Tag Archives: travel

The Long Way Home

October 19, 2015

Yoga has become a huge part of my life, almost every day either begins or ends with a practice and through it, I have established a sense of rhythm. This personal rhythm has a liquid like quality, mercurial even, for it is ever moving, changing adapting to the particulars. In yoga, each pose prepares us, our bodies to move into the next pose. 

I am, we are, leaving London. 


London has meant more to me than I could have anticipated when I landed here, in a snow storm on April Fools in 2013. It has been an incredible personal journey that I was neither searching for nor expecting to find. In hind sight, this caught me very much off guard and I wont lie, I struggled. 
I struggled to maintain my sense of self, my understanding of who I thought I was in the absence of my community and where I fit into this new city. I went through an array of emotion ranging from anger and frustration to deep sadness to love and appreciation. What I believed to be a negative I understand now to be only positive. Part of this comes from the moment when I realized something, something so utterly simple; I have the power and possibility of choice in every situation. This seemingly simple, tiny notion has given me access to a different perspective on the world around me and a deeper understanding of  my true foundations. These rudimentary foundations have not changed so much as strengthened, softened and solidified in all the right ways. 
This chapter has not been a solitary one, and so many people along the way have stepped in, have stepped up to help me. They have helped me find the cracks in the walls where the light was coming through and I am truly grateful. But I also realized that community is there if you simply open yourself to the possibility and allow yourself to receive the generosity of others instead of closing yourself off. 


Jen wrote a beautiful piece about her experience and decision to leave London here. Her image of a house built but never lived in resonates very deeply with me. In ways London, the force of a city this size, with this many lives makes you confront your weaknesses head on and prove to yourself the possibility of things you thought impossible. 



And now on to the why. 
Why are we leaving this big, brutal, romantic, wonderful city? 

The easy answers are because our lease is up, because we are far from families, because we are restless. But of course its more complicated than that. 
In my dreams I could always hear an echo of the soil. It would seep in and saturate the backs of my eyelids at night, flooding through me but then, at some point the echo died away. Perhaps I even willed it away, purposely stopped dreaming all together so as to block out the sound, the reverberating call of the landscape of my memory. 
Recently thought, like a spring which has changed its course, gone under ground, the echo suddenly bubbled up through the surface again. Making a pool in my dreams once again where I could see my reflection and leaving its pebbly residue behind. 
We have been on the road now for ten years, setting up lives, houses, communities in cities with no real intention of staying or settling. We have never had any clear plan either, we have simply stayed on until an unseen force has called for change and we answered with a move. It was exactly how I always wanted to live my life … 
I wanted to concentrate on growing, stretching and unfurling as many leaves as possible to catch up and soak in every drop of the world as it fell upon me. I feel now happily saturated, heavy at the top, bending under the weight and it seems the moment to strengthen the base. The time to put roots down deep into the dirt to support those far reaching branches. And I cant help thinking that maybe this is what home looks like, the parts beneath the surface which keep us grounded, rooted and supported so that we can project those beautiful leaves further out into the world – 
In ten years I have never asked myself what home really looks like but recently I have found it is one of the only things I am able to think about. After sitting with this thought, searching my thoughts, asking friends, talking with Sean, home has started to look like the grasses and stonewalls, blueberry bushes and apple trees and reaching white birches of my childhood.  
I never imaged that I would find home there. I think I may have even  purposely fought it off, not wanting to believe that I would circle back, but now I hear the echo of the soil and not just in my dreams.  


Wanderlust hasn’t released its grip however and our craving for adventure has not dampened only the feeling for a more permanent base has strengthened. So on November 1st, we will say our farewells (I don’t believe in good-byes) to London and take the long way home. Transition is never uncomplicated and it is not something I have done well in the past. Rushing through, overlooking, dismissing the process of transition – but this time I am intent on giving it the focus and attention it deserves because I know that there is some good meat here with much to be learned.  

An so this place, this pose has prepared me to move into the next place, the next pose.  
As yoga has taught me, this next pose will not be forever and inevitably another pose will follow. 


Seeded Rye Bread

December 3, 2014

I find a change of scenery can sometimes spark a renewed interest in the familiar. This recipe for Seeded Rye Bread was born out of a trip to Copenhagen and an instant love for the gorgeous Rugbrod I encountered on my visit there.  

The city of Copenhagen is full of amazing design to look at, open friendly people to chat to and some of the most beautifully plated and oh so delicious food I have had to date. I loved that many places lavished dishes with visual attention and created unique visual compositions but  when the flavors hit my palette there was a welcome familiarity of flavors. Of the restaurants and cafes we visited, there was a consistent focus on whole, healthy foods which I was also very excited to find. I particularly loved Grod, Coffee Curators & Host.

Many places served up thick slices of Rugbrod with various dishes. It is a dark hearty fermented style loaf bread. Scattered through the bread are nuts and seeds of various types and a gorgeous crisp top crust. I found it particularly satisfying dunked into a hot bowl of soup during one of my lunches. But is also conjured up thoughts of an old familiar recipe for Irish brown bread and I begin thinking about marrying different aspects of the breads together. 






The resulting bread comes together quickly even though there many ingredients. I prefer to measure the ingredients by weight as I find it the most efficient and accurate method. 
It is also preferable to bake the bread in two small loaf tins. It is dense and the baking times are more accurate when using 4″ x 8″ loaf pans. Grease them well on the bottom and sides. 


7oz dark rye flour
2oz self raising white flour
2oz oat bran
2oz porridge flakes 
2oz sesame seeds
2oz pumpkin seeds
2oz sunflower seeds plus a handful to sprinkle on top of the bread
15 hazle nuts halved 
1 1/2 teaspoons bread soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 egg beaten 
285ml butter milk 
285ml of plain natural yogurt 


Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg then add buttermilk and yogurt. Stir to combine. Slowly combine wet into dry mix. IT will be quite thick and sticky but be sure to stir well so that there are no pockets of dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. If the mix needs more moisture add a tablespoon or two more yogurt. 


Pour equally divided mixture into the two greased loaf tins. Sprinkle remaining sunflower seed on top of each and gently pat into the mixture. 


Bake at 200 celsius/400 fahrenheit for 1h 15m – 1h 30m (depending on your oven temperature or until a tester stick comes out clean.  After 45 take the tins out of the oven an cover with foil. Then return to bake for the remaining time.