How to Live a Slow Life in Slow London

slow london photo

Image from slow guides

Slow is not a word that one usually associates with London, one of the world's biggest cities. However this new book, slow London, shows readers (or shall we say followers of the idea) how to live a less stressful and more observant life.

Geared specifically towards Londoner's, there is no reason why its lessons cannot be applicable to anyone living in a busy urban area. The book shows you how to tune into the seasons, explore the city's back streets, find hidden gardens and markets, or simply slow down and smell the roses.

diana memorial photo

Image from picasa google :Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

It was written by a London journalist, Robin Barton and Hayley Cull, who was involved in the Slow Down London series of weekly events held in January. With their in-depth knowledge of the city, they have managed to come up with new and interesting suggestions about all that is local, natural, traditional, sensory and gratifying about living here.

The authors think that there has been a slowing down in London; more people are cycling, more restaurants are serving local and sustainable food, more people are knitting on the buses. They want to celebrate the unique and independent aspects.

The first part of the book contains thoughts, ideas and interviews about time, work and nature. For example under nature they write about the delights of each season, special green spaces (parks and gardens), Kew Garden, wild London, and have an interview with an urban birder.

peace pagoda photo

Image from bbc: Battersea Peace Pagoda

The Be section teaches readers to slow down and smell the roses. It covers the senses; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching and has suggestions how to make the most of them. This includes articles about museums, art galleries, music (including the sound of silence) and great food stores and restaurants.

The Do section is a practical guide to the city: resources to help us enjoy it more. It has ideas for activities for adults and children to do in pursuit of the slow and is chock full of great suggestions about where to bicycle, eat, visit, shop and wander.

It's not a book to be read at one go, rather, something to pick up, savour, and think about at a leisurely pace: that's the essence of slow.

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