Slow living January 2014

In 2012, I read an interesting post by a follow blogger (Lightly Crunchy), which gave a name to the lifestyle I aspire to: Slow Living. The concept of this lifestyle is to step outside the fast-living consumer society and enjoy a more sustainable way of living. Thus, a person might endeavour to grow their own vegetables, walk, cycle or take the train rather than drive their car, be involved in their local community and at the same time stretch themselves by reading literature or trying out new hobbies. In other words, as I understand it, the idea is to lead a fulfilling, engaged life with as little impact on the environment as they reasonably can.

Today, for me, is one of the days when I have pretty much achieved those aims. First of all, after two weeks of relative sloth, I decided to get up when I woke up and start preparing a butter bean and chorizo soup for the slow cooker, which would be ready after a day out in town.

Then, tempting though the car option would have been, I determined to take the train. All things being equal, to drive from my village into the city centre and park at work saves little if any time, whereas the cost of the train is negligible (currently just £2.90 for my daughter and I with a friends and family railcard). And of course the impact on the environment as well as my nerves is much reduced!

First port of call was a meet-up with a group entitled Self-Esteem and Happiness. Our purpose today was to set goals for the coming year, so that we could lead more fulfilling lives. And lo and behold, I met another woman who had just acquired an allotment for herself and plans to make lots of chutneys. On top of that, sitting next to me was a man I recognised but could not place. Amnesty International is where we used to hang out ten years ago, mostly at the Carpe Diem pub it has to be said. So, a bit of a small world feeling there 🙂

Well, enough of the nostagia….. The second reason for going into town was for Knit One Purl One, a knitting workshop put on by the art gallery at my place of work. My daughter seems keen on all things art and crafty, and we have enjoyed several other workshops at this venue. This was, however, perhaps the most soothing: knitting with a group of women for a couple of hours, chatting a bit but mostly clicking away. Knitting proved to be a little challenging for my seven-year-old but the workshop leader was most patient. So, here are our lines of knitting below.


My daughter also managed to find the fabby toilets on the second floor. However, much as the room looks good, I will spare you a picture of that 😉

Suffice to say, when we got home the soup was ready and waiting (cf Recipes page to find out how to make this dish). And after the walking round town and uphill to work, it was a welcoming return home!


© Helen Butt, January 2014

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Health, In the kitchen, Social and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Slow living January 2014

  1. Fairy says:

    A lovely post and it sounds as though you had an enjoyable and fulfilling day. I agree about the concept of slow living and it is something I try to incorporate into my life as much as possible.

  2. It sounds to me that you are definitely moving in your chosen direction…I have reduced my use of the car to about 75 miles in a week. I am hoping that as winter passes I can reduce the number all the way down to zero so progress all around maybe.

  3. Sounds like a great day. I envy you the ability to hop on a train and go. It’s not something we are well set up for here, unless you live in an urban centre. I love train trips, even short ones.

    • A shame you don’t have a comprehensive rail network! Of course, it could be better here – there are many rural areas which have no local network – but I am only a few miles out of one city and on the direct line between that and another, so it works very well.

  4. The slow movement is one I find fascinating – there is a slow IT (computer) movement which as it’s my line of work fascinates me even more !

  5. pobept says:

    Grin … I was self-employed for more than 40 years. My welding shop was 1/2 between two small towns. I have lived in the country all my life except for 3 years that I lived in Germany. As such I have always had and took the time to stop and ‘smell the rose’s’ and watch the grass grow.
    I would not handle the town / city lifestyle very well.
    Happy gardening.

  6. Lovely post and thanks for sharing we live in the middle of know where so have to rely on a car but I only go in the car at weekends as David has it for work Monday to Friday

    • Yes, it can be hard to live without a car. I lived for a while in Keswick and saw how cut off you were if you didn’t have your own wheels.

      Thank you for the compliment about my post. I look forward to finding out more about your animals.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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