Follow one Londonista trying to put the brakes on with Slow Club.
Homemade cheesecake certainly is slow - but baking it didn't always make me smile!
When I read that the slow task was to make something with my hands, it was like waving a neon red flag at a rabid bull. Within an hour, I had signed up for alerts from London craft groups like the (admittedly great sounding) Finishing School and The Make Lounge. I had visions of patchwork quilts and my own jewellery line on Etsy.
Then I took a long, slow look at myself. For this is what I always do: I get carried away in the moment, I set my heights too high - and then I spend my time procrastinating, not actually doing any of these things because my diary is too full and I’m having a breakdown.
So I banned myself from going to any of those things - for now (they really do look fab). Instead I rolled up my sleeves and did something never hitherto attempted and yet so simple and basic: I baked something from scratch.
I’d like to say that this gentle tale ends in domestic bliss and culinary happy ever afters. Well: the cheesecake was great. But the whole 'bake a cake' thing completely stressed me out. The whisking took forever. The recipe didn’t always make sense. And when it finally came out of the oven (2 hours of cooling later) with a crack on the top, I threw a tantrum that would make a two-year-old blush.
But at least I did it at my own measured pace, in the comfort of my own home: without having to rush anywhere or meet anyone or prove anything. And there is much to be said for the therapeutic licking out of the bowl...always the best bit.
I can see the irony of writing about slowing down on a website that is all about going out and making the most of London. But I see the ethos of Slow Club, in the long term, as not about saying ‘no’ to everything, but about learning to prioritise.
I think I am slowly getting the hang of this.