Welcome to the sloe life
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Our story is a familiar one.
You have a full-time job with long working hours, and you have a lengthy, stressful commute. Your working environment is a sea of computer screens, fluorescent lighting and those eerie indoor pot-plants that don’t seem to require soil, water or natural light. The work itself is somehow both boring and fast-paced, mundane and yet stressful. Once you are home, you begin (or think about having to begin) the tidying/ironing/dishes. Finally, too tired to do something you actually want to, you waste the few precious hours before bed, sleep, wake, repeat.
Once you’ve added-up the hours you spent at work, commuting, doing the household chores and idling in front of a screen, you realise how little time is left for what you really want to do: those activities that you know give you satisfaction, but which always remain at the bottom of your list of priorities.
This is our story, but it also the story of an era. Like so many people, we live in time poverty.
Our time hasn’t been the only victim of this situation; the 24-hour avalanche of important information and urgent notifications has blinded us to the natural world outside the window. We live in an increasing connected world, in which we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the world.
And when we finally get outside, how much of it do we really see? Public parks become shortcuts to work, or a place to eat lunch which catching-up on social media. Children are frogmarched across village greens as part of the morning routine, or kept busy at National Trust properties for a few moments' respite.
Despite being outside, how much time do we ever get to spend really engaging with the natural world: understanding its rhythms, enjoying its produce, appreciating the moment? Instead, we use this time to dwell on our own concerns or to organise future arrangements, rather than living in the ‘now’.
This is the situation we found ourselves in when we met each other in 2012, and we quickly realised that we shared the same yearnings and aspirations: to use our time more positively on the things that truly bring us fulfilment and satisfaction; to perform tasks for the enjoyment of the activity, not only for the outcome; and to better understand our relationship with the natural world and our impact on the environment.
Looking back from 2019, the last seven years have seen a slowing of pace. A dedication to cooking completely from scratch using locally sourced produce has allowed us to banish ready-made meals from our diets and reduce the carbon footprint of our lifestyle, as well as inadvertently sanctioning a slight obsession for collecting recipe books. When neither of us owned a television when moving in together, we found evenings liberated to spend on the activities we wanted to do: Seven years later we still haven’t felt any inclination to replace it.
Friends and family remark on the slow quiet that pervades our home, the care and appreciation we devote to our time and activities, and the impact this change has had on our wellbeing. So, this is the purpose of this blog: a corner of the internet dedicated to a calmer pace, to a life lived in each moment. Welcome to the sloe life.
In our future posts, you will find evenings spent learning how to grow our own vegetables in the summer, and discovering new creative skills as the nights draw in. Whole days devoted to long country walks or spent locked in the kitchen making stocks, preserves and comforting dinners. Experiments in second-hand, thrift and vintage, in reusing and repurposing.
We are still at the beginning of our journey, so this blog will evolve and change as we do. This is our second purpose of writing. We hope that our blog will inspire you, and we in turn hope to be inspired by you: a community who share an appreciation for the slow, the calm, the mindful, the local and the sustainable.
We hope you enjoy our blog, and we look forward to meeting you again soon.