about our mistakes, not fearing the consequences, is what allows us to be creative and make new discoveries. “When things don’t go to plan... problems are uncovered and put to rights sooner,”says Webster. ”So a mistake isn’t failure; it’s a step closer to success.” Our new mantra? Forget the mistake – but remember the lesson.
Insta inspiration #shewearsthetrousers is a thought-provoking new Instagram account celebrating the trailblazing women who paved the way for us to don our favourite denims today. It’s hard to believe that women didn’t start wearing trousers en masse until the sexual revolution of the late 1960s, but it means that the women who did are some of the most interesting and fabulously avant garde gals in history. Curated by British photographer/designer Ruby Woodhouse (www.rubywoodhouse.com) #shewearsthetrousers is full of hidden gems. Check out the wonderful Chinese American artist Bernice Bing in 1965, Barbara Hepworth in 1960 and Norwegian painter Anna-Eva Bergman out rowing in style.
5 mins 8
IN THE BREWING Expert in the science of making a proper cup of tea, Dr Stu Farrimond recommends brewing for five minutes to release healthy antioxidants.
“We believe in the power and future of Slow Fashion”
Style with (a whole lot of) substance Carcel is a Danish fashion label with a mission. Its designs are defined by sustainability and slow fashion and each item is produced by hand using local alpaca wool and silk. ‘Carcel’ means prison in Spanish and its garments are made in women’s prisons in Peru and Thailand, where poverty is the uniting factor in their makers’ stories. Carcel’s mission is to transform this lost time. “We give women in prison new skills and good wages so they can support themselves, send their children to school, save up for a crime-free beginning and ultimately, break the cycle of poverty,” says founder Veronica D’Souza. “We’ve experienced great interest and sympathy for the women’s situation as the majority are incarcerated due to non-violent, poverty related crime. The women are already serving time, which means we do not have to judge them once again. If they wish to work and create the prospects of a better future for themselves, we would like to provide them with this possibility.” For Veronica (pictured left) and Creative Director Louise van Hauen (right), transparency is at the heart of Carcel so every garment includes the name of the maker and the website features many of their moving stories.
Go to www.carcel.co to read more see Carcel’s new collection.
SUSTAINABLE FASHION This month’s London Fashion Week (15-19 Sept) includes a symposium on sustainable design, ethical production, retail and education. It’s a step in the right 9 direction.
Things to do to live your life well in September...
SEPTEMBER It’s International Literacy Day, so what better excuse do you need to curl up with a good book? If you belong to a book club, you could plan a get together on this day. To share your love of reading check out Book Aid International – a brilliant charity working to bring books to people all over the world who need them most. * Read more at www.bookaid.org
Photography Jiri Wagner
19 Photography Spabreaks.com
SEPTEMBER Fancy joining the world’s biggest ever massage event? At 11am on 19 September 1,000 women are being invited to take time out for a free massage as part of Women’s Wellness Week, encouraging women to be kinder to ourselves by making our health and wellbeing a priority. * Register to take part at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEPTEMBER With one in 12 adults suffering from eczema, the message during National Eczema Week is ‘you are not alone’. The National Eczema Society are asking you to ‘Eczpress Yourself’ by recording your eczema story so that it can be shared with those in need of support. * Record your story and send it to email@example.com
ALL MONTH Organic Your September is all about making small changes to make a big difference. Brew a cup of organic tea, switch to organic milk, visit your local organic market (or one of the many popups happening all over the UK), because organic is better for us, for wildlife and our planet. * For info about events near you visit www.soilassociation.org
SEPTEMBER #PoseWithYourNose for today is Wetnose Day – the start of a weekend of fundraising in aid of the country’s amazing animal rescue centres. With the number of animals being cared for by rescue centres rising, they need all the help they can get. * Download fundraising packs, donate and find out more at www.wetnoseanimalaid.com
Photography Wet Nose Animal Aid
SEPTEMBER Have you noticed how you slow down and take more care when writing a letter than when sending a text or an email? You take pride in your handwriting, try not to make spelling mistakes, want your letter to feel special. Today is World Letter Writing Day so why not treat yourself to some lovely stationery, then treat a friend to the joy of receiving your letter. It’s a win win!
Photography Kaleb Nimz
BIRTHSTONE FOLKLORE From the Greek for ‘blue stone’, September’s birthstone, sapphire, can actually be found in many colours, from blue to green to pink. Symbolising power and wisdom, it is said to guard against harm.
For anyone prone to blemishes, birch tree sap is your new best friend. Forget harsh chemical scrubs and peels, pure birch sap (also known as birch water) has amazing detox powers that can really benefit your skin. Such are the birch’s superpowers, a study by the University of Lancaster found that planting birch trees on urban streets reduced pollution levels in the surrounding area by more than 50%! Now researchers at a German university have found that birch bark produces a substance similar to keratinocytes (cells that make up 90% of the skin’s outer layer – the epidermis), which can promote healing and cell regeneration. To make a purifying face mist you’ll need:
* * *
200ml of fresh birch sap or birch water 1 clove (to act as a preservative) A spray bottle
Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau (Woman with a Hat), 1905; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Ben Blackwell
The benefits of birch
Text me a masterpiece Studies have shown that the average museum visitor spends just seven seconds in front of any artwork, which is not much time to contemplate anything. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA – home to 34,678 artworks) have come up with an ingenious idea to show their collection to a wider audience. Anyone in the US can text 572-51 with the words “Send me” followed by a colour, keyword or an emoji and they’ll receive a related artwork image and caption via text. An art collection curated just for you!
Photography Ricky Kharawala
Simply shake up the ingredients in the bottle and spritz your face each morning. For an added boost, freeze cubes of birch sap, wrap in cotton and apply directly to bags and blemishes to cleanse your skin.
This is the study of our ecological, cultural and evolutionary relationship with plants, including how we use our botanical resources to solve our needs for food, medicine, textiles and more. This knowledge can help us to live more sustainably.
good news On our radio-dar
your phone or on your tablet. Go to www.radiogorgeous.com
Photography Chistoffer Engstrom / Illustrations Matilda Smith
Want to listen to honest, funny, intelligent, in-depth podcasts made for women by women? Yes, so do we! Which is why Radio Gorgeous is our new crush. Their daily podcasts feature in-depth interviews with interesting, creative women talking about wellbeing, escaping, culture, relationships, books, fashion, food and so much more. Founded by Josephine Pembroke ABOUT LOVE (whose CV includes jazz singer, From The New York cabaret artist and creator of Times, Modern Love is a 90’s all-girl club act Pussies free podcast series musing Galore!), Radio Gorgeous is on the theme of love: from a place where women’s ideas, platonic to romantic, to voices, creativity and wit parental and unrequited. are the driving force, not Read by actors, the thoughtthe passengers. Enjoy! provoking stories are Listen to the podcasts online, on quietly profound.
Ocean adventures September is the perfect month for ocean swimming, as our waters are at their warmest. If cooler air temperatures put you off taking the plunge, sunny September days are ideal for a mindful walk along the seashore instead. Warmer waters mean that growth of seaweeds is at its height at this time of year, so rockpools are full of busy marine life. You’re never too old to grab a fishing net and a bucket (and don’t forget your camera) – look for crabs, sea anemone, periwinkles, shrimps and limpets.
Find a top swimming spot at wildswim.com. For great places to go rockpooling visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/ rockpooling
57,481 good deeds done (and counting)
WHAT WE WANT To get fit without spending a fortune or hours in the gym. To stay motivated. To help someone else while we’re at it. Cue GoodGym – a community of runners (just normal ones, not olympic athletes) who stop off on their runs to do physical tasks for community groups, and support elderly people with social visits and small jobs they can’t manage. Find (or set up) a group at www.goodgym.org
Taking yoga off the mat Yoga for Ourmala is a wonderful new initiative hosting regular public yoga classes at studios across London – the proceeds of which all go towards providing free yoga classes for refugees, many of whom have suffered traumatic experiences. Standing for compassion, interconnection and social justice, Ourmala helps refugees and asylumseekers to recover and rebuild their lives. ‘K’ is a refugee who goes to Ourmala’s classes: “In yoga I found love, peace and happiness... Yoga is light in the dark life. Is friendly. Is love. Is peace inside.” What a wonderful way to #payitforward.
Photography Alexa Mazzarello
For classes visit www.ourmala.com. Live outside London? Ask your local yogi to join the initiative, too.
What I do... IF THE FEMININE WERE INTEGRATED INTO SOCIETY, LOVING PEOPLE WOULD HAVE MORE POWER. Margi Ross founded The Conscious Feminine after attending a women’s conference hosted by Amnesty International over 30 years ago. During the conference a woman asked, “What is the Feminine?”. Margi was struck by this question and its implications. “The Feminine is equal and opposite to the Masculine,” says Margi. “But it’s not represented as such within our institutions. If you look at the love of a mother for her children, it’s obvious that the Feminine is love, kindness, relationship, nurturing, care for the body and the soul. I began to consider what life would be like if these values were present in our institutions! Love would not only be in the home but in every aspect of life.” Margi felt it was time for the next wave of feminism, one that puts these qualities at the centre of everything we do. Through the Conscious Feminine Margi encourages change through her books, mentoring and public speaking. Margi explains: “If the Feminine were integrated into society, world leaders would not make big changes without first considering the needs of people, animals and all life. In schools, kindness would be as important as traditional subjects because if we can’t be kind to each other, nothing else works.”
good news HOUSEPLANT HEAVEN Urban Jungle Bloggers is a global community sharing their passion for houseplants. Post your plant pics on Instagram using the hashtag #urbanjunglebloggers
Tips f rom your mothe r...
“Say sorry... now say it like you mean it!” Childhood is a time when we are oft told to apologise for our mistakes and misdemeanors (and just as often adamantly refuse to!), yet as adults we’re told that saying sorry too often undermines our authority and damages our self-esteem. Now, new research by Karina Schumann at the University of Pittsburgh, reveals that saying sorry is good for us after all. Schumann found that apologising actually increases our self-esteem and makes us feel more powerful, and that the happiest couples are those who are the most forgiving. So of course mum was right all along!
Photography Mateus Bassan
Acts of kindness (to break a bad habit) We’re talking body image here, we’re talking loving (and respecting) our bodies – whatever their size or shape. So let’s start a dialogue, not about whether one body size is ‘better’ or ‘healthier’ than another – about how we can change our body talk habits and be kinder to ourselves (and others) by following one simple rule: respond to the feeling, not the body. When we comfort someone with, “You’re not fat*, you’re beautiful,” we’ve fallen into the trap of saying that ‘fat’ is not beautiful, that a person can’t be a certain size or shape and be attractive. Yet of course that’s not what we meant. So let’s break the habit. If a friend is celebrating losing weight, try: “It’s great to see you so happy!” If a loved one is feeling low about their size, “I’m sorry you’re feeling down. I love you.” Respond to the feeling, not the body; that’s what really matters. *Replace with your choice of size-related adjective
Feeling a bit low? Need a little pick me up? Several studies have found that the scent of oranges can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. We’ve introduced a bowl of ‘office oranges’ for when we’re in need of a little more zing (we are eating them as well as smelling them!). For times when pulling out your easy peeler isn’t appropriate, dab a little orange essential oil on your wrists instead.
Photography Dmitri Popov
Read more at www.naturallivingideas.com/orangeessential-oil-benefits-uses/
FACT OR FICTION?
Oranges cure the blues ‘We only use 10% of our brains.’ While you might not be using every bit of your brain at all times, you do use your entire brain over the course of the day. It’s true there is a great deal we don’t know about the brain but this 10% figure is completely false!
Photography Charlene Lim
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF CAN BE FUN... FOLLOW OUR SELF-CARE STRATEGIES, GET THE FAMILY TALKING AND PRACTISING MINDFULNESS. OH YES, AND DONâ€™T FORGET TO STRETCH!
Your caring nature and constant giving can leave you feeling depleted and overwhelmed if you don’t save a little bit of goodness for a certain V I P. Here’s how to...
Take good care of yourself Words: Annika Rose / Illustrations Yelena Bryksenkova
ou’re a caring mother, a loyal friend, a valuable employee and a loving partner. You live and lead passionately, devoting most of your time to those around you. It’s what everyone loves and admires about you. Yet your caring nature and constant giving can leave you feeling drained and overloaded if you don’t save a little bit of that compassion for a certain VIP... Self-care is one of our most basic human needs yet it can (and often does!) get bumped off the to-do list in place of more urgent and important tasks. But what can possibly be a higher priority than your own wellbeing? Without it, you’ll be struggling or surviving – not thriving – and supporting others becomes much harder too. Spending even a little time on you is essential if you want to feel less stress and be there for those who need you most. The best way to boost your wellbeing
is to practice simple acts of self-care: small, regular investments into your mental/ physical/ spiritual needs that will pay dividends in the long run. Looking after yourself leaves you feeling more calm, joyful, energised, confident and resilient. Not only are you in a better place to rise to any challenge, being at your best also impacts those around you for the better. Notice how much calmer, present, supportive and caring you are towards others when your own cup is filled? Self-care doesn’t need to be challenging, a chore, a stress, or something else you don’t have enough hours in the day to do. It can involve quick and simple strategies that are fun, fit easily into your life and effortlessly support you so that you flourish. Take some time to take care of you. It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Here are 30 simple ways to take a self-care journey over the next 30 days...
LITTLE AND OFTEN Set aside grand gestures and ‘this is the new me’ style plans. The ‘old’ you is more than fabulous enough and incorporating a few tiny self-care ideas into your day will help you to feel it too.
30 DAY SELF CARE PLAN Simple ideas to nurture yourself everyday to help you feel calm and cared for
DAY 1 Plan to succeed
DAY 5 Feel proud
Decide on a time and place to spend 5-10 minutes a day on your self-care over the next 30 days. Schedule the time in now and honour it. Pop it in the diary, set a reminder and make it a date!
What have you accomplished recently? Today is the day to celebrate your achievement!
DAY 2 Be positive Write down three positive words affirming who you are. For instance: “I am generous, brave and smart.” Choose words that describe you and your unique awesomeness.
DAY 3 Eat well Give your body exactly what it needs to function well. Find a new healthy recipe and make a delicious dinner tonight.
DAY 6 Try something new Step out of your comfort zone and have fun trying something new. Look for opportunities to say ‘yes’, stay curious and give it a go.
DAY 7Play that funky music! Listen to your favourite song. Turn it up loud! Sing it and shake it!
DAY 8 Do something you love Take some time out to do something you love, such as a crafty hobby, a yoga class or going out for coffee. Pick something that brings you joy knowing you’ll look forward to it all day.
DAY 9 Notice your skills What lights you up? What are you naturally good at? Try using these skills and strengths at work today and notice the difference it makes.
Photography Jennifer Cuttriss
Get outside and enjoy the green. Jennifer Cuttriss from Geoje, South Korea, suggests turning off your tech as you reconnect to nature: “I like to switch off, get out of the monotony of everyday life and do something for myself. Hiking allows me to appreciate nature, the small things, and refocus on what’s most important in my life.”
Photography Maaria Lohiya
DAY 4 Get outside
DAY 10 Nurture your body Boost your nutrient levels and heal your body by drinking a delicious green juice or smoothie. So. Much. Goodness!
DAY 11 Get active Run. Walk. Cycle. Stretch. Dance. Move your body and get active in your very own way for at least 30 minutes today.
Photography Curtis MacNewton
DAY 12 Say No
Clockwise from above: get outside for a walk, run or bike ride; enjoy a nutrient boost; do the things you love.
It’s a significant act of self-care to know your limits and set healthy boundaries. Say ‘no’ (or at least ’not now’) if ‘yes’ means saying no to your own needs.
DAY 13 Get some girl time Grab your girls and get socialising! Whether it’s a night in or a night out, enjoy some good fun and great company.
DAY 14 Tune in
Photography Vinicius Amano
Use an app to guide you through a meditation and replace your stress with bliss in a matter of moments.
DAY 15 Reflect What have you learned this year? Reflect on an important life lesson you’ve discovered and how this wisdom has guided your journey.
DAY 17 Be kind to yourself Be kind to yourself – all day. Constantly choose to practice self-compassion no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Photography Nomao Saeki
Identify what’s stressing you out and work towards reducing or removing it. Sophie Halfpenny from Perth, Western Australia believes the small things can make a big difference: “My partner works away, so I had to find a solution to make life easier with three kids. I now pay someone to do our weekly laundry and I get healthy meal boxes delivered too. It means I can look after my own wellbeing and be there more for my children.”
Photography Sophie Halfpenny
DAY 16 Sort out stress
DAY 18 Have an early night
Photography William Stitt
Sleep helps your mind to rest, your body to repair, your memory to sharpen and it even boosts your immunity. Get to bed early tonight and catch up on your zzz’s.
Photography Glen Carstens Peters
Photography Gustav Spindula
From the top: accept your true beauty; sleep is a great healer; list the things you are grateful for; focus on your strengths and use them at work.
DAY 19 Write a love letter
DAY 26 Practice forgiveness
Grab a pen and paper, and write a love letter to you. Describe the things you love about yourself, what makes you unique, a time you achieved something great, what makes you happiest. Write freely, this is for your eyes only.
Practice forgiveness towards yourself. Let go of what’s happened already and make a choice about how to respond to yourself in a kind and loving way, starting from today.
DAY 20 Be creative Pick up a crafty project (see page 66 for inspo) and tap into your creativity today.
DAY 21 See your true beauty Take a look in the mirror and focus on your true beauty – no ‘flaws’ allowed. You are unique and perfect as you are; so accept it, respect it and show love to the incredible person looking back at you.
DAY 22 Be thankful
DAY 27 Choose to be happy Do three small acts of happiness: such as smiling at a stranger, singing in the shower, wearing your favourite top, walking to work the scenic way, eating a cookie, treating yourself to a good coffee – be generous.
DAY 28 Seize this day! Look for an opportunity that feels right for you today and when you find it, seize it! Choose something you might usually say no to, such as meeting a friend for lunch when you are busy at work. You’ll feel better for it.
List 30 things you’re grateful for in your life and count your blessings, big or small.
DAY 29 Write a journal
DAY 23 Reach out
Write your feelings down in a journal. Don’t think about it too much, simply let the pen glide and your thoughts flow onto the paper.
It can be hard to reach out and ask for help when you’re the one who always gives. Try reaching out today and take comfort in those around you showing you how much they care.
DAY 24 Visit a place you love
DAY 30 See your bestie Spend time with your favourite person today. Strengthen your relationship with them by sharing moments and making memories. Take a few selfies together – just for fun!
Reflect on what makes it a happy place for you and why you love coming back here.
