SLOW DOWN FOR BERRIES
There’s a blueberry farm in Oregon with my name on it. Not literally, only in my ‘slow life’ fantasy. I don’t even actually like blueberries much – except those ones that come in a dinky can, in a box of Betty Crocker blueberry muffin mix.
Do you have one of these places – somewhere so ridiculously distant, both in terms of place and also possibility – that you say you’ll flee to when the traffic just gets too, too much? My happy place doesn’t even exist, and I don’t know if I actually want to go there, but maybe that’s why it’s a comfort.
I decided on this vague notion a) because I went to Oregon last year, and loved it, probably because it was September, warm-ish and didn’t rain once (unlike the months that have followed, during which it has rained non-stop); and b) because I saw an Oregonbased couple with a blueberry farm on a cooking show. They had an outdoor oven in which they baked blueberry cobblers, which I wouldn’t eat that much of, but still.
What would you do to slow down your life – if you even wanted to do such a thing? It’s the topic raised by Sarah Gibbons in her interview on page 24 with Carl Honoré, a proponent of the official Slow movement, which is making inroads globally – including in the UAE, where there’s been a ‘convivium’ of the Slow Food organisation since 2013.
I knew I couldn’t be alone in wondering how long we’ll all carry on at such a frantic pace. I was lucky enough to hear a talk by the acclaimed (and Dubai-based) artist Sacha Jafri last weekend, in which he reached a similar topic, unprompted, when asked where art is going next.
His prediction – it brought a mixture of shock and, funnily enough, relief, from those attending his talk – is that social media is going to be less relevant in our lives within five years. (Sacha was speaking at a session on art history by Maison Imperiale, a new organisation that runs masterclasses on a number of topics, from etiquette to floristry.) Is that true? Or are we really going to become an episode of Black Mirror? Or are we in a bit of a bubble – in other places in the world, perhaps, the pace is intentionally slower – in France, for example. There, this summer, you can take your gaze from your screen to the canvas, with hundreds of years of wonderful art on show in Paris – we’ve got an extensive guide on page 64.