Follow one Londonista trying to put the brakes on with Slow Club.
Alistair Cameron, former Secretary of Borough Market Traders' Association, let us sample some of Borough Market's delights
11am on a Saturday morning. I’ve got a thumping headache from too much wine the night before. I’d usually be still in my pyjamas, making the most of a weekend lie-in. Instead, I am at Borough Market, drinking hot apple and cinnamon and sampling fine foods: not such a hardship, I suppose.
The irony of setting my alarm and dashing out to meet the group on time, in the name of slowness, is not lost on me. But, Tessa and Yvonne, of Slow Down London, very much believe that that the Club should have a social element, of slowing down together, meeting new people and getting support.
This is my first ‘group adventure’, and we’re an even mix of women and men, of different ages and backgrounds, talking dreamily of wanting to unwind, like it’s a near-impossible goal. It’s awful that these are things we feel we have to ‘sign up’ for, but the principle is probably the same as the gym - if we’re not paying for it, we won’t make the effort.
Our group is led by Alistair Cameron, former Secretary of Borough Market Traders' Association, and Shane Holland, Chair of Slow Food London. ‘Slow food’, Shane tells us, is about sustainability, fair wages and small-scale producers. But, most of all, it should taste GOOD.
It certainly does. There were ravings from the group about the cured meat at Gastronomica; and, being veggie, I got my own little ‘food gasp’ at the L'Ubriaco 'Drunk' Cheese stall (cheese aged in wine - what a genius coupling).
With the emphasis on food, my ‘slow task’ this week was to eat something mindfully, without distraction (so no TV, no talking, no idly flickering through magazines)...
The opportunity arose with some rather un-gourmet cheddar, crackerbread and wholegrain mustard. Rather than wolf it down, I let the flavours fizzle on my tongue. I could really feel the heat of the mustard; the creamy tang of the cheese. Woah, it was good!
I won’t always have time to appreciate food like this. But I’m reminded how much more you can get out of your senses (and life) when you sit back, slow down and tune in.
Image courtesy of Yvonne Reinartz's Flickrstream.