Book yourself a pamper, in a spa or at home. Suzi Lovatt from Mold, Wales says: “After a hard day at work, it can be difficult to relax and unwind. I make a conscious effort to take time to treat myself to a relaxing bath and listen to music or a meditation. I always feel better afterwards!”
Photography Jennifer Cuttriss
Photography Andrew Neel
DAY 25 Pamper yourself
Suzi makes a conscious effort to unwind after work.
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We live in an age where we’re constantly glued to our phones but we’re not chatting, we’re Whatsapping, tweeting or texting. Jo Carnegie asks in the words of Cliff Richard:
Why don’t we talk anymore?
hile staying at my parents recently, I made an intriguing discovery. Tucked away on a bookshelf in my old teenage bedroom, I found an old diary from 1992, written by my 16-year-old self. I was both horrified and amused at this moody, hormonal blast from the past, who was foul to her parents, grappled with word processing lessons at school and lusted after Jean Claude Van Damme. But the thing that really stood out to me was how much time I spent talking to my friends. For hours on end. My friends knew everything about me and I knew everything about them. I might have grunted incoherently at my parents and teachers, but I was in constant communication with my contemporaries. These days, the majority of my conversations take place over Whatsapp. There are lots of great things about Whatsapp: it’s quick, convenient and perfect for our busy, time-pressured lives. When you’ve got 10 different group chats going on, complete with emojis, funny videos and the odd power mantra, who really needs to meet up in person? Teenage Jo lived to talk on the phone (my diary entries about arguments with my dad over eyewatering phone bills are proof of
uffering her long-s th wi Jo ridden one bills! An angsted her ph ot fo ly kind dad, who
that). Nearly three decades on, she would be utterly baffled at this self-imposed vow of silence her adult self has taken on. ‘What? You have 24/7 access to a phone and you hardly ever talk on it?’ I did download an app recently called Moments, which records how much time you spend on your phone. I deleted it after a week, disconcerted at the fact I was spending three hours plus a day on there and while I was constantly connected to people by scrolling through Instagram, checking my Twitter feed and emailing, the only people I actually spoke to during that time were my mum, my sister and the receptionist at my doctor’s surgery. In fact, when I stop to think about it, when did I last have a proper, good old-fashioned, put-the-worlds-to-right, bare-my-soul, cry-withlaughter chinwag with a mate? As much as I try to convince myself that Whatsapp is the way
â€œWeâ€™re in constant contact but is anyone really connecting?â€? forward, all this electronic communication has left me with an inner emotional emptiness and a feeling of slight paranoia that just wonâ€™t go away. No matter how many group chats Iâ€™m involved in. â€œWeâ€™re in constant contact but is anyone really connecting?â€? asks health and confidence coach Rhona Clews. â€œWith Whatsapp and instant messaging, it can feel like we have to always be available when sometimes, weâ€™re actually not. A friend might get in touch and try to engage when weâ€™re busy at work, or even hanging the washing out. In the gaps of non-verbal communication, there also presents a new range of situations for potential misunderstanding. If a friend doesnâ€™t instantly reply and yet theyâ€™ve since posted something silly on Facebook, you know
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theyâ€™ve â€˜seenâ€™ your message, so why havenâ€™t they responded? This can leave you feeling down-thepriority list or underappreciated, whereas a short phone call would sort all that stuff out.â€? I do feel us women, especially, are doing ourselves a disservice. We like talking. It reassures us, makes us feel better about ourselves and reminds us that we are part of a wider community, our own tribe. As a teenager, I remember feeling so satiated after a really good conversation with a friend. Nowadays we mainly exist on bite-sized, information-based messages, where cartoon faces take the place of words and emotions. I feel like Iâ€™m starving myself on a fundamental level. Weâ€™ve put ourselves on a conversational diet when, at a time more than ever in an uncertain world, we should be gorging on connecting. â€œThere is also a danger of losing empathy when we communicate electronically,â€? says Rhona. â€œWe miss out on the verbal and facial cues, the subtle nuances of life. When you feel pressured to instantly fire back a response, things easily lose their depth. You can also miss out on seeing how somebody actually is in the flesh, rather than how they portray themselves online. Itâ€™s reassuring to meet with someone face to face and see they have the human flaws and existential worries that we all have.â€? Human contact is not only good for the emotions â€“ itâ€™s good for your health. When we hug people or have positive close interaction, a feel-good hormone called oxytocin is released (also known as the â€˜love hormoneâ€™). Research has shown that oxytocin can help reduce anxiety and stress, reduce blood pressure and even help to protect against heart disease. â€œOxytocin is released in physical presence and touch,â€? Rhona says. â€œThere really is no substitute for having a hug.â€? Conversation is the one unique thing that us human beings have been blessed with. It connects us, makes us laugh, makes us cry. It informs and inspires us. Conversation is sexy and invigorating. It sharpens our minds and nourishes our souls. It quite literally
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heals our hearts. It makes us better listeners, not only to others but to ourselves. So next time you’re about to Whatsapp someone close to you a or a why not pick up the phone and call them instead? Or even better, meet up with them with your real face? “The risk with using the same platforms to communicate for work as our personal lives, is that it can lead to a loss of warmth and intimacy,” says Rhona. “We can easily come across as business-like or cool when we are just trying to be efficient!” Clarity can help here. “Be clear about when is best for your family to use their phones and iPads and when it’s face-to-face time. Set your own boundaries: turn off alerts, don’t reply to emails after 8pm and if you’re watching a film as a family, leave your phone in the other room. Even if we are physically with people, we can still be on our phone. Some say that all you can really give someone is your time and presence – even if you’re sat there in awkward silence!”
Can mindfulness truly reach across the age barriers, mending our muddled brains whatever our age, situation or interest level? Here, three generations of the same family talk about their experiences...
o, if the opposite of mindful is mindless, we’re all guilty of that. Mindless scrolling on our phones, mindless eating on the sofa in front of the telly, mindless listening-but-not-really-listening to our kids and this week’s new hobby. This kind of activity is an obvious antidote to the stresses of modern life, and while zoning out may be the mental equivalent of a stiff drink, being blotto isn’t really the answer. And certainly not for kids. Anxiety is on the rise among children and young people, with diagnoses of mental health disorders growing every year. As well as navigating the choppy waters of childhood and the teen years, kids now have to manage unprecedented levels of peer pressure thanks to social media, and this can provoke significant levels of anxiety. But there is an antidote: mindfulness. As leading expert Michael Chaskalson says: “Mindfulness changes lives. Kids who can manage their own emotions do better and an early introduction to mindfulness can really help. When kids learn
mindfulness, it sustains their natural curiosity, helping them to engage more deeply with others and with the world around them.” And what about the older generation? Life isn’t all final salary pensions and cruises for the over 65s. Navigating modern life can take its toll, with health concerns, money issues, worries about global stability and technological advances all proving stressful and having an impact on ‘mental wellbeing’ (defined as ‘life satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem, mastery and feeling in control, having a purpose in life and a sense of belonging and support’ by NHS Health Scotland, 2006). Study after study shows that mindfulness practice can be beneficial in managing the effects of a range of physical issues as well as reducing stress, anxiety and depression across the population. So is mindfulness the answer? Can it truly reach across the age barriers, mending our muddled brains whatever our age, situation or interest level? Here, three generations of the same family talk about their different experiences exploring mindfulness...
MINDFULNESS IN NATURE “Mindfulness and the Natural World: Bringing our Awareness Back to Nature” by Claire Thompson (Leaping Hare Press, £8.99) is full of practical, familyfriendly ideas.
Sue (aged 70)
Lottie (aged 40)
Sue recently attended a course – An Afternoon of Mindfulness, a 2½ hour introduction for beginners – with her daughter, Lottie. “I’m not a particularly spiritual person and wasn’t someone who did yoga in the 60s. My husband was more keen on that kind of thing! I was more interested in aerobics and keep fit, so focusing on the body more than the mind. “Our afternoon of mindfulness began with a gentle yoga practice before moving into a full body scan and relaxation. This was the part I found most useful as it reminded me of techniques used to help with sleeping and insomnia. We then shared a snack and used this to practice mindful eating, which was a revelation. Properly observing and smelling the food before even taking a bite was something I’ve never done before and it was fascinating. “Although mindfulness isn’t something I’d normally seek out, I enjoyed the course and I can see that taking time to practice mindfulness would help to relieve stress in present times.”
Lottie, 40, practices mindfulness at home using the Headspace app on her smartphone. “Life is very busy. I’m self-employed so my work fluctuates a lot, as does my home life. We’re a blended family with five kids, so I mentally change gear all the time, which can be draining. One minute, I’m deep in thought in a silent house, the next all five kids descend. Sometimes my brain feels like it might explode. “A friend, who also has five children, told me about a yoga retreat she went on last year. Before the daily yoga practice began, she was encouraged to meditate for half an hour. She sat in front of a candle, watching its flame and focusing on her breath. Returning to family life, she’s continued this practice and as a result her whole approach to parenting is more positive. “This really resonated with me. Getting up at the crack of dawn to meditate in front of a candle wasn’t so practical for me, however! The Headspace app proved to be the perfect alternative as I can carry it around with me. The sessions are short but don’t leave me feeling shortchanged. I can select from categories such as Sleep, Calm, SOS, even Cooking and Eating. And there is a Kids section, too. “It’s definitely had a positive impact on my life. I don’t always actively use the tools I’ve learnt when I’m thrown into a stressful situation, but I do find myself enjoying the little moments more – sunlight dancing on the floor, seeing the garden come to life, the sitting cat on my lap.”
“There’s something to be said for shared understanding...” 32
Everyday mindfulness FIVE WAYS FOR FAMILIES TO BRING SIMPLE MINDFUL PRACTICES INTO THEIR DAY-TO-DAY PLAY Designate a screen-free period every day. Play board games, listen to music or just chat about your day. Try Mindful Monster cards from Scope, designed to help kids engage more deeply with others. £7.50 per month, mindfulmonsters.co.uk
Ted (aged 6)
Use screens for mobile mindfulness practice. There are over 60 practical ideas in Modern Mindfulness: How to Be More Relaxed, Focused and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, AlwaysOn World by Rohan Gunatillake (Bluebird, £8.99).
PETS Ted, six, took part in a mindfulness lunch club at his school. It was led by the Ofstedregistered wraparound care team and designed to introduce a range of calming and relaxing techniques to children aged five to seven. At the beginning of term the children were given a mindfulness journal to record their findings and document their experiences over the course of six weekly activities. They kicked off with a craft session to make mindfulness jars. The kids added colourful sparkles and stickers to their ‘magic calming jar’, designed to be shaken up and observed – something to focus on when experiencing difficult feelings. “It was fun to make the magic jars. And when I shake it up and look at it I feel kind of calm.” A session on ‘Spiderboy/girl super senses’ enabled the kids to recognise their breathing, hearing, and touch abilities to help to calm their minds. “Some of the smells were quite nice and some were quite bad. The touching was really nice because it was fun – we touched stones and pebbles which felt smooth.” The final session was a Mindfulness Safari at a local park, designed for the kids to take in the beautiful surroundings and experience a pond and wildlife activity. Using their journal to record what they heard and saw, the children then enjoyed a super senses picnic. “We looked for animals in the park. I found the very first one and it was a parrot in the tree!”
If you have pets, spend time brushing or stroking their fur. Ask children what they think their pets might be feeling. Animals are the perfect example of living in the moment!
BEDTIME ROUTINE After bedtime stories, spend time focusing on breathing. An app that guides you can be useful. Headspace.com or Calm.com (iOS/Android) feature options for both adults and kids.
GO OUTDOORS Spend time in nature together, looking up in the trees and down on the ground. Keep a journal to write or draw your findings or press flowers and leaves for a nature table.
A mindful legacy So how has this mindfulness practice influenced the family longer term? Do they feel a connection across the generations? “There’s definitely something to be said for shared understanding, in whatever form it takes,” says Lottie. “Ted and I have a greater understanding of how to use mindfulness, and I can spot when Ted could benefit from his magic calming jar or a session with the Headspace app.” Sue looks after Ted after school and during holidays. Her knowledge of mindfulness sees her in good stead when helping Ted to manage his feelings. And Lottie and Sue? “While we prefer an independent approach when it comes to mindfulness, we do have plans for more workshops together,” Lottie confirms.The rest of the family are curious, too, making mindfulness a permanent fixture in the lives of these three generations and beyond.
A st ory yo u can relate t o a nd a f u n p uzzle await !
Blackberry Cider Fizz. The name says it all. . 34
PULL- OUT MAGAZINE
TAP HERE FOR YOUR MINI MAGAZINE
We hope you enjoy spending time with us... Every month your 8-page mini magazine, Take a Moment, will include these three fabulous things: A soothing drink recipe â€“ hot or cold â€“ for you to make fresh and mindfully. A great read. A story that presents an alternative view on life, to open your mind to a different way of thinking. A fun crossword to stimulate your brain cells and keep everyday distractions at bay for a few moments. So, mix yourself a cool drink or brew a soothing hot cuppa and find a quiet, comfortable place to relax. Enjoy!
NURTURE YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT Want to bring that holiday feeling into your everyday life – it’s closer to home than you might think Words: Ali Binns / Illustration: Jayde Perkin
ecently, I saw one of those motivational quotes telling me to: ‘Create the kind of life you don’t want to take a holiday from’. This got me thinking. Even if it could be seen as overly optimistic, there is something in this we can all take away. I wonder how many of us have taken a summer break, returned home and resolved to see how we can bring a sip of this holiday spirit into our day-to-day. Cocktails at sunset every evening probably isn’t a viable way forwards, but being able to do the things that matter, spending more time relaxing or having fun with friends and loved ones, now wouldn’t that be nice? I’m already hearing you... ‘Not enough time!’ ‘Too busy!’ But there is one way to bring a sense of holiday to your everyday. The key is to dare to slo-o-w-w down. Reality checking in again with that ‘motivational’ quote. Perhaps it’s not even a good idea to wish you were back on holiday. This wishing you were elsewhere won’t improve your days. Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap calls this the reality slap. The gap between your current reality and where you think you ought to be in order to be happy is a major source of discontent. The solution: learn to live the best life you can where you are now. But how can we slow down when we may be so caught up on a treadmill of achieving and ‘to do’ lists that the days seem too short and we get focused on living only for the weekend? The answer lies in the title of your friendly magazine: live ‘in the moment’. A useful exercise to practise slowing down and being ‘in the moment’ is just to walk. A mindful walking practice is free, can be done indoors or out, and it slows your mind and body, with a side effect of reducing stress. Read through the steps before you begin. You can take anything from five minutes to as long you like to take a mindful walk. You can follow some of the steps, or all, in
any order. You can do it barefoot, or in shoes. There are no rules, other than to keep bringing your focus onto walking and expanding that out into your surroundings if you wish. Begin by taking a few deep breaths in and out, and setting an intention to walk mindfully for your chosen time. Bring all your attention to your feet and their contact with the floor. Notice the weight of your body on the floor and how your feet feel. You can spread your toes and notice how they feel. Make a choice to slow everything right down. Take a steady, conscious step and, as you move, see if you can become aware of all the movements needed to lift and replace your foot from the ground to its next step. Notice as your foot pushes itself from the ground, the small movement of the knee, and how your foot rocks from heel to toe as it lands ahead of you. Feel how the other foot follows. Just focus on the movements of walking for a while. Notice the natural movements your body makes. If you choose, switch to focus on your surroundings. To do this, move through each of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell), just noticing whatever is in your awareness. Often people remark that they notice much more detail and that five minutes feels like a long time. Practice being curious about what you can see, what you can hear. Your mind may well decide to take a walk of its own while all this is going on. That’s what our minds usually do, but for our ‘slowing down’ exercise, try to notice your mind’s natural tendency to want to do things, hurry things, mull things over, or judge how well you are doing the exercise. When this happens, bring your focus back to your walk. With practise, this exercise can help you to discover and explore a magical paradox. When we slow down, we become less stressed so we do things in less time than we might ordinarily, giving us more time for the things which matter to us. Is this the secret to a happy life? Silly question.
ALI BINNS is an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist and mindfulness coach with a private therapy practice in Bath, UK. You can read more from Ali on her blog at www.alibinns.co.uk
Is barefaced beauty best? Is it time we ditched the war paint for good? Or is make-up just a way of expressing ourselves? We examine both sides of the no-make up movement Words: Holly Johnson
“I am a passionate explorer of natural beauty. I believe in respecting our bodies and souls and nourishing them in every way we can.” XO C H I B A L F OU R , L O N D O N
licia Keys has given it up for good, Adele famously shared her bare-faced selfies with the world last year and Cameron Diaz Instagrammed her natural look to promote a new book on ageing. It’s fair to say there’s been a bit of a #nomakeup revolution going on of late. But are we quite ready to give it all up? “Women are exploring the implications (and freedom) of abandoning makeup and chemical beauty products, to embrace a more natural way of living,” says author and blogger Xochi Balfour (thenaturalista.co.uk), who specialises in nutritional therapy and holistic wellness. And with a global movement towards
wellbeing, our desire to question old practices is definitely a sign of the times. “It feels right that as women we dig a little beneath the surface of the messaging we were raised around,” says Xochi. “We are exploring what it really means to be a beautiful female.” For decades, our perception of beauty has been defined by what we see on the catwalks and in glossy magazines. The 60s was all about the androgynous look; in the 80s curves and big hair were back; the 90s brought us sculpted cheekbones and dark lips, and now we have the ‘statement brow’. But beauty is also about self confidence, a natural smile, subtle and individual nuances...
“I don’t want to cover up any more. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles. Nothing.” A L IC I A K E Y S
After years of being looks-conscious, writer and editor Rosee Woodland decided to give up trying to conform. “I stopped wearing make-up about three years ago, after a serious health scare,” she tells us. “I realised that I’d spent a lot of my life worrying about what I looked like and that being healthy was more important than my appearance.” Although strange at first, she quickly lost that ‘naked’ feeling and embraced the natural look. “I just stopped thinking about it! I still put on make-up if I’m going to a party and I actually really like experimenting with bright lipstick or eyeshadow when I do wear it.” But how does she look good without it? “I don’t have a particular ‘secret’,” shares Rosee. “I do drink a lot of water, I don’t drink tea and coffee, and I try to eat good quality food so maybe that helps, but I don’t worry about it and still eat ‘junk’ when I feel like it.” Another non-celebrity champion of a more simplified approach to beauty is Rachel Hardy, who blogs at All Natural Aspirations (allnaturalaspirations.com). “I originally started thinking about what products I was using on my body when I was pregnant,” says Rachel, whose daughter is now seven. “I started
Face yoga can be relaxing and fun REDUCE LINES AND PROMOTE A GLOWING COMPLEXION According to expert face yoga guru Danielle Collins (faceyogaexpert.com), we have 57 muscles in our face and neck that should be exercised like the rest of our body.
The owl Moisurise your face. Place your index fingers just above and parallel to your eyebrows and your thumbs on your cheeks. Pull down with the index fingers while raising your eyebrows and making the eyes wide. Hold for two seconds, relax, then repeat three times.
Circle the eyes Place your middle fingers at the beginning of your eyebrows. Tap around your eyes following the top of your eyebrows and under your eye at the top of your cheekbones. Continue to the inside corners of your eye, then repeat, in the other direction.
Giraffe Look ahead. Place your fingers on the top of your neck and stroke the skin down as you tilt your head back. Do this three times. Jut your lower lip out, place your fingers on your collarbone and point your chin upwards, pulling the corners of your mouth down. Hold for four breaths.
Ditch the chemicals GET A NATURAL GLOW WITH MARY HELEN LEONARD’S CLEANSER This easy, homemade cleanser is from The Natural Beauty Solution by Mary Helen Leonard. You can customise the recipe; the more castor oil, the more aggressive its cleansing power. METHOD Combine the oils in a 4-8 ounce bottle and shake well. Run a clean face cloth under hot water. Wring out the face cloth and place it over your face for about 30 seconds, then remove. Drop about 2 teaspoons of oil cleanser into your palm, and massage it onto your face and neck in a slow, circular motion. Continue for a minute or two. Run the cloth under hot water, wring it out, and steam your face for 10 seconds. Wipe the oil from your face, then repeat the steaming process two to three more times.
Ingredients FOR NORMAL SKIN * 2 tablespoons castor oil * ¼ cup rose hip seed oil FOR OILY SKIN * 3 tablespoons castor oil * ¼ cup and 3 tablespoons rose hip seed oil FOR DRY SKIN * 1 tablespoon castor oil * ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon rose hip seed oil * 2 tablespoons avocado oil * 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
using natural oils and raw honey to look after my skin, which means it looks clearer and glowing and I don’t feel I ‘need’ so much make-up. I’ve stopped wearing foundation, which has been so liberating – my everyday look is simply under-eye concealer, brows, blush and eye liner, which only takes around five minutes. With such a simplified approach, I save myself time, stress and money!” The idea of liberating ourselves from the ‘chore’ of wearing make-up is appealing – we love the idea of having more time in the mornings – but what if we actually like wearing make-up? What if we enjoy the time we take for our daily ritual of adding colour to our cheeks and brightening our eyes? “No one should ever feel pressured to not wear make-up,” says Rachel. “It’s about personal choice, and it’s great that us women are talking about it.” In fact, wearing make-up can be empowering, especially during life’s difficult times. Coach and behavioural consultant Jane Hooper was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and lost her hair during chemotherapy. “I found having cancer daunting in relation to my body, hair and looks,” Jane tells us. “It was a worry to me, especially as I was single and I wondered if I would be on my own forever.” To help her feel more ‘normal’, Jane wore make-up and false eyelashes throughout her treatment. “It helped with my confidence, although on one occasion I was in a meeting in Brussels and one of my lashes fell off. Most embarrassing!” When it comes to make-up, there is no right or wrong. Make-up or #nomakeup, celebrity endorsed or not, it’s how we choose to present ourselves to the outside world. And if barefaced is how you feel at your best, go for it! We salute you.
“ I originally started thinking about what products I was using on my body when I was pregnant. I use natural oils and raw honey to look after my skin, which means it looks clearer and glowing and I don’t feel I ‘need’ so much make-up.” R AC H E L @ A L L N AT U R A L A S P I R AT I O N S .C O M
5 steps you can take for a more natural routine TRY ONE OR MORE OF THESE TIPS AND YOU’LL FEEL ENERGISED AND GLOWING INSIDE, TOO!
Enjoy fresh beauty with no make-up at weekends Try simplifying your morning beauty routine and going make-up free at weekends. If it’s time-saving that’s important to you, skip the mascara and go to your local beauty salon for an eyelash and eyebrow tint.
Let your skin breathe with a light foundation Swap heavy foundation for a lighter coverage – Xochi recommends Balance Me’s Natural Perfection BB Cream (£26), which hydrates, protects from the sun and gives a hint of colour.
Water is key to help keep your skin hydrated Up your intake of beautyboosting foods like berries, fish, eggs
and grass-fed meat. Swap coffee for green tea and keep a bottle of water on your desk or in the fridge.
Reduce your sugar intake bit by bit If you can, cut down on sugar. “For the majority of acne patients their skin issues are down to blood sugar imbalances and/or digestive issues,” suggests wellbeing coach Amy Saunders (skyntherapy.com).
Be chemical savvy and opt for natural brands Switch to natural beauty brands like Herbivore Botanicals, Tata Harper, Weleda or PHB Ethical Beauty’s range. Check out naturisimo.com which has a huge selection of ethical and organic make-up and skincare.
BOOST YOUR PRACTICE Whether you enjoy yoga at home, in a studio or both, having good kit can make your poses more effective and comfortable.
The clever, looped handle design of these Infinity Straps makes them strong, comfy and easy to use.
Bricks and blocks
The type of yoga you practice affects the type of clothing you enjoy wearing in your class. For a slower practice, cotton clothing brings the level of breathability you need. For a dynamic practice, opt for moisture wicking and anti-microbial fabrics like this pair of comfy and wicking Lineage joggers by Wolven Threads. Their fabrics all begin as hand painted patterns.
Cork bricks and foam yoga blocks give you that extra height during your practice, whether that be under the hands to extend the arms, as a headrest, to prop up shoulders, or to raise your seat during meditation. Cork is strong, environmentally friendly and non-slip, so it won’t distort under your bodyweight or cause damage to floors and toes.
For those restorative and relaxing days in your practice, slow down on a yoga bolster. These bolsters are filled with buckwheat, which mould to your shape but also provide a firm surface for you relax your weight on. Lie on it lengthways for a beautiful chest opener. The outer cover is removable for easy cleaning and features a handle, making it portable too.
$88 (USD) www.wolventhreads.com
From £5.50 www.yogamatters.com
£36 from www.yogamatters.com
Read all about it
A sticky mat
Yoga straps & belt
Delve deeper into the philosophy of your practice with the 196 sutras in this translation of the ancient Indian text. These ‘sutras’ meaning ‘threads’ were compiled by the Sage Patanjali and contain guidelines about yoga techniques, how and why we practice and how to live a meaningful life. Most versions also include a commentary that breaks down each thread in detail.
A well cushioned, sticky mat that provides the comfort of being not too hard on your knees but also grippy enough that you aren’t slipping around in your downward dog is a handy addition to your yoga kit. Our favourite is the London-based Liforme mats, with added alignment markers on them. Available in regular or travel size in four different colours.
Having a strap to hold on to when you can’t reach gives you an anchor to aid your stretch without stressing other areas in the body. Choose between a traditional yoga belt (£6 from www. yogamatters.com) or these Infinity Straps. Invented by American yoga practitioner and surfer Amir Zaki, their clever looped handle design makes them strong, comfy and easy to use.
From £4.79 from www.amazon.co.uk
£100 (regular) from www.liforme.com
$20 (USD) from www.infinitystrap.com
MY YOGA LIFE
SPACE TO REFRESH Growth, restoring, resting and being - and the freedom to just be - are all on Charlene Limâ€™s list this month. Enjoying special times with fellow yogis and capturing memories in photos and journals is part of the process.
BE INSPIRED Whether you practice at home or in a studio, finding someone who inspires you is so invigorating. Wonderful images and heartfelt stories make @ chelsealovesyoga one of our Insta faves.
KNOW YOUR ASANAS ‘Asana’ literally translates from the Sanskrit as ‘seat’, but the modern interpretation of the word refers to physical postures or poses.
Learning patience is so much part off t he process o change and growt h
MY YOGA LIFE
Clockwise from top left: anatomy lessons; play time with a yoga pal; a giggle during a tricky yoga adjustment; a stretch and lunge on the way up Arthur’s Seat, Scotland.
YOGA IS NOT ABOUT TOUCHING YOUR TOES. IT IS ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARN ON THE WAY DOWN. Jigar Gor
G This pose is a work in progress – gently working the hips and the surrounding tissue to prepare for lifting the leg behind the head.
rowth, restoring, resting and being. These are the words that sum up the past month for me. Especially being. After periods of growth, just like those growing pains we remember when we were teenagers, personal growth too has its own set of aches and pains – maybe some tears shed and frustrations to be dealt with, but slowly finding your way out of it a little taller, a little wiser. I’ve had the luxury of a little break this month. It is always a joy to glean insights from my teacher, Karen Kirkness up in Edinburgh, Scotland, when I manage to sneak time to spend with her. Her inspiring approach to yoga, fusing it with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, sparks feelings of
delight when I’m learning with her. Coming from a background of science in my studies, there is still that geekery of memorising anatomical names and looking at charts and diagrams that I relish. Alongside the growth: story sharing, coffee drinking (and plenty of cake eating), lazy meandering walks consisting of fresh air and company certainly does the ol’ brain and soul some good. Times like these are a welcome reminder to really be in the moment, to take in what you’re doing and sometimes to allow yourself to enjoy doing absolutely nothing. Isn’t it funny how difficult that feels? So often our busy lives unwittingly cause us to be distracted from being truly present, especially in
‘Drishti’ describes your focused gaze during yoga practice or meditation. It’s useful during balancing poses and helps to bring your mind back to the present moment.
Clockwise from top left: stretching after computer work; sharing a laugh; a thank you dinner for the Trika teachers; Falco demonstrates ‘resting cat pose’.
CHANGE IS NOT SOMETHING WE SHOULD FEAR. IT IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD WELCOME. FOR WITHOUT CHANGE NOTHING... WOULD GROW OR BLOSSOM. BKS Iyengar this time where it is so easy to be connected online with others. And so hard to switch off. Photo-taking is my favourite way of capturing moments as they happen, when I am lucky enough to catch them! These time-stamps of the day – like the sleepy look in my cat Falco’s eyes when we’re out climbing, the laughter in body language and faces of friends, my husband’s restful face – these moments are so precious that they can easily be forgotten. Sometimes I have to remind myself to put down the camera and not capture so many things, and to be more in the moment, not even minding if I forget these little things by the time the day ends. Whenever you are feeling a little too busy in your
mind, try to make space for a time-out. You’ll be surprised how much more productive, focused and creative you can be when you do. Indulge yourself by enjoying the now, noticing what you really need and doing what you need to do, whether it is to grow, to restore, to relax or to just be. A coffee break, a cuddle, a walk, friends over for dinner, a holiday, a quiet time spent writing a diary, your thoughts, a letter. There are so many ways to give yourself a break and allow yourself the time and space to refresh and re-energise so you are ready for the next challenge. In this life, let’s not forget to notice and enjoy our little moments. www.facebook.com/charlenetrikayoga
The t hree s nt essential elemaere of balance alignment, strengt h, and at tention
MY YOGA LIFE
LOOK FOR THE SIGNS Be it at work, chatting with a friend or during an activity, if you find your concentration wavering this is usually your mind telling you to take a rest.
MOMENT CAPTURING: These are a few lovely ways I like to capture moments in my day.
I keep a tiny thought notebook with me and jot down my thoughts as the week goes by, no matter how small, big, or inconsequential.
* A doodle a day
If I’m in the mood for drawing, 'HH J@EPA=OEANPKOQIQLPDA day’s doings in a sketch.
* A colour diary
At the start of your day, scribble a colour swatch of what you feel most represents your mood. It is interesting to see how this changes (or stays the same) throughout the year!
Photography Gavin Roberts
PRICKLY? US? NEVER... BUT OUR INSPIRATION FOR THIS ISSUE IS! A TRIO OF CACTI TO MAKE, AND HOW TO DEAL WITH SPIKY TYPES. PLUS: DYEING FABRIC IS AS NATURAL AS IT COMES.
Designer Beci Orpin experiments with flowers and vegetables to see which produce the loveliest of colours. If you’ve never tried dyeing fabric, give it a go – it’s fun!
Dabbling with natural dyes Words: Beci Orpin / Photography © Chris Middleton
yes are something I’ve dabbled with for a while now. When I was studying, the art of mixing dyes was something we were thoroughly tested on. I learnt that dyeing is a true art form, one that I loved but probably didn’t master. I enjoyed messing around with dyes, but was put off by the chemicals. Chemical dyes are so toxic: you have to wear a mask and safety glasses when preparing them, as they can irritate your eyes and mouth. And that’s just on a domestic level. On a commercial level, the textile industry is the main source of pollutants in the world, much of that from dyeing fabric, which is insane. Anyway, my interest in natural dyes prompted me to take part in a workshop with Belinda Evans, a weaver who specialises in using native flora to dye the yarns for her weaving. Her workshop was brilliant and inspired me to start my own adventures in using natural dyes. I decided to experiment with things that you might have in your pantry, could easily buy at the supermarket, or find in a park or your garden. There are lots of great natural dyes too, such as indigo and cochineal that produce beautiful long-lasting colours, that you can order online.
After researching online, I realised there are many variables that can affect the result of natural dyes, such as the freshness, amount and the source of the ingredients (eg. acorns from a tree in a city park might dye fabric a different colour than acorns from a tree in a forest); the temperature of the water; the amount you agitate the fabric and the type of mordant (fixative). It’s honestly endless, but that’s all part of the fun – and don’t forget to keep a record (even a rough one) of what you’ve tried and the results. Natural dyes generally produce subtler colours, although there are some exceptions: behold the glorious tones of turmeric! Often natural dyes, especially vegetable ones, don’t hold well in fabrics and fade quickly, even without the sun. Natural dyes will only be effective on natural fibres: think cellulosic fibres (from plants), such as cotton and linen, and animal-based fibres, such as silk and wool. I tried my dye tests on cotton, linen and silk. Silk took the dyes the best in all my tests, achieving the deepest and strongest colours. When it comes to experimenting, part of the fun lies in making your own discoveries. But before you begin, it’s a good idea to understand the basics...
Familiarise yourself with the basic process FABRIC PRE-TREATMENTS AND MORDANTS All fabrics should be washed first to remove any sizing (additives such as starch) or finishes. The fabrics then need to be prepared with a mordant. A mordant is something that fixes the dye to the fabric, so the dye doesn’t run out when it is washed. * Basic mordants are either acid or alkaline. The general rule is to use acid for cellulosic fibres (plant based, such as cotton and linen), but use alkaline for protein fibres (animal based, such as silk and wool). * For the acid mordant, I used 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. * For the alkaline mordant, I used 1 part cooking salt to 16 parts water. * Put your fabric in a large pot with the mordant and simmer for 1 hour.
DYEING THE FABRIC While your fabric is simmering in the mordant, prepare the dye. There are so many things that you can use to make natural dyes – the possibilities for experiments are infinite. Also on my list of things to try are berries, saffron, rusty nails, Queen Anne’s lace and other flowers. Once you’ve gathered your material (dye stuff), you need to chop it if it’s large, and add it to a saucepan of water. I used a pot with a 5 litre (1gallon/20 cup) capacity. Bring the liquid and dye stuff to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour.
PREPARING THE DYE
POTS OF FUN The dyes can stain the pot (and any other kit) you are using, so it’s a good idea to buy a cheap, heavy-based one reserved just for this purpose.
After simmering for 1 hour, the dye should be extracted from the ingredient. Strain off the dye stuff, reserving the dye liquid in the pot. Wearing gloves and using kitchen tongs, remove your fabric from the mordant and rinse under cold water (take care, as the fabric will be hot). If you removed the fabric from the mordant a while ago and it has now dried, rinse it under water. Place the wet fabric in the dye liquid, making sure the fabric is completely submerged in the dye. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave the fabric in the simmering liquid for 1 hour, constantly agitating the fabric with a stick to get an even colour. If you are dyeing wool, check it regularly to make sure the wool is not felting. If you like, take the pot off the heat and leave the fabric in the dye for another hour or so, overnight or longer to achieve a deeper shade. Again wearing gloves and using kitchen tongs, remove the fabric from the dye. Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Leave the fabric to dry out of direct sunlight.
Extract from Sunshine Spaces: Naturally Beautiful Projects to Make for Your Home and Outdoor Space by Beci Orpin (Hardie Grant, £20) Photography © Chris Middleton
Here are the ingredients used (and the results). Use these experiments as a rough guide for your own – who knows what you’ll discover!
DYE STUFF: About 200 acorns (sounds like a lot but it’s not!).
DYE STUFF: Half a pot of grass (not chopped, only washed to get rid of the dirt from the roots).
DYE STUFF: 6 medium beetroot (beets), cut into small pieces.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour. RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced a beautiful soft grey colour. NOTES: There is no need to presoak the fabric in a mordant when using acorn dye, as acorns already contain a natural mordant.
METHOD: Filled the rest of the pot up with water and simmered for 1 hour. RESULTS ON FABRIC: Dyed for 2 hours with very little effect; the silk went a few shades darker, but there was no change to the cotton and linen. NOTES: Different types of grass will produce different results.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour. RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced a very pale pink when left overnight. Same results with a salt/vinegar mordant. NOTES: Beetroot often stains your hands more than the fabric! Wear disposable gloves and use a plastic cutting board (wooden ones are porous so stains are hard to remove).
DYE STUFF: Small red cabbage, chopped into little chunks.
DYE STUFF: 6 red onion skins, chopped.
DYE STUFF: 4 tablespoons ground turmeric.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour.
RESULTS ON FABRIC: Very light purplish-brown when dyed for 2 hours; turned a pretty darker lilac when left overnight.
RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced a pretty brownish pink colour after dyeing for 2 hours. A deeper shade was achieved after leaving the fabric in the dye overnight.
RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced an amazing bright yellow. Simmered for 1 hour, then turned off the heat and left it in the dye for 2 hours.
NOTES: The dye washed out easily and was affected by sunlight (I left it out to dry for one day in a shaded area and it still faded).
NOTES: You can also dye with brown onion skins â€“ this should give a lighter shade of brown.
NOTES: The dyed fabric can be left smelling of turmeric. If this bothers you, try airing the dried fabric out for a day, or wash in cold water with a small amount of washing powder.
Once you’ve dyed your fabric, it can be used in endless ways. I made cushions with mine, but pillowcases, scarves, bags and even garments are all great ideas. If you have dyed yarn, use for weaving, knitting or pompoms. Please be aware that some dyed fabrics may fade faster than others, so it’s best not to use them for outdoor items. I found that fabrics dyed with beetroot and cabbage faded fairly quickly when left outside, but those dyed with avocado and turmeric did not.
DYE STUFF: Half a pot of dandelions (not chopped, only washed to get rid of the dirt from the roots).
DYE STUFF: About 35 avocado stones, which I collected from a taco truck!
DYE STUFF: 200g (7oz) dried hibiscus flowers.
METHOD: Filled the rest of the pot up with water and simmered for 1 hour.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour.
RESULTS ON FABRIC: Had very little effect; there was a slight beige discolouration after 2 hours of dyeing.
RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced a beautiful shade of pale pink (slightly more brownish on silk). I left the silk in the dye for 2 hours (simmered for 1 hour and then left in the pot for 1 hour), and the cotton and linen for 6 hours.
NOTES: I gathered dandelions from my friend’s garden – and this helped with weeding at the same time! I didn’t use the flowers as there weren’t any in bloom at the time, but using the flowers would (reportedly) be more effective and should produce a light yellow dye.
NOTES: When preparing the dye, you could try adding the avocado skins as well.
METHOD: Added to a standard pot of water and simmered for 1 hour. RESULTS ON FABRIC: Produced a purplish-brown colour after 2 hours of dyeing. NOTES: You can also use fresh hibiscus for dyeing, although dried hibiscus is much easier to use and find. You can buy dried hibiscus flowers from herb and spice stores and Middle Eastern grocery stores.
TAKE THE PLUNGE
Photograph from Simply Shibori by Fiona Fagan, New Holland Publishers
Shibori, dip-dye, tie-dye... these are just a few of our favourite ways to add pattern and colour to natural materials. Dye, wash and enjoy the big reveal, or invest in a few ready-made wares for you and your home.
Want to learn how to make this stylish indigo table runner? Fiona Faganâ€™s book Simply Shibori will show you how, along with other simple homewares like pillows, lampshades, wash bags and wall hangings. ÂŁ14.99 www.uk.newhollandpublishers.com
Hand dyed yarn
Eco tea towels
Handmade in Hackney, London, using pure white Irish linen and Mayan indigo, this marble effect shibori lampshade is part of the Constellation collection by Romor Designs. We can’t help but marvel at its vivacious colour, which has been achieved by dipping the fabric no less than five times! It’s just what your lounge, bedroom or hallway has been missing.
Knot, stitch, crochet, or just fall in love with this striking wool from Life in the Long Grass, an artisan yarn-dyeing studio nestled in the Irish countryside. The name represents the sheep that produce its yarn. With a deep-rooted passion for colour and landscape, its evocatively named yarns include Aquarium, Nourish and Moorlands, with new shades added seasonally.
Anything that can turn an everyday chore like doing the dishes into a thing of beauty gets our vote every time. These 100% linen tea towels are hand dyed using natural indigo and a range of shibori techniques to create contemporary patterns such as solids, spots, stripes and grids, in a spectrum of blue hues. The downside? You’ll covet the whole collection!
From £65 from www.etsy.com
€22 from www.lifeinthelonggrass.com
AUD $30 from www.greedilulu.com
Kimi shibori tote
Tie & dye
Adorned with a striking abstract print, this bold leather bag from Anthropologie is a generous size for day trips, transporting yoga kit or just doing the school run. Finished with an oversized tassel embellishment, it ticks off several of this year’s biggest trends in one, while the long strap and inside pockets make it a practical choice as well.
This beginner-friendly kit from We Make Collective includes everything you need to start creating your own beautiful, hand-dyed indigo textiles at home using a traditional Japanese technique, known as Shibori. Made by makers, for makers, the kit also comes with comprehensive instructions for mixing your dye bath and some simple patterns to get you started.
Find out how easy it is to hand dye your own items at home with Lizzie King’s book Tie & Dye. Lizzie brings this age-old technique up-to-date with 15 trend-led projects, from statement Tees and dip-dye shoelaces to tropical bunting, rainbow cushions and retro woven plant hangers. It’s a kaleidoscope of inspiration for your wardrobe and home.
£158 from www.anthropologie.com
£20 from www.wemakecollective.com
£12.99 from www.pavilionbooks.com
REVIEW & INTERVIEW
Book Club EVERY ISSUE WE’LL PICK A BRILLIANT BOOK WE THINK YOU’D LOVE TO READ AND CHAT WITH THE AUTHOR TO FIND OUT MORE. THIS MONTH, WE EXPLORE THE ART OF READING BY DAMON YOUNG Words: Sarah Ditum
aking a cynical view, a book about how to read books could sound like the ultimate in redundancy: if you can read it, you might reason, then you don’t need it, and if you can’t read it then it’s definitely no good to you. After all, you know how to read. You probably learned in your first years at primary school, or even before. What more to it is there? Quite a lot, actually, and Damon Young’s purpose in this elegant volume is to demonstrate just what an extraordinary thing it is to be a reader – and how much power we have to be even better at it. Young is a philosopher by trade – and an honorary fellow in philosophy at the University of Melbourne, Australia – and his approach is strongly shaped by this background. He breaks the topic down into several “virtues” that he recommends we cultivate. There’s curiosity, patience, courage and justice, which are perhaps self-explanatory; but also pride (yes, pride can be a virtue, when it means coming to a book with a full sense that you are its equal), and temperance – it’s a relief to anyone who’s worried they’re not reading enough when Young confesses that binging on Star Trek novels didn’t necessarily do him any good. From Virginia Woolf’s elegant experimental novels to Frank Miller’s comic books, Young’s approach is omnivorous and inspiring. In 2016, he undertook an experiment of reading “no white dudes” for six months, and The Art of Reading is pleasingly ready to range outside the conventional canon of “great men”. It’s an encouragement both to spread your reading wings wider, and to have the confidence in your own judgement rather than allow ‘capital-L’ Literature to intimidate you. After all, as Young says, writing is just “dark marks on paper” until you make it mean something. There is no book without a reader.
WE TALK A LOT ABOUT READING IN SOLITUDE, BUT THE ONLY WAY WE DEVELOP OURSELVES AS READERS IS BEING SENSITIVE TO THE CONFLICTING IDEAS OF OTHERS. Q. Why do we need a book about how to read? A. The book is dead without a reader. It’s just a lump of lines, whether it’s paper and ink or pixels on glass. The reader has the power to transform this sensation into something that makes sense, but we can be impatient, we can be cowardly, we can be incurious. It’s not that we fail at the book. We fail ourselves often. Essentially, I’m saying we can use our power as readers better.
which was what I wanted to reject as a teenager. What I didn’t realise until I was a bit more mature was that she was stone-cold: she was unsparing with her characters and the aspects of English manners that they represented. But I needed to discover that. You have to be patient with authors, sometimes we can be a little bit too hasty for their talent. But INSPIRED BY THE also we have to be patient with ART OF READING? ourselves. Sometimes we’re too SHARE IT! immature for a book. Intrigued by our book club
Q. So a book isn’t defined by the intentions of the author? A. One of the things I wanted to highlight is the pleasure you can take in your own critical faculties. It’s a thrill to have this power inside you. I was speaking to the novelist Diane Setterfield a few years back, and she had this wonderful phrase: she said that readers are piratical. As an author you build this ship, you try to make it seaworthy and you spend all this time putting tar around the edges so it doesn’t sink. Then you give it to the readers and they sail it off, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about that.
choice? Why not suggest it to your own book club? Tell us what you think at www.facebook.com/ InTheMomentMag
Q. As readers, do we have any responsibilities to a book? A. I hate the idea that you have to be in thrall to the author. But at the same time, if you want to criticise a novelist or a work, you have to do them justice. You have to understand them in relation to their genre, to their milieu. You don’t have to confront a difficult novel or an unsettling poem and immediately try to find something safe and certain about it. It’s OK to feel out of your depth. That’s absolutely fine. In The Art of Reading (Scribe, £9.99), Damon Young celebrates this turning of marks and dots into understanding and inspiration that we often take for granted.
Q. Is there anything you think you’ve become a better reader of ? A. Jane Austen is a good example. As a teenager, if someone had introduced me to Austen’s novels, I think I would have found the atmosphere too alien and I would have been put off by what seemed like a prim, buttoned-up view of the world,
Q. Your feelings about a book can change with rereading? A. I had this with Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago, when I had a moment of deep sympathy for the awful Lady Catherine de Burgh. She’s a nasty, brittle, simple-minded brute of a woman, for all her airs of elegance – but I realised that life is incredibly fragile and painful and sometimes the only thing we have to hang on to are our rituals and our traditions. She’s the emblem of that. And so I was like, “Oh God, I sympathise with Lady Catherine de Burgh! My life is over!” One of the reasons why Austen is one of my favourite novelists is there’s this whole universe of other humans we don’t often notice, and we ignore them or we trivialise them because we don’t suffer their sufferings. She just quietly drops these into your lap. I’m really wary of the whole ‘reading makes you a better person’ school of thought. It doesn’t. But it can appeal to you to develop your empathy, and that’s a perfect example.
Q. So how can we become good readers? A. If I could distil my advice into a few phrases, one of the most helpful things you can do is to read gregariously. We talk a lot about reading in solitude, but the only way we develop ourselves as readers is being sensitive to the conflicting ideas of others. We have to allow ourselves to be moved and goaded and seduced by their differences. Read with others. Read together.
Is there a cactus in the room? Dealing with prickly people can be tricky. For those times when you start to feel a bit spiky yourself, hereâ€™s how to keep your barbs at bay... Words: Kirstie Duhig / Illustration: Matilda Smith
e’ve all experienced it – you catch someone’s eye, or maybe you smile or say ‘hello’, and the person bristles. The first time it happens you think perhaps you’ve imagined it. But then it happens again. And again. Maybe it’s a friend of a friend, a colleague, a relation. Before you get a little spiky yourself, take a moment to consider why this person has a case of the cactus. Could it be anxiety or embarrassment? If it’s someone you’ve only met a few times, perhaps it’s something as simple as they’ve forgotten your name. Introducing yourself with a smile and mentioning where you met or how you know each other is a simple way to soothe this situation. You might also consider whether the person is intimidated by you. Are you a naturally confident person, while they are generally reserved and shy? Could it be simply that they aren’t very good at hiding their discomfort in social situations? In which case, their prickliness is nothing personal. Psychologist Arlin Cuncic explains that slowing down and being mindful of how loudly and quickly you speak can help to put a shy person at ease. “Having a conversation with a shy person requires patience…Loud conversations and overly personal questions will leave a shy person feeling off kilter, while a sensitive and gentle approach will help make initial encounters go more smoothly,” Cuncic says. Her advice is to go slow, be complimentary, choose the right setting and find shared interests: “Once you hit upon a subject of mutual interest, the shy person should feel more comfortable opening up and talking more freely,” she says – hopefully shedding their prickles along the way. There are, of course, myriad reasons why all of us can be a bit prickly at times: tiredness, sickness, hunger, hormones, crotchety children... to name
“Chances are, if you remain calm and get some perspective, that prickly person will turn out to be a bit of a pineapple...” but a few. Some people are prickly when things aren’t going their way. Some people are prickly when they don’t feel in control. Prickly colleagues are often people who feel stressed, under-appreciated or threatened. So what can you do about it? Well, you could send them one of our mini cactus greetings with a not-so-subtle note: “I saw this and thought of you!” Or, you could listen to sensible advice from lifecoach Celestine Chua (www.personalexcellence.co) who offers the following tips: “Be calm; understand the person’s intentions; get perspective from others and try to build a rapport; focus on what you can change and ignore what you can’t.” Chances are, if you remain calm and get some perspective, that prickly person will turn out to be a bit of a pineapple – much sweeter on the inside than they appear at first glance. Unfortunately, there are a few prickly pears out there who will remain so, regardless of how much effort you make to find their softer side. If prickliness at work becomes bullying, then
A PRICKLY TONIC Living with prickly pears might not be good for you but eating them (carefully) is! Health benefits include high levels of antioxidants, minerals, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.
it’s time to escalate to your manager, or their manager (visit www.bullying.co.uk if you need advice). If someone is really making your life unhappy, try to minimise your contact with this person or, where possible, cease contact altogether. But if the thorn in your side is just that, a prickly pain in the neck you could do without, trying launching a little charm offensive. Much as you might feel your indignation (and even anger) rising, by far the best way to counter obstinate grumps is to take a deep breath and the pricklier they become, the friendlier, kinder and more sympathetic to their perceived woes you become. They’ll probably be surprised. They might be uncomfortable. They might just get the message. Either way, you can nip a potential epidemic in the bud, and get on with enjoying your day without coming out in prickles yourself.
Print, cut out and make up illustrator Matilda Smith's paper cacti, pop them into your choice of pots, then mix and match with real plants for a fun, quirky display.
PROJECT TO MAKE
TAP HERE FOR YOUR CACTUS
POTTED PAPER CACTI Use this cute cactus trio to decorate your home, or give one as a dinky alternative to a card
Print out the cactus images, then use sharp scissors to carefully cut out all of the pieces.
Cut along the slots marked in the centre of each piece of the cactus using a craft knife (or scissors) and a ruler.
Slot each of the cactus pieces into place, matching up the corresponding letters on the sheet.
Display your cacti just as they come, or have fun mounting them in an assortment of plant pots, tins and mugs.
FOR THE LOVE OF LOCAL Discover the hidden crafts on your doorstep – there’s so much creative energy to be found Words Cath Dean / Illustration Jayde Perkin
ne of the great pleasures of working in a creative industry is the constant discovery of talented new designers and makers. The UK’s craft scene is more vibrant than ever and attracting a younger following. It’s easy to assume that these creative hubs are centred around big cities, but once you dig down, it’s amazing how much inspiration you can discover right under your nose. Increasingly, creatives are realising the importance of local, communal spaces where makers can come together to share ideas and find sparks of inspiration. One of my favourite local haunts in my home town of Bristol is The Forge – a lovingly-restored space run by illustrator and photographer Silkie Lloyd (www.theforgebristol.com). Since launching last year, the light and airy building has played host to everything from modern craft workshops and creative business talks to book launches and photo shoots. By making it possible to hire out a space for a reasonable fee, local designer-makers are able to share their passions with others, sparking a wave of creativity throughout the community. When searching out the creative hubs in your area, great places to start are local haberdashery shops, arts centres, independent shops selling handmade pieces, or even cafés displaying artwork by local artists. They’re possibly already hosting workshops or events, and if they aren’t, they probably know who is. Not all creative ventures are necessarily based out of one space either – Londoners can explore workshops in a variety of locations by enterprises such as The New Craft House (www.thenewcrafthouse.com) and London Craft Club (www.londoncraftclub.co.uk). In smaller towns and cities, it’s worth signing up to community Facebook groups – they’re usually the first place you’ll hear about events such as craft fairs or local arts trails where neighbourhoods open up their houses to exhibit their makes. My local area is lucky enough to have
both a vibrant annual arts trail and a secret gardens project, where twice a year I get to discover the gorgeous greenery hidden behind all the garden walls I walk past every day – it’s a wonderful source of inspiration, and a dream for the naturally inquisitive (oh, ok – nosy!). If you prefer the idea of getting involved in some hands-on making, most WI groups will host a craft group, or why not get involved in your local Etsy team? These enterprising regional hubs are a fantastic way to connect, collaborate and even host your own workshops and craft fairs. Of course, community creativity doesn’t have to be limited to the makers among us. Even just switching up your shopping habits to support local makers can make a huge difference to the creatives in your area. Search out craft fairs or buy birthday gifts from independent shops – these are the spaces we all love seeing on our high streets, but they’re all too easily lost if we take them for granted. Of course, if you live somewhere outside a city or larger town, finding places and people to share your creativity with can be more of a challenge, but it’s also a great opportunity to be the starting point for something new. Consider setting up a small craft club in your local library or a café – you only need to rope in a handful of friends to get the ball rolling. Keeping it simple is the easiest way to start – some promotion on local Facebook pages will help to spread the word, and you can keep it unstructured by just asking people to bring along the craft projects they’re currently working on and providing an opportunity to get creative in a communal setting. Once you’re up and running, you can even look at hosting skill sharing workshops or theming your meet-ups around different crafts and activities – there’s so much potential to evolve into something that ends up not just making the most of your local area’s creativity, but becoming the beating heart of it.
CATH DEAN is editor of Mollie Makes (www.molliemakes.com), and you can find her on Instagram @cathdean85. Turn the page to find out more about local community spaces & campaigns.
BUYER’S GUIDE Of course it’s not just creative businesses who benefit from us shopping local. Visit www. yourshoplocal.co.uk for a list of independent convenience stores in your area.
Top left: a lettering & watercolour workshop at Emma Block Illustration, London. Top right & below: découpage card by Lynn Giunta from House of Cards by Sarah Hamilton. Bottom left & right: Snug gallery at Hebdon Bridge, England.
Home grown WHETHER YOU ARE SATISFYING YOUR CREATIVITY THROUGH A WORKSHOP OR RETAIL THERAPY, LOOK OUT FOR LOCAL TALENT, SAYS CATH DEAN
ne of the most inspiring creative campaigns of recent years has taken the championing of independent businesses to a new level. Artist and designer Sarah Hamilton launched Just a Card to harness the purchasing power of local communities, promoting the message that all purchases from designer makers
and independent shops and galleries can make a vital difference in helping these businesses stay afloat, even if it is “just a card” or a small item. The website, www.justacard.com, has a handy shopping guide, plus a poster independent businesses can download to display in their window and spread the word.
Photography Ana Rusu
LIFE’S SIMPLE, IT SEEMS... MEALS IN BOWLS, HOMESTYLE THAT’S IMPERFECT AND REQUIRES LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING, PLUS MEANINGFUL DECOR – IT ALL SOUNDS GOOD TO US!
LIVING THE WABI-SABI WAY Are you looking to the wrong people for inspiration online? A slower and more honest approach to living is offering a new sense of candour and comradery, says Caroline Rowland. Images: Emma Rice
e live in a digital world where we almost voyeuristically observe other people live their lives, albeit through their own choosing, and it can often be easy to slip into a state of personal inadequacy – Look! Their home is pristine! Their clothes are trendy! Their children are perfect! – and begin to strive for this unattainable level of faultlessness that we perceive others to have. But what we often forget is that nobody is perfect and these ‘on screen’ lives are seldom a true representation of reality, or at the very least, there is editing out of the not-soglamorous elements of daily life. Instead, what we need to remember is that it is our flaws and imperfections – physically, mentally, domestically and professionally – that make us interesting, authentic and inspiring humans. In fact, it is recognising the beauty in the imperfect that transcends the need for an impeccably perfect life and home, and we only have to look to the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi to begin to wholeheartedly embrace a different outlook and make changes to improve our self-worth and enjoyment of the every day. So what is Wabi-sabi? Julie Pointer Adams,
author of Wabi Sabi Welcome describes it as “a way of life that celebrates the perfectly imperfect – beauty found in the unusual, unfashionable places or objects, and in moments usually overlooked or unappreciated.” Aesthetically, it is the antithesis of modernism – it is crumpled linen napkins, it is a well-worn, well-loved leather handbag, it is irregular surfaces, it is chipped pottery. But it is not solely a visual concept – it is adopting a set of principles that can shift the way we think about how we live. It is accepting ourselves for who we are, it is opening our homes to others without fear of judgement, it is appreciating what we have without the need to constantly replace and update, and it is the recognition of the passage of time – with its transience and its inevitable deterioration. These days, peering into others’ lives via social media is almost inescapable, but rather than reject the use of the platforms completely, it can be used as a means to inspire a change in your life by simply engaging with the right people. Many bloggers and creatives are embracing Wabi-sabi and a slower approach to living by openly sharing their experiences – how they live, decorate and
cook – often with a level of honesty and candidness that can offer both a source of inspiration and a sense of community. Emma Rice, a photographer, writer and mother of three, tells us how she embraces the Wabi-sabi lifestyle and hopes to inspire others to recognise the beauty in imperfection too. “It’s the way I’ve always lived, but later in life I discovered this word for the way that I already saw the world. I suppose for me Wabi-sabi is, in essence, the loving acceptance of the imperfect. Being an imperfect person, like everyone, and struggling with dyslexia, ADD and certain mental health issues from when I was a teenager, it suddenly gave me a way of looking at myself and realising that all those imperfections were just part of me, and I could love myself the way I was.” Emma has not only applied the principles of Wabi-sabi to herself personally but also to cooking, parenting, decorating and exercise. When it comes to home décor, she explains that she is heavily influenced by nature: “Nature rarely draws a straight line. Even something as intricate as a spider’s web, on close inspection, has natural imperfections – it is not perfectly geometric.” When she’s decorating, Emma is drawn to
WABI-SABI IS EVERYWHERE In the wise words of singer Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” So let’s let in the light!
“I discovered this word for the way that I already saw the world. I suppose for me Wabi-sabi is, in essence, the loving acceptance of the imperfect.”
Wabi-sabi suits Emma’s approach to housework: “If I had an immaculate, modernist house and it all went a bit by the wayside it would really jar, but when you don’t strive for perfection and just need it to be harmonious, it’s easier to maintain.”
asymmetry, imperfect lines, strong texture and a natural colour palette. She also admits: “My housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired! If I had an immaculate, modernist house and it all went a bit by the wayside it would really jar, but when you don’t strive for perfection and just need it to be harmonious, it’s easier to maintain.” Emma’s home is filled with second-hand furniture, mixed with natural textiles and handmade objects she has collected over the years. Their kitchen is centred around a large wooden table (a flea-market find, scratched and dented by the passage of time), which is the perfect spot for her family to gather at mealtimes. While Emma does not know of any Japanese ancestry (although wishes she did!), her father and grandparents did spend many years living in the country in the early part of the 20th century. She grew up surrounded by beautiful lacquered tea chests and pen and ink drawings that her family had collected, and she says that they probably ate a lot more Far Eastern inspired dishes that the average UK family at that time. She acknowledges that her upbringing probably has had some bearing on her affinity with Japanese culture, but explains that the way her own family now eats was born out of necessity. “I don’t eat much wheat, and when we discovered my son was wheat intolerant, we began to create family wheat-free meals. Also, we have a mix of vegetarians and pescatarians in the house, so the concept of serving one big bowl of rice surrounded by lots of little dishes filled with vegetables, grilled fish or meat, tofu or egg, meant that everyone could take whichever elements of the meal suited them. It just so happens that this is how the Japanese serve and eat their food.” Emma has also found that her entire wellbeing has been improved through the practice of Tai Chi and Chi Gung (also spelled ‘Qi Gong’). She explains: “Chi Gung is a bit like meditation but with a focus on slow movements that balance out all the energies in your body. I love it and it has helped me hugely in my attempt to navigate a somewhat turbulent mental path. I think everyone should learn a bit, it’s so important to have a quiet mental place to return to in today’s frantic world.”
“Being an imperfect person, like everyone, Wabi-sabi gave me a way of looking at myself and realising that all of those imperfections were just part of me, and I could love myself the way I was.” But Emma’s life is not solely inspired by the Far East. She also has a long-standing love affair with the North African city of Marrakech. After years of splitting their life between the UK city of Bath and Morocco, the family have finally made the decision to spend a year living there. Emma’s creative career has been growing organically over the last few years. She ran a shop for five years in Bath, selling Wabi-sabi style furniture and homewares but has since closed this due to their imminent move to Morocco. She is now focusing on her work as a photographer and writer and relaunching her blog about the Wabi-sabi lifestyle. Emma is also developing a clothing range: “It will be comfortable homewear, so the kind of thing I might do Chi Gung in – my answer to yoga clothes – clothes to cook in and potter around in, while feeling elegant. The clothes fit with my ethos, with lots of natural colours and linens.” As a busy working mother, Emma could easily succumb to the pressures of modern living, and she doesn’t disguise the fact that she has often struggled with her mental health, but says that sticking to the principles of Wabi-sabi allows her to keep balance in her life. Her approach to social media has also changed: “I was touched by the
Emma is now focusing on her work as a photographer and writer, relaunching her blog and also developing a clothing range.
5 principles to living the Wabi-sabi way Declutter your living space and it will help to declutter your mind. Give yourself time to sit and think in the outdoors, amongst nature. Observe the seasons as they come and as they pass. Know and love your imperfections, and try to love them in others. Allow yourself to be melancholy or wistful, enjoy it, we don’t have to be happy all the time.
More inspiration & ideas
response I got when I became more candid on my Instagram feed. Don’t get me wrong, I love posting beautiful photos, but I started leaning towards a raw, honest narrative to accompany those images. This seemed to resonate and hit a chord with people, as I’ve had such a big-hearted response. Some people might be wary of baring their soul online, but if they see others who they respect and whose lives ‘look’ shiny and perfect being truly honest, it gives people permission to love themselves and love their imperfections. This reflects the whole Wabi-sabi principle of still loving yourself even though you’re not perfect.”
Follow Emma on Instagram at www. instagram. com/owl_ emma
Other Instagrammers with inspiring slow living ideas and thoughts: * @ikhwanmuzaik * @1924us * @xlbcr * @thebharanieffect * @hakujitu_
EMBRACING IMPERFECTION From wrinkled fabrics to irregular ceramics, see things from a refreshingly different perspective with wabi-sabi; an ancient Japanese philosophy which finds beauty in the imperfect and impermanent.
Washed linen tunic dress in charcoal from www.notperfectlinen.com
Wild ceramic bowl
Hand thrown by ceramist Chloe Burke in her studio on the Isle of Wight, UK, this bowl is inspired by the unpredictable and intriging coastal landscape that surrounds her home. Part of a collection called Into The Beguiling Wild and featuring maker’s marks and irregular patterns, it’s the epitome of wabi-sabi design.
As beautiful to look at as they are to use, these Okubo-style scissors are lightweight with slender handles for precise cutting around the home and garden. Forged in a tiny workshop in Sanjo, in the Hokuriku region of Japan, each pair feels rooted in tradition and age-old skill which makes snipping and cutting a very pleasant experience indeed!
From £8 www.botanyshop.co.uk
£65 from www.thefuturekept.com
£119 from www.niwaki.com
Not Perfect Linen
Ceramic bud vases
This eco-friendly range of soy candles by French online boutique Bougie Wabi-Sabi are handmade in the UK and packed with natural scents to help you achieve a zen-like state. Sit back, relax and let No.2 Rêves d’Orient (Eastern Promise) fill your home with notes of rosewood, bergamot, lemon and orange, while the wooden wick makes a warm crackling sound as it burns.
As its name suggests, this small family-run Lithuanian studio champions the natural wrinkles and imperfections of its favourite fabric, working with linen’s strengths to create relaxed, handmade garments. We love its tunics, dresses and jumpsuits, and its artisan aprons would make great gifts for foodie and green-fingered friends.
Designer-maker Pip Wilcox’s petite bud vases are thrown on the wheel at her studio in Hastings, England, and then later carved by hand for an intentionally unique finish. Her vases are made from high-fire stoneware clay, so you can use them day-to-day to fill your home with mini posies assembled from homegrown blooms or foraged greenery.
From €12 www.bougiewabisabi.fr
From £39 www.notperfectlinen.com
From £49 www.pipwilcoxceramics.com
Photography Dean Hearne
Wooden utensils No two humans are exactly the same and neither are these beautiful, hand-carved kitchen utensils from Botany. Each butter knife, spatula and spoon in the collection is individually carved from durable mango wood, which results in unique variations in colour and markings to ensure that no two pieces you wield are ever identical.
SOUL FOOD IN A BOWL Raw, steamed, sautéed or roasted, bowl food’s easy, laidback style is just what we need in our lives right now – and there’s more to it than crockery… Words: Sarah Orme Photography: Nina Olsson, Ana Rusu, Lindsay Radcliffe, Sarah Britton and Niki Webster
“There are no real rules, look for a balance and have fun being creative while eating well.”
e know, you eat from a bowl all the time, so what’s special about ‘bowl food’? In a word, it’s wholesome. It’s comfort food without the guilt, and you can feel pretty virtuous after eating it because this is dining packed with all the good stuff. A contemporary and convenient way to cook, this trend is also surprisingly broad in its culinary range, taking in everything from raw salad bowls to south-east Asian laksa. But there are some common traits that these recipes share – they’re delicious, healthy, well-balanced meals. On the saintly end of the scale you’ll find Buddha bowls. The name apparently comes from the shape of Buddha’s rounded belly, and these overflowing dishes are a great way to eat lots of
good things in one go. They are mostly vegan and combine grains and veg with a healthy mix of nutrients flavoured with a shot of spices or a creamy dressing. Buddha bowls are visually appealing too – the more colourful the better. Rich root vegetables, such as carrots and beetroot, can be matched with quinoa and finely sliced avocado. Add a tangle of noodles, sweet potato wedges or clouds of steamed rice for carbohydrates. The aim is to include lots of different flavours so that you can have a little bit of everything you fancy. Variety is key and a Buddha bowl can be anything you want it to be. Take a look at @buddha_bowls to see the incredible range of recipes out there. Another healthy option is the Poke bowl (pronounced poh-keh). Poke bowls are Hawaiian in origin and means ‘slice and cut’. Unlike Buddha bowls, Poke bowls usually include sliced or diced fish, which is usually raw and marinated in soy sauce. Serve with rice and bright vegetables for a balanced meal. We also love a colourful smoothie bowl as a breakfast favourite. As the name suggests, it’s a smoothie in a bowl topped with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of seeds. You can thicken the smoothie mix with creamy almond butter for added richness. “With a few prepped elements you can easily throw together a
nourishing and delicious bowl,” says Nina Olsson of Nourish Atelier, author of Bowls of Goodness. “Pre-cooked lentils and grains or cold soba noodles are great to store in the fridge and use in bowl meals. Flavour them with herbs and spices before serving. “You’re aiming for harmony of textures and flavour so keep fresh vegetables and fruit readily at home to quickly cut and add. “Use contrasting textures such as nuts or sprouts for crunch and avocado or sweet potato for a smooth buttery bite,” suggests Nina. “Having prepared cold sauces and dips like pesto, hummus, yoghurt or cashew sauces with herbs or grilled vegetables will ensure a delicious bowl.” For savoury bowls like curries, Nina adds pickled and fresh greens for interest. She recommends experimenting to find your own bowl food mojo: “There are no real rules, look for a balance and have fun being creative while eating well.” While eating Buddha bowls feels good for the soul, sometimes you need something a little less angelic. Buddha bowls seem perfect for the warmer months, while cooler days call for something heartier with punchy spices and bold flavours. If you need comfort food, then a steaming bowl of ramen noodles, Vietnamese pho (a noodle soup), Korean rice-based bibimbap or a spiced Moroccan tagine should hit the spot. Most bowl food recipes are not just served in one bowl, they’re also cooked in one pan or, in some cases, not cooked at all. There’s no need
to prepare side dishes when one bowl is enough, so cooking time and washing up are minimal – perfect for a week-night meal. Nina agrees: “ Bowl food is an easy and comforting way to eat, it’s suitable for our modern lifestyles where we don’t have time to cook for hours every day, but we still want really delicious healthy homemade meals.” Don’t be tempted to rush though! Putting thought into your presentation can make the meal a little more special. How often do we eat in a hurry without really appreciating how our food looks or enjoying the flavours? Think about your composition – with a colourful Buddha bowl or bibimbap, you can simply divide your veg into separate hues for instant appeal. Choose your bowl for the occasion, too – whether it’s an old, much-loved piece or something more special, complementing what you’re cooking can really add to the mood your dish creates. For noodles and Buddha bowls opt for a deep bowl you can cup in your hands, while shallower dishes can be used to show off ingredients. For an elegant look, there are marbled bowls swirled with inky veins, or for a cosy home-cooked vibe serve your food in a chunky bowl with a deep glaze or flecked with colour. A strong shade can really make the meal look more appetising. But let’s not forget the most important part: eating the food! Let us encourage you to embrace the simple pleasures of bowl food and try some of the gorgeous recipes on our next few pages...
TOP OF THE POTS We’re coveting Penny Spooner Ceramics’ handmade porcelain noodle bowls (£28, notonthehigh street.com). For a budget option, Wilko’s Utility Collection Ceramic Square Bowl (£1) is a winner.
Baja Mexican spicy beans, lime sauce, quinoa & salsa THE JOY OF MEXICAN FOOD IS ITS PICK AND MIX FLEXIBILITY METHOD
Photo: Natal Hoff
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside. Mix the ingredients for the salsa and the baja sauce and set aside.
Bowls of goodness Art director, photographer, writer and mother-of-two, Nina Olsson lives just north of Amsterdam, but she was born in Sweden and lived in several European cities before settling in the Netherlands. Her wholesome recipes are vegetarian, and often vegan, drawing inspiration from global cuisines from Indonesian rendang curry to Malaysian laksa noodles. At the weekend, Nina takes the time to cook mindfully, taking on more ambitious or slow recipes. “Really investing myself in preparing and cooking a meal is an opportunity to ground myself and truly be in the moment,” she says. Find more bowl food BOWLS ARE inspiration by following FOR SHARING Nina on Instagram Take to Instagram to @nourish_atelier and at inspire others with your soulful bowls. For best www.nourishatelier.com. results, take your Her lovely book of pictures from directly bowl food recipes, above the bowl and Bowls of Goodness (Kyle in natural light. Books, £18.99), is out now.
Heat up a frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Fry the shallots over a medium-low heat until transparent. Add another drizzle of olive oil and the rest of the spicy bean ingredients, frying for 5 minutes over a low heat. Divide the quinoa and spicy beans into serving bowls. Add the avocado, lime wedges, tortilla chips, salsa and baja cream. Have a hot sauce on the table!
Ingredients SERVES 4 Spicy beans * Olive oil * 2 shallots, diced * 400g beans, rinsed & drained * 200g puy lentils, cooked * 2 avocados * 1 tsp ground or fresh oregano * 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a paste ½ * tsp ground cumin * 1-2 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and finely chopped 1 * tsp paprika * ¾ tsp salt Serve with * 200g quinoa, cooked
* * *
2 avocados, stoned, peeled and sliced, Tortilla chips Lime wedges
Salsa * Bunch of heirloom cherry tomatoes or tomatillos, diced 1 * white or red onion, fine diced * 1 red pepper, diced small * Juice of 1 lime Baja sauce * 150ml sour cream * Juice of 1 lime * Pinch of salt
Rainbow hummus bowl GET CREATIVE WITH THIS COLOURFUL SALAD BOWL METHOD Smear the hummus around the inside of a deep single-serve salad bowl. Add the greens, beans, sprouts and veggies and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and paprika. Toss to coat.
Ingredients SERVES 1 75ml hummus Fresh greens (such as spinach, rocket and romaine) * Handful of cooked beans or lentils * Handful of beansprouts * Mix of chopped vegetables
(such as steamed green beans; roasted beetroot; raw pepper, carrots, avocado and olives) * Freshly squeezed lemon juice * Sea salt flakes * Paprika * Cold-pressed olive oil, to serve
My New Roots When Canadian holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton moved to the Danish capital Copenhagen, she discovered that she couldn’t legally practise there. Determined to continue working in the food industry, she started her blog, My New Roots, to share her own plant-based recipes and nutritional knowledge. While many of Sarah’s recipes are vegetarian or vegan, Sarah’s not keen on these definitions of her food philosophy: “Labels force a person to define themselves with very rigid terms, and beat themselves up if they suddenly eat something that doesn’t fit that definition,” she explains. Sarah aims to create balanced meals and eats mainly whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and lentils, choosing organic options wherever possible. Follow Sarah on Instagram @mynewroots and visit her blog at www.mynewroots.org for more recipes. Her book of quick and easy vegetarian dishes, Naturally Nourished (Jacqui Small, £20), is on sale now.
Falafel salad ENJOY THIS FRESH BOWL FOR LUNCH OR DINNER
Herbs and roots Ana Rusu of Herbs and Roots develops plant-based recipes and runs a vegan catering and delivery business from her tiny kitchen in Bucharest, Romania. She first turned to vegan food five years ago when suffering from poor health, and what began as a necessity evolved into a love of cooking. “I started to read lots of cook books and blogs as I was very interested in nutrition and fine dining,” she says. “Everything inspires me! I love to travel and feel the atmosphere of every culture as much as I enjoy scrolling on my Instagram feed. Sometimes I see a hand-crafted plate or bowl and I immediately imagine a dish.” Bowl food is key to Ana’s diet: “I love a bowl of goodness any moment of the day. I even have a favourite bowl which seems to be the perfect size for my tummy. I eat everything in it: breakfast porridge, soup or salad at lunch and a hot stew in the evening.” Follow Ana on Insta @herbs_and_roots and online at www.herbs-roots.weebly.com.
METHOD Preheat your oven 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas Mark 4. Chop the carrots, place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and smoked paprika. Bake for about 30 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile, you can boil the millet using the 1:1 ratio and following the instructions on the packet. Prepare the radish salad by chopping the leeks and dill as small as you can. Mix with chopped radishes and make the dressing by blending ½ cup of cashews with 1 cup of water, a little salt and lemon juice. To assemble the bowl: place some leaves on the bottom then put one part radish salad, one part cooked millet, the falafel and a good drizzle of cashew dressing. Sprinkle with sprouts and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Ingredients SERVES 3-4
* * * * * *
6-8 falafel (home or readymade) 1 cup cooked millet 5-8 radishes, chopped 2 carrots, chopped ½ leek, finely chopped ½ cup cashew nuts
* * * * * * *
2-3 tbsp lemon juice Splash of olive oil Smoked paprika Salt & black pepper 2-3 handfuls of green leaves Handful of beansprouts Sesame seeds, to serve
Roast duck noodle soup THIS HEARTY NOODLE SOUP MAKES A DELICIOUS EVENING MEAL AND IS THE PERFECT DISH FOR A RELAXED DINNER PARTY, AS YOUR GUESTS CAN SPICE THEIR BOWL TO TASTE
METHOD Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the leeks and most of the spring onions, keeping a little for garnishing at the end. Fry the leeks and spring onions for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure they don’t brown. Add the shredded duck and fry for a few minutes. Slowly add the stock, followed by the boiling water, and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add the soy sauce and Shoaxing rice wine and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the egg noodles and allow to simmer until they’re cooked through (about 5 minutes). Remove the soup from the heat and stir through the spinach or pak choi. Serve hot with half a boiled egg, the leftover spring onions, sliced chilli and a little hoisin sauce.
Ingredients SERVES 4 A big slug of sesame oil 150g leeks, thinly sliced 5 spring onions, chopped 2 heaped cups of shredded roast duck (the meat of 1 roasted Gressingham duck) * 500ml chicken or duck stock * 200ml boiling water * 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari * 1 tbsp Shoaxing rice wine * Salt and pepper to taste
* * * *
200g egg noodles 200g spinach/pak choi 1 red chilli, sliced 2 boiled hen or duck eggs (optional) * Hoisin sauce to serve (optional)
* * * *
Lindsay’s Feast A year ago Lindsay Radcliffe traded in her London life for a Georgian cottage in a quiet village in Hampshire, England, to pursue her love of cooking via her blog, Lindsay’s Feast. Her ethos is “simple, seasonal food and recipes that allow fresh ingredients to speak for themselves”. With stints living in Hong Kong, Spain and South Africa, Lindsay has picked up elements of their cuisines along the way and is a big fan of bowl food. “There is something intrinsically comforting about bowl food, whether it’s bubbling noodle soup on a cold winter’s evening or a fresh summer salad enjoyed in the garden. TAMARI VS “I’m something of a bowl SOY SAUCE fanatic and I’ve built up Both soy sauce and quite a collection over the tamari are byproducts years!” she admits. of fermented soybeans, but while soy contains Follow Lindsay on wheat, tamari is Instagram as usually gluten free, @lindsaysfeast and online: richer in flavour www.lindsaysfeast.com. and less salty.
Squash tagine with a herby tahini dressing THIS COMFORTING BOWL IS RICH, SPICY AND VERY MOREISH! METHOD Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and heat to low/medium then add the chopped onion. Fry your onion for around 10 minutes until soft and browning. Add in the garlic and spices and stir for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the tomato purée, veg stock, apricots and the chopped veg. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Rebel Recipes Birmingham blogger Niki Webster’s influences are a real melting pot – she’s spent a lot of time backpacking around Asia and sampling the amazing local vegetarian food on offer. As a result, her cooking has picked up Thai and Middle Eastern flavours and she loves Indian cuisine too. Niki also likes escaping to the family’s flat in Spain’s Catalunya mountains and trying out Barcelona’s plant-based restaurant dishes whenever she gets the chance. Bowl food plays a big role in Niki’s cooking. “I like to combine all of the components of my meal in one big bowl so I can mix different flavours and textures – AMAZING it’s my favourite way APRICOTS to eat,” she says. Sprinkle chopped, dried apricots into savoury Follow Niki on dishes for a nutrient lift. Instagram @rebelrecipes Apricots are high fibre or find more of her and rich in calcium, aromatic bowl food antioxidants and recipes on her website immune-system boosting www.rebelrecipes.com. vitamins A and C.
Finally, add the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper to season. To make the tahini dressing: add all of the ingredients to a mini chopper or pestle and mortar and blitz until you get a paste. Add more water to achieve the desired consistency. To serve: place in a bowl with some cauliflower rice, top with the pomegranate seeds, drizzle with tahini dressing and fresh coriander.
Ingredients SERVES 4
* * * * * * * * * * * *
2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, roughly chopped 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp coriander 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger 3 cloves garlic, sliced 2 tbsp tomato purée 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks 1 red pepper, sliced 2 carrots, cut into chunks
* * * * *
1½ pints vegetable stock ½ cup organic dried apricots, chopped 1 can organic chickpeas Juice ½ lemon Sea salt & black pepper
Tahini dressing * Handful of coriander and mint * 1 tbsp tahini * 1 garlic clove * Juice 1 lemon + water * Sea salt & black pepper
Pink Lady and Tenderstem are registered trade marks.
Tenderstem, pancetta & goat’s cheese salad JUST ADD WALNUTS TO THIS TASTY BOWL FOR A LIVELY CRUNCH
Manchego, parmesan & Pink Lady apple croquetas SERVE WITH A BRAZILIAN-INSPIRED SMOKED PAPRIKA DIP
Place the Tenderstem broccoli in a steamer and steam for 3-4 minutes until cooked al dente.
Bake the potatoes in the oven or in a microwave until cooked through. Scrape out the centres and mash. Combine the manchego cheese, parmesan, Pink Lady apples and salt with the mashed potatoes.
Roughly break the walnuts and toast them in a dry frying pan. Set aside in a bowl.
Form the mixture into 16 balls. Roll the balls in plain flour, dip them into whisked egg and then finish by rolling them in breadcrumbs.
In the same pan, fry the pancetta until crisp. Set aside on a piece of kitchen roll. Take the pan off the heat. Swirl the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard around the pan and season with sea salt and black pepper. To serve: toss the leaves and Tenderstem in the dressing, divide between two bowls and top with cubes of goat’s cheese, crispy pancetta pieces and toasted walnuts.
Heat a deep pan with enough olive oil to cover the croquetas. Add the croquetas to the hot oil and fry on a medium heat until golden brown and warmed on the inside. Combine the yogurt, smoked paprika and sea salt to make the dip. Drain the croquetas on kitchen roll, place in bowl with a wedge of lemon and sprinkle with a few fresh herbs. Serve as a snack or entrée with the delicious smoked paprika dip.
Ingredients MAKES 16 CROQUETAS
* 150g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite size pieces * 35g walnuts * 130g pancetta cubes * 1 tbsp olive oil * A squeeze of lemon juice * 1 tsp wholegrain mustard * 70g goat’s cheese, rind on log, cut into cubes * herb salad leaves, to serve
2 large baking potatoes 60g manchego cheese, grated 30g parmesan, grated 3 Pink Lady apples, grated and squeezed * 2 pinches of sea salt * 10 tbsp plain flour
* * * *
2 eggs, whisked 100g panko breadcrumbs
Smoked paprika dip 10 tbsp plain yogurt 2 tbsp smoked paprika
LONDON TO PARIS
women V cancer BIKE
RIDE 4-7 OCTOBER 2018
Join the ﬁrst women-only London to Paris cycle challenge and raise funds to ﬁght breast, cervical and ovarian cancers For more information and to register online:
www.actionforcharity.co.uk Tel: 01590 677854 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TO TA K E PA R T YO U A R E R E Q U I R E D TO PAY A R E G I S T R AT I O N FEE O F £14 9 A N D R A I S E M I N I M U M S P O NS O R S H I P O F £1, 6 0 0 Registered Charity Nos: Breast Cancer Care: 1017658/ SC038104, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: 1133542/SC041236, Ovarian Cancer Action: 1109743/SC043478. Women V Cancer is established under the Charities Aid Foundation Charity No. 268369
ction for charity
LET’S GET PERSONAL Incorporating your treasures into your décor can inspire moments of joy even on cloudy days Words: Caroline Rowland / Illustration: Jayde Perkin
ow we decorate our homes is not unlike how we choose to dress ourselves. It is an expression of our personalities, and reveals much about us and our lives. If you are a lover of bold colour it’s likely this will be obvious through your décor, or if you are an art fan, your walls will probably corroborate that. Yet with so much inspiration being thrown at us on how to achieve a Pinterest-perfect home, it can be easy to slip into following trends and styling to match the pages of Elle Decoration, and forgetting the things that truly make a home unique. For me, it’s the homes that manage to mix style with meaning that are the interesting spaces to look at and to live in. By that I mean incorporating objects, photos, drawings or foraged finds that hold a specific memory for you into your décor, in a way that complements your style and highlights those things that are dear to you. I’ve previously been guilty of having no evidence of family photos around our home. Partly because of digital photography I rarely printed our pictures, but also because I tended to opt for a piece of art for the walls instead. When we got married four years ago, I realised I wanted to have some of our wedding photos on display, but I also wanted to avoid just popping one in a frame on the mantelpiece – it just wasn’t my style. So instead I used an online printing service (Printic or Lalalab are a couple I’ve tried) and printed a series of images from our day in small format (10x10cm) and created a grid gallery on the wall. This captures so much more of our day than one image ever could, and looks contemporary and cool. It’s not just photographs that can add sentimental yet stylish elements to your home. If you have items you love that have been passed down through the family, don’t hide them away in a drawer! I have some old cameras that belonged to my grandfather that are beautiful objects in
themselves. I display these, usually by creating a vignette with a stack of books, a plant and a candle, for example. Special items from my wedding day also feature: a tiny vintage tin which held our rings and a reading my friend gave, which she typed out on a typewriter on the page of an old book, are also displayed. Try not to clutter your surfaces with a whole manner of things – instead, select your favourites and give them space to breathe. When it comes to children’s drawings, it would be a scandal not to allow their creativity to be part of your décor! But before you plaster over your fridge there are other avenues leading to a stylish display. Hang a grid of wooden clipboards on the wall, this way art can easily be updated as their skills develop (you can of course file away those earlier masterpieces for nostalgia’s sake!). Or for a fun, colourful gallery wall, add washi tape frames around their work – this ties it all together in a more coherent way. It may be that you have a collection of foraged finds from trips to the beach or holidays abroad. Add these to your décor by filling a vintage jar with shells or rocks you’ve collected, or press flowers and put them in a double-sided glass frame (www.decoratorsnotebook.co.uk have some beautiful ones). If you are a collector of such things, be sure to check out Australian stylist Sibella Court’s book Bowerbird – it’s bursting with ideas for displaying anything from fossils and feathers to ephemera and oddities. Incorporating treasured items into your interior not only brings oodles of personality and tells the story of your family, it also means that on a daily basis you can be reminded of those moments that make life worth living. Even on a dreary Monday morning in winter, you can be quickly transported back to a special time or simply reminded of your nearest and dearest. All without compromising on a super stylish home!
CAROLINE ROWLAND is the founding editor of interiors and lifestyle publication 91 Magazine (www.91magazine.co.uk). Turn the page to discover Caroline’s favourite ways to display…
living HOME STYLE
Show your treasures DON’T HIDE YOUR HAPPY MEMORIES IN A DRAWER, DISPLAY THEM ARTFULLY AND THEY’LL REMIND YOU WHAT LIFE’S ALL ABOUT, SAYS CAROLINE ROWLAND Photography Caroline Rowland / Martina O’Shea
A line drawing of Wells Cathedral by my husband’s great grandfather perches on a picture ledge in our living room.
A reading a friend did at our wedding, which she typed onto a page from an old book, is displayed as a memory of our day.
A black and white photograph of my daughter mixes with art prints, propped casually against the wall in our bedroom.
My daughter’s artwork is framed with washi tape in our kitchen, making a fun, colourful wall display.
An old camera belonging to my grandfather is displayed in our living room, along with mini prints of our daughter.
I created a gallery grid of wedding photos which captures the feel of the day. The tiny vintage tin housed our wedding rings.
Photography Vale de Moses
RETREAT TO A NEW WORLD IN THE PORTUGUESE MOUNTAINS, MEET LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD OR ROAM YOUR WAY OVER HILL AND DALE AND LEARN TO ENJOY THE VIEW.
GET A NEW PERSPECTIVE You don't need to be an experienced yogi to benefit from a yoga r etreat. Visiting a new place is an opportunity to see the world, and yourself, in a new light: to grow and to learn.
Retreat into a new world Discover how going on a retreat can bring about real connections with nature, ourselves and people. Words: Ali Burrell / Photography Ali Burrell and Vale de Moses
ale de Moses is an enchanting yoga retreat, nestled in a beautiful forested valley in the remote and pictorial foothills of the Serra da Estrela mountains in central Portugal, about a three hour drive from Lisbon and Porto. I have just returned from a wonderful week there. I first came to Vale de Moses as a guest in 2015, desperately needing a healthy dose of vitamin D and a change of scenery from my life in the UK as a yoga and Pilates teacher. I had the most magical week, made new friends, nourished my body and soul and made a decision to return to this peaceful haven. I had already run several weekend retreats in England and was keen to start teaching abroad, so on a whim I asked the owners, Vonetta and Andrew Winter, if they might consider me hosting a retreat with them. They agreed and so it was that I returned the following year to teach my first yoga and Pilates retreat abroad. I loved the whole experience, as did my retreaters, and so boosted by this success they invited me back to teach again this year. Vonetta and Andrew moved here from London in 2007 with their young kids and dog, in search of pastures greener and a life more in harmony with nature's rhythms. They bought and lovingly restored an abandoned farm and transformed it into their home, and a world class yoga retreat, now in its sixth season. Surrounded by unspoiled forest, they provide a refuge for those who need a break from their everyday life. Everyone is welcome and you don’t have to be a pose-striking, Lululemon-wearing seasoned yogi to feel instantly at home. Here, it’s all about slowing down and reconnecting with Mother Nature through yoga, forest walks, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, workshops and deliciously healthy vegetarian food.
Mindful beginnings Day one and I'm ready to begin my teaching, but not before we all go on a 30-minute guided meditation walk led by Andrew through the vast and verdant forest surrounding Vale de Moses. He encourages us to move from a ‘thinking’ to a ‘feeling’ state, to tune into our senses and drink in our surroundings. I delight in the fresh pine-scented morning air, watching the glow of warm sunlight gradually paint its way across the valley, the birdsong, and our footsteps as musical companions. There is something sublime about bearing witness to the beginning of the day in this way. It sets a peaceful tone for the rest of the morning and makes me feel intensely grateful to be alive. The walks are a useful reminder to everyone that meditation is really just listening and awakening our senses, and not as complicated as we might think. Following the morning walk, my daily two-hour yoga class begins and my group consists mainly of beginner and middling yogis. We start slowly and will gradually build up the intensity and pace throughout the week. The focus will be on taking time to breathe deeply and enjoy moving our bodies in ways that feel good. I share my favourite mantra with the class – ‘less is more’ – and impress that the aim of this week is not to push up against our boundaries and try to achieve Olympic feats! Instead, we will practice cultivating an intimate connection with our breath and our bodies through 98
Bearing witness to tbe beginning and ending of each day, with views across valley, there's a real sense of being closer to nature.
Massage photograph Sven Mahr
EVELINE, 55 POWER YOGINI FROM SIEGEN, GERMANY “This week has felt very detoxifying for my whole system: physically, mentally and emotionally. The combination of the beautiful scenery, fresh air, delicious healthy food, movement, therapeutic massage and wonderful company have been a balm for my heart and soul and allowed me to really relax and connect more deeply with myself and the others in the group. I’ve loved the yoga and Pilates classes and how they’ve encouraged such mindfulness and body awareness. It gave me exactly what I needed."
“Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?” MARY OLIVER
ELMAR, 37 PILATES ENTHUSIAST FROM BERN, SWITZERLAND “I’ve learned so much about myself this week it’s amazing! I’ve learned that yoga is about listening to my body and what it needs, and really honouring that. As a result of this, and the kindness extended to me by complete strangers, I’ve also learned to trust my body and myself – and that it’s ok to open up, to ask for help and show my vulnerability. And that, for a Swiss guy, is pretty big!”
ANNE, 38 & JAMES, 40 BEGINNER YOGIS FROM LONDON, ENGLAND “Being here in this beautiful place has been a complete breath of fresh air for us and such a contrast from our busy and stressful lives in London. We’ve loved the vast and beautiful landscape to roam around in, and the spaciousness and stillness that it has brought our minds. Meeting such a variety of people from all walks of life has been a highlight and a real leveller, because we’ve realised that everyone is going through similar stuff, which is easy to forget in our isolated lives back home.”
MICHEAL, 46 YOGI AND MEDITATOR FROM SAN DIEGO, USA “It’s been a super relaxing week in a very special place. There have been many highlights but my biggest takeaway from this week is a reinvigoration for my yoga practice. I’ve been able to uncover deep layers of tension and find easeful movement in Ali’s yoga classes. 'Less is more' is my new mantra.”
“We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” CARL SAGAN
MARJOLEIN, 23 FIRST TIME YOGINI FROM AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND “Before coming on this retreat I had never done any yoga. Friends kept telling me that yoga would benefit my emotional health, but I could never understand how a Downward Dog would give me rest and relaxation and make me feel better. But it has. Yoga has accessed parts of me (body, mind and soul) that I never expected and helped me to let go of stuff I didn’t realise I was keeping locked up inside. I feel lighter in my being. I'm so grateful for this amazing introduction to yoga."
“Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.” ARISTOTLE
a simple asana practice, in order to connect with ourselves and quieten our busy minds. As my teacher, and author of Yoga of Heart, Mark Whitwell says: “Yoga is not a means to get somewhere as if you were not somewhere already. It is your direct and intimate participation with life. The magnificence of life does not await you– it actually is you.”
Evenings can be sociable or still. Indoors or outside, there's space for everyone to do their own thing.
Throughout the week I return to this theme, that practising yoga isn’t about getting anywhere, but realising that we are already there. No amount of bendiness or strength is needed as a prerequisite to yoga, which actually means ‘connection with our true nature’. Our basic human condition is one where we are lost in thought, which keeps us hostage in ideas of separateness from others and all life. I invite the group to step outside of this illusion of separation and come to their mats with an open mind and heart, and see where this week’s journey leads them. The transformative and restorative power of the stunning natural surroundings provides the perfect backdrop for our week’s unravelling. Each day, after a long and healthy bout of relaxation, and energised by vibrantly nutritious and artfully presented vegetarian cooking, we reconvene for our afternoon workshops. These are dedicated to celebrating the similarities and differences between yoga and Pilates, and provide an open platform for asking questions and exploring anything that the morning class brings up. So, we demystify breathing by breaking down its mechanics and practicing breathing into different parts of the body – a revelation for many. We take a close look at some key yoga poses, examining their purpose and how to find greatest ease in them. We also explore what ‘core’ really means; we learn how to engage it and how this can make our yoga asana practice safer and more powerful. We cover a lot in a short time! What is amazing, and so gratifying for me, is seeing how the group successfully integrate this information into their bodies and into their asana practice each subsequent day. By Friday, they really are breathing deeply and moving with ever more graceful confidence.
Comfort and inspiration Our retreat also includes a massage by some of the most skilled and committed therapists I’ve ever encountered, with a choice of Ayurvedic, Thai, shiatsu, reiki and acupuncture. One afternoon I treat myself to 90 relaxing minutes of Ayurvedic massage with the lovely Alicia. Hot oil and her long soothing strokes lull me into a state of bliss, followed by some reiki to balance my energy in readiness to teach my next class. I feel utterly relaxed in my body, clear-headed and alert in my mind – the sign of a truly skilled therapist. And I'm not alone. Everyone expresses how complementary their massages are to their process of unwinding and of releasing our tension throughout the week. One afternoon the charismatic and passionate Andalusian chef,
escaping Raul Garcia, offers us a cooking workshop. He opens the kitchen doors to his kingdom and engages us with his knowledge of Ayurvedic cooking, his greatest inspiration. After wowing us with his colourful and heavenly tasting array of international dishes all week, we are eager to learn some of his secrets. He is generous with his knowledge and shares some of his delicious and simple recipes, while we taste spices and learn their health benefits. We come away inspired and equipped with new ideas to rev up our cooking back home.
Time is everything For me, the ingredient that brings the greatest transformative power to a retreat is time. When our usual routines are stripped away and all of our basic needs for food, shelter and company are met, we are left with great swathes of time to just ‘be’. With nothing to do, other than exactly what we want. What a luxury! The wonderful thing about being on a retreat is that EXPERIENCE IT everything is optional. You don’t have to attend classes if FOR YOURSELF you’d rather go for another walk, a wild swim in the river, Vale de Moses retreats or watch the clouds drift by from the comforting swing of run from March to a hammock. Life is simple and this provides the perfect October, priced from opportunity to land back in our bodies, where normally 800€ to 900€ per person our hectic lives have us living up in our heads. per week. For more Stepping out of my bell tent one night, an amazing thing information visit happens. As I look up at the night sky, a dazzling blanket valedemoses.com. of stars greets me and the cool fresh air fills my lungs. A sense of awe and intense gratitude well up in my heart and for just a moment I feel at one with this incredible spectacle called Nature. We talk in the group about our similar experiences, about how small we feel in the vastness of the Universe, and how this really helps us to put life in perspective. Being here, we have a unique opportunity to remove ourselves from our usual outside influences that shape our minds and lives. We let our jobs, social media, fashion and silent codes of conduct fall away, and we get to see what is left. With no one to judge us, a level of honesty and authenticity emerges from this new-found freedom to be totally ourselves. I become aware of a softening in myself and the group. We begin to remove our masks and allow ourselves to be seen, to share our stories and drop into our hearts. In our last yoga class together we form a circle, and as our lifted hands touch in a community Tree pose my heart sings. Waves of love and gratitude ripple through me as our eyes meet, and the realisation visibly strikes us all that something very special and deeply transformative has taken place this week. Nourished by the beauty of our surroundings, healthy food, daily yoga, massage and that magic ingredient – time, something beautiful has happened. Genuine friendships have been made as we recognise that more unites us than divides us. Here, we were not defined by our age, gender, nationality, professions or backgrounds. Instead, what unites us is our shared humanity and our common interest that brought us into the beautiful Portuguese mountains.
Both experienced and >ACEJJANUKCEO J@ time for practise and (below) eating!
ADVE RT ISE M E N T
I n n t rave l ’s h o l i d ays a re t h e p e r fe c t es ca p e f ro m t h e h e c t i c wo r l d we l i ve i n
cquaint yourself with Slow Holidays, which allow you to see and discover more. This isn’t f lopping out for a fortnight by a pool. It’s spontaneous, exciting and all about discovery. Slow is your own adventure: no schedules and tour groups, but carefully crafted holidays that allow you to go as you please. Explore places you’ve never been to and enjoy more enriching, fulfilling experiences along the way. Take a week-long stroll along the Catalan Coast, lingering over delicious seafood lunches en route. Explore the hazelnut groves, hill-top castles and vine-carpeted hills of Piedmont in northern Italy, the home of Slow Food. Or pedal the lanes and byways of the Dordogne Valley, where caves, châteaux and ravishing scenery – as well as tasty French cuisine – are yours to enjoy. You could also opt for one of Inntravel’s SlowMotion journeys: self-guided adventures by train, boat or car that allow you to travel at your own pace, and leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and re-energised as a result. Wherever you choose, take time to unwind... and breathe. It’s your treat, after all. Soak up your surroundings, allow yourself to see things differently, and enjoy every single moment.
To find out what a Slow Holiday can do for , call Inntravel’s expert team on 01653 617000 or visit inntravel.co.uk
BE A HAPPY HIKER Don your backpack and take to the hills for a workout your mind and body will thank you for Words: Sian Lewis / Illustration: Jayde Perkin
ust put one foot in front of the other,” advised my (totally sodden) friend, Pete, as we trod through the driving rods of rain. We were lost. Our guide was lost. We were on a mountainside on the Isle of Skye, and we knew that there was sheer cliff face somewhere perilously near us, leading down to a ravine and certain death. A mist so thick that I couldn’t see my hands in front of me had suddenly swept down on the ridge, enveloping what had been a cheerful day of hillwalking in a soupy cloud and rendering us blind and unable to find our way back to civilisation. I was still putting one foot in front of the other and figuring things couldn’t get much worse when I tripped over a surprised sheep and began to lose my sense of humour. After the freezing, foggy disaster of our hike on Skye I decided I needed to get straight back in the saddle, to remind myself why I love to walk far and wide. I chose to hike to the summit of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia, Wales. The mountain’s name means ‘Idris’s chair’ in Welsh – it was said to be the throne of the lofty giant Idris, who liked to gaze up at the stars from his rocky seat. Before I began the climb up to his eyrie I spent the night at a campsite at the foot of the snow-capped mountain. Owen Tyddyn’s campsite is really just one of his fields, and where his gently rolling, sheep-dotted farm ends, the mountain begins. Owen himself never tires of the view, he told me in his soft Welsh lilt, because it is always different. After a night under canvas I sat with a steaming cup of coffee and watched the clouds roll over the peaks. And I felt the old itch to pull on my boots and go conquer them. The first third of the route up to the summit is the tough bit, but every step offers a sweeping view over one of the most impressive tableaux in Britain – steep, heather-clad hills sloping down to a patchwork of fields and wooded glades in the valley, with the sea glittering in the distance.
Then there’s a 6.5 mile mountain ridge to traverse, looking down on the deep blue of Llyn Cau lake. The summit itself, at 2930ft, is called Pen y Gadair – the top of the chair. As I approached it, my calf muscles aching and my hair stiff with sweat, I remembered why walking feels so good. A total calm washes over you and your mind embraces the simplicity of eating up miles of wild places just by putting one foot in front of the other. After the perfect panorama of the stony summit I trekked down the narrow scree path that leads to Llyn Cau lake. It was quiet, just the echoing of far-off bleating sheep. They say Llyn Cau is bottomless, and that anyone brave or crazy enough to camp and sleep by the water will awake either a poet or a madman. I had a train to catch, so I couldn’t test the theory. I set off across the heather, a happy hiker once more. What is it about walking in the great outdoors that is so calming? For me, there’s a meditative state to be achieved in the gentle repetition of movement, and a heart-lifting sense of achievement to be found in covering ground (ideally with a warm pub somewhere on the horizon). Walking in the hills is, by its very nature, far removed from news bulletins, commuters and a phone signal. Like looking at a vast starry sky, there’s a lesson in perspective to be gained from taking paths trodden by centuries of feet, up mountains that are indifferent to the humans that come and go. When I feel my spirits dampen at the sight of storm clouds I now think of words written by the father of British fellwalking, Alfred Wainwright: “The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.”
Sian Lewis is a freelance travel writer and the editor of The Girl Outdoors (www.thegirloutdoors.co.uk), a blog for anyone in search of a little adventure.
WALKING GEAR Roam happily over hill and dale with our pick of the best walking gear, including comfy, lightweight hiking boots, a versatile rucksack, genius maps and a delicioussmelling insect repellent.
Acqua d’Alfresco cologne
LifeStraw Go filter bottle
Smells like orange blossom and magically repels insects... this outdoors-ready fragrance is genius. Inspired by English herb gardens and using over 20 essential oils, Britishmade Acqua d’Alfresco is effective against mosquitos, midges and other biting nasties. Brilliant if you tend to get bitten but have sensitive skin or hate the overpowering smell of DEET.
These clever, little, waterproof maps are printed on soft, crushable material, so you can simply pop them in your pocket like a handkerchief and whip them out on a mountainside without a fuss. SplashMaps print long distance trails, Ordnance Survey maps, piste maps and personalised maps, all guaranteed to be unwreckable. You can even wear yours as a scarf!
Fill up the main compartment of the LifeStraw Go at a lake or a river (it can’t filter salt water) and the fibres built into the cap will filter all bacteria away, leaving it clean and safe to drink. It’s ideal for long-distance walking, as you don’t have to cart all your water with you. Plus, buying a LifeStraw provides safe drinking water for a school child in a developing community for a year.
£35 from www.alfrescoshop.com
£22.50 from www.splash-maps.com
£35 from www.snowandrock.com
Berghaus Remote 25
Keen Terradora boots
Fjällräven trekking tights
This is a simple, well-designed allrounder of a rucksack. With a 25-litre capacity, Berghaus’s Remote is ideal for hiking, with padded straps, a breathable back to wick away sweat, a removable hip belt and plenty of pockets for water and snacks. When you want to swap the trail for city streets it can take a small laptop, too. It’s also available in 20 and 30 litres.
Fun and quirky, the new Terradora from Keen is a bright spark in a sea of brown and grey hiking boots. It may be good-looking but it still packs all the techie treats you need, and is fully waterproof, with comfy, cushiony soles and a flexible yet supportive cut at the ankle. A great choice for summer hikes and travelling, especially if you hate wearing heavy, clunky walking boots.
They may be spendy but the sumptuous Abisko trekking tights from Fjällräven really are the ultimate walking trouser. Warm yet breathable and so flexible it barely feels like you have anything on your legs, they’re ideal for tackling everything from weekend dog walks to epic multi-day hikes. We especially like the tough material on the bottom and knees.
£55 from www.wiggle.co.uk
£109.99 from www.keenfootwear.com
£130 from www.fjallraven.co.uk
LEARNING TO ENJOY THE VIEW For Allison Green, travel is a form of exposure therapy â€“ with each repeated episode of dealing with the present, she is finally learning to enjoy being in the moment. Photography: Allison Green
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AROUND Seeing the world is so educational and one of the reasons why people love to travel. Travel can also teach us a lot about ourselves, as we learn to cope with all the new experiences it brings.
onfession time: I used to be obsessed with trying to control the future. Whether it was trying to shape the trajectory of a relationship to fit a mould it was never meant to or planning the itinerary of an Instagram-perfect vacation down to the minute, I was fixated on every detail within my control. Focusing on the future so much distracted me from a present I wasn’t comfortable with. Micromanaging the minutiae of my life allowed me to temporarily exit the present to exist in a hypothetical future. The future was a place where nothing could hurt me. Living in the future also allowed me to destroy the past: to erase pain, to ignore the need for forgiveness, to avoid doing constructive work on myself to heal. But while living in the future can save you from pain, it can also rob you of joy. After all, the only moment we can experience joy is in the present: neither the past nor the future hold that for any of us. Travel – especially if you’re travelling solo – forces you to live in the present. When you’re in a foreign land, eating food you’ve never tasted, trying to make out words you’ve never heard before… there’s absolutely no way you can plan for that. Sure, you can learn a few words of the local language. Maybe you’ll buy a guidebook and map out a few sights you’re dead-set on seeing. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few recommendations from a friend or a local to point you in the right direction.
TRAVEL FORCES YOU INTO THE PRESENT. WHEN YOU’RE IN A FOREIGN LAND, TRYING THINGS YOU’VE NEVER DONE, EATING FOOD YOU’VE NEVER TASTED BEFORE…
But there will be a moment when you’re standing in the middle of a city you don’t know, with no idea where to go, what to see, where to eat, or what’s next. For anxious people, losing the ability to plan ahead can be terrifying. I’ve certainly had my fair share of travel-induced meltdowns. But somewhere along the way, I realised that I was becoming more unflappable. Things that would once have sent me into a downward spiral of angst and anxiety became like mild rain instead of a torrential downpour: annoying, but not the end of the world. It dawned on me that for me, travel was a form of exposure therapy when it came to my fear of living in the present. For those unfamiliar, exposure therapy is the idea that a fear can be overcome through repeated safe exposures to the feared object or idea.
Exposure therapy: conquering fear bit by bit by showing that the perception of the fear is far worse than the fear itself.
The classic example is someone who has a deathly fear of spiders. First, perhaps theyâ€™ll talk about spiders with their therapist, or see pictures or videos of them. Once the arachnophobe is comfortable with that, then the next step is to share a room with the spider: first 10 feet away, then 7, then 5, then right next to them. The idea is conquering fear bit by bit, by showing that the perception of the fear is far worse than the fear itself. And much like the hypothetical spider in the room, over years of travel, I too began to conquer my fears, primarily my fear of not being able to control the future. As I travelled, I got used to sharing a room with unpredictability. At first I squirmed as any perceived disaster entered the room. Finally, I could breathe even when that theoretical disaster stood 10 feet away, then 7, then 5.
Eventually, I was able to look the unknowable present square in the eye. I was no longer afraid. Travel taught me that things not going as planned was not the disaster I imagined it to be. Quite the opposite, in fact: each failure became an opportunity to break out of my future-oriented mindset and experience the present. It helped that each perceived disaster was not nearly as catastrophic as I imagined it to be. Once, I was stranded in Albania with an Australian couple in the middle of a village market that we were told was also a bus stop. Ominous storm clouds were edging the horizon, and I was anxious to make my way over the border to Kosovo before it unleashed its fury. An hour passed and no bus came. Old me would have had a panic attack. Old me would have gotten angry with herself for not having planned better. Old me would have collapsed into a pile of tears. New me saw it was an opportunity. Through the therapeutic process of trying, failing, and repeating, as I stood in that foul-smelling market waiting for a non-existent bus I didnâ€™t cry, wail, or weep. I improvised.
escaping IF ANXIETY STRIKES... Place your hands on your lower stomach and take a slow, deep breath. Notice how your hands move with your breath. Repeat. No-one will notice and you'll soon feel much calmer.
The Australian couple I had met the day before and I rigged up a little sign and hitchhiked our way across the border to Kosovo. Had this never happened, I wouldn’t have got to taste a traditional corn cake from the tiny town of Milot. I would never have learned about the guys who picked us up, who drove 300 kilometres to Tirana and back in a single day, multiple times a week, to attend college. I would never have appreciated the masterful way the young man drove his Audi through the mountains of Albania, hugging each curve with the knowledge of a driver who’s done this many, many times before. Another time, two other newly-minted travel companions and I arrived at our Airbnb in the small market town of Chichicastenango, Guatemala. One problem: our host was nowhere to be found. After an hour or so of waiting around, we met our next-door neighbours, who kindly let us borrow their WiFi so we could contact our host. That chance encounter turned into a personal tour of an off-the-radar museum, a mini-lesson on the religion of the Mayas, an impromptu potluck, and a singalong over some enormous beers into the chilly Guatemalan night. Yes, I’ve been saved from disaster countless times –not always in the deus ex machina of the
EACH FAILURE TAUGHT ME THE SAME LESSON OVER AND AGAIN... WE CAN’T CONTROL WHAT HAPPENS TO US: WHAT WE CAN CONTROL IS HOW WE REACT TO IT.
kindly stranger. Often, I had to pick up the pieces all by myself and figure out what was going on. I had to stop the prickle of tears and find my way, decipher a foreign menu, or flub my way through interactions in a creole of broken languages. Bad things did happen along the way: an overfriendly Berber in the Sahara Desert, the time I managed to lose both my debit card and my iPhone on the same island in the span of 48 hours, days when despite my best efforts all I wanted to do was sit in bed and have a good cry. But each failure taught me the same lesson, over and over again. The only thing you have the power to change is the present moment. We can’t control what happens to us: what we can control is how we react to it. Things not going as planned are detours, not catastrophes. The kindest thing we can do for ourselves is enjoy the ride.
STAY IN THE MOMENT There are so many simple ways to improve your travelling experiences...
1 No cameras please
When you overcome travel anxieties, you open up opportunities like seeking out this natural beauty spot, Semuc Champey in Guatemala, where the river 'hides beneath the stones'.
Stop trying to Instagram everything. Challenge yourself to leave your phone behind from time to time. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t document every moment of your travels, and you’ll stop feeling pressure to always get the perfect photo so that you can properly enjoy the moment.
2 Less is more
Drop one tourist attraction off your list. Instead, use that time to sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and observe the people around you. Again, do your best to not use your phone as a crutch – leave it at home or in your bag and practice being fully present and observant.
3 Great start to the day
Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning – even while travelling. Apps like Headspace and Calm can help; guided meditations are also available on Spotify. A simple 10-minute check in with yourself can resonate throughout the rest of the day and remind you to be present so you can get the most out of your travels. If you’re not into meditation, making time for yoga or journalling can have a similar effect.
4 Take it all in
Look up, not forward. We can get so distracted by what’s going on around us – people rushing down the street, chaotic cars, activity everywhere – it mirrors and creates a certain chaos in our heads, allowing us to hide in our thoughts rather than experience the moment. Instead, look up. Look up at the roofs of churches you’ve never seen before, the architectural style of a foreign city, the way even clouds look different in a foreign sky. Appreciate the difference and allow it to help you re-enter the present.
5 Don't be shy
Go out of your way to make connections with others while travelling. Whether it’s starting a conversation in a bar with a stranger, chatting with people on a walking tour, or interacting with some locals, nothing is more powerful than human connection when it comes to making you live in the moment.
“Healthy eating is about nourishing your body and soul” FOR LEAH VANDERVELDT HEALTHY EATING ONCE MEANT DEPRIVATION, GIVING IN AND GUILT; THEN SHE LEARNED THE REAL POWER OF FOOD
hen I first started cooking it was to save money while working my first professional job, but it quickly became about being ‘healthy’, which at the time, looked like low calorie, deprivation and thinness (I was working at a fashion magazine). Under the guise of health, I used food as a punishment, configuring my meals to make up for (or in preparation of ) having too much pizza and wine on a Friday night. For several years, I thought being unable to focus on any demanding tasks past 3 or 4pm was totally normal. My husband gently reminded me that this wasn’t quite right, especially since I was getting enough sleep. I realised he had a good point, but I was perplexed – I thought I was doing everything right.
Then one day, on a podcast I was listening to, someone said: “Women’s bodies aren’t biologically meant to be extremely skinny, we actually need a bit of softness to help everything function the way it’s supposed to.” I had heard different iterations of this before, but at that particular moment, it really sank in. If I truly valued my health and happiness, I needed to stop using food as a manipulation tool against myself and start honouring it in a way that made my body feel good. I finally realised that when I was properly nourishing myself (not just eating a bowl of kale and thinking it would cleanse me of all my sins), food had the ability to fill me up, to energise me, and to make me feel amazing.
LEAH VANDERVELDT is a food writer and recipe creator based in Brooklyn, New York, and the former Food Editor of www.mindbodygreen.com. Her first cookbook The New Nourishing: Delicious plant-based comfort food to feed body and soul (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99) is out now.
Take time to indulge in a refreshing drink and savour a few mindful moments. Look inside for your recipe, short story and puzzle.
All I am IN THIS SHORT STORY JOANNA CAMPBELL EXPLORES WHY THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH NOT COPING, AND SOMETIMES ALL WE NEED IS A LITTLE HELP TO GET US THROUGH...
from the fridge where I’d begun defrosting and was distracted by Jenny falling over on the patio. The dog devouring raw sausages in the bathroom. Breakfast bowls and cereal packets still on the table. Wet washing waiting in the basket for the rain to stop. The sun had shone all afternoon. I hadn’t noticed. Sam found me on the sofa, staring glass-eyed at the television, the children all jammy and toys scattered everywhere. “The beds aren’t made,” I said, tears spilling. Sam soaked the pan and scoured the hob. He restarted the fridge, but laid the best towels on the sodden floor. He ran a bath for the children. But when they were warm and dry in pyjamas, he read them the story that gave them bad dreams. He phoned the doctor. And he phoned Kay, murmuring the word ‘breakdown’. I hadn’t turned deaf. “Sam, I want to cope,” I told him that night. “Rose, there’s nothing wrong with not coping. We all need help sometimes. Kay’s coming tomorrow.” Kay was a well-respected doctor. She lived in a square Georgian house, symmetrical and solid. She boiled Sunday chicken carcasses for soup and grew kale and sweet-peas. She turned away potential husbands without regret. She seemed to sail on glassy waters, not searching, not on a quest, the mirrored surface never rippled by a partner or children.
t’s bliss to be sent back to bed. I’m not ill at all. Just tired. Pitiable really. All I am is a housewife and mother of two small children. A part-time cashier in the local bank. And a wife. I forget that part sometimes. My manager patted my shoulder, nodding at the doctor’s letter signing me off for eight weeks with exhaustion. Colleagues on the counter said, “If we can help in any way...” They would request an agency cashier as soon as I left. So easy to be replaced. No one asked me questions. They knew I had no answers. Only time. They had seen my smile become professional, just for customers. During breaks I watched my coffee grow cold. Threads of conversation I would have once picked up were left hanging. And now my sister, Kay, is here. She was always there, taking me for icecreams on the common while our parents argued, producing a red kite to fly in the autumn wind the day my father packed his bags. She stopped me caving in. But sometimes a shadow was cast over her eyes. I couldn’t see in, couldn’t read her. I was a wide-open book. She was a padlocked diary, her sorrow held inside. And now she is here, a blessed relief. One evening, Sam came home to the worst chaos so far. Soup cascading over the saucepan, burning onto the new hob. A leak
TAKE A MOMENT The tray is laid with a well-pressed cloth Kay kept when our mother died. “Oh, I must get up,” I whisper, hoarse from sleep. “There’s the children to bath and dinner to cook. And I must walk the dog.” “Rose, it’s 10 o’clock! Sam’s watching the football, with a full stomach and a glass of beer. You go back to sleep when you’ve eaten.” Kay and the children have walked the dog while the chicken sizzled and the washing machine hummed. They ate together while I slept; my sister, my husband and my children. They all helped set the table with the linen she brought with her. She had Jenny and Michael washing their hands before dinner. It was a game, she told them. See who could finish first, have the cleanest nails, leave the fewest drops on the floor. I can almost touch the altered air within the house, like the surface of a soapbubble hovering before it vanishes. I spend the next few days sleeping, while Kay reorganises our airing cupboard, our shopping rota, our larder, our lives. Sweet-pea scent fills the house. The vacuum cleaner drones more quietly than before. Kay took it to be serviced. She collects Michael and Jenny from school on time, then lets them run free in the park. When it rains, they paint at the kitchen table, now spread with oilcloth. I hear them wiping it clean while she hangs their art on the wall. Sam whistles when he comes home and rests in the lounge with tea she brings on the tray with the cloth. She perches on the footstool beside him, the folds of her frock draping on the clean carpet. The children sprawl, spilling out the details of their day. I want to explain how hard it is to be a mother, a wife. “We know,” Sam soothes. “Of course it’s hard,” Kay says. But it doesn’t look hard.
My life was all about rushing and backtracking when I forgot things. I wrung out every minute in an effort to keep afloat, hurrying around the shops in my lunch-hour, furrowing my brow over Sam’s accounts on the bus home, making sandwiches at midnight for lunch the next day. “Take a back seat, Rose,” Sam said. “Let Kay take over.” “But the gerbils are in the spare room.” “Let Kay sort it. That’s why she’s coming. She’ll know what to do.” “How?” “She just will. Anyone can mop and cook and watch a couple of kids...sorry, I didn’t mean...”. “How long for, Sam?” “As long as it takes.” This morning I spent an hour dressing, then sank on the bed like a clockwork toy, its innards toppling out, its key out of reach. Mustn’t forget to defrost the chicken. And flowers for Kay’s room. Where would I find the vase? Buses swished past. Boots splattered along the pavement. The world was busy dodging the downpour. I almost pulled the covers back over me, but Sam was taking me to the doctor. I watched my reflection in the dressing-table mirror, unable to read the blank expression. Was that my face? “Time to go!” Sam called. The children splashed in puddles with a careless freedom I envied, but could barely recall. “Lie down, Rose. I’ll see to everything,” Kay says, her frock stirring the air as she glides about. “Rose,” she whispers, blissful hours later. “Here are your pills. And an omelette with marjoram from my garden. And fresh juice. I got the kids to squeeze the oranges.”
SHORT STORY me laugh out loud, then groan with shame. I climb the stairs, wondering how I’ll cope when I stop being a passenger and start steering my own ship again. Hold on. I’m not worrying. I’m wondering. I’m tired. But less tired than before. Am I coming back? After a few more days, they suggest I spend more time downstairs, read the children stories. Only a few pills remain in the bottle. “The ironing board’s missing,” I say to Sam one evening from the understairs cupboard. “Oh, it’s upstairs now. Kay watches the children in the bath while she irons on the landing. Gets two jobs done at once. They’re in no danger from the iron then. Remember how you always worried about them pulling it off the board?” Remember? I’m a ghost peering from the past, aching to belong to this new future. “How do you get them ready for school with time to spare? How do you make pizza dough that isn’t like shoe-leather? When should I prune the roses?” I ask a hundred questions and Kay answers as if there will be no difficulties. As if this were all nothing.
After a blur of weeks, I venture downstairs. Kay unfolds the deckchair in the shade of the apple tree at the end of the garden. Kay has worked her miracles in the garden. Leaves are gathered into a pile. Tidied borders stare at me with a smug expression. The Wendy house door no longer leans drunkenly from its hinges. “That sister of yours is a jewel,” our neighbour says over the wall. “I never see her agitated.” It’s as if a bee has buzzed from the branches and stung me. The weekends take on a shape. I get up one Saturday morning, try to join in. They are all holding bags full of towels and arm-bands. “Back to bed, Rose,” says Kay. The children shriek with excitement, goggles on. “What’s happening?” “We always do this now,” Sam says. “An early swim before the crowds descend. Nothing like it to start the day.” Always? Kay’s lived here for just a few weeks. “I could come.” “You could…” Sam says. “But you’ve never enjoyed the pool much, have you?” “It can be stressful,” Kay adds. “Noisy. Not what you need, is it?” It’s true I worry about losing the children. They look the same in the water, all wet hair and goggles. I can never tell which are mine. “Shall I make lunch for when you get back?” “No need. We shop afterwards and treat ourselves to something in the supermarket café.” “Shopping? With the children’s hair wet?” Kay flourishes a portable hairdryer. “We’ll make you an omelette when we’re back,” Rose calls as the door shuts. I sit on a stair and imagine flinging the omelette like a custard-pie at her face. It makes
I return to work the day before Kay leaves, sauce stains miraculously missing from my suit. Everyone fusses, wondering if I’ll make mistakes or collapse, I suppose. At the end of my shift, rain streams down the bus windows. I breathe in the smell of steaming coats and dripping umbrellas, listening to worn-out people talking, glad to hear they’ve forgotten to buy bread or are too exhausted for their evening badminton. But I miss my stop, too busy thinking about the casserole I made the night before while Kay was packing. She’d pulled some carrots from
SHORT STORY try standing in the light she’s left behind. Before she left, the sandwiches finished, she looked stricken. She rested one square, competent hand on top of the loaf, her eyes clouded as they were when our father left, full of the same quiet suffering she prefers to bear alone, before setting forth again on her solo journey. “Thank you,” I said, covering her hand on the bread with my own. “From the pit of my heart, thank you for rescuing us.” And she gave her no-problem smile, ruffled Jenny’s hair and gathered her bags. Drifts of her scent float here, fading now. “I won’t be able to keep it up,” I warn Sam. “Kay’s one of a kind. The rest of us forget our carrots sometimes.” “We hate carrots,” chorus Jenny, Michael and Sam. How blessed I am to be here while Kay sits alone, coasting along on her train, preparing to lower her oars back into her unruffled sea. Sam and the children have no expectations. They’re just glad I’m upright again. And now I’m calm and rested, I have fewer expectations of myself. I glance at my face in the hall mirror. It’s smiling. Is that me? Yes. This is all I am. And it feels fine.
the vegetable patch, scrubbed them, chopped them into rounds. But did I stir them into the meat and gravy? By the time I’ve walked home, I’m soaked to the skin. They bring sherry and a towel. The fire is lit and the children playing dominoes. “I can’t do this,” I tell them. “You’re fine,” Kay says. “Sam will give you a hand. You have to let him know, that’s all. Your kids love helping as well.” Kay serves dinner. She’s put the carrots in for me. No problem at all. “It’ll be fine,” Sam says. They say this all the time. Kay used to say it when our parents argued. But it wasn’t fine. Sam said it when I began to feel exhausted. He was wrong as well. Why should it be true now? Next morning, I look at the packed lunches Kay has made for us. She has just left, taking the paintings the children made for her. The children wait in the hall, school bags packed, shiny shoes on. Kay is sitting in the train, her work here finished. Colleagues and patients have missed her. She will sew herself seamlessly back into their lives. She has stitched me together like a fallen hem, which my family will expect me to keep up. Sam is watching and I hope he doesn’t say it will all be fine. It makes me feel I’m expected to be someone I’m not. “For now, Kay has set you back,” he says. “You probably wish she’d never come.” I look at him, not understanding. “Kay is a well-oiled machine,” he says. “A sort of friendly glue-gun. And I respect her. Things are more efficient here. We don’t lose stuff, we’re tidier, we have routines. But she isn’t you.” I’m not her either. I can’t skulk in her shadow. But thankful for the respite she’s given me, I’ll
JOANNA CAMPBELL is a published and prizewinning author (Tying Down The Lion and When Planets Slip Their Tracks) whose stories have appeared in numerous competition anthologies and literary magazines. See her work on www.joanna-campbell.com and tweet her @PygmyProse.
TAKE A MOMENT
Focus on a fun quiz! ACROSS 1 Mystical offshoot of Judaism, adhered to by Madonna (8) 6 Largest Ionian island, home of Captain Corelli (10) 13 Star ---, liquorice-flavoured spice (5) 14 Common building material, prevalent in Dorset (9) 15 Rome fountain designed by Nicola Salvi (5) 16 Clear or coloured transparent sheet used in crafting (7) 18 Stubborn (9) 19 Hawaiian garland (3) 20 Long waxed wick for lighting candles (5) 22 Nude (5) 24 Howards ---, E.M. Forster novel (3) 26 Sign in (to a computer) (3,2) 28 Inherently, without artifical intervention (9) 30 Cashew, pine or Brazil? (3) 31 Retro style (7) 32 Woodwind instrument (4) 33 --- Seasons, luxury hotel chain (4) 34 Leave out (4) 36 Protein-rich bean; a vegetarian and lactose alternative (4) 41 Underwater missile (7) 42 Ocean (3) 43 Quilt made of small pieces of cloth sewn together (9) 45 Japanese relaxation technique (5)
46 --- Hom, chef and author of My Stir-Fried Life (3) 47 Sophia ---, Italian actress and style icon (5) 49 --- Sarandon, Thelma and Louise star (5) 50 Omelette ingredient (3) 52 Kirstie ---, TV property expert and craft enthusiast (7) 55 Not processed or preserved (9) 58 Native of Baghdad, eg (5) 59 Mixer, popular with whiskey (6,3)) 60 --- tout, sugar pea (5) 61 Large, horned mammal (10) 62 Purple vegetable that stimulates the liverâ€™s detoxification processes (8)
DOWN 2 Supple (5) 3 Swarming insect (3) 4 Northern France Eurostar destination (5) 5 Canvas bed suspended between two trees (7) 6 Expenses (5) 7 Important; famous (9) 8 Stadium (5) 9 Not working (slang) (2,3,5) 10 --- Home Show, annual design event (5) 11 Lively Ibiza resort (3,7) 12 Dame --- Westwood, British fashion designer (8) 17 --- Borealis, aka Northern Lights (6))
21 Dried, scented petals and spices used to perfume a room (3,6) 22 Zero (3) 23 Come --- With Me, TV entertainment show (4) 25 Bed covering (5) 27 Elegant (9) 29 Me Before ---, JoJo Moyes bestseller (3) 33 Coloured velvety fibres, used to decorate papercraft projects (5) 35 Navigational chart (3) 37 Low-carb eating plan, popular in 2003 and 2004 (6,4) 38 Practice of concentrating the mind (10) 39 Farrow and ---, designer paint brand (4) 40 Pure, modest (6) 41 Golden yellow curry spice (8) 42 Early evening drink (9) 44 Go brown in the sun (3) 48 Edible thick reddish stalks with laxative properties (7) 51 Gridded paper used in cross stitching (5) 53 Reason (5) 54 --- Morgan, Good Morning Britain presenter (5) 56 --- Days, 2014 Take That hit (5) 57 Latin-American ballroom dance (5) 60 La ---, luxury beauty range (3)
Across: 1 Kabbalah, 6 Cephalonia, 13 Anise, 14 Limestone, 15 Trevi, 16 Acetate, 18 Obstinate, 19 Lei, 20 Taper, 22 Naked, 24 End, 26 Log on, 28 Naturally, 30 Nut, 31 Vintage, 32 Oboe, 33 Four, 34 Omit, 36 Soya, 41 Torpedo, 42 Sea, 43 Patchwork, 45 Reiki, 46 Ken, 47 Loren, 49 Susan, 50 Egg, 52 Allsopp, 55 Untreated, 58 Iraqi, 59 Ginger ale, 60 Mange, 61 Rhinoceros, 62 Beetroot.
Down: 2 Agile, 3 Bee, 4 Lille, 5 Hammock, 6 Costs, 7 Prominent, 8 Arena, 9 On the blink, 10 Ideal, 11 San Antonio, 12 Vivienne, 17 Aurora, 21 Pot pourri, 22 Nil, 23 Dine, 25 Duvet, 27 Glamorous, 29 You, 33 Flock, 35 Map, 37 Atkins Diet, 38 Meditation, 39 Ball, 40 Chaste, 41 Turmeric,
Print this page to fill in your answers.
7 42 Sundowner, 44 Tan, 48 Rhubarb, 51 Graph, 53 Logic, 54 Piers, 56 These, 57 Tango, 60 Mer.
SOLUTION 61 58
31 42 27
43 39 25
41 26 32 23 28 18 20 16
TAKE A MOMENT
Blackberry cider fizz
eptember is a time for gathering windfalls, cider pressing and blackberry picking. What better way to enjoy the season than to combine these lovely things into one fragrant cocktail: a muddle of craft cider, a simple homemade cordial and William’s Elegant Gin distilled from Herefordshire cider apples.
Ingredients SERVES 2
* * * * * *
400g blackberries, keep 2 to serve 2 apples, keep 2 thin slices 400g caster sugar 1 lemon, sliced , a few sprigs of mint William’s Elegant Gin Dry craft cider to top up
ing Pret ty , refresIhts’ + gin-based. got it all!
METHOD To make the cordial, heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Put the blackberries, apple chunks, sugar, lemon and mint in a dish with 400ml water and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until the fruit gives up its juice and the sugar has dissolved. Strain and leave to cool. To make the cocktail, pour 50ml of gin and 25ml of the cordial into a glass, fill with ice, then top with cider and gently mix together. Garnish with a thin slice of apple, a sprig of mint and a blackberry. Recipe from Olive magazine. For more great recipes head to www.olivemagazine.com. Photography Rob Streeter
Cut out slots and join the pieces, matching the letters (A to A etc)
Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
Cut line - cut on this side only!
Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
Cut out slots and join the pieces, matching the letters (A to A etc)
Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
E Cut line cut on this side only!
Prickly Pear Cactus B
Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
Saguaro Cactus Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
Cut line - cut on this side only!
Cut out slots and join the pieces, matching the letters (A to A etc)
Just print this page onto paper or thin card and youâ€™re ready to go!
Photography Amy Treasure
If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives WISHING YOU A FAB MONTH OF TRYING NEW THINGS, EXPLORING FUN IDEAS AND HAVING A FEW MINI ADVENTURES! SEE YOU AGAIN SOON: ISSUE 4 IS ON SALE THURSDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER.
8-PAGE MINI MAGAZINE
Take A Moment includes: A soothing drink recipe A story to read & enjoy A fun crossword to try
3 COOL CACTI TO PRINT OUT & MAKE
Decorate your home with this cute cactus trio or give one as a gift or instead of a greetings card